Monday, 11 February 2013

Stirling Ranges

Around 13-16 Jan 2013

The Stirling Ranges look magnificent as you approach them from any direction across the plains. We chose to go via Ongerup to visit the Malleefowl Centre and to our delight we finally got to see some malleefowl!  We’ve travelled across mallee country for over a thousand kilometres and not seen a single malleefowl as they are so endangered these days by loss of habitat. The Malleefowl Centre has two huge aviaries and had a pair of fowl in each one. They were more beautiful than I was expecting and walk as though they have crippled feet. I’m sure, from my learned position, that this trait has contributed to their rate of decline as well.

While at the Stirling Ranges the whole family climbed Mt Trio with lots of encouragement.  Isobel needs lots of moral support to get herself up and down under her own steam but she did it and we are so proud of her. Otto got up as well, one step at a time checking out every leaf, ant and moth on the way. He has no idea that he climbed such a tall mountain! He slept in Simon’s backpack on the way down.

Hugo continues to astound us as the very next day he climbed Bluff Knoll, the tallest peak in southern WA. Isobel tried but at the first lot of steps baulked at the idea of climbing more stairs.  Simon said the plants on the summit were amazing (they’re alpine plants) and many of them were still flowering. Congrats Hugo, you’re a legend!

Simon had his sites on Toolbrunup, the second tallest peak in the range and a harder climb but the temperature rose, the air was humid, and we decided to head to the coast instead. Turned it was a good call as they closed the track that day when a lightning storm hit as they were worried it could start a fire.

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