11 August 2022
It was a baptism not of fire but water, when new maintenance volunteers David Miller and daughter Jonica made their first full visit to their section in the Pingerup Plains.
Very soon after David signed up for the section from Pingerup Road to Mount Chance campsite, the annual Frankland District Field Day was held at ‘his’ new campsite. Only able to make a quick trip down at that time – and having recently brought Jonica on board – they braved the recent rough weather to get their first full look at the section.
Having scheduled the trip, the forecast of hail, winds and thunderstorms was taken with a spirit of adventure and they decided to go ahead [Ed. Volunteers are always encouraged to have a safety mindset and make sensible choices!]. Driving down late on Friday and planning to camp out, they fortunately found a sheltered spot off the highway south of Manjimup, and continued on to Pingerup Road early the next day.
The original plan to drive along Pingerup Road to the Track intersection was stymied about 2kms in – water everywhere! They turned around, and continued down the highway to the Mount Chance access track. With a gate to prevent vehicle access, walking the 3km in to the shelter (and back, later) added to the challenges of the day.
After attending to shelter checks and tidying, they set out up the Track for the 7km walk to Pingerup Road. Fortunately, the water from the sky was everywhere but where they were – apart from 15 seconds of hail. Given the weather, they hadn’t intended to do a lot of work, but to give themselves an overview of the Track in the area. They now plan to go back down in a few weeks and make a start at clearing regrowth and updating the Track marking. Seen with fresh eyes, the water on the Track seemed an interesting challenge – what can volunteers do about that?! As David commented, the 40mm of rain received in the Walpole area the week prior had “trickled out of the plains on to the Track” – and this is what makes it a Class 4 walking trail!
Our maintenance volunteers make a huge difference to the walking experience. We congratulate David and Jonica for their positive spirit and resilience – and welcome them to the team!