24-25/11/2001 - report

Participants: Tom Brennan, Jonathan Potts, Chris Stephens, Vanessa White, Jill Calkin, Nikki Shires

We didn't really intend to do Bob Turners Track. The plan was for the six of us to li-lo down the Colo from Bob Turners Track to past Colo Meroo. A fair bit of pfaffing in the morning meant that we didn't do our car shuffle with Jonathan's car til almost 11am, and then didn't get to the start of Bob Turners Track until close to midday.

Leaving the car, we wandered down the winding track in and out of several gullies. Closer to the Colo, the track steepened and there were a few switchbacks to the river. There were a couple of people already there camping as we arrived and started to inflate our li-los. And the problems began!

I was the only one with my own li-lo, a brand new thing that I had bought for canyoning this season. Everyone else's had been borrowed. Chris's li-lo had been patched - badly - as it had a gaping hole in one side. Out came the patch kit and we did our best to fill the hole. In the meantime we settled down for an early lunch as we weren't going anywhere.

The patching didn't work first time and we had to try again. The hours rolled past and it was nearly 3pm by the time we thought we were ready to go.

But it was not far downstream before trouble struck again. The patch job continued to fail, and one of the other li-los had a small puncture as well. We limped as far as Tootie Creek before it started to get cold in the gorge, and we pulled up on the sand bank to camp.

The evening's entertainment was provided by Nikki, with a mini-olympics, including shot (river stone) putting, the standing-in-sand long jump, and the grand finale, the rock art. I can't remember who won but the honours were fairly evenly shared.

Sitting around the fire later, Jonathan dropped the biggest bombshell when he casually mentioned that his car keys were safely in my car's glovebox. It was a few seconds before everyone went "What!!??". Jonathan looked suitably embarrassed. That settled things for the next day. Our downriver plans, already in jeopardy from the slow progress of the day, were effectively foiled.

With the arrival of a storm the next morning, we made the decision to split. Chris would take Nikki and Vanessa out the Tootie Creek Track, while Jonathan, Jill and I would retrieve the cars. The three of us made it back to my car in about two hours, and I dropped the other two at Jonathan's car before heading along the rocky Mountain Lagoon Fire Trail to pick up the others.

By the time we got back to civilisation in Windsor, it was blowing an absolute gale. We went for the unhealthy option and visited the Colonel. An interesting weekend with a few object lessons for next time!