Sunday, March 9, 2008

A trip to Mount Tibrogargan

We're pretty slack when it comes to the weekend - we've gravitated, rather unnaturally for all of us, to being homebodies. Not this weekend though. Our house mate Phil decided during the week that he wanted to climb Mount Tibrogargan (one of the ten extinct volcanoes that makes up the Glass House Mountains in the hinterlands of the Sunshine Coast about an hour and a quarter from Brisbane) Dave decided that he was up for an adventure, after missing out on the chance to hike Mount Warning a few weeks ago. Mount Tibogargan is 364 metres high making the climb the equivalent of going up the Eiffel Tower! Dylan and I weren't up for the walk, and we planned to go up later on and meet up at the picnic area for lunch and then a bush walk. Plan set!

Mount Tibrogargan looks like a man or ape hunched down. It was more pronounced before the 'eye' bits of the mountain eroded and broke off a few years ago. Aboriginal legend holds that Tibrogaran (whose name comes from the Undanbi words for flying squirrel and biting) was the father of the Glass House Mountains - Beerwah was his wife. One day Tibrogargan, gazing out over the sea, saw it rise. Fearful for his family, Tibrogargan asked his son eldest son, Coonowrin to help his mother to safety in the West (as she was pregnant again) while he gathered all the other brothers and sisters. When Tibrogargan looked back Coonowrin was running off alone, which angered him. He beat him on the head, dislocating his neck. All the family cried tears of shame over Coonowrin's behaviour when they returned to their land after the floods. When asked why Coonowrin, said she was the biggest of all of them and should be able to take care of herself. He did not know she was with child. Tibrogargan so upset by his son's cowardise has forever turned his back on Coonowrin.

Dylan and I spent the hour and a half trip flying along the highway and singing along to our favourite CDs ... all the time I was thinking of Dave and Phil dragging their way up the mountain. I told Dylan was we turned off the main road and down towards the picnic area how we'd been there before, when he was a baby in my womb. He told me that he'd really wanted to get out and look then. "But thankfully you waited a little while longer to come out," I commented, looking for the turn off. Dylan told me how much he really wanted to climb up the mountain too - just like Daddy and Uncle Phil. Little were we to know at that stage that the morning's climb hadn't been as successful as Phil's climb of Mount Warning last last month!

Dave and Phil only made it half way up and were apparently passed on the way down by a spritely couple in their 60's who were descending from the summit. They had already climbed Beerwah that morning (this was around 11am) which is the highest of the Glass House Mountains. Dave said he didn't feel old - just very unfit!! The description of the climb left them quite unprepared for how difficult it was. They found out later, that they had actually climbed the hardest part - but that's the beauty of finding out that info only AFTER you've made the decision and begun your descent.

We had a lovely lunch of chicken, coleslaw, potato, rolls, along with a bottle of sparkling mineral water (yes very civilised) then organised to go for a walk around the foot of the mountain. We walked up to the lookout to enjoy the view across to Mount Beerwah (photo to come as they are still on Phil's camera!) Dylan helped me find some pretty rocks to fulfil one of my tasks from the Artist Way - but was soon engrossed in the banksia's that were in bloom all around. Dylan took great delight in them - saying originally that they were corn! The other long thing ones he called 'narrows'!! Here are the corn shaped ones ...

then groovy little round ones ...

And the quintessential Banksia Man from May Gibb's classic book 'Snugglepot and Cuddlepie'

There were Scribble gums - with the scribble marks left behind by an insect, not nefarius teenagers or small children with sticks.

And finally a spider that was just a little smaller than the span of my hand!

I got a chance to sit and scribe my Morning Pages (which were mid afternoon pages by the time I got to them!) while Dave, Phil and Dylan finished their walk. It felt sublime to be out in the warm Autumn air writing. Dylan was excited that he managed to finish the walk (helps when you have a proper pair of shoes on your feet!) and came back with stories about a huge goanna that they had found. The picture here is a very happy little fella (who had by this time taken his shoes off - pointing to the track that he walked!) Not surprisingly, and despite the lolly snakes he scoffed when he got in the car - he was asleep within ten minutes of hitting the high way - which in the short term was a bonus for me because I didn't have to share what was playing on the stereo. In the long term it meant betime was long after 9:00pm - but you get that. I was happy to have got out on the high way with the music up loud and to have wandered in the warm bush. Best of both worlds.

Stay tuned for more of our adventures .

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