It was the excitement of hunting for nature’s treasures that lured me 2km down a mountain. My pack was north of 50kg and the terrain rugged and steep.
By the time I reached the bottom of the mountain I had worm a blister into the ball of my foot and thought to myself getting back out will be hard work.
I quickly setup a somewhere for me to sleep for the night and set off into the wilderness in search of gold.
The hike from camp was another 1km following a rundown 4wd track. Then trekked along the mountain side following geo tags left from old mining expeditions.
The track along the mountainside was 3-4 ft wide with a sheer drop of the side, this trek was very precarious but i’m confident and steady on my feet when it comes to bushwalking.
I was near the point of turning back when i noticed a rope tied to the tree. The goat track down the mountainside was so sheer it was supported by a tethered rope for approx 200m to assist in any confident soul to trek down to the river.
Rock River leads into the Merideth ranges and is bottlenecked by ancient myrtle trees either side of the bank. I found James Mcginty’s gold mining claim from the 1800’s and began my search for the twin sister of the largest gold nugget ever found in tasmania by James Mcginty.
I finished the day up by digging and scratching for gold, to no avail I trekked backed to camp stopping in to look at whyte river gold mine.
It was peaceful listening to the bugs chatter in the rainforest as i sat swinging on my diy hammock sipping down some red wine. Night fell slowly and I soon lay down to rest.
I’m a side sleeper and didn’t realize you cannot comfortably side sleep in a hammock. The night was long and restless and when my weakend organism gave into exhaustion the loud snore that would bellow from my nose would wake me up again.
The warmth of the morning sun reminded me of the true god in the universe “THE SUN”. As the sun warmed up my homemade cocuun I managed an hour or two sleep.
After morning coffee I contemplated the walk out and wondered if I would even make it back up the mountain with such a heavy pack. With my weak physical state I decided to make camp again “this time more comfortable”, hunker down for another night and gain my rest to then walk out.
Back down the Whyte river prospecting only to find the smallest specks of gold. My strength faded quickly so I trekked back to camp for lunch. Taking stock of food I soon realised I had gone thru nearly my whole food supply leaving a single pack of noodles and canned beans left.
Realizing after lunch my strength not recovering I made the decision to pack up camp and hike out because tomorrow may never come.
The trek back up the mountain and put me in survival mode, the first half was ok but the last 1km was a gruelling gauntlet of pain. A method i developed to push thru was walking 50 paces then stopping briefly for a rest.
This walk rest approach was suppose to enrich my brain with dopamine ‘the reward centre of the brain” which never came. the 50 steps soon turned to 10 steps and rest until I fell over from exhaustion.
When I finally made it back to the car I stripped down to my boxer shorts and turned up xavier rudd on the car stereo while doing a little victory dance.