Jan-Jun 2019

On a warm late autumn day, nine walkers, undeterred by previous advice as to the challenges of this walk, assembled at Cowan Station at 7.30am to head down the in-parts rocky track down to Jerusalem Bay. After a brief water stop, we made our way across the creek at the western end of Jerusalem Bay before commencing the steep ascent up to the top of the ridge. In view of the good time made, it was decided to continue out along the track to Taffys Rock as far as the look-out over Jerusalem Bay for morning tea. Refreshed, we made our way along the undulating track towards our destination, scrambling over several large rocks, negotiating our way between rocks whilst all the time trying to avoid branches and leaf litter on the ground, thus ensuring that everyone was well focused on the track. Our lunch spot on Taffys Rock afforded superb views down the Hawkesbury to Lion Island and across Cowan Water to Refuge Bay, America Bay and Challenger head. Before starting our return, we explored the northern side of the rock with views up the Hawkesbury to Dangar Island and Mt Wondabyne in the distance.
Back on the track for the return trip we repeated the undulations and scrambling of the outward trip before returning to the Great North Walk Track for the steep, rocky descent to Jerusalem Bay for a water and snack stop to muster enough strength for the final climb back up to Cowan Station. For some, additional inspiration was gained from the prospect of a post-walk coffee at the Cowan General Store enjoyed by several walkers immediately afterwards.

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The stalwart leaders Bert and Kurt at the trackhead just east of the Cowan railway station, before our strenuous but rewarding day 

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                                                                  After the descent from Cowan Station the group assembled at Jerusalem Bay

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Following the very steep ascent from Jerusalem Bay, at the Taffys Rock turnoff, Kurt briefed us on the next stage of the walk, preparing us to expect it to be
overgrown and require some rock scrambling. The image at right shows how the track to Taffy’s Rock was undulating- some undulations were bigger than others

2019 04 26 Plus Wendy C DSC07923                                                                              Getting to the top of the ascent out of Jerusalem Bay was a great relief

2019 04 26 Plus Sue S 20190426 094321 resized 1             Walkers reluctantly leaving the welcome morning tea stop which was gratefully enjoyed after the steep climb. Peaceful views of Jerusalem Bay and Cowan Creek.

2019 04 26 Plus Wendy C DSC07929                                                                                     View from the track- Hawkesbury River and Dangar Island

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                                                                              Kurt and Bert tackle the second steeper track on tessellated rock outcrop

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Celia and John M gaze at the beautiful old stone cairn of Cole Trig point 201 metres, with the initial post. The second Edward Trig further on, was without the post.
These trig stations were set up in the early 1880's. Ref: 'Man Made the City but God made the Bush' by Nathan Tilbury.

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                                                                                                       View of Taffy’s Rock from Whale Rock

2019 04 26 Plus Sue S 20190426 191201 resized 2           Arrival at Taffys rock - some walkers first admire the outstanding vista of Lion Island and America and Refuge Bays, while others go on a 'treasure hunt ' to find the               memorial plaque. It was found lower down on a steeper slope.

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Peter was the photographer for the group, except for John who was guarding the back packs while the others explored the other side of the rock

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A rewarding rest in the Afternoon peace of Historic Jerusalem Bay, after very carefully taking the steep descent off the ridge. The lone Palm Tree was planted in 1921 by Agnes Rhodes, who previously lived there with husband George.
The family owned a Boatshed business there in the early 1900's. https://m.facebook.com/Berowrahistory/posts/244101212825356

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An old tree, Angophora costata gives the young John M a further spot for contemplation on the return ascent to Cowan track head.
                                                                                                    Fungus                                         The banksia’s were in glowing bloom

2019 04 26 Plus Wendy C DSC07945                                                                                                   Eagerly making our way back to Cowan

Bert and Kurt led Clive, Wendy C, Martin, Celia, John M, Sue S, and Peter T
Words:   Bert
Photos:  Peter T (2,3,4,12,15,17), Sue S (1,5,8,10,11,14,19,21 ), Wendy C (6,7,9,13,16,18,20,22,23,24)


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