Thru Hiking the Lavender Federation Trail – Sept 2018 – Page 10

20 September – Dutton to Truro 21 km

Misty rain hit us at some stage during the night, along with some heavier showers, but the wind soon moved them on. We left early, wrapping up a wet tent for only the second time. The trail follows Hebel Road which gives way to a track which follows Pine Creek. The paddocks gradually became stripped bare of all vegetation and the rocks around the creek were covered in lichen – its a barren landscape apart from the immediate area around the creek. A 3 metre waterfall had a thin flow of water cascading over. The creek was covered with spiky tussock grass which punctures the skin and would be perfect habitat for snakes but not today, its way too cold!

A range loomed up in front of us but we don’t have to climb it as the creek had cut its path through the range at a place called “The Gap”. We crossed the creek a few times and came to a fence heading south. I heard machinery and walked towards the sound but its only the humming of the strong wind in the straining fencing wire. The barren landscape reminds me of Spaghetti Westerns without the cacti.

We came to a drystone wall which headed directly uphill back over the range. There was no escaping the climb this time and it was a reasonably long one into the wind. At the top of the range I could see Leakes Lookout to the north and Truro to the SW. The trail followed farm roads and fences then crossed the busy Sturt Highway and traversed an area of faint tracks which rose to a high point. From there the trail fell away across lichen covered rocks to the gorge of Middle Hut Creek. This was a highlight of the day as we followed the gorge for about 1km with some large pools of water. A quick dip might be refreshing but I would need another 20 degrees of temperature. Lookouts at the start and finish of the gorge gave good views. Near the end of the gorge two pale brown kangaroos were drinking from the creek. Their unusual colour, almost albino, and their high spirited antics in the bright sun, form a memorable impression.

The trail climbed up to Truro past the old Wheal Barton copper mine, long since closed. Its a great feeling to walk into a new town on a sunny afternoon, knowing that you have reached it entirely on your own efforts. Even better to find that Truro has an excellent bakery. Accommodation is sorted out at the Weighbridge Motel, then some serious business is attended to at the bakery! To spread ourselves around we decide to eat that night at the pub.

There is no general store or supermarket at Truro so we raided the limited stocks at the motel, which has a cafe and store attached, and the service station to buy enough supplies to get us though to Springton.