King's Canyon

Trip Start Feb 05, 2006
Trip End Jun 20, 2006

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Thursday, May 11, 2006

One of the first things Diesel told us, was about the first leg of the walk. It was commonly referred to as "Heart-attack Hill", because it was a walk for about 1km @ about 45 degrees to the top of the mountain, which was about 600m tall. At first I was skeptical as to my ability to do the climb, but I was told it was either climb the mountain, or do the base walk, and miss out on everything good. Then and there, I decided there was no option but to climb that mountain, even if I had to crawl on my hands and knees. I did it, and even though I struggled (it must have been the hardest climb ever) I got to the top, and kept up with everyone else. Later Diesel told me that he thought I was going to do the base walk for sure, and was extremely impressed with my determination.
Once we were at the top, it was mostly smooth sailing, as we climbed through crevices, and admired awesome views. We also got to see many aboriginal artifacts, including a couple of spear sharpening places warn out of the rocks. Also, we got to see fossils on the surface of the rocks, some of jellyfish, shellfish, and others. Since we saw so much, I'll let the pictures do my speaking, because this was by far the highlight of the tour.

We finished the hike in about 2.5 hours, covering 6+ KM total. We then piled back into the van, and made our way to the campsite, which took most of the day. We did stop @ sunset to admire Uluru, and Cadda Juda from about 50KM away. They are massive! This acted as a preview of coming attractions as the next day, we would explore them both. We then arrived at our campsite to settle in for the night. I was nominated to the firewood collection committee with Vincent, so we went to collect our firewood, as the others prepared our meal. We then started the campfire and ate our dinner. I ended up being the only vegetarian (no real surprise) so I got to explain my reasoning, which was generally appreciated. We then sat around the fire talking; Diesel pulled out a didge (I earlier noticed it on the dashboard) and gave us a demonstration. Later Sarah was adventurous enough to give it a go too, and she did really well. Then we busted out the marshmallows that Laura and Helen were kind enough to bring, so we roasted those. I found myself being the person explaining how to road the perfect marshmallow, since no one else seemed to have much mallow experience. It didn't really matter though, because the general consensus was that the marshmallows tasted like soap. They were raspberry flavored, and about 3 weeks expired, which may have led to this problem, but we ate them all the same.

Then it was time for bed, so we all rolled out the swags and sleeping bags (many of us took two sleeping bags as it was a very cold night). Again we set a record for Diesel's tour groups, being the only group that had EVERYONE sleep outside (tents were available). The view of the sky was amazing, even more visibility than what I've seen in the U.P. of Michigan. I also saw five shooting stars! I then dozed off to sleep while staring at a plane/satellite/UFO brightly moving about the sky.
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