Category Archives: Huon Valley

21 for 2021: week 13

Week 13/2021: week of 29 March 2021

This week, I started the last of the five habits in chapter 7 of the Change Journal (thing 4). This habit relates to a challenge I’ve started this month with Trina O’Gorman to write for at least 15 minutes every day. Trina is running the challenge on her instagram feed, to see if writing every day has any affect on people’s sense of wellbeing. I’m using some writing prompts I’ve been meaning to write to for a while now and kept putting off, and have committed to handwriting my responses every morning for 20 minutes. It’s a bit like Julia Cameron’s morning pages ritual but with guided prompts rather than unassisted stream of consciousness writing, which I have always struggled to do.

I’ve started work on chapter 11 (Reading), which asks you to record how much you read each day in six-minute increments. This actually isn’t much of a challenge for me because I made reading a habit last year, so it’s just a matter of remembering how much I read and noting it down each day. Since that one’s easy, I also thought I would make start on Chapter 24 (Journalling), which has spaces to record one line a day for 21 days and then two lines a day for 16 days. I already have a journal called Some lines a day, in which I write something I’m grateful for each day and then a brief highlight (or lowlight) of the day every day, so I don’t really need to do this chapter. But it’s there to be done and I had the idea of noting down the most significant insight/s from my morning writing each day in that section. So that’s what I’ll be doing for the next 37 days.

I love how everything has connected up like this!

I did some behind the scenes work on my websites (thing 13) and I think the main thing I want to do is to make sure my intro statements are consistent across all my platforms. I have so many platforms, I was thinking about making a linktree to keep track of them all.

Vegetable of the week

Thing 2 is to choose a different vegetable every week from the book In Praise of Veg and make a recipe from the book using that vegetable. This week I chose “herbs”, which is a pretty broad section of the book and is one with more than a couple of recipes. The one I chose was called Lobio, which is a kidney bean stew with coriander on page 354.

Lobio

It’s a pretty easy recipe to cook and it’s the first bean stew I’ve made without tomatoes, which I’ve always seen as a staple ingredient for bean dishes. Not so. The part that took the longest was picking off the coriander leaves and chopping up the stems.

This was a great mid-week dish that I can see myself making double the quantity of and having a week’s worth of lunches sorted.

Regular projects

There are several things on my list that I have made a regular commitment to doing in the hope that this will be more likely to make me do them. I worked on these ones this week.

  • Thing 5: Spend an hour a week working through my annoying undone things list. One hour on Saturday morning. I’m reading one of the books I have committed to read and give back to its owner. I don’t think she’s read it yet . . . I’ve had it for long enough now, so I need to get on with it!
  • Thing 7: Clear out the area at the side of the house and make a space to sit. One hour on Sunday afternoon for garden projects. The area I want to clear out is home to the gas cylinders, which have gradually been encroached on by the invasive plant from next door to the extent that last time the gas delivery came they couldn’t get to one of the cylinders. So the idea was to cut some of the plant back before the next delivery. It was one of those jobs that gets put off because there’s no rush. Well, no rush until I got a text on Wednesday afternoon telling me the gas was coming on Thursday. So when I got home on Wednesday, I had a little over an hour before my yoga class to cut back as much space as I could and hope it would be enough. I’m glad it was this week and not next week after daylight saving ends, because doing that in the dark would have been even less fun than this was. Nonetheless, I got it done, I made it to yoga on time, and the gas was delivered the next day. And I get to call this thing started as a bonus.
Gas bottle hell
  • Thing 9: Write my mother’s life story. I went to see my mum on Thursday. I found a book that I had got for her to write about her life for Kramstable several years ago, you know, one of those “For my grandson” books. She hasn’t started writing in it, so I thought the questions in there about her early life would make good questions for this project.
  • Thing 17: Brainsparker gym*. This week, I worked on the third class of module 3. 

We went to Tahune Airwalk on Sunday, so I didn’t do the things I’ve set aside time to do on Sundays.

Tahune Airwalk

21 for 2021 summary of the week

  • Things completed this week: 0
  • Things completed to date: 1 (1)
  • Things I progressed: 8 (2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 13, 17, 20)
  • Things in progress I didn’t progress: 7 (6, 8, 10, 11, 14, 16, 18)
  • Things not started: 5 (3, 12, 15, 19, 21)
Not a project, a chicken

Blast from the past

Following on from my 10-year review of my blog, here’s another one of my favourite posts from 2011. This one is from 1 September 2011 and it’s the post I meant to do at the half-way mark of my 365-day photo project. It’s about making my blog my own.

What I’m reading this week

  • Wanderlust: A History of Walking by Rebecca Solnit
  • Writing the Story of Your Life: The Ultimate Guide by Carmel Bird
  • On Writing by Stephen King

Habit tracker

  • Days I did my morning planning routine at work (Goal = 3): 3
  • Days I did my post-work pack up routine (Goal = 3): 3
  • Days I worked on my art (Goal = 2): 3
  • Days I read a book (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I did yoga stretches (Goal = 7): 7
  • Days I had a lunch break away from my desk (Goal = 5 work days): 5
  • Days I went for a walk or did other physical activity in the afternoon (Goal = 7): 4
  • Days I shut my computer down before 10.15 (Goal = 7): 7

Tahune airwalk

Seven years ago, we went to the Tahune airwalk, which is in southern Tasmania, just out of Geeveston. It’s part of a site known as Tahune Aventures and I wrote a post about the 2015 trip here.

Tahune Airwalk, January 2015

Sadly, the area was badly affected by the Riveaux Road bushfires in January 2019 and the site was shut for a number of months for reconstruction. It’s now back open so we decided to visit on Sunday.

I didn’t know what to expect, having last seen it as a very lush and green forest area. There was so much fire damage to the area from the 2019 fire, it looked totally different from when we went there in 2015.

As well as the regular signs that describe the landscape and the species of vegetation that you can see, the site has signs scattered round that outline the damage that the fires did and what’s happened since then. One sign points out the extent of the flames, which reached a height of 55 metres, as seen by the charring on one of the trees.

Tahune Airwalk, April 2021

The fire was started by dry lightning in January 2019 and the site was evacuated on 21 January. It affected almost 64,000 hectares of land in the area and, while firefighters saved the visitor centre, the fires destroyed the entrance and exit of the airwalk. The airwalk itself survived but experienced significant damage from the heat.

One of the signs explains that the path to the airwalk has been completely rebuilt in a new location. About 4.5 km of walking track had to rebuilt in the area, which took over a year, and over 8000 plants were planted during that time to supplement the regrowth. Small trees have started to regrow and the ferns and eucalyptus are resprouting. A lot of the trees didn’t make it though, and there are plenty of tree corpses lying around, fallen giants in a devastated landscape.

Repairing the airwalk took a specialist crew of 28 workers, who needed to replace over 9000 bolts, replace 992 metres of guywires and repaint the entire structure. This sounds like it must have been a tricky operation, with a special scaffold needed so that the painters could access the towers, the sides and underneath the airwalk. Not a job I would be keen on signing up for.

Nah, I’m not scared

The airwalk is (to fully quote the website) an elevated 619-metre long walkway 30 metres above the forest floor, with the final cantilever section sitting at a height of 50 metres above the Huon River, with spectacular views to the confluence of the Huon and Picton and beyond to the peaks of the World Heritage Area.

Cantilever, looking out to the Huon & Picton River confluence
Other side of the cantilever

That hasn’t changed. It’s absolutely amazing to be walking through the tree tops and to be able to see these views, even if the occasional wobbling of the platform did make me a little shaky. Heights aren’t my friend, even when it’s perfectly safe. (This is one reason I didn’t sign up to repaint the airwalk. The other reason is, well, I’m not a painter.)

Kramstable braving the cantilever

It’s also encouraging to see how the area is starting to regenerate.

The amount of work that has gone into restoring the area is phenomenal, both by the people and by Nature itself.

Here are some of my photos from the day.

Tahune AirWalk

20150110-018 Huon RiverSlabs and I went to the Tahune AirWalk  many years ago, pre-Juniordwarf. We thought he might like to go there, so after talking about it for ages, we finally picked a weekend and went.

The Tahune AirWalk is about 28 km from Geeveston in the Huon Valley. It’s located in the Southern Forest area, close to the Hartz Mountains National Park. It’s near the junction of the Huon and Picton rivers.

There’s 3 short walks in the area and we did them all.

The first one is obviously the AirWalk itself, which is a steel ramp up in the tree tops, which gave us wonderful views from the top of the trees. It’s a short walk through the forest – you have to climb 112 steps to get there, and then you start walking among the tree tops at an average height of 20 metres.

20150110-021 Climbing the 112 steps 20150110-022 Climbing the 112 stepsIt’s quite an amazing feeling, and we were lucky to be the only people doing the walk at the time so it was nice and relaxed. 20150110-023 View from the AirWalkThe AirWalk is 619 metres long, and right at the end is the cantilever section which is 48 metres above the river. From here you get a great view of the Huon and Picton Rivers junction, as well as the Hartz Mountains and the surrounding forest. It was pretty spectacular.

20150110-025 View from the AirWalk 20150110-030 View from the AirWalk 20150110-035 View from the AirWalk (River Junction)It’s an impressive engineering feat as well. According to the sign it took 3 months to build and uses over 120 tonnes of steel and 9000 nuts and bolts. The cantilever can support the weight of 120 people or 12 baby elephants – 10 tonnes –and can withstand winds of 180 km/hour. Luckily for us it wasn’t windy at all, so we didn’t need to test that claim out!

20150110-038 On the cantilever 20150110-041 On the cantilever 20150110-042 The cantilever 20150110-044 Part of the AirWalk 20150110-047 Looking down from the AirWalkIt was interesting on the way back down to see some of the anchors holding the AirWalk in place, and to look up and see how high we’d been. 20150110-052 Looking up

We did the second walk, the Huon Pine Walk, which is a 20 minute walk along the river. There’s lots of information about Huon Pine, which we got in reverse because we did the walk the wrong way. Huon Pine is only found in Tasmania. It grows on the edges of rivers and lake where there is high rainfall, and is used in boat building and craft work. It’s a slow growing tree than can live for a long time – apparently there are some specimens on the West Coast that are 2500 years old.

It was a nice little walk.

The final walk we did was the Swinging Bridges Walk, which is an hour long circuit that takes you across two narrow swinging bridges over the Huon and Picton Rivers. We managed to do this one backwards as well, so we crossed the Picton Bridge first before crossing the Huon bridge.

20150110-061 Picton River Bridge 20150110-065 Picton River Bridge 20150110-067 Picton River Bridge 20150110-069 A monster in the forestJust after (or before, if you do the walk the right way around) the Picton bridge is a short trail that takes you as close as you can get to the junction of the two rivers. If you look up, you can see the cantilever section of the AirWalk – the place where we’d seen the river junction from. It looks very cool.

20150110-070 The rivers join 20150110-074 Looking back at the AirWalk 20150110-082 Huon River BridgeJuniordwarf loved the bridges, and after we’d crossed the first one he said it wasn’t long enough and he wanted to make the most of it so he was going to go back and cross it again. He probably would have done it many more times if we’d let him.

These bridges are very narrow and it’s almost impossible to get past anyone walking across them (unless they are very small), so we had to wait for the family crossing from the other side of the Huon Bridge before we could cross. They were moving very slowly and looked a bit nervous – even more so when we told them they had another bridge to cross after that one.

20150110-092 Huon River BridgeThe walk back is very pretty and it passes underneath part of the AirWalk, including the cantilever, so again you get a feel for how high off the ground we’d been. You also appreciate more closely that there’s nothing underneath the cantilever holding it up!

It was a fun day.

20150110-096 The cantilever 20150110-099 Huon River 20150110-104 Huon River

P365 – Day 344 – lunar eclipse (10/12/2011)

After our visit to our friends’ place in the Huon, we made good on our plan to go tenting* in their back yard.
It was a great idea, because it meant we didn’t have to rush home in time for dinner, so we could catch up properly, have a few drinks and enjoy the great outdoors.
Juniordwarf was very excited because, after our recent camping adventure we decided that a “three man tent” is just a little bit cosy to actually house three people, so we bought him his own little tent. This was the first time he was going to use it, and he was really looking forward to sleeping in his own tent, with his teddies Billy and Jenny.
We thought it would be great to sit around the fire and watch it. Unfortunately the sky was covered by clouds, so we didn’t see a thing. We saw some light behind the trees as the moon was rising, but that was it.
This is our view for most of the night
This is what we might have seen if the weather had cooperated.
At about the time we were supposed to be able to start seeing the eclipse, it started to pour with rain, which put an end to the sitting around the fire part of the night as well.
It was kind of nice to go to bed with rain pouring down on the tent. Similar to rain on the roof, but a lot closer.
*Tenting = sleeping in a tent without actually camping.

P365 – Day 288 – catching up (15/10/2011)

After Juniordwarf’s swimming lesson this morning, we travelled down to the Huon Valley to visit some friends who we hadn’t seen for ages.

We had a lovely afternoon catching up, celebrating them finishing their university course and watching Juniordwarf get acquainted with their cats.

The weather was exactly as you’d expect in Tasmania at this time of the year – four seasons in one day. It would have made for some beautiful photo opportunities as we were driving down, but we didn’t really have the time to turn the trip it into a photo excursion, so I had to make do with a couple of pictures from our friends’ place and out of the windscreen on the way home.

Ominous sky

Country lane

Huon River from the car
The plan next time is to spend the night and go ‘tenting’ in the yard so that we have more time and don’t have to rush back home in time for dinner. Juniordwarf is especially keen!