Plans for the day were to get to VK3/VE-120, then move around to Gibb Range and then out to VK3/VE-112.
Another reasonable day had, even if a little frustrating early.
On the road approach to VK3/VE-120, my preferred route was blocked by a fallen tree, so I turned around and tried the alternate, steeper, route. After 1 km up the steep track, another tree! Back tracked to the main road and reversed my intended route, heading for VK3/VE-112. Coulstons Track was rough in places, but got through safely. Going was OK but a little slow along Lucyville Track, but overall it was probably quicker than retreating back to the main highway and travelling to the start of Cravensville Road. Progress was faster once on Cravensville Road and Hastings Track was OK, with only a little fallen debris on the track.
Coming along Hastings Track, the summit stands out prominently. I did not stop for a photo. Near the summit, I parked beside the track just before it starts dropping off & climbed to the summit through the scrub, largely by following the wombat tracks.
Successfully activated with 9 contacts. Another scrub bash back to the car. Half fell down a rabbit or wombat hole. Did not really notice anything at the time, but 2 days later I developed a very painful area on my foot which made walking difficult.
I returned to the car. Here is a view toward the summit from the track:
Gibb Range VK3/VE-069
Next I headed for Gibb Range. En route, found a DSE(?) vehicle stopped for lunch. I stopped and had a chat & they said that they had cleared the obstructions on the route to VE-120. Continued on toward Gibb Range. I parked at the start of an heavily vegetated regenerating logging coup, with a track with lots
of young gums. I parked so I had some shade on the car. Walked down the main road and then climbed up to the ridge line thru the scrub & regrowth. As I approached the ridgeline, it became obvious that the southern side had been logged. I headed for the logged area and then had a leisurely walk up to the summit. Set up the gear and had a short chat on 7.090 with a station who had been calling CQ when I switched on. We exchanged details and I moved down to 7.085, and promptly worked Mal VK3AZZ, who spotted me. Over the next 15 minutes, I worked several more and then called for another 5 minutes without any further replies, so packed up. Sorry that I missed you Ron! 6 stations worked, despite QSB and QRN.
Headed back along the “track” at the edge of the logged area. You guessed it – straight back to my car without any scrub bashing!
Headed to Beetoomba Spur Track and proceeded to below the summit.
Beetoomba Spur VK3/VE-120
I parked well down from the summit and walked up the track, which crosses the summit. Set up, self-spotted and proceeded to work 5 stations.
After calling for a further 15 minutes with no further replies, I packed up & headed back to the temporary home at Walwa, via the now clear Black Jack Track.