The Jodie Lee Foundation (JLF) Trek is an 80 km fundraising endurance event held over 2 days and designed to challenge you physically and mentally. The JLF Trek this year was held in the iconic Barossa Valley hiking on the Heysen Trail trekking through Kapunda, Pewsey Valley and Mount Crawford. Day 2 of the trek is set in the Mount Crawford Forrest.
Mount Crawford Forest is situated in the northern Mount Lofty Ranges, about seven kilometres from Williamstown. The forests provide sustainable wood production within a picturesque community playground just an hour’s drive from the city of Adelaide.
Todays route is basically 3 loops. The hike starts and ends at the old school house at Pewsey Vale. At 34 Kilometres a shorter walk than yesterday but with extra mountains including Wirra Wirra Peaks, Mount Crawford and Little Mount Crawford.
Much larger group starting out today as there were also shorter distances available. We headed off as a group on the first loop out from Pewsey Vale to the northern edge of the Mount Crawford forest area and the Wirra Wirra Peaks Trail.
The trail follows the edges of pine plantations and access roads soon going uphill. After a few kilometres there is a left turn over a fence style and on to the Wirra Wirra Peaks trail which climbs steeply up through bushland and up and over two of the Wirra Wirra Peaks.
The track descends back down onto pine forests tracks again and back to Pewsey Vale and the first 6 kilometres done. (seemed a lot further).
Morning tea at Pewsey Vale then off to start the larger 27 Kilometre loop to the South. This time following the Heysen Trail and the Mount Crawford Summit Trail, climbing up and over Mount Crawford and down to follow roads and road reserves through pine forests and open grazing land with scattered big gum trees.
The Rotary Nomad Volunteer team hard at work providing fuel for the walkers and protecting the gluten free lunches for only the walkers with special diets.
After the lunch stop we head back towards Pewsey Vale on the Heysen Trail alternate route via Warren Reservoir. This was a more direct route and gave us a chance to also walk the Boardwalks Trail.
The Mount Crawford Boardwalk Trail seems to be is a well kept secret. It is about 2 km long and is hidden behind the trees next to Warren Road. The boardwalk gave us a chance to cross swampland and creeks over little wooden bridges. All dry at this time of the year.
Surrounded by the pine plantation blocks is an old graveyard and the stone ruins of the MurrayVvale Presbyterian Church built in 1843, also serving several other denominations until destroyed by a bushfire in 1869.
I came across the distinctive spotted red toadstool Amanita muscaria. I used to think these were only fanciful creations of fairy tales and cartoons. But here they are growing in Australian pine forests. Commonly known as Fly Agaric. It is an introduced poisonous fungus. We collect edible mushrooms from the pine forests behind out house, but I have never come across one of these before. This spread will change the ecosystem, causing decline or elimination of some native edible forest fungi.
The JLF Trek organisers put in another loop within a loop on the way back through the pine forests with big mobs of kangaroos. It was with great relief to go over the final rise and down to the finish line.
JLF Trek Day 2 Done! 34km in 6 Hr 50 Min. Thank you to all who donated and offered encouragement. Time to celebrate at the after party with a big feed of Paella, beer and wine.
78 km in two days was never going to be easy for a senior citizen and I strained a tendon in my left hip at the end of day one. So some of today was what I call speed limping. I carry hiking poles which I have some past experience of turning into speed crutches. But the hip did come good after about 4 hours and I managed to average 4.8 kph for the day only slightly slower than yesterday so very happy with that.
My participation in this event was simply to help save the lives of ordinary people just like you and me who may have bowel cancer but are unaware they have it.
A Bowel Cancer Scan is a simple test that can save your life. If you get a free test kit in the mail that’s great but please do the test. It could be your life that is saved!
If you are not old enough for a free test you can order one online from www.rotarybowelscan.com.au for $20