On the 4th March, Stage 4 grabbed their hiking packs and headed off to the ‘Explorers’ Tree’ near Katoomba where they began their journey along the 6 Foot track. The three day camp included roughly 8km of hiking each day along the Megalong Valley (the name alone scared quite a few students!).
We camped each night and cooked breakfast and dinner in a group of 3 to 4 students. Before leaving for camp, Stage 4 practised putting up their tents, hiking with their packs and cooking their meals. Dinners ranged from pasta ‘mush’ and pasta sauce to plumb marinade steaks with mashed potato and vegies. Breakfast time took on the culinary masterpieces of scrambled pancakes, fried egg and ‘gravel’, and ‘rubber’ egg rolls.
The first day included a steep hike down several hundred slippery, damp steps and a breathtaking view. The second half of the hike was largely a dirt road, with horses and rivers along the way. That night, Stage 4 camped at Old Ford Reserve, and after a few games and a star gazing talk with Mr Gray, the students were more than happy to head to their tents for a rather uncomfortable but welcome night of sleep. On the second day, Stage 4 headed through a field, refreshed by the wind, and then followed a winding, rocky, walking path to the suspension bridge. Making it over this bridge was a challenge for some and a thrill for others. The bridge was suspended across a river and it was an adventure to walk across and be able to look down at the beauty of the surroundings. That night, the weary hikers listened to several testimonies and 30 second ‘hot seat’ profiles from the adult helpers and even some teachers. We learnt that God offers us a gift we just have to reach out and take, and that Miss McGowen is quite the prankster!
On the final day, there was a steep ascent up a windy dirt road with a welcome breeze that kept us going until the half way mark. Here we were given drink bottle re-fills, watermelon, and best of all… CHOCOLATE!!! Then Stage 4 climbed up more hills, took a wrong turn, and finally ran to where the buses were parked, ready to transport the exhausted and satisfied 6-Foot Track survivors back to civilisation (and flushing toilets).
Stage 4 would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the wonderful parents and teachers who came along and helped us through this great adventure. We’ll never forget it.
By Emily Fairall