Monday, September 23, 2013

Climbing Castle Rock

Porongurup National Park, Australia

Once again we had absolutely no intention of climbing all the way to the summit.  We stopped in the Porongurups because we liked the name.  Porongurup.  Porongurup.  Southwest Australia is full of funny names.  This particular mountain range appealed to us because it is beyond ancient.  It is 1200 million years old ancient.  The granite domes of the Porongurups were once part of a large mountain range that scaled across the continents of Australia and Antarctica when they were fused together.  There was no way we were going to pass these up!

The hike started out slow and easy.  We meandered through a forest and then stopped at Balancing Rock to let the baby out of the backpack and play for awhile.

Then the trail became quite rocky.  When we reached the base of the summit, we stopped completely.  The climb up a vertical ladder to the top, looked absolutely terrifying.  "I'll stay with Junior down here," I offered, letting my travel buddy continue on.  But when he returned and raved about being able to see the entire continent of Australia from "up there", I took a deep breath, handed him the baby and CLIMBED CASTLE ROCK.  I put this in capital letters because it took all the courage I could muster to get up that ladder.
Since we were there, a safer and newer Granite Skywalk has been constructed.  I suspect it's still a scary proposition, but like all fear, it is the anticipation that is worse than the activity itself.  Once I reached the top, all my fear went away.  It always does.  I think about the climb to Castle Rock every time I face a new challenge.

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