Faint-hearted we were not, adequately prepared was another story.
We set off early from Turkey Creek and made good progress to about 35 km from the gorge. At Filter Creek the crossing proved difficult. A fallen log in the stream constrained every vehicle to the same path. The wheel ruts had become rather deep, too deep for our stock standard Prado. We bottomed out and stuck fast. We were in a convoy of one with no winch. The jacking points were not only under water, they were in contact with the stream bed. Attempts to feed logs under the wheels were predictably futile. Self rescue was not going to happen.
At 10am we put the satellite phone to use and rang Mount Elizabeth Station. They would inform the camp at the gorge in the next radio conversation. Because of limited power at the gorge there are two radio calls each day … the next would be at 5 pm. Rescue would not happen that day unless someone came up from behind, the station were not aware of anyone likely to do that. Would we please ring back at 5.30 pm.
We went bird watching then set up our tents. We had food for ten days and, as for water, our car was up to its doors in the stuff. No worries.
We called again at 5.30. They’d forgotten us. Not to worry, there would be another radio call at 6 next morning.
The following morning we were not forgotten. Rick would come from the camp and tow us out. He’d be there at 10 am. He was early. Our rescue was quickly executed. Rick then turned his attention to the offending log and carried out some deft underwater chain sawing. The rescued party meanwhile set about digging away some of the bank so that the crossing could be moved upstream enough to make our return journey easier.
The last 35 km took another couple of hours and involved a few more creek crossings and the passage of a particularly viscous bog.
But we got there, could we now find the elusive Black Grasswren?