5ish months pregnant, and I thought I had one more mountain in me for the year. I thought I’d do something with a well defined track, something that didn’t involve bush bashing, and something relatively short. So last week I had a day free and I thought Mt Juliet would fit the requirements. If you’re reading this and you’ve done Mt Juliet, I can hear you laughing.
So it is a well defined track, there are no sections where you have to go off trail, and it is very short. Only 4.5km up, then 4.5km back down. Easy, right?
You start at Road 3, which is a management vehicle track just off the main road out of Healesville. If you’re looking to do this one, this is the 5th management vehicle track on your right after the last street heading out of Healesville. I think this is the only one that allows walkers. There’s a small number 3 marked, so you can’t miss it if you keep an eye out for it.
So you start there, and it’s an easy incline up to the start of the walking track bit. Then the incline increased a bit. No worries, I’m big and the heart rate is high, so I planned to take it super easy. Bonus: It looked like the track had been recently cleared 🙂
After a while, I came across a huge fallen down tree. You can’t tell the size in the pic, but the width of the tree base is taller than me.
As I went further along, the amount of fallen trees increased. It was no longer a matter of just climbing through a few branches here and there.
Sometimes the path was just a bunch of fallen down trees and slippery bark.
It was getting really steep. I was on all fours for most of the top bit, holding onto rocks, small trees, or just the bare ground to help pull me up the hill. Doing this with a big tummy is not very comfortable!
At some point a thought kept nagging at me: How the fuck are you supposed to get down from this?
And I realised, it wasn’t going to get any better. There were almost no sections clear of fallen trees. And to top it off, it was CRAZY steep. I knew that to get down I’d have to slide down on my bum. And the further I kept going, the more bum sliding I’d have to do later.
I got to a point where HUGE trees were EVERYWHERE across the trail. I was too short to climb over one, and too fat to crawl through the split in it:
And then I thought Stuff it. I was probably only 500m or so from the top – but that may have been 30-60 minutes for all I knew. That would be maybe up to an hour of uncomfortable crawling, followed by almost as long bum sliding down.
So then I realised that this trail is not built for people with a big tummy. It was going to have to wait until next year 😦
So I slid down for about 40 minutes, holding on to young wattle and eucalyptus trees.
Then it was steep, but at least upright, going for another 30 minutes, before getting back to much more manageable terrain:
And then the easy management vehicle track back to the car.
I have finally come to the realisation that I can’t be trusted with new adventures for the rest of the year 😦 Everything else will have to be tried and tested easy stuff, and probably with other people, so that I am definitely forced to choose easier, more comfortable options. I am not very good at doing the same route twice, and I am not very good at deliberately taking it easy, so we’ll see how that goes…