As a teenager my family ventured south to visit family friends in the country town Manjimup, amongst Western Australia’s south-west timber towns. We headed further south on that trip to the Gloucester Tree, a 53 metre fire watch tree that the public was able to climb now.
I was first to head up those wrungs, my brother David next, followed by our host Philip. I got a quarter the way up when nerves hit, I think I looked down come to think of it, and utterly shat myself: “I want to head down” I said. Philip wouldn’t hear of it and insisted we continue. How I didn’t suffer an instant heart attack right there and then I don’t know, but up we all went. At the top we climbed on to the viewing platform, the view was spectacular.
The time came to return down the wrungs once more to ground level, nerves were now at maximum as trying to get my feet into that first wrung was so difficult, and so important as you might appreciate. Carefully we descended, those wrungs weren’t entirely stable, which didn’t help. Finally on the ground, it never felt so good.
The past few days I’ve visited the south-west region once more, firstly to Margaret River, then a beautiful bit of our coastline called Cosy Corner before heading to Western Australia’s south-west most point, Cape Leeuwin where the Southern and Indian Oceans meet. Yesterday and today I’ve stayed in the Pemberton region, specifically Karri Valley, and have today returned to see that tree I climbed all those years ago. I wasn’t tempted to climb today, but was surprised it didn’t look as tall as I remembered, memories hey.
This is such a beautiful region of Australia, and well worth visiting if you’re ever in the state.