Monday, March 31, 2014

Bally Knob, Enough Said

The same day as we walked Stewart Head, I left Doug working in the caravan at Little Millstream Falls and set off on the short walk up Bally Knob in the Misty Mountains. Now, I have previously walked “trails” in the Misty Mountains, and, like most people who have done so, I swore off ever doing so again. But, the track to Bally Knob supposedly led to a good view point and, the start was a wide swath mowed through the forest so I had high hopes that this time walking in the Misty Mountains would be different. 

 Trail to Bally Knob

Things went well, very well, for the first 40 minutes. About five minutes down the trail, the track crosses a main road but resumes well marked and well cleared on the other side. Initially, it meanders along beside a milky stream, climbing gently, until, about 30 minutes in, a steep climb leads past a forested bump on the right side. Initially, I thought this might be Bally Knob, but, I had not been walking long enough (it is four kilometres to Bally Knob from Little Millstream Falls). Beyond this bump, the trail descends for five minutes to a saddle, and, about the 40 minute mark, the Misty Mountain effect kicks in. The trail begins climbing again but rapidly disappears into high grass and dense forest. At about the 50 minute mark, another small summit is approached, but this time, the “trail” descends and contours past on the left side. By the time you have reached this point, there is no longer a track, just some flagging and marks on trees. The grass is thick and high, the bushes scratchy and dense, and the “track” indistinguishable from the surrounding forest. I ploughed on until I had been going just over an hour by which time I should, by my calculations, have been standing on Bally Knob, but, there was nothing to be seen apart from a densely timbered hill to my side, the top of which was getting further and further away as the track gradually lost elevation. 
It was clear that Bally Knob is both well named and devoid of both views and a track, so I, cursing the Misty Mountain “track” system all over again, turned around and walked back. If you are ever thinking of walking in the Misty Mountains, bang your head against a wall, any wall will do, until you've knocked some sense into yourself.

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