Frankland River, G2, 3km, 2hr
A group of us, it ended up being 9 in all, with two little boats and Downie in his kayak decided to head down the Frankland River. It is a little river somewhere near the Arthur and we got in at the highway bridge. We rocked up at the bridge and boys decided to go and find a get in, while the girls sat around on the road, eating a picnic and lying in our wet thermals, drying them off in the sun.
[Dave B insert – The guys went off in two groups to scout the two possible day trip get outs. The get out for the 7km section proved too difficult, while the 3km section we did had a Forestry gate we could drive around. We go on the river LATE. We only spent an hour and a half on river, and it was dark by the time we had packed up.]
We managed to sing our way down the river, past amazing rainforest and pretty stunning rocks. They were all blue and purple and green and had been worn way into swirls and eddies by the flow of the water. [There was not much water in the river, but the little boats managed to shoot everything well (except for a partial flat wrap) There were heaps of nice drops, and with a bit more water you would be looking at at least Grade 3. This river is REALLY beautiful!]. Coming around a corner, we saw the other group huddled around on a rock, so we all got out to investigate. It was one of the coolest things in the world, a beautiful blue astacopsis crayfish. After the obligatory photo, we let it go. Feeling very smug and on top of the world, and spun out on our laughing chemicals (hey Jen, Felicity, Hilary and Bonnie were on the trip) we continued on down the river to the get out.
Now we had been warned that the get out was steep, but I wasn’t really expected this kind of steep. It could be most aptly described by the word vertical. But we were there because we WERE hardcore. So we literally dragged ourselves up 300 metres of scrub characterised by blade/cut grass, pushing the gear in front of us. Downie binered his kayak to his back and attempted to run up the slope, effectively creating a nice little path for us. The get out was a long drive through a niten plantation, so once again the beautiful irony of forestry meant we could raft another river. The Frankland has got to be one of the coolest rivers around and definitely one of my favourites, a few nice little rapids, one tricky rapid, amazing rainforesty bush, the coolest rocks in the world and loads of laughter and happy chemicals and singing. What more do you want? [There is a definite need for an overnighter on this river – it is very cool. Get out at Arthur River Town.]
We then went to a pub in Smithton for dinner, and tried to find the rest of the group, by now Dave and Bonnie had headed off for the West Coast. Angus and Downie managed to find some fire wood for the group ie. A huge branch that they dragged along behind the car, and we found the crew all ready to go to sleep. We couldn’t let that happen, so we all got drunk and went on a dark conga line to the beach, and then slowly most people went home and then we fell asleep on the wet sand, and then tried to get back to the campsite in the dark, but got hopelessly lost and wandered around the sand dunes…but hey, that’s another story. And remember if you say Frankland fast enough, it almost sounds like…..