Quarry Road Fire Trail, Dural
It is a Saturday in the middle of Autumn.
The boys play at home in the morning, and Rick hangs out the washing. While the boys build things out of Lego, we put the kettle on, make cups of tea, and chat about the rest of the day. Later, I take Edward up to the shops with me, and we enjoy a little one-on-one date at The Bakehouse cafe.
During quiet time, Lewis naps, the other boys read, and Rick works on his computer. I potter about before lying down for a rest myself.
Around three o’clock, we start to pack for the our bush walk. Rick fills the boys’ water bottles, and Angus and Pete put these in their backpacks. We hand out hats to everybody. Rick takes out his old Cadets bag, and I fill it up with the apples and Anzac biscuits that I bought from shops earlier in the day. We also throw in Lewis’ nappy-changing kit and make sure we have enough baby wipes (because everyone knows that baby wipes rule).
I change into my linen tank and my khaki canvas pants. Rick tries to convince me to wear my Scarpas (which he loves), but I opt for my Converse sneakers instead. By half past three, we are ready to go.
We drive to Dural, past the road to Fagan Park, and past Pacific Hills Christian School. We wind our way down Quarry Road, all seven of us excited for the adventure ahead.
The beginning of the fire trail is flat and unremarkable. Rifle shots in the distance put me on edge. I glance at Rick nervously. He sees my worried expression and responds with a big, reassuring smile. We walk on.
The boys chatter with excitement. Angus carries the map around his neck, Lewis carries the GPS device, and Edward just wants to be at the front of the pack.
The track is lined with beautiful gum trees, like the ones that grow near our home. As we go further along, the track begins to descend and the path becomes rocker. Finally, it feels like we are on a proper adventure.
Lewis walks part of the trail himself, and Rick carries him for part of it. The sun begins to set and, suddenly, everything is golden. It is so beautiful that I can hardly take it all in.
We take out the Anzac biscuits, and we all munch as we walk. Close to half past four, Rick suggests that we start to head back. The boys cry out in protest, as we have not yet reached the creek at the bottom of the track. I am disappointed too, but Rick has a point: if we keep going until the sun sets, we will have to walk back in the dark. We promise the boys that we will return and finish the track next time.
As we walk back, we chat about where to go for dinner and quickly settle on Meze Me. Lewis gets down once more and walks on his own, finding a walking stick along the way…