Niagara Dam

Saturday, 22nd to Tuesday 25th June 2013
We stayed 3 nights at Niagara Dam [CAW6 WA #350]. This is a magical place, the rocks make you think of a moon landscape. We were lucky enough to get a campsite overlooking the dam.
(Lesley’s photo)

After setting up the caravan, we decided to go and look for a geocache. We started out towards the dam wall realising quickly that my phone was running out of battery – no way we could use it to find the cache. The hint told us that it was on the eastern side of the dam wall in a cave. We decided to attempt to find it solely based on the hint. Looking into a few caves, we soon realised how futile the exercise was without knowing the GPS location.
(Lesley’s photo)

Instead we decided to walk around the dam, a track that is well sign posted. The rock formations are incredible.
(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

The rock formations were not the only attraction. We saw once again quite a few interesting plants.

Towards the evening we took our chairs close to the cliff edge, overlooking the dam. We enjoyed the view and chatted about nothing in particular. I walked around the area and took some more photos.

Soon the moon rose – almost a full moon, tomorrow it should be full moon.

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

The next day we went for a drive. First stop Menzies, looking for a geocache. What a frustrating experience. The cache was found fairly recently and the log talked about an implement to retrieve the cache. We think we found the implement, but not the cache.

The town hall in Menzies is quite an impressive building.

These kind of stories are fascinating for me. A little bit of history with a twist that shows the priorities of the times.

Throughout Menzies, there are many silhouettes depicting scenes of the past. Lesley captured this camel and it’s Afghan Driver very well.

(Lesley’s photo, manipulated by Erich)

The roadhouse in Menzies is closed, but there is still the possibility to buy fuel 24 hours a day with the help of a piece of plastic and the relevant pin number. We stopped to check out the diesel price (159.9/l). As we were stopped at the roadhouse, Lesley noticed another Kedron pass on the other side of the road. ‘That’s John and Maureen’ she exclaimed and called them up on the UHF: ‘Is that you John and Maureen?’ A vague ‘Yes’ came back over the ether. They stopped and we caught up with our friends. John and Maureen were part of the group we originally were supposed to join to cross the Outback Way. They had a really good time and apparently the group worked out very well.

Maureen showed off her didgeridoo that she purchased in Laverton.

It was good to meet up with Maureen and John and to find out that they had a good time as well.

From Menzies we headed out to Lake Ballard. Lake Ballard is a salt lake, just like this salt lake we passed on our way to Lake Ballard. The salt lake appears brilliantly white.

Lake Ballard, apart from being a vast salt lake, it is also the venue of ‘Inside Australia’ an exhibition of 51 sculptures by British sculptor Antony Gormley. The sculptures are all based on scans of the people of Menzies, apart from a few scans of passers-by.

Our friends Kay and Bruce arrived earlier and were on their way back from viewing the sculptures. The water you can see in the background is an illusion, a fata-morgana. The hooded jacket that Kay is wearing is well justified as a fierce wind was blowing.

(Lesley’s photo)

It is difficult to imagine that the people of Menzies look like this. But I suppose there is a lot of artistic licence involved here.
(Lesley’s photo)

For me it wasn’t the individual sculpture, but the immense vastness of the project that makes it such a special piece of art.

Wherever you look, there are more sculptures.

Apparently there is a geocache somewhere up this island in the salt lake.
(Lesley’s photo)

I ventured up a little way, but the path was too steep and too slippery for me to continue. I took a couple of photos from my vantage point.

We had lunch (sandwiches that Lesley prepared for the occasion) at the information booth for Lake Ballard and learned a lot about the area.

We headed back to Menzies Cemetery. There is a multi cache at the cemetery. I don’t like multi caches. Too complicated for me. I suppose they are encouraging geocachers to explore and interact with the area, but for me it never works out.

All the same it was interesting to stop here. The list of the people buried here and their causes of death makes interesting reading.

Cause of death Diabetes: in 1897, what would they have known about diabetes? What exactly would have been the cause of death? Diabetes doesn’t kill, it is only the side effects that kill. Suicide would open up more questions. Why? What would have driven William Smith to suicide at the age of 41? Mine accident is a cause that is much more understandable.

Cemeteries are such sad places, early cemeteries are full of mystery. But they tend to be beautiful places as well. Places where the environment has been undisturbed for many years.

We drove back into Menzies and while Lesley ventured into the pub to top up our supply of wine, I took some more photos.

Kay and Bruce passed us on the way out of Menzies.

We returned the way we had travelled but past the turnoff to Niagara Dam to proceed to Kookynie. Two geocaches in this living ghost town.
(Lesley’s photo)

At the information bay, this cache was difficult to spot, but Lesley found the tiny cache all the same.
(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

There was a second cache close by, a much easier find.
(Lesley’s photo)

We returned to Niagara Dam and gathered again to watch the moon rise. It was a special full moon, a super moon. This means it is a full moon that coincides with the moon being closest to earth.
(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

(Lesley’s photo)

Looking back the other way, an eerie sunset silhouetted the sky.

On Monday, Chuck and Katrina joined us at Niagara Dam. After they set up, we had a cup of tea in front of their van.

The rest of the day I will put into a separate blog.

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One Response to Niagara Dam

  1. Pingback: Niagara Dam – part 2 | nussbaumerweb

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