A walk on top of Mount Stromlo was another welcome suggestion from Dac. We hadn’t been up there since 2003, when we had a sad, grim and smoky wander past what was left of the observatory after the fires. Good to see rebuilding and regrowth now.
Interesting to look out over the new suburb – or is it a district? – of Molonglo. Gawdnose why we need a new suburb (or district) but there it is. Wikipedia reveals that it’s a district called Molonglo Valley, which will contain 13 suburbs with an expected population of 73,000. The first two suburbs being built are called Wright and Coombs. What a pity the powers-that-be don’t put in a spot of light rail to pre-empt some of the traffic problems to come.
What we noticed most about this walk was the cold. I hadn’t given much thought before to the protection we’re afforded by houses when we wander through the suburbs on our weekend walks. Having nearly frozen our bums (and faces) off on Stromlo, now I know. I was wearing reasonably warm clothes, and the wind cut straight through them. I needed my really warm clothes – the ones I wore to Corin Forest last year – the ones I never wear around town because I get too hot. And I needed a hat!
<hat>Debbie, who cuts my hair, mentioned hats yesterday when we were discussing our next shearing opportunity. My sister will be here next week, and doesn’t like to see me with very short hair, so yesterday was out. So is next Friday, my sister’s last day in town. I’m going to be extremely wild and woolly by the following week, and Debbie reckoned I might need to wear a hat to cover it up. This caused me to realise that I don’t actually own a warm hat.</hat>
The place was quiet when we arrived, but by the time we’d finished staggering about, it was thronging. The cafe up there (now the Scope Cafe) is obviously a popular lunch place. It offers “sweeping views of the Brindabella Ranges, with floor to ceiling windows framing a 180 degree view – from the Cotter Dam north towards the Yass Valley.” We saw these views – and most of the other 180 degrees – on our walk.
I’ve looked at Google Maps, and I’ve looked at Google Earth, and I’m still not too sure where we went. We struck out east (?) from our parking place beside the cafe and walked all the way round, more or less. I tried to take panoramas but lacked the steady hand and eye: trying to stitch them up, back home, there were too many gaps. I don’t have much to say about this walk so, rather than intersperse a few words with a great bunch of photos, I’ll make a gallery on a separate page.
Almost back to the car, we stopped for a little rest in a pocket park between an office block and the Commonwealth Solar Observatory.
I didn’t realise till I was writing this that the Commonwealth Solar Observatory building had been all but wiped out in the fires. This is a beautiful restoration.