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Alex was keen for an off-track adventure. The objective was to head downstream from camp to the Dawson River and then back up a side creek and climb up and out of the gorge to a vehicle track. 

Starting out we clambered down the cliff line following our route down to the creek from 2 days ago. We found most of the cairns we had placed previously. Heading downstream the creek was widening and the rocks were smaller than upstream. We walked in and out of the creek bed finding the easiest route, quite often following animal paths.  Due to more open vegetation, we found ourselves walking through fields of cobblers pegs. Just as we had de-prickled ourselves we came across more! It took about 2 hours to reach the Dawson River which is mostly dry with the occasional water hole.

We followed the Dawson downstream for a short while before heading up a side creek. This we found to be rather overgrown with lots of tree fall. Alex decided it would be better higher up so up the right bank we hiked. With the cliff lines becoming closer Alex decided it would be great to check them out. Up we went again! To be fair we did see some amazing rock formations, many looking like honeycomb. They just needed the chocolate coating and I would have been happy!  (Think I may have felt the need for an energy hit just then.) We skirted along the base of the cliffs looking for a way up and over. Along the way, we found caves and overhangs, Boab trees, and Prickly Pears. We contemplated several spots to climb up the cliff line but decided they were a bit too much of the ‘free solo climbing’ variety than we wanted to attempt.

Eventually, we found a way up that barely involved any scrambling. Only 100m from the top was the road (which I would have kissed if it wasn’t so dusty) that would take us back to camp. 

Well, I think Alex got his off-track adventure fix and I’m just glad we got back safely!

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