Helena Pipehead Bushwalk… Or how NOT to bushwalk with arthritis!

Hello everyone,

Let’s be honest here… Reading about someone’s epic fails is sometimes more fun than spectacular photos that make you feel inadequate 😂.

So here’s one I prepared earlier in the week. All dosed up on medication for my autoimmune arthritis and walking better than I had in months… it seemed like a good idea to pack a picnic and take the kids for a bushwalk.

We chose Helena Pipehead Trail in Kalamunda National Park. 13.5km along the Helena river and past the dam on return. On paper it sounded good…

Medium difficulty. Mostly graded tracks. Good boots. Gentle exercise for my joints. Even better for my depression. Get outdoors. Exhaust the kids. Sunshine. Nature. River. All good?

It was great too. Until we took the wrong turn on an old track down to the river.

 

Hubby decided it would be easier to climb up through the bush than to back track.

Our kids took one look at the scrubby bush above and said no way Dad.

And yet… I agreed. I can walk! Woohoo let’s push ourselves and climb up a steep hillside with a 3 and a 4 year old. Hmmmm!

20180623_155203
Note to Arthritis sufferers. Climbing from the river below to up here is incredibly stupid!

The less said the better really. Miss 3 got her ponytail caught up in a particularly challenging climbing vine. My knee gave way and I went sliding down through mud to the kid’s delight.

Native bush plants and my kids were introduced to some truly spectacular curse words. For those not familar with West Australian bushland we have some truly horrible spiky plants. Lovely to look at. An utter pain to trapse and scrabble through.

20180623_153456
Drosera macrantha (climbing sundew). The one and only photo before I slid down in the mud.

When we finally reached the track and  stopped to admire the view we saw a different kind of display… Is that a wrecked white car?!

20180623_155035_HDR
Because every good walk trail requires a random car pushed off a cliff. This has been here for ages we found out.

Nursing bruised knees and covered in mud and scratches, we gave the kids piggyback rides back to the car and decided to try again next week (and stop at the chemist for some painkillers for me).

Trying to find positives I looked inside. No matter how much of a fail the walk was it did help for a little while. Exercise and sunshine does give me a time out from depression. Even a small reprieve is worth seizing.

Thankfully we passed these Hoveas on the way home which made the trip worth it don’t you think?

Some days things just don’t quite go to plan do they? If you have a failed nature experience to share I’d love to hear it. Realistics unite 😊.

 

Slippery Dip Falls

FR Berry Reserve. Just the name makes me smile. Actually being there eases every ache from my heart. This is my depression free place.

Once upon a time a couple found a book in an op shop. Family walks in the Perth Outdoors…

Ok that couple was hubby and I. But in my heart finding this book was the start of my fairytale.

book-family-walks-perth_large
Photo courtesy of DPAW.

Family Walks in Perth Outdoors

We come here multiple times a year. After the winter rains and at the start of spring are the best times to visit.

This is why…20180610_144253_HDR20180610_143838_HDR20180610_141436_HDRMost flowers aren’t out yet but little Miss 3 found a carpet of trigger flowers…20180610_141005_HDRAnd Mr 4 found some ‘rainbow’ sundew which took me right back to my fairytale.

20180610_141440_HDRSee the granite outcrop way up high in the top left of the photo? We trekked up there once with our dog and a backpack with a ‘picnic’. On top of the world hubby went to find me a piece of ‘rainbow’ and came back with the string of sticky flowers and a little box with a ring.

20180610_143735_HDR
The flowers from a sundew… Nicknamed rainbow. It is sticky and as kids we would wrap it into crowns to wear.

Every story needs a twist… This memory has one too. After a picnic of sandwiches and chocolate cake (and lots of champagne!) we got lost in the bush! Two young lovers drunk and happy. In that moment we didn’t care less that we were lost in the bush because we were together.

At my worst, highly depressed and struggling to walk with an autoimmune arthritis I grieved this special place. I didn’t think I’d ever get to come back.

But here we are.

20180610_144206_HDR.jpg

Our kids love it here too. I am reminded no matter how bad I feel there is always a place I can go where every step is a reminder of a happy memory.

Thank you for letting me share my favourite place in the world.

Do you have a place you can trust to make you feel safe and happy?