Salmon Gums to Horse Collar Rock

Day Six Thursday 28/09/2006
Early start today & Tim has changed the fuel filter so we are Cruising along well. At Lake King quite early & the lady at the shop put us onto a couple that run a bed & breakfast. Great value here as she knows a lot of the history. Lake King Townsite was built in 1928 but the Road would have been there. Tom & Paula had to travel through Salmon Gums to get to Kulin after leaving Southern Hills Station. The GPS directed us to Jitarning but we didn’t have the exact location of Jesmond. The East Jitarning School site was marked (1929 to 1936) & a sign posted to say the old School was 4.5ks to the NW. We called at a farm house for directions & the woman new lots about the district of course & told us to look up Cam Robertson as he would be great value. We had a drive around Jesmond but couldn’t find the old house as not sure of land marks. Went & found Cam Robertson, he is a really great bloke. He bought Healy’s farm 40 years ago when he moved from share farming at Merredin, Cam knew Eric & Jean Pustkuchen very well & knows all the children. Cam took us to see the old house & we drove around the farm for about two or three hours, he was so great to us. I asked him if he thought it would be okay for us to camp at Horse Collar Rock for the night & he replied of course but why don’t you stay with me in the house. That was very tempting but we decided our trip was to get the feeling of how they lived.

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Before setting up camp we went for drive to find the old School as Tim had plotted it 4.5 ks NW of the East Jilakin site but we were disappointed the site was not marked at all. We were able to locate the site Tim has marked but we are not sure of exact location. That will be a job for one of us in the future. When we had set up camp at Horse Collar Rock Don came over to me & said you know I feel as though Norah is about six years old & all the Aunties are here with us. I had the feeling Tom & Paula were also with us & it was like a big family gathering. We decided the spot we camped must be basically in line with the school as the girls watered the horses on the way home. We spent hours talking tonight because we can’t understand how Tom & Paula ended up apart. We have seen all the hard work the two of them endured & we feel they would developed a wonderful bond over the years. It was such a shame they sold Jesmond as they were developing a wonderful property, I guess we will never know the real reason why they sold but one thing is for certain it would have been terribly tough & perhaps the school closing was the last straw.

Barry Dennis