2008-06-21 -37 145
-37.979318°, 145.613962°. ~200m off Silver Top ridge walking track. Meeting at 2pm, due to a lack of light later on in the day.
- Talex - Was there and got very wet and muddy
- Stevage - finally made it at 5:30 on bike from Pakenham, and also got very wet and muddy.
- Bruce - Was there and his car got muddy
- Felix Dance - I was there with Stevage - I think he fails to highlight the epic nature of the trip, with a recurring flat tire, bike-bush-bashing, bike-mud-skiing and riding on to Belgrave station 30kms away to catch a late train after a pot and parma at the Gembrook pub. An awesome trip.
- Gnattitude - was there in Bruce's car and her pants got muddy.
- Theduffman - was there in Bruce's car too
Okay, I've been going through all my old hashes and adding detail, and if any of them deserves more detail then it's this first one of mine.
Still hung over from a big party the night before and having survived the morning at work (zero alcohol tolerance, but I doubt my boss reads geohashing websites) I called Stevage to let him know I was still up for getting to the mooted geohash point. He grudgingly assented.
We met on the train at South Yarra station and headed out towards Pakenham, me feeling like I was going to throw up the whole time. It was raining by this stage and we were both on our bikes. Heading north, following a Google Maps print out and my GPS we slowly closed in on the hash point as the time began to make it clear that there was no way we'd make it there by 2pm.
Unfortunately, we and the geohash point were playing a slow game of Zeno's Paradox as we curved in towards the hashpoint in increasingly propertied, wet and impassable paths. I was pretty eager to get there while Talex was there, who was frequently messaging us as to his progress from the Belgrave train line route. I was also keen to meet some other geohashes as it's good for nerds like us to congregate together (for protection).
- Two other problems: we missed a turnoff (I think we were planning to turn off Army Rd onto Gordon), and the GoogleMaps let us down. A little road we needed wasn't where it needed to be. Maybe around Halifax Rd? --Steve
Slowly recovering from my queezy hangover (helped in no small part by Stevage's generous donation of some chilly chocolate spheres), we descended into a very wet and temperate rainforesty gully after battling with a single track through a large property complete with guard dog, crossed a small creek on what can only be described as a charming bridge and promptly got a flat tyre. This was me - sorry for the long sentence. It being wet and cold and my fingers being frozen and annoyed (Felix forgot to bring a spare tube, so we had to patch it with a dodgy glueless patch -- Steve) it took some time to enact a repair, but soon enough we were on the road again, and in somewhat higher spirits - talking about endurogeohashing as a substitute for the humble week-long cycle tour and all.
This was all about to change as we descended (again) into the feared (and now obliterated by fire) Bunyip State Park.
Here the 4-wheel drive tracks were so muddy it took us well over an hour to travel just a few kilometres as we negotiated deep ruts in the road, large pools of water threatening to push the upper boundaries of the term 'puddle', increased rainfall (normally a boon to drought-prone Victorians) and mega-fauna attack. Okay, not so much that last one, but it was still very muddy. In fact, had we bothered to take the appropriate photos (or had Stevage bothered to upload them - glower) we could have shown you all a bike wheel so thoroughly incapacitated by dollops of mud that its resale value would have increased through land value (excluding stamp duty).
- Hey look, I've finally uploaded the photos! -- Steve
Darkness approaching, with slips and falls rife, the muddy tracks deviously upgraded to sealed roads and then back again as we zeroed in on the hash location. This involved a dark muddy foot sortie up into the nether regions of temperate non-deciduous bushland. Upon reaching the geohash location we tramped up and down like fools trying to get the GPS to show the exact coordinates and photographing them before they cheekily changed (yes, we were new to this back then) and looked around for any signs of previous geohashing activity, which Stevage declared was evident from the trampling of the vegetation - I maintain my scepticism.
The hashpoint secure and duly photographed it was time to return home. This was the point at which Stevage completely ran out of energy and became vague and irrational. It being dark and scary out there we got away much faster than our arrival (or maybe it was my memory editing out the stuff I couldn't see). Pretty soon we were on sealed roads and heading towards the completely different train station of Belgrave (site of the famous Talex geohash railhead from earlier in the day).
Of course, no man can ride through a town at the end of a long day's successful geohashing without heading to the local tavern for a cool beer-like beverage, and we were no exception to that common truism. Thus the fate of Gembrook as we downed our chicken parmajanas and scoffed our Carlton Blacks (no stout in stock of course). And onwards we went, towards the immaculately timed train at Belgrave which seemed entirely populated by pre-drunk teenage girls on their way to their various skimpy-dress coded city parties with an entourage of entranced yet hapless school boys. Stevage and I were so bushed after this adventure that we even forewent our own more clothed mutual party invitation and after alighting the public vehicle headed off to our respective suburbs and beds.
There - that's more like the sort of description that expedition deserved. The route looked something roughly like this - about 60kms if you don't count all the extra land we collected on our bikes.
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