2009-04-18 -37 142
On the outskirts of Stawell
This hash was the second of two that would be near the route I was taking taking from Bendigo to the northern end of the Grampians National Park, where I would drop off a trailer. I figured that it would be remiss of me not to go after my first multihash, and second virgin of the day.
As it was later than desired after the first hash, i did my business dropping off the trailer first, and decided to look for the hash point on the return journey through Stawell.
I was amazed how familiar the roads can feel driving to, through, and past Stawell, and to my drop-off point, even when its been most of a year since i was there last.
as the second part of my screenshot fail, somewhere in the movement of files between 3 devices and 3 protable storage mediums,I had lost one of the peeron maps i took to help me find this hash. Not only that, but the other map was unopenable by my phone.
I turned on the GPS on my first pass through Stawell in order to get an idea of where I would want to be when I got back. I also pulled out the street directory (old bookish kind, none of this fancy sat-nav stuff) so I would have an idea of which roads I might be able to take to get where I wanted too. Possibly Fergus the Hashscot kept an eye on it as I drove.
Getting back to Stawell, in the dark, and looking for a point at random somewhere to the south east of town, would make this one of the more interesting hash searches I'd done.
I knew roughly the direction I wanted to go (the GPS helped) and from the centre of Stawell, I headed that way. I had about 7Km to go as the crow flies. The first road I took out of town started off in the right direction, but gradually, gradually, diverted away...
hmm.. time to try again. Looking at the map, and comparing it to the track on the GPS and the road i was on, I took a guesstimate of which toad would get me roughly where I wanted to be. I headed back towards it, and finding it without excessive trouble, headed along it.
Although the road wound around a bit, I knew (thought) it would end up a lot closer than the ~5Km i still was from the hashpoint, so i followed it for a while regardless.
Every so often, as I drove through the dark, I was able to increase the zoom on the GPS. Surely this was a great sign!
Then, with 2Km to go, the road split... I made a snap decision and drove down the dirt side road which angled off to the right. I was still getting closer...
In fact, the hash was somewhere off even further to the right... once again I tried to find the closest point on the road to leave the car. Luckily, this time, I was less than 500m from the hash. I rooted around in the back of the car and found a torch. It really was quite dark now, since clouds had come in during the evening. I climbed the fence and possibly Fergus and I journeyed into the dark. There was a line of trees on the other side of the paddock and the hashpoint should be beyond that.
About 5 meters after crossing the fence, I tried to turn the torch back on... yet another technology fail. this might make getting any photos with my un-flashy camera phone somewhat interesting...
I entered and strolled through the tree, looking out for fences and other obstructions in the dark. It's lucky i was wary because somehow, in this time of drought, there was also a creek... I looked in dismay at the slight reflections that were the only indications of water in this sheltered creek under trees in the dark on a cloudy night... this could be interesting...
It seemed too wide to jump across and I had no idea how deep it was. I thought about trying to drive around to the other side, and start again from there, but that seemed a little dramatic when i was only ~150m from the hash.
I walked up and down the creek a bit, looking for a thins section i could jump. I spotted a tree hanging over the creek, and in the dark, wondered if I'd be able to walk across it. As I approached the tree, it looked ever more and more fragile. This didn't seem like it was going to work.
Then possibly Fergus pointed something out... this being Australia in a drought, there creek was pretty low. In fact, just by the tree, the creek was so low that the ground was showing through. There was a good dry break in the creek (stagnant long thin pools really). It was (when I tested it by stepping through the weeds) a land bridge thing good meter and a half wide, and completely un-muddy. I guess they need rain here too.
Pushing through the reeds, and managing to avoid being spiked, I goto to the next paddock, crossed another fence, and wandered around until the GPS told me I was in the right spot. I tried to take a couple of photos, but I'm not sure how well they will turn out.
On the way back Was glad neither of the fences were barbed (and they both attacked me in the dark), and that I apparently have a really good sense of direction, since i was able to find both the creek crossing and the car at on first try.
Also, something large was hiding in the trees, making me wonder about tree-raptors and other such things.
The drive back home was uneventful, bar the flying thing that committed suicide by attacking the car head on at 100Km/h and scaring the heck out of me.
(as it turns out, there was a road I could have got to on the correct side of the creek, but I would have had to find it first. this area was outside of the detailed 'township map' in my directory).
|mykaDragonBlue earned the Virgin Graticule Achievement|
| mykaDragonBlue earned the Multihash Achievement