2009-06-14 -37 144
The Hash today is near Toobrack, on the side of a hill.
I was In Bendigo anyway, so I could take the Hume Highway route back to Melbourne in the Afternoon. this would take me quite close to the hash, and make it silly not to try.
The Hash appeared to be in a wooded area, on the side of a hill. the theory i was working on was that i could follow the creek (visible in google's satellite maps) from the nearest road, and get close enough to figure out if the hash was accessible, or in private land (although i strongly suspected the latter).
Toobrack, and attempt 1
I turned off the main road at Toobrack, and immediately got a bit of a surprise. plainly visible in front of me, and where i expects the hash to be, was a very prominent hill, with 30 to 40 degree slopes all around.
hrm. maybe I want to give this a miss after all. I thought about it briefly, but decided to push on. Maybe it would be steep, but it was only a Km or so...
I scouted along the road briefly, and then parked near the creek. I began to follow it, but quickly realised that it was land in use ( and really more of an empty gully than a creek anyway). oh well.
In a fit of conscience, I found the house on this property, and hearing people around, I decided to go and ask who owned the land the hash was on. It turned out the people here were managers, looking after the land for someone else, a who did indeed own the hill.
I asked about going for a wander up it, explaining Geohashing as an internet game using GPS' and randomness. the manager seemed interested, but was unable to give me permission to go a wandering. It seem that in recent years some people were let onto a nearby property to go shooting, and someone was shot. since then public liability has been a big thing in the area, and he was under orders from on high to not allow access. Apparently it was fairly common to have people wanting to wander up the hill and sight see. it is after all a fairly prominent hill in the area.
On the bright side, it turned out that the hash-land might actually belong to someone else anyway, and I was directed to try my luck further up the road (where the approach would, incidentally, be easier anyway).
Before I left, the manager was kind enough to allow me to take a photograph of the hill with the house in the foreground.
Attempt 2 - McIvor Wineries
Following The managers advice, I drove around to the nearby McIvor Estate. One of many local wineries.
Today was a Cellar Door sales day, so there was someone waiting around ready to serve. I explained to them that what I was really after was permission to wander up their side of the hill, and take a look around. They went to fetch the owner, who wondered why i would want to sdo such a thing. I explained that I was taking part in an internet game of finding randomly generated locations, and how large a Graticule is. At first they were worried about the trailer on the car, until I explained that I was intending to walk. They were interested, and after assuring me that the hill was both steep, and very much the 1.5Km my GPS suggested, they gave me permission, on the condition that I make sure I close all the gates on the way. Since I would have done this anyway, I was happy to agree.
I figured that since I was at a winery, it would be remiss of me not to try some, so I sampled their stock without further ado. they had a good variety, and some quite nice wines, including an award winning variety (I forget the exact type). I resolved that after finding the hash I would buy a couple of bottles.
Now slightly encouraged, I set off up the hill.
The walk took me up through an olive grove, then up the beginnings of the hill. The hill itself was exactly as steep as it had looked from below, or slightly more so, having steep (up to ~35 degree) sections to get to each level of spur.
As I went further up the hill, I began to get a little worried. The GPS was pointing further and further to the right, back towards the property I had first attempted to access.
After around 1.25Km, and about 150m of altitude gain (within the last half of the distance), It was confirmed. The Hash lay 600m into the neighbouring property, and I had been denied permission to enter. No Trespassing it is.
Having climbed most of the hill, I figured I may as well climb as far as I could. The local peak of the hill was tipped with trees and granite, and could be a little fun. I also expected the the view to be good.
The last section of the hill was by far the steepest. Sections were (I believe) steeper than 45 degrees, but I persevered. Upon reaching the upper border of the winery, i stopped for a rest. I was slightly higher here than the treed peak, but the hill also continued up beyond me a way. I was quite content to not go further.
I took some photos, as always, and decided to take the interesting way down, through the trees and Granite boulders, and directly down the steepest section of hill. it was fun, and definitely quick.
Once down, I chatted to the owners for a while to the owners, discussing local things, geohashing, and general stuffs. I pointed them in the direction of the wiki, and bought a couple of bottles of wine.
I drove back to Melbourne quite uneventfully.
| myka earned the No trespassing consolation prize