2010-03-13 -37 145
Barber Hill Track, near Three Bridges (Locality?)
myka will do a little shopping in town, and hopefully end up with a new pair of shoes, then head out via a stop in Nunawading to the hash in the afternoon. The drive will be out to Yarra Junction, then past Gladysdale to Three Bridges, and the hash
Unbeknownst to Myka, I'd packed up the dog, satnav and garmin and headed out for a bonafide Country Victoria hash even before he'd posted his plans. Otherwise we might've completed the first 'meetup' in Australia for 2010.
Twas a glorious day to be geohashing! 24 degrees celsius, clear blue skies, good times.
It took a while to get out along the highways east, and the old satnav decided that the quickest route to the hashpoint was via several gravel roads, which confused the heck out of me as I was sure that most of the way should've been paved. I eventually ignored its advice after it told me to drive through a plantation of apple trees along a muddy track, and took a different turn to head off up the hill track.
The roads through the Yarra State Forest - that's where the hash lies - are surprisingly good, so I made my way up along towards the hashpoint quite easily. Despite several steep hills and washouts on the track, I was able to work my way up the side of the hill through several tracks / roads, which switched back upon themselves and seemed to be a very roundabout way to get to the point - gaining maybe 200 metres then switching back in the opposite direction and losing 150.
Eventually, I reached the crest of the hill, and the gravel road which lead up towards the hashpoint. Google Maps showed the hashpoint right on the edge of a marked track which ran off the top of the hilltop road, so I followed the satnav's advice until I reached a small turn-off point where a steep 4WD track lead up a hill, surrounded on all sides by mature eucalypt forestry. I accidentally drove past the turn-off, which was opposite a large pond, and had to drive on another few hundred metres until I found somewhere to turn around.
We disembarked from the car, and I headed up a steep track - absolutely *no* chance of getting my car up there - watching the Garmin zero in on the location. It jumped around a whole lot, but by general consensus I figured out the location of the hash, walking back and forwards several times until it got down to about 1.5 metres to go - well within the 8m circle of probability.
I left a hashmarker in twigs on the side of the track, photographed it - the Garmin lost satellites at this stage and shows me being 10m away from the hashpoint - then wandered back down the hill and let the dog go for a quick wade in the pond. There was some nearby geotrash, which I collected, much to the interest of the dog, who would've preferred to eat it.
I drove off down the hill, figuring that the satnav should pick up where I was, but of course it got confused and told me several times I was lost somewhere in amongst national forest. Eventually I came to the main road I'd turned off some miles back. Got back home, about to do the write-up, and saw that Myka was also heading out too.
| Kozz earned the GeoTrash Geohash Achievement
I found out just as I was heading off that kozz had bee to the hash in the morning... looks like i might have to become a morning person to ever catch him at a hash!.
After buying shoes and doing my other stop earlier, I headed off late. The drive out was pleasant, with a brief stop for fuel at a petrol station I particularly like, for no apparent reason. I kept expecting to get out of the little townships and onto a highway of some sort (even a back one), but the townships kept coming, and I was never allowed up to full speed. Even so, it was a pretty nice drive.
After some initial confusion about 1Km from the hash point (GPS lost reception, then decided the hash was behind me, causing hilarity and multiple turnarounds) I found the hash track fairly easily. my car was quite able to drive up it, and I did so. Unfortunately, once i started, i had to keep going, because i didn't trust the car to stay parked on the slope if I got out...
I got to the top of the hill, found a (used) campfire and such things, turned around, and decided to engage 4wd before heading back down, mainly for the extra resistance to rolling. I'd noted where the GPS thought the hash was closest on the way up, and when i got down there again, there was a perfect little space to park the car off the road, and relatively safely!. very handy.
accuracy on the GPS was shocking, so my GPS dance (usually fairly short) took me across both sides of the road, and around in circles a number of times as the point continues to drift away each time i gor near... it was like playing tag with a taunting sibling, always ducking away at the last minute.
I finally nailed it, and got a reading of 0.00m to go (though the photo was fuzzy, so you get the slightly earlier one as proof. Accuracy varied between 15 and 20 meters.
I never did find Kozz's marker, although I knew it was around somewhere. Having been told it was about 5m from the hash didn't help much when my position for the hash could be out by 20m.
being late for my Grandmother's birthday dinner, I then skedaddled off home, enjoyed yummy turkish food, and beed tired for the evening!
| myka earned the GeoTrash Geohash Achievement