Dramatis persona*

helenhead Helen Chick

I've always wanted a bumper sticker that said "I'm a female, LDS/Mormon, Scout leading, geocaching, piano-playing, bicycling, mathematics educator with a PhD in maths ... and I VOTE"!

I think this makes me a minority group of cardinality 1!

* Since there's only one of me and "personae" is plural (I think), I've gone with dramatis persona.
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Devil’s Throne

For the Monday of the Australia Day long weekend, some of the local geocachers organised a trip to hunt some caches on the top of Mt Wellington. With the weather gorgeous, the terrain alpine, the company good (and useful, since we ventured a little further afield than I might attempt on my Tod), and the objectives honourable (both caching and geographical), who could resist getting up early and heading off to Thark Ridge.

The first quarter of the journey I had covered before, three years ago when I found my 1000th cache, but this time there were a few extra caches along the way that I hadn’t found (in fact, strictly speaking, I still haven’t found some of them because our group of 11 meant that there were plenty of searchers and whoever found the cache signed everyone’s name in the logbook). We then headed up to the saddle, just below my 1000th find, where there were some lovely views, and some of the alpine shrubs were in bloom. In fact, the sweet aromas of all the different species were an added bonus for the day’s sensory experiences.

View to Collin’s Bonnet from the saddle on Thark Ridge.

bCollinsBonnetFromTharkSaddle

Mountain rocket (Bellendena montana) in flower.

bMountainRocket

Pineapple grass (Astelia alpina) growing in amongst the dolerite boulders.

bRocksAndPineappleGrass

Teatree species (probably Leptospermum rupestre) growing over the face of a dolerite boulder.

bTeatreeOnRock

We then continued westwards off the north side of the ridge, with more views of Collins Bonnet and the other nearby peaks, and enjoying the low alpine shrubbery (well, when I say “enjoying”, let’s just say I would have enjoyed it more if I had managed to get around to buying myself a new pair of gaiters to replace the pair I threw out as part of the GROIC challenge, because I ended up with two rather scratched and prickled legs). Lunch — and the more epic of the cache objectives — was had at Devil’s Throne, a large rocky outcrop with a dramatic drop that affords fantastic views of the Huon valley.

Another view of Collins Bonnet, from the open alpine heathlands on the north side of Thark Ridge.

bCollinsBonnetView

View of the Huon Valley and the peaks of the far south-west from the Devil’s Throne.

bViewFromDevilsThrone

The intrepid expeditioners on Devil’s Throne (yes, I carried my tripod; no, I didn’t manage to get the exposure right).
I am the shadowed hat second from left.

bTharkLarkExpeditionAtDevilsThrone

We made a circuit of the return journey (at least until we rejoined the track at the saddle), traversing the southwestern end of Thark Ridge for more views of Collins Bonnet and some excellent dolerite outcrops.

bBigRock

bOpenPlateauToCollinsBonnet

I apologise for the inconsistent apostrophes. Long-time readers of this blog will know that the Tasmanian nomenclature board doesn’t “do” apostrophes, which sets off a nervous tic for me. I had to have one for Devil’s Throne, but I seem to be able to leave Collins Bonnet since it was named for Lieutenant Governor Collins (though why he should have it named as a bonnet is beyond me!).

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