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.
December 2022
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Not a walk in the park

I had managed to organise my life so that I could do a caching run on the Anzac Day holiday (actually, my life is nowhere near that organised at all, but I decided I was going anyway). Jaffnut is a fellow cacher whom I’ve met before briefly, and she had suggested that, since there are some caches better tackled in company than on one’s Todd Malone, perhaps we might do some bush/out-of-the-way caches together. Thus it was that we headed up Mt Donna Buang north-east of Melbourne.

After an easy cache for a warm-up, we decided to do a cache on the Millgrove Track. This cache is rarely visited mainly due to the virtual non-existence of the track, and prior to the visit of a group in December of last year it hadn’t been found in three years. Clearly, this cache was not going to be an easy drive-by; it was not even going to be a stroll in the park.

What we got instead was a nice scrub-bash through leech-infested temperate rainforest, with slippery logs, face-hugging spider webs, debris for tripping over, ferny undergrowth so you can’t see the depth of hole into which you’re about to step, sticking out invisible sticks for walking into, head high shrubby things that go thwack into the person behind when you walk through them (which is why I led the way!), dampness everywhere that led to soaked trousers, the sound of lyre-birds, the smell of rich rainforest humus, and good company and adventure with a touch of madness. Great fun.  Fortunately the December visitors had placed some extra track marking tape, because the track is otherwise invisible. Indeed, I think the only people who use it now are cachers. It’s just as well that after all our efforts (50 minutes to travel a crow-flies distance of 800m), the cache was an easy find. In fact, it was right out in the open …  so we hid it a little better in order that it’s not accidentally found by non-caching passers-by (should there ever be any mad enough to come this way!).

That’s Jaffnut near GZ in the photo above; we’d just scrub-bashed through the bush behind her to the left, coming out into the small clearing in which the cache was hiding.

After making our way back up to the car (oh, I forgot to mention that it was steep leech-infested temperate rainforest), we had lunch and then elected to do an easier walk, to the summit of Mt Donna Buang, picking up some other caches along the way. This time the track existed, and it wasn’t quite so steep (in contrast to the morning’s “walk”, 50 minutes allowed us to cover about 3km, not counting cache stops). The weather was lovely for late autumn, although it was rather cool at the summit. The bush through which we walked was very pretty, with tall eucalypts and ferny undergrowth, myrtles and tree ferns, and even some native pepper as well.

Definitely an enjoyable day. Even the two leech bites on my ankles — which are now rather itchy — can’t spoil the occasion, as they add some colour to the story (and to my socks and shoes!).

2 comments to Not a walk in the park

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