Sunday, 3 August 2014

Snug Tiers

Two things you may already know about me:

(1) I write blog posts like I play chess ... I spend ages playing out the first two moves in my head and then once I've made those moves ... I basically make the rest up as I go along, or in the case of my blog posts, I concoct what I think are witty and insightful one-liners to start my blog when I'm out riding ... and these then rarely have anything to do with the rest of the blog post; and

(2) I'm a skeptic ... in that I question everything that doesn't make sense to me ... especially things that seem to be a scam dressed up in scientific fact ... like freeview TV, psychics and any current affairs show on a commercial television channel.

Just for the record though ... Zombies will end the world, even the most hardened skeptic will acknowledge that.

Glad I got that out of my system ... and now onto the random, I'm going to make the rest up as I go along, part of the blog.

I was meant to go down to Lake Pedder for a paddle this weekend, but the call was made on Thursday night to cancel the trip due to the weather so I spent Saturday doing other exciting things ... like preparing the monthly events update on tassietrails.org and doing my tax return (which produced a large enough refund to buy a new bike or more prudently pay off a minuscule amount of my upcoming house loan.

This meant that today, I needed to do something outdoors ... and preferably in the snow.

Something like ... the Snug Tiers ...


I love riding up in the Snug Tiers during winter, and I figured today would be a chance to both go for a short ride in the snow and sort out a question which has been bugging me now for about 20 years ...

Why is there no track across the button grass plains between the Pelverata Falls track and the Grey Mountain Track?

I mean if you look at the tracks on google earth it just looks like there should be a track between the two ... it's only 900 metres (as shown by the yellow line in the picture below) between the closest points and it would turn two really nice out and back rides into one awesome circuit ...


So today I set off to see how hard it was to get between the two points ... and as you've probably figured out from the red lines which shows my actual route, the answer is it ain't as easy as you might think ...

I started by taking the track out towards Grey Mountain (having tried to figure out a way form the other direction a couple of weeks ago) and rode to the corner where the yellow line heads off on the map  as this  seemed to be the logical launching off point.

Twenty minutes later, scratched, bloodied and sore I found myself back at exactly the same point defeated by the thick scrub and cutting grass.

A second attempt to breach the thick undergrowth between the track and the plains was attempted a few hundred metres back along the track, and although I got within 20 metres of the button grass plain, I had to conceded defeat and retreat a second time.

This was when I took the lessons I learned in grade six history about how the Australian Explorers first conquered the Great Dividing Range (by heading up the spurs, not the gullies) and I retreated back along the track where I could easily get onto the plains and then set off across the plains to do it the long way.

It was a hoot to begin with ... sure I was carrying my bike and it was wet, but it was exciting and fun and new ...


Then about half way across, it became a little less of a hoot and a little more of a challenge ...


By about the 4/5ths mark I had resorted to walking down the middle of an almost waist deep (snow flow) creek carrying my bike above my head in order to make any progress forward through the thick scrub and the word 'hoot' was no longer going through my head ...

My only way forward was to walk down the middle of the stream.
I realised around about this point that I was potentially in a spot of bother as it had taken me over an hour to cover around a kilometre and I was in that bind where the thought of going back was pretty depressing, but having already been twice defeated by thick scrub earlier in the day, the three hundred metres between me and the track I was trying to get to seemed rather daunting as well ...

Then the stream I was walking down disappeared under a log and into a thick patch of cutting grass and I realised that my best bet was to try and cut off into the bush and try and get to higher ground.

The way out is that way ... I hope.
This is where this story gets a bit freaky.

I set off into the bush, basically throwing my bike in front of me and then trying to make my way towards it, and repeating this action over and over (PS. thanks AvantiPlus Sandy Bay for putting my bike back together on Monday and I still have no idea why my brakes were leaking fluid and needed fixing).

I was probably about 50 metres from the creek in the middle of frickin' nowhere, when I jumped off a log and slipped on the ground in front of me and as I plunged into the scrub, I found myself staring at an old scrap of newspaper ...



I don't know if you can read it, but if you can it might freak you out as much as it freaked me ...  it's an article about some large animal killing sheep in the Meehan Ranges ... and it was written in 1936 ... it's a frickin' story about the Meehan Monster ...

Despite all my solo jaunts off into the wilderness, I can actually get quite scared if I let my imagination run riot, and let me tell you there was a riot going on in my head at that point in time.  I had that moment of realisation where it crystallised in my head that I was in the middle of thick bush, nobody really knew where I was other than "up in the snug tiers" ... I was all alone ...  and there were scary things in this world.

I'll be honest ... I suddenly decided that I wasn't as worried about getting scratched and cut as I had been 30 seconds before and pretty much charged the last two hundred metres out into some more open bush, which to be honest was still a pretty relative term ...


But from there it was a much easier path forward to the old sawmill site I'd been heading towards for the last 1.5 hours.

I have to admit that once I got back out onto the open sawmill area and could hear the reassuring sounds of motor bikes and 4WD's, I felt a little bit stupid at my momentary hysteria...


But seriously (and please be awed as I actually bring this back to my opening points) ... could it be true ... could there really be a Meehan Monster?

Expect to see me on A Current Affair soon ... I'll be on after the psychic prediction about when zombies will take over the world ...

Oh ... what if the Meehan Monster's a zombie thylacine  ....  

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