Our morning started out with some delicious yogurt and oats, one of my favorite ways to start the day. We then proceeded to get permits and all the bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo that's required to take core samples from Cradle Mountain. The building was similar to a tourist shop, but not quite like I would usually expect in the United States. It seemed like there was a little more explaining of scientific concepts there, as apposed to what I've seen at Glacier in Montana. Either way, our day started quite well in this regard.
|Matt gearing up|
Done with bureaucracy and coffee drinking, we headed up to the trail head at the north end of Dove Lake... ironically there were more heads here, but they belonged to people instead of trails or general directions. This was quite the nice parking area (carpark in Ausie-talk), with public restrooms and everything. Once we'd gathered our gear and loaded our packs onto our shoulders, we were on our way. Almost immediately, we came across a pile of square wombat turds, and I've heard some very interesting hypotheses about why their poo is squared off. I've heard it's because they live on hill sides, so they need it box shaped in order to keep it in one spot (marking territory), and I've also heard it's because they dig burrows and like to squat on mounds. Both hypotheses were based off of the notion that they didn't want (evolutionarily) their shit rolling down hill. Once we'd stared at the turds long enough we continued down the trail, this is when plants started being identified by our fearless leader Scott, all of which completely eluded my previous botanical knowledge. He admitted later that he is only proficient in larger species of plants, which I think is just his way of being humble, because he seemed to be quite knowledgeable with plants of all sizes. I took many pictures of plants, which I plan to identify by Latin names and will elaborate more on in tomorrow's journal... I can't wait.
|View going up to Wombat Pool|
Once we had finished this intro-hike, we headed to an ancient stand of King Billy Pine (Athrotaxis selaginoides), where a famous pioneer had lived in the past. This stand of trees was very old and reminded me of many-a-scene from Lord of the Rings. Weird, I've noticed there are a lot of references to Lord of the Rings here in this part of the world, even though we are not in New Zealand, but Tasmania. This was a funny observation for me.
While we were in this stand we had the honor of seeing a 2000 year old Athrotaxis that a wonderful Tasie woman nicknamed “Feral” had cored in her previous research. I felt very privileged to have seen this old, wise tree. After some token pictures and a few jokes, we headed out of the bushes and into the “famous pioneer man's” cabin, which was open to the public. It was so homey, I wanted to move in right then and there. But, saner heads prevailed, and I decided to take it as a good example of the house I may someday build for my family and myself. There she is giving her tree a big ol hug for the camera.
While we were in this stand we had the honor of seeing a 2000 year old Athrotaxis that a wonderful Tasie woman nicknamed “Ferral" (Kathy Allen) had cored in her previous research. I felt very privileged to have seen this old, wise tree. After some token pictures and a few jokes, we headed out of the bushes and into the “famous pioneer man's” cabin, which was open to the public. It was so homey, I wanted to move in right then and there. But, saner heads prevailed, and I decided to take it as a good example of the house I may someday build for my family and myself.
At the cabin there was an interesting story about how this man was feeling lonely and was beginning to worry if the “tiger cats” were going to kill and eat him. He said they were bold and cared little about his presence, liberally taking what they pleased as he struggled to remain calm in an isolated situation. This was when we decided to call it a day and headed our way home, so I will do the same and end this journal entry.
|Laurie, Cathy, Matt, Kathy, Scott, Jay|
|Two Rez Boys|
|Eastern Shore of Dove Lake|