Thursday, 8 March 2012

Gear Haulin Time!!! (March 8th)

I think we put more miles/kilometers in today than any previous day we've worked so far... it was awesome!!! Although my knee is aching, I feel it's a very small price to pay to see what we saw, and experience what we experienced. Our job (Matt, Bob, and I) was to pack about half of the gear back to a place called Flynns Tarn, which is about two clicks behind Cradle Mountain. All together, I think we put in about 14 kilometers today, which is a pretty decent haul considering the terrain we were traversing.
Twisted Lakes (We call them Twisted Sisters)

Although we didn't get to do any coring today, I feel like we still contributed to the overall mission of the project. By bringing the gear back, we alleviated the rest of the crew from having to do this tomorrow. From what I understand we will be coring back behind Cradle for the next two days. Some of us may stay overnight, and the rest will be coming out most likely, simply to cut down on gear. Otherwise we will have to pack tents, food, stove and water all the way back to this place, which I don't think any of us are quite willing to do at this point... I don't know, I may be wrong on this. Either way, I can't wait to get back to this location, it was probably the 'wildest', most ancient spot we've seen so far. I felt like a pterodactyl would swoop down on us at any moment. It almost reminded me of the Eastern Front of the Rocky Mountains though, except for the vegetation and geo-morphological features of the surrounding mountainside. So, in short, it was nothing like the eastern front, but it did remind me of it.

Matt is explaining some geology to Bob I think

Sunbathing Skink
Deciduous Beech
I met the only truly deciduous tree on the island, and its name is Nothofagus gunnii. I had met this seasonal tree before, but hadn't understood its uniqueness among the trees of Tasmania. As the only deciduous tree, I can imagine it is quite important to the ecology of this ecosystem... if that's not redundant I don't know how to be redundant. I would talk a little more about this beautiful tree, but I have some more stuff to do before the night is over.
View from just below Cradle Mountain

Cradle Mountain is on the right

Belladina montana

This mountain reminds me of Chief Mountain, but without 'The Front'

Once we'd finished hauling the gear, we cruised around Cradle Mountain and did the long hike over Cradle Plateau, over Marion's Lookout, and then down around Crater Lake, where a really cool old-growth Athrotaxis selaginoides stand was awaiting my camera right around Crater Falls.
Cradle Plateau

Marion's Lookout
Crater Falls

More Crater Falls

This is me being excited
My meditation location by Crater Falls
After we'd walked through this Middle Earthy location we had to backtrack a little ways to get back to Lake Lilla, then up the hill to Dove Lake carpark. We got there and saw Jay walking intently back up the trail. At first we though she was going up the mountain again, but come to find out she was actually just going down to the lake to hang out with the rest of the crew. This is where I ran into this cranky little lady/guy. This bird kept squawking at us as if we'd deeply offended it in some way. I wouldn't usually use the word squawk to describe a bird's call, but these buggers really have a squawk. If I could put it in words it would be something like, "eeaghgh, eeaghgh, eeaaaaaaaghghgh!" Somehow though, I don't think you will read that how I hear it in my head.

She doesn't look pleased
I think that's about it for today, but if I happen to think of anything else I will be sure to add it in before I go to bed tonight... or not.

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