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195108 [2016/05/04 04:54]
kennettj [Letter to the Editor]
195108 [2016/05/04 04:56] (current)
kennettj [The Tasmanian Scenic Reserve]
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 When first I visited Tasmania, towards the end of 1933, a trip through the area now known as the Scenic Reserve was something spoken of in a tense whisper, as being full of dramatic excitement and adventure. No one would dare to go through without a guide, and one, would hear hair-raising stories of Tasmanian wolves and devils, and of herds of wild cattle marshalled by aggressive bulls. That these stories belong to the fabulous past I proved to my own satisfaction in November and December of 1945 when, without fear of personal danger, risk, or going astray, I walked alone through the same area on my demobilisation leave. The credit of opening up this country, and for making this walk a safe one, must be given to two rangers, Messrs. Fergusson and L. Connell, as being the parties chiefly responsible. When first I visited Tasmania, towards the end of 1933, a trip through the area now known as the Scenic Reserve was something spoken of in a tense whisper, as being full of dramatic excitement and adventure. No one would dare to go through without a guide, and one, would hear hair-raising stories of Tasmanian wolves and devils, and of herds of wild cattle marshalled by aggressive bulls. That these stories belong to the fabulous past I proved to my own satisfaction in November and December of 1945 when, without fear of personal danger, risk, or going astray, I walked alone through the same area on my demobilisation leave. The credit of opening up this country, and for making this walk a safe one, must be given to two rangers, Messrs. Fergusson and L. Connell, as being the parties chiefly responsible.
  
-No visit to the Scenic Reserve is complete without a stay for at least a week at both the Cradle Mountain and the Lake St.Clair end. At the latter one has the mystery and charm of seeking lakes hidden away midst dense vegetation, and of viewing mountains through trellised arches of giant fern trees. Shadow Lake and Lake Marion are instances of lakes challengingly tucked away and, generally one has in this end of the Reserve the 4ferny ​dells and secret shades"​ sung about in Tales from the Vienna Woods". But in the vicinity of Cradle Mountain one loses all sense of being hemmed in, for here, instead of dense vegetation, the wayfarer beholds nature in the massive from a track nearly four thousand feet above sea level. Here he is overawed by the vastness and majesty of the geophysical and, as he reflects on the genesis of glaciers and snow-water lakes, his pleasure is that of an H.D. Thoreau meditating upon the dynamics and physics of his "Pond in Winter"​. A walk alongside Crater Lake keeps you guessing as to the height of the mountains above and the depth of the water beneath.+No visit to the Scenic Reserve is complete without a stay for at least a week at both the Cradle Mountain and the Lake St.Clair end. At the latter one has the mystery and charm of seeking lakes hidden away midst dense vegetation, and of viewing mountains through trellised arches of giant fern trees. Shadow Lake and Lake Marion are instances of lakes challengingly tucked away and, generally one has in this end of the Reserve the "​ferny ​dells and secret shades"​ sung about in Tales from the Vienna Woods. But in the vicinity of Cradle Mountain one loses all sense of being hemmed in, for here, instead of dense vegetation, the wayfarer beholds nature in the massive from a track nearly four thousand feet above sea level. Here he is overawed by the vastness and majesty of the geophysical and, as he reflects on the genesis of glaciers and snow-water lakes, his pleasure is that of an H.D. Thoreau meditating upon the dynamics and physics of his "Pond in Winter"​. A walk alongside Crater Lake keeps you guessing as to the height of the mountains above and the depth of the water beneath.
  
 Commencing my trip from the Lake St.Clair end I, in all good faith and perfect innocence, called on Mr. Fergusson, and sought from him a night'​s lodging and tea and breakfast. Immediately he began to question me as to my intentions, indicating by the way that it was customary for people to walk through from Cradle Mountain and to stop with him for a few days. But, when I tried to assure him that I was an exception to the general rule, purposing to spend a few days at the Cradle Mountain end, he accused me of belonging to a class that made a convenience of him. In view I pleaded that having no means of refrigeration,​ I was anxious to proceed before my meat went bad. However he was good enough to let me have one of his huts free of charge, although from that time on he maintained a chilly distance. And yet, when I heard him summoning his lodgers at break of the next day to go on one of his famous bush-excursions,​ I felt a little thankful that I was outside the pale of his affection, so I went off to sleep again. Commencing my trip from the Lake St.Clair end I, in all good faith and perfect innocence, called on Mr. Fergusson, and sought from him a night'​s lodging and tea and breakfast. Immediately he began to question me as to my intentions, indicating by the way that it was customary for people to walk through from Cradle Mountain and to stop with him for a few days. But, when I tried to assure him that I was an exception to the general rule, purposing to spend a few days at the Cradle Mountain end, he accused me of belonging to a class that made a convenience of him. In view I pleaded that having no means of refrigeration,​ I was anxious to proceed before my meat went bad. However he was good enough to let me have one of his huts free of charge, although from that time on he maintained a chilly distance. And yet, when I heard him summoning his lodgers at break of the next day to go on one of his famous bush-excursions,​ I felt a little thankful that I was outside the pale of his affection, so I went off to sleep again.
  
-I was soon to find, however, that Mr Furgusson ​was a very competent bushman and ranger. I had no trouble whatever in following his tracks through the Lake St.Clair section of the composite reserve. Every fifteen yards or so he had either a stake firmly planted, or else a tree unmistakably blazed with a red and a white spot recently painted on! I could well imagine him sedulously laying his tracks and trusting none but himself to do the job faithfully, for twelve years previously I had seen him doing similar work near Lake St.Clair when, with an axe almost as large as himself poised over his shoulder he paced through the forest like the Lord High Executioner out of The Mikado"​. It was marvellous what he had accomplished with that axe of his, the bridge over the Cuvier River was so solidly built, with all due allowance for stresses an strains, that it would have done credit to Dorman, Long and Company. As a bush architect, his reputation rests on his Pine Valley Hut, erected right in the heart of the Du.Cane Range. ​+I was soon to find, however, that Mr Fergusson ​was a very competent bushman and ranger. I had no trouble whatever in following his tracks through the Lake St.Clair section of the composite reserve. Every fifteen yards or so he had either a stake firmly planted, or else a tree unmistakably blazed with a red and a white spot recently painted on! I could well imagine him sedulously laying his tracks and trusting none but himself to do the job faithfully, for twelve years previously I had seen him doing similar work near Lake St.Clair when, with an axe almost as large as himself poised over his shoulder he paced through the forest like the Lord High Executioner out of The Mikado"​. It was marvellous what he had accomplished with that axe of his, the bridge over the Cuvier River was so solidly built, with all due allowance for stresses an strains, that it would have done credit to Dorman, Long and Company. As a bush architect, his reputation rests on his Pine Valley Hut, erected right in the heart of the Du.Cane Range. ​
  
 I strongly advise anyone to take six, instead of the usual five, days over the trip, in order to make a digression to this shelter, not only to enjoy its comfort, but also to marvel at the uncanny majesty of the mountains surrounding it. When one has established one's title as against bush-rats, and opossums, the skilfully placed pieces of linoleum and furs of animals make the place very homely. I strongly advise anyone to take six, instead of the usual five, days over the trip, in order to make a digression to this shelter, not only to enjoy its comfort, but also to marvel at the uncanny majesty of the mountains surrounding it. When one has established one's title as against bush-rats, and opossums, the skilfully placed pieces of linoleum and furs of animals make the place very homely.
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 I stayed for a week at "​Waldheim",​ enjoying the ambrosial food and genial company there. When the weather was good, I filled in time by climbing Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff, or by walking around or rowing upon the many lakes and tarns. On the other hand, when the weather was not so good, I stopped by the log fire, and read "​Lassetter'​s Last Ride" by Ion Idriess. I stayed for a week at "​Waldheim",​ enjoying the ambrosial food and genial company there. When the weather was good, I filled in time by climbing Cradle Mountain and Barn Bluff, or by walking around or rowing upon the many lakes and tarns. On the other hand, when the weather was not so good, I stopped by the log fire, and read "​Lassetter'​s Last Ride" by Ion Idriess.
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 ====== The Colo Gorge ====== ====== The Colo Gorge ======
195108.txt ยท Last modified: 2016/05/04 04:56 by kennettj