Sir Thomas Mitchell's Rest
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This is an easy cache site to get to, and is within a short walking distance from safe parking, but the last little bit will definitely sort some out.
There was movement amongst the cachers for the word had passed around,
That a cache is hidden up Sir Thomas Mitchell way,
It was said to be a good one, and well worth being found,
So all the crocks had gathered to the fray.
All the tried and noted cachers from the Blueies near and far,
Had gathered at Spindoctors overnight,
For Mountain cachers love a challenge, especially 'round the bar,
But the city cachers missed it due to fright.
There were the Acko' s and the Packo's, it was quite a handy crew,
There was Mandaj and the 4 Wheel Drive Nut too,
And Ropes and Rats and Wingnut, to name but a few,
And Team Webguy there to show 'em what to do.
Team Chaos and Geodementia, they sound quite bright, we thought,
So we put 'em both together for the day,
With The Oompas and old Philma - they won't amount to nought
And with Pinkgamr to help them find their way.
Where's Wally? He's often lost, that's why they call him by that name,
He gets lost on the way to his old shed,
But the mob they really trust him, he's a mountain man that’s game,
It's a shame we couldn't get him out of bed.
Tangles from down the south came up to have a go,
They say he hides caches in the deep,
Home Dee Gee and Team Altaire, they turned up for the show,
And Ruffasgutts was there, but fell asleep.
Big Matt and The Mountain Goat gave the search a push,
They navigate just by the lonesome star,
No GPS for that lot, so if you see them in the bush
You better tell 'em exactly where they are.
Banksia Triple Seven, he's a Blue Mountain man at heart,
There's not a track that he has not traversed,
Foundem and the Bushwhacker were there from the start,
A team like that lot may well get there first.
There was Gamma Pi and Sigma (are they from Werris Creek?)
And Rikki, Riblit and the old Sky Dog,
No better mob of cachers were ever lost for a week,
But they won't be writing that up in their log.
Outafocus, with his camera, came to photograph the fun,
There was Snifter and Two Dogs from up north,
And the Katoomba Cache Busters came along for the run,
Even Tegator, another southerner, sallied forth.
All the Blue Mountain cachers got stuck into the search,
And hunted high and low 'til light was gone,
Some city cachers had a go, but one fell off the perch,
And another broke his leg from looking on.
Now there are quite a lot of cachers, and we can't mention everyone,
So don't feel miffed if you don't rate a mention,
But you can still chase it hard, and have a little fun,
And beat the crocks, if that is your intention.
When the big event was ended and we gathered on the shore,
Of the Wenty Lake and everyone was jolly,
A head count showed we'd made it, but we needed just one more
And we shouted out together, "Where's that flamin' Wally?"
Parking is easy at the end of the old Great Western Highway, Emu Plains. The one-way Mitchell Pass road joins the old highway at that spot, but you can't drive up it as it's for "down" traffic only. However, it's just a short walk up the pass road.
Once you get to the cache co-ordinates you will be standing on a rocky outcrop. The only thing before you is a grand view, disappearing ever downwards into the daunting Abyss of Horror. Keep your wits about you and, if you take small children, shepherd them carefully. This writer fell off the mountain about 400 metres from this spot many years ago, and you may be assured that it's not much fun. The cache is not down at the bottom, in fact you'll never go to the bottom, unless by accident! Please don't follow my example.
From the rocky outcrop you must find you way into the Grotto of Despair. My suggestion is to go to the right where half a dozen downward steps will lead you to the Grotto where all sorts of doleful creatures have their sway.
Once in the Grotto of Despair you will immediately see the Tunnel of Oblivion stretching out before you. That dungeon-like passage leads to the infernal regions. If you are game, and some won't be, you must toothpaste your way through the Tunnel of Oblivion into the Bottomless Pit where endless potential for calamity awaits the unwary.
If by luck you get there, you must gain a footing in that foreboding place, being aware of the besom of destruction that threatens to sweep away any who enter this dismal netherland. And then it's up to you. But it always was. All you have to do then is find the cache (it's not small), log your visit, search out Part Two and get back.
To put it another way, some will find it a bit scary, but hopefully it will be lots of fun. Most will enjoy it, especially older kids, but don't wear your wedding dress or best suit, for you will definitely get grubby.
Whilst you are there have a look for evidence of Major Sir Thomas Mitchell who camped in this area whilst building this road in the early 1830's.
LOG BOOK ONLY
This is a Log Book Only Cache, but there is room for small Travel Bugs and Geocoins. Have fun!
ON THE WAY HOME
Whilst you are so close it's worth a visit to see the Lennox Bridge, which was opened in 1833. Major Mitchell intended to build a road that would last, and did not want a wooden bridge that would rot away in a few years. For that reason he requested the services of the stonemason David Lennox, whose skills were well-known to him. Lennox selected a group of convicts and trained them in stonemasonry. Under his guidance they built the bridge, which is the oldest surviving bridge in Australia, except for some in Tasmania. The sandstone was quarried near the site. It was opened in 1833 and is still in use today, but it has had a major restoration.
You can walk straight up the pass from here and see the bridge, but it's quite a hike. To drive to the bridge please follow these directions. Go back down the old Highway until you come to Russell Street (at the lights) and turn left. Go to the next set of lights and turn left again into Old Bathurst Road. Continue for a few kilometres (it's quite a windy road) until you get to a tee junction roundabout at the railway line. Turn left and you will come to another roundabout with a narrow underpass on your right. At that point turn LEFT to the Mitchell Pass. It's signposted. The Pass road is two way until you get to Lennox Bridge. As you reach Lennox Bridge you will see a small parking area straight ahead with a picnic table. However, if you drive over the bridge you will reach a much larger parking area on the right. Walking back over the bridge takes you to the steps that lead into the valley below.
The quarry may still be seen also. From the large parking area there is a 4wd track going straight ahead into the bush. Follow that track for about 10 minutes or so, and the quarry site will appear on your left.
When you are finished a drive down the winding Mitchell Pass road will take you back to where you started.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum