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#11 Dad's Mt. Disappointment Driving Lesson

A cache by carkisser & JSando Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 09/20/2015
1.5 out of 5
2 out of 5

Size: Size: regular (regular)

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Geocache Description:

Whilst writing the eulogy for carkisser's Father's recent funeral one of the memories of her time with him was a driving lesson around Mount Disappointment. CK and her Dad only had that one driving lesson. It lasted 4 hours, starting in sunshine and going through rain and sleet, slipping and sliding on muddy slushy roads. One of the most scary experiences of CK's entire driving life.

Mount Disappointment

Mount Disappointment is an 800-metre (2,600 ft) mountain, located on the southern end of the Great Dividing Range, 60 kilometres (37 mi) north of Melbourne, the state capital of Victoria, Australia. It was named by explorers Hamilton Hume and William Hovell in 1824, and the mountain is now a popular spot for hiking, camping and off road riding on various vehicles.

After making the arduous climb to the summit, British explorers Hume and Hovell hoped to view the distant Port Phillip Bay. Unfortunately, the mountain's many trees prevented this, and consequently they recorded their feelings in the name they chose for the mountain.

Prior to settlement, Australian Aborigines are known to have lived in the Mount Disappointment area. Stone weapons have been found near the junction of Drag Hill and Sunday Creeks.

In 1870, Australian settlers began mining for gold at Mount Disappointment. In 1880 The Australian Seasoned Timber Company commenced timber cutting and sawmilling operations there and with an influx of workers, townships were soon created at Clonbinane, Reedy Creek and Strath Creek. The company operated two mills, named 'Comet Mill' and 'Planet Mill', located in the heart of the forest. In the 1880's Mount Disappointment State Forest was riddled with tramway lines and logging settlements and the Wandong Railway Station boasted a large timber seasoning and joinery works (built in 1884/85) with several rail sidings for the loading and transport of timber. These tramways included a notorious section ironically called "The Bump" - a steep incline that required a winch to haul the solid hardwood logs. By the 1890s, the Comet sawmill was processing 800 Mountain Ash logs a month.

In 1883–1885, the catchments to the east of Mount Disappointment were captured by Toorourrong Reservoir and associated aqueducts. They are protected as part of Kinglake National Park.

The Australian Seasoned Timber Company's finishing and seasoning works were located in the township of Wandong, where CK's Parents built their home over 30 years ago, north of Melbourne on the edge of the Mount Disappointment forest. This seasoning plant treated messmate timber, used principally for furniture making. The Wandong seasoning works were established by a different company in 1889 and were one of the earliest attempts to season hardwood in Australia.

At its peak, the timber industry in the area employed 420 men. Sawmilling ceased in 1939 but timber from the Mount Disappointment area is still being logged today, with improvements to forest management ensuring long-term sustainability of the industry.

Stately Mountain Ash dominates the mountain and thrive in granite soils where the rainfall is high. Mountain Grey Gums grow in drier pockets. Red Stringybarks, Narrow-leafed Peppermints, Long-leaved box and Candlebark can be found growing along some waterways.

There is an abundance of bird life and habitat for deer wombats and wallabies. Watch out for those pesky emu's when driving through the area :)

Mount Disappointment is one of Melbourne's most accessible forest areas, with many recreation activities available including the 40 km (25 mi) -long Mount Disappointment Forest Drive, various walking tracks, picnic area and camping sites. There are many tracks within the park for 4 wheel driving, with some quite challenging and it is also quite popular with trail bikers and mountain bikers. The forest is managed by the Victorian Department of Sustainability and Environment.

Mount Disappointment is surrounded by many smaller hills and has access roads to the mountain from several different townships including Wandong, Clonbinane, Broadford, Whittlesea, Hazeldene and Flowerdale.

The forest was devastated by the Black Saturday bushfires of 7th February 2009 and over the ensuing years VicForests has been salvaging much of the timber. 

your choice of car may be important. During winter it is especially slippery. I have driven my Yaris through successfully during good weather though there were times the bottom of a the car was scraping on debris as the tyres were in well worn tracks created by larger vehicles, with the debris collecting in a pile in the middle.

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