I’ve been pretty busy lately and I totally forgot to tell you about the time I decided to climb this:
Sure it doesn't look THAT tall, but the sun was out and it was quite warm so you know...it seemed much taller than it actually was. But never fear - your faithful scribe didn't pass out mid-climb so now I'm here to tell the tale. Let's go back a bit, shall we?
Avid readers will remember when I escaped the People's Republic of Moreland for a day and went to Warburton to frolick amongst trees and rivers with wood nymphs and badgers* (can't remember it? Refresh your memory here: redwood-forest-warburton.html). Well, during that journey, I noted a sign for Mount Donna Buang and although my first thought was "that's a bit unfortunate for Donna", my second was "I've never been there...and I should rectify that situation". So I did.
First stop: Rainforest Gallery. (Take note, dear reader, of the walkways - particularly the steps. Loads of them. It's a wonder my kneecaps didn't actually explode here.)
*badgers? Don't be ridiculous!
The Rainforest Gallery has an elevated walkway that ambles through the likes of mountain ash, myrtle beech trees and various ferns for about 400 metres. It's a pleasant little walk with plenty to see along the way and a couple of spots to rest. Did you know that the myrtle beech is native to Victoria and Tasmania, but isn’t related to the Myrtle family? Its genus name is Nothofagus cunninghamii : nothos = false and fagos = beech, so.....not really a beech. The clues were all there!
I was totally alone here so it was a little uncomfortable, but not in an 'oh dear, I'm probably going to get mauled by ice-addled wombats' kind of way. More in a 'no-one will hear me scream if I fall off this bloody walkway' kind of way. Yes, of course it had safety rails but they're not always helpful if you insist on climbing or stretching way further than you should, are they?!? (not that I would do such a thing, officer). Anyway...it was a good place to start the day, and I imagine it would be a great refuge on a scorching summer's day. Unless it was on fire of course.
Next stop: Mount Donna Buang
I know next to nothing about Mount Donna Buang. When I was a kid I assumed it was just some far-off suburb that was partial to being cold because whenever I heard people talking about 'going to the snow', it always came out like "We're going to Donabwang". I had no idea where it was; I'd never even seen snow and didn't especially equate it to alpine regions. Donabwang might as well have been on the moon, and snow might have regularly appeared in Chadstone for all I knew. (And it was only about 15 years ago that I discovered that Chadstone is an actual suburb, not just a shopping centre. Clearly, I went to the school for the gifted.)
My parents reckon they took me to the Lake Mountain snowfield once on a bus tour when I was a kid, but I have no recollection of the outing. Apparently there's photographic evidence of me with snow, surrounded by trees, so it must be true, eh?
I did eventually have a crack at Nordic skiing at Lake Mountain as a young adult, before I discovered snow is cold and painful when you fall on it. I wasn't very good at skiing and even worse at stopping. Herringboning up slightly inclined hills, snowploughing down gently sloping hills and completely buggering up kick turns all featured ferocious leg cramps and the odd face plant, and I soon realised the 'fall down' method of stopping was effective, but hardly elegant. I was better suited to knocking back a wine or three at the local pub.
Having given up on my dreams of becoming World Nordic Ski Champion after 5 lessons, 1 blizzard and a very large wombat, and believing Donabwang was still a snowy suburb, I'd never had any interest in going there. And yet, here I was with all my new found knowledge that it's actually a mountain and it's not snowy all the time!!
I managed to climb the 21 metre high lookout tower, which gave me a good view of trees, the sky and the car park, then had a wander down to the toboggan fields, which at this time of the year were just fields. I stopped in a spooky wood to scoff a sambo and put pumpkin seeds on some low tree branches, hoping the rosellas that were squawking their heads off would come down for a photo opportunity. The blighters didn't oblige me so I finished my lunch, packed up my camera gear and left. Just as I reached the end of the wood, the buggers were all over the lower branches munching away. I'm sure they were laughing at me.
I finished out the day at Maroondah Reservoir Park, because it was on the way home and it was another place I'd never been to before. I had a very strange feeling of deja vu when I turned into the car park. There were things I recognised, but I had no idea why. Perhaps bits of my research into the place were creating vivid pictures in my head just to confuse me.
The park was fairly quiet so late in the day with only a handful of dog walkers, a couple of joggers (what is wrong with these people?!!?) and a park ranger roaming around. I spent some time wandering along the historic Rose Stairway, through various parts of the gardens, along Watts River and up to the top of the dam wall where I was treated to a lovely sunset. When I returned to the car park I had that same deja vu feeling again. There was something about the light and the view that I was currently looking at that evoked such a strong feeling that I'd been here before and yet....I had no recollection (and certainly no photos) to support the feeling. Am I just really good at research!?!?
A few days later as I was researching another location, I got whacked over the head by Mnemosyne, and it turns out I had been here before, but only as a pit stop on the return leg of a previous jaunt to Marysville. So there you go....a little tease of memory at the far reaches of my brain turned into an actual memory once I stopped thinking about it.
Yesterday I completely forgot a PIN for one of my cards. Maybe I'm experiencing the beginning of Alzheimer's. My mum used to say she had it, but she just forgot she had it and then she was cured!