Either Lost or Not

The day started out nice enough after we left New Norfolk behind.

At least the sun was out, the skies had more than a hint of blue, and the temperature had warmed up by 500% and reached 7° C (44.6° F) after being just 1.4° C (34.5° F) at 7:50 am.

Yes, it was cold in the valley, yet those rainbow promises were enticing.

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With Mole Creek our intended destination, something went wrong.

I failed to enter the address into the car’s GPS.

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Suddenly snow appeared on the roadside.

We began to question if in fact we were on the right road.

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As we continued though, the snow disappeared and we relaxed.

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But not for long.

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Mobile reception was fading in and out, and panic was setting in.

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A brief moment of mobile reception proved we should have turned right further back and before long we were driving through the thick of a winter wonderland.

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With the little hamlet of Derwent Bridge just up ahead, hopefully there would be somewhere to turn around, but that didn’t happen as the lady we spoke to said the road was opened and from where we were, it was all down hill.

So we continued.

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The little snowflake on the dashboard was blinking like mad, but no snow fell, just slushy rain.

It was 2° C outside (35.6° F) and we reached 900 metres elevation (2,952.7 feet).

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When Dean admitted his blood pressure was also elevated, I confessed I was within one heartbeat of a full scale meltdown.

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But true to her word, the road was open and clear and we kept going, exercising the extreme caution she told us to employ.

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And a little more than an hour later, we safely emerged through to the other side, leaving the winter wonderland behind us.

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Both of us relaxed and the rest of the drive along the A10 Highway was almost uneventful.

So long as you don’t count the twisty descent into Queenstown.

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And the rest of the windy road that brings you to Strahan.

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Either lost or not and certainly nowhere near our intended destination, the trip through the mountains was something we will not easily forget.

We had been told that following the unseasonable snow, the road to the west coast was closed and that we shouldn’t even consider driving in that direction.

The lady I spoke to at the roadhouse at Derwent Bridge said “Oh, they say that all the time, but they have no idea.  We’re the people who can tell you about the road.” When I told her where we had planned to go, she said it was just as well for us that we missed that turn off because that particular road was a dirt track and not suited for towing a caravan.

All I can say is that everything happens for a reason and here we are in beautiful Strahan, another place in Tasmania that we had on our “must see” list.  Tomorrow we plan to go on a cruise in the Gordon River and I just hope the rain holds off while we do.

All photos were taken from within the car as we drove the 266 kilometres (165.2 miles) from New Norfolk to Strahan – “the jewel in the crown” as my friend Sue tells me.


 

14 Comments

  1. so glad you are in Strahan safe and sound….I deliberately didn’t tell you about the descent into Queenstown as I thought you might change your mind….I found it scary in the car without towing a van!! Hope you think it was worth it…as you leave Strahan and head sort of north towards Cradle Mountain you pass through the small town of Zeehan, they have a marvellous museum which is well worth a look….we spent hours in there….(it might be warmer inside too…..love again…Sue

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    1. Thanx Sue,

      Yes it was hairy, but we just took it nice and slow as the lady told us to, and we’ll try to stop in Zeehan on the way north.

      Miss you heaps

      Clare

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  2. What an adventure We loved Strahan too and were fortunate to have a sunny day for the Gordon River cruise which was amazing. You’ll enjoy taking photos on the cruise. Like your friend Sue we spent many hours in the museum in Zeehan.

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  3. From the safety of my living room, it looks fascinating in winter! My main sorrow is that you wouldn’t have enjoyed the marvelous view of Frenchmans Cap (et al) as you drove by, thanks to all that cloud.
    I’ve only ever come out of Queenstown going towards Hobart in a safe and sturdy modern Mini on a clear day, but I can imagine that in your situation it would be hairy indeed!!
    Glad you arrived safely. I highly recommend the West Coast Wilderness Railway (first class) – if you have time and funds. It’s not cheap, but it’s very worthwhile. Especially first class – you get blankets and hot food! 😉

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    1. There were so many places we would have liked to have looked at. Too many to mention. But I guess the winter wonderland really was something else. Somerhing special to behold that we’ll not easily forget.

      Clare

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    1. Hi Nancy,

      I was pleased the photos turned out so good, as sometimes through the windshield, they are not good enough to share. At least I took so many that I had a large selection to choose from.

      Clare

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    1. Thank you Hilary,

      I was hoping it took my readers on a little journey with me, albeit after the fact.

      Yay for locals who know their stuff 🙂

      Clare

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