Geocachers at work (photo Cynthia C) | the first creek that caused an upstream crossing | a grey but tranquil Drum Stick Point | Googong Dam lets it out
Saturday morning 5 April: Googong Geocaching – M/E-M,ptX. Great views over Googong Dam and the cascades on the Queanbeyan River below the dam. Geocaching around the northern section of the Googong Western Foreshores and Shoreline Walks. Another short loop around the beginnings of the Bradleys Creek Walk and Black Wallaby Loop Track. Home by early afternoon, but bring brunch/lunch. Around 10km and 280m climb. Maps: Hoskinstown and Tuggeranong. Leader: John Evans – firstname.lastname@example.org, 0417 436 877. Bookings open till 2pm Friday. Transport: ~$6 per person. Further details at www.johnevans.id.au.
8 of us drove from Canberra and met just inside the Googong Dam area gate.
1 W1 – find GC40TV8 The Mega (puzzle) – final GZ; find GCKPG7 Googong’s Gap – visit this to gather clues for GC5EFD London’s Loft (where is it? – Mr_roo hints it’s down near London Bridge Arch).
2 W2 – gather info for GC44K5T Powerful Pumps and work out final GZ.
3 W3 – find GC46Y8E Another Dam Puzzle! – final GZ; do GC4EPZR Charlie’s Lookout (multi).
4 W4 – Queen series + others: (Queen 1-3, Googong Glimpse IV, Queen 4 – if others haven’t done them), Queen 5-11, Shannon’s Shore, Queen 12-19, Bibliomania – final GZ, (Queen 20 – if others haven’t done it).
Distance: 9.7km | Climb: 340m | Time: 8.30am-12.35pm (4hrs 5mins), with 10ins of breaks and some driving | Grading: M/E-M; M(8+)
Photographs are available, where you can start a large sized slide show.
Download the Google Earth .kmz file here.
With all the heavy rain, I rang the Googong Ranger the day before. He advised that the ford over the Queanbeyan River below the dam would be closed, so Walk 1 around Bradleys Creek Walk and Black Wallaby Loop Track would not be possible.
Driving along the Old Cooma Road in the more than forecast light showers, I wondered what we were doing out here. But no one had cancelled.
Spoke to the Ranger at the meeting point. He said the ford would be walkable, but no cars as he didn’t want any vehicles trapped across the other side by the expected surge coming into the dam (and so over the wall). So I chose to do the short Western Foreshores/Shoreline Walk loop first. We drove to the appropriate parking spot.
Now I was well prepared as I’d done my homework. For the 20 geocaches in the Queen series, I had the appropriate song on my phone for us to listen to as we walked through the drizzle to the location. And I must say that I’ve found the ideal way to geocache – a CBC walk led by me and advertised as a caching walk; party members with varying degrees of keenness (but many sets of eyes helps); Kittykatch (aka Kath H) to lead the charge; and Mr_roo (aka Jeff P) to keep an eye on us. All I had to do was trail along at the end and, by the time we reached the next cache, I’d been logged in and it was time to move on. Perfecto!
We began at GC4M8YQ 01 Queen: We Will Rock You (with the appropriate track trying to blare out from my phone in its waterproof case), as Kath hadn’t done this series. (I’d done 1-4 and 20 on 29 Mar 14). Various members of the party took turns in finding the caches. On along the fire trail, ducking off and back on as necessary. 02, 03, Googong Glimpse IV and 04 rolled by but the clouds and drizzle didn’t. Plenty of weird fungi and a few field mushrooms. The countryside was beautifully green.
Things got serious for me and I was logged on 5-10. I may have picked up one or two.
Then things got serious for us as we heard, then saw, the water roaring down the creek coming in from the NW at the ford where the Shoreline Walk joins the Western Foreshores Walk. We thought that the ford was too dangerous to cross, so scouted back up the creek and found a place to cross. But unfortunately an additional creek came in from the SW and separated us from GC4MAT6 11 Queen: Don’t Stop Me Now. No place to cross near the ford. We tracked upstream for a while, but no crossing presented itself. So we retraced our steps all the way back to the N side of the ford.
Having missed the recent river crossing training, I overcame my dislike of water, grabbed a stick and, because I’d read the training notes, shuffled across the ford to log Queen 11.
Morning tea when I returned. Huge thanks to Jacqui R who was in training for carrying an overnight bag around Kadadu later in the year, so brought in 8 beautiful home-made raspberry muffins at great personal cost.
Sustained, we scrambled along the beginning of the Shoreline Walk, picking up GC4E9AR Shannon’s Shore. Back down out of the scrub, we ran into a group walking the circuit in the opposite direction to us.
The Shoreline Walk then became easy and the raging stream (Shannon’s Creek ?) emptied with foam into the tranquil Shannons Inlet. We continued on to log Queen 12-19, the final GZ of the puzzle CG1GTAA Bibliomania, and visited the final Queen cache, GC4MB95 20 Queen: Bohemian Rhapsody.
We then drove to the lookout to the SW of the dam wall. Found the final GZ of the puzzle GC46Y8E Another Dam Puzzle!, gathered the clues for the multi GC4EPZR Charlie’s Lookout and wandered to its nearby GZ. The drizzle continued.
Back on Googong Road, we stopped a little way along for Kath to log GC411E4 Googong’s Gate. What a fabulous view of the water cascading in scallops over the dam wall!
Finally, we stopped at the pumping station and collected the answers for the multi GC44K5T Powerful Pumps and walked to the final GZ.
Noting that the road was closed heading down to cross the Queanbeyan River ford, we called it a day. That is, except for Kittykatch and Mr_roo, who continued to cache on. They’re true professionals.
8 walkers – Cynthia C, Jenni C, Stephen C, Kath H, Jeff P, Jacqui R, Ralph Y, me.