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Another exploratory trip, found something this time

Discussion in 'Busse Combat Knives' started by Currawong, May 19, 2019.

  1. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    Today I went on an exploratory trip into the back country of southeast NSW, Australia. This area is fairly remote and contains a lot of wilderness, and requires off-trail walking (bushwhacking) through dense forest to explore. Sometimes I walk the valleys and creeks of the area prospecting for gold. I decided to do a reconnaissance trip near the old gold rush area that was prospected in the 1800’s.
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    Driving in.
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    The only vehicle I passed!
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    A creek crossing. An old bridge used to be here I assume.
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    Getting up into the hills.
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    I reached an area of thick rainforest, and decided to park the ute there and head into the forest. I like hard terrain because it’s a little less likely that the old timers explored there, given they had to push wheelbarrows around.
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    I went light, wearing just my hiking belt. This is the belt I wear fishing in the snowy mountains - it lets me carry a headlamp, flashlight, spare lures, multitool (pliers) to pull out hooks, etc. - but it doubles for hiking and other adventures.
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    The largest pouch (third on the left) carries a (recently acquired) skinny Ash-1 (Thanks Petey2.1). Take note other Aussies, I had to bribe customs in Sydney not to redirect this to Andy!!
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    Cont...
     
  2. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    Reached the bottom of the valley.
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    A leech.
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    A bottlebrush
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    The creek here is running from the right and downhill towards the left. So what is that mound in the middle? I went over to have a look, and found a dam across the creek, maybe 10 metres high. It was old, as seen by the size of the trees growing out of it.
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    A race? Or overflow for the dam. This has to be for working gold! The old timers would funnel water into races and put sluices in them, then shovel gold-bearing dirt in by the tonne.
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    Some kind of stone wall, not sure what purpose it served
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    Looking further around I found this…
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    It’s an old chimney, on an area of the slope that was dug out and leveled. There must have been a house here. I found other leveled areas around - there must have been a bunch of people living there at one time. I was getting very confident that this was an old gold-working site.
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    Walking around further I found a sure sign - large piles of quartz, with a ditch in the middle of them.
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  3. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    It’s not a ditch - these are obviously gold workings - it’s a vertical shaft.
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    Further on, another mound with a hole in the middle…
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    … and another deep shaft.
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    Another one, but this time with a tree fallen across the hole.
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    I walked (very carefully) out onto the log to look down.
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    It was deep! It disappeared into blackness so I couldn’t tell how deep.
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    Another shaft.
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    I had to belly crawl to the edge of this one…
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    … and hold my hand out over the edge to take a pic.
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  4. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    I kept exploring, and found a hole in the bank hidden in the vegetation.
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    This isn’t just a hole! It’s an adit (a horizontal shaft). Is it the entrance to a mine?
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    I think it is a mine.
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    The gold rush was in the late 1800s, so this mine would be 100 to 150 years old. Old mines can be dangerous. I’m not sure if I had all the right gear for this, but at least if there was a cave-in I could dig my way out with this! Right? o_O
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    The floor was mud and I went in to over my ankles. Every step I had to pull my foot out of the sticky mud.
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    It went for 50 metres, then a hundred, a hundred and fifty. There were a lot of weird sounds ahead. Squeaking and rustling, but very loud.
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    I found a vein of quartz. This would be the kind of thing they would follow to find gold.
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    Bats started to appear, hanging from the ceiling. I guessed this was the noise I was hearing.
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    A lot of bats!!
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    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  5. Briandt3

    Briandt3 Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Dec 29, 2018
    Beautiful pic's and great narrative, thanks for takingthe time to share ! :thumbsup:


    Edit:: Wow, the bats ! That is crazy..lol.. Not sure how I would react if I stumbled upon them.. Probably remain very still :)
     
  6. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    The tunnel kept going. More noise ahead, and it echoed a lot; it was a creepy and unsettling kind of sound.
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    More bats. The noise ahead was getting louder.
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    Then bats started flying down the tunnel towards me, a lot of them.
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    I couldn’t get a decent photo, but they were all around. They were even flying into my face now and then and I started walking with my hand in front of my head to try and shield my eyes.
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    After a while the floor rose up and almost blocked the passage.
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    So I had to get on my belly and crawl. There was an opening in the ceiling above.
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    Looking directly up… there was a vertical shaft that disappeared upwards, maybe to those vertical shafts I’d seen on the surface.
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    On the other side of the hump, the dirt floor descended into a pool of darkness.
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    Once I crawled down, it turned out it was actually a pool of water.
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  7. Ironkid883

    Ironkid883 Basic Member Basic Member

    360
    Jun 29, 2018
    youve got some balls to go out onto that log man love your posts and pics ash1 adventure
     
  8. clampdaddy

    clampdaddy Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 31, 2013
    I'd have been out of there at the sight of the first bat. Those things look big. We have little itty bitty ones here where I live. Lol!
     
  9. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    There were tadpoles, despite the fact it was maybe a couple of hundred of metres in from the surface.
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    An underwater shot of one of the big ones.
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    I stood up and found this right next to my face. It was huge, about the size of my palm!!
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    Should I go on? It would require wading through the pool of water.
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    I decided to keep on. The water was only up to my shins at this stage. I could still hear noises ahead, more than before. Maybe more bats? But it seemed too loud for bats, and not really bat-like. Bats mainly use ultrasound i.e. beyond the range of human hearing, so I wasn’t sure what I was hearing, because it was definitely very audible. It was getting cold. Then a breeze started to blow down the tunnel. I noticed it because there hadn’t been any air moving before, the whole time I’d been in the tunnel, and this was a sudden wind that came out of nowhere.
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    I was taking a bunch of photos, clicking the button repeatedly to see if I could catch some bats flying around (assuming that was the sound I was hearing), but at this point something happened that I can’t really explain. Something like mist appeared ahead of me and moved down the tunnel. It was moving at about a slow walking pace.
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    It came down the passage and blew past me. My view went white as it passed over my head and through the torch light (I had a headlamp on), and I froze in place. But nothing happened beyond that. It just looked like water vapor.
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    Afterwards it faded slowly away again. I assume it was some kind of atmospheric effect, but, what exactly? Is this a normal thing in mines? I googled it but nothing came up about cave/mine fog or mist.
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    I had intended to go to the end of the tunnel. But at this stage the water was above my knees and was getting deeper. And I felt a little spooked I admit. So I turned around.
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    The way back. I was moving quickly and now was pretty keen to get out.
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  10. Night Rider

    Night Rider Gold Member Gold Member

    Apr 16, 2018
    Great photos Currawong and thanks for sharing them. Australia has always been on my bucket list of places to see. Came very close to diving on the Great barrier reef but I got married instead :(. Maybe you can try a little panning for some leftover gold if you ever visit the mines again;).
     
  11. Currawong

    Currawong Gold Member Gold Member

    May 19, 2012
    Eventually a light appeared!!!
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    At this point a lot of bats started flying around again, flying into me, and I had to protect my face like before.
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    Almost out!
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    Made it!! I felt a strange sense of relief.
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    I hadn’t left the cave completely behind though, I still had a bunch of it on my shoes.
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    On the walk back out I found more walls and holes.
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    The drive out.
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    It got dark before I got home. There is a full moon tonight. This was the view along the way.
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    Thanks for reading!!
     
  12. Briandt3

    Briandt3 Gold Member Gold Member

    286
    Dec 29, 2018
    :eek: yeah, that would have to be flight over fight.. Some pretty damn big bats and way too many to defend against. I don't know enough about their predatory behavior to chance it.
    That being said, I'm waiting for a picture of currawong petting the lttle beasts..lol
    ( wouldn't be surprised ) Really great thread brother :thumbsup:
     
  13. The Zieg

    The Zieg

    Jan 31, 2002
    @Currawong , you're lucky you didn't end up on Mars before you got out of that cave! Great travelogue! Thanks for this!

    Zieg
     
    WatermanChris, Currawong and Briandt3 like this.
  14. honorearth

    honorearth Gold Member Gold Member

    543
    Mar 29, 2016
    Thanks for sharing your adventures I always enjoy them. Interesting experience with the cave mist, I have explored a good number of old mines from the California gold rush and lots of caves and never came across anything of the sort. Keep it up man looks like an awesome area I would love to someday check out the wilderness down under.
     
  15. mikeymoto

    mikeymoto Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 20, 2004
    Amazing story and photos; thank you for sharing!! The mining history of the northwestern United States is more recent than your neck of the woods; when we come across old workings here there's usually a lot more evidence remaining. Still hard to find, and always an adventure.

    Do you have any idea why so many trees seem like the bark is stripped away a few feet from the ground and up?
     
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  16. Twiztids4

    Twiztids4

    920
    Jul 17, 2014
    That was a great read! I feel like we need to set up a Gofundme for Currawong to get any necessary supplies and finish exploring this cave!
     
    Currawong, Ironkid883 and MacLaren1 like this.
  17. MacLaren1

    MacLaren1 Gold Member Gold Member

    May 15, 2014
    Wow. Love that thread man!
    Good job :):thumbsup:
    And, thank you :cool::thumbsup:
     
    WatermanChris and Currawong like this.
  18. StoneAndSteel

    StoneAndSteel Gold Member Gold Member

    107
    Feb 24, 2019
    Great story. I wanted to see Australia BEFORE reading this... now I HAVE to see it.
     
  19. Jerry Busse

    Jerry Busse Moderator Moderator

    Aug 20, 1999
    YOWZA!!!!

    Awesome adventure!

    I had all 4 of my kids reading along with me and from the "Ooohs and Aghhh" you would have thought they were watching Raiders of the Lost Arc ! ! ! !

    Awesome pics and story line!

    Thanks!

    Jerry



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  20. JACKMANDU

    JACKMANDU Gold Member Gold Member

    467
    Feb 10, 2019
    Soooo COOL!!!
    You have Balls of INFI sir!!!
     

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