Sunday, 27 January 2008

Wee Jasper

I visited Wee Jasper today. It's been about 16 years since I was last in Wee Jasper. The story goes, I was attending my course at RMiT (which I didn't pass, but that's for another story), and a friend of mine I met through a Melbourne chat board went to Melbourne Uni. Every year at Melbourne Uni, a scavenger hunt was held. On the list this year was to get a picture of the Wee Jasper Post Office. It was worth 2000 points (can't tell you the scale, but there were heaps of little "stunts" that were only worth 100 or so).

So I turned up at my team's headquarters (in Coburg) at 9pm at night. I asked "What's worth a heap of points?" Someone yelled out, "Picture of Wee Jasper's post office." I said, "Cool, who's with me?" With that, Plugger (that's what everyone called him), Geoff (a guy I knew from my high school days), and some other guy (don't know - never saw him before, never saw him again) came forward and volunteered to come along with me for the ride. We worked out we would drive in shifts - which didn't work out, as Geoff didn't have a license, and the other guy (I'll call "John" from now on) didn't drive in the city, but had some experience driving on country roads. Plugger and I did the majority of the driving in my mother's 1984 Mazda 323, and John took over when we left Yass, and did the driving on the dirt roads to Wee Jasper and back. This is roughly the route we took (do zoom in for more detail):

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Once we got there, we had to take a photo of the Post Office. Below are three photos (which are similar to the photos taken on that night):

Wee Jasper town signMain bridge going into Wee JasperPicture of the Wee Jasper Australia Post Office

The first photo is of Wee Jasper's town sign. The next was the bridge leading into Wee Jasper, and the third is the photo required for the scavenger hunt. The originals (which were lost), were taken around 3am in the morning. Therefore, with close to no lighting, the only one that came out was the photo of the town's sign. My current vehicle is also in two of the photos, as the original photos required proof that the site was visited. Luckily, the scavenger hunt judges allowed the photo of the town sign.

The round trip took around 14 hours, and from memory, cost around $130 dollars in super grade leaded petrol. Reflecting on the trip now, and having driven the winding roads to Wee Jasper, the only thing I could think about was how stupid I must have been to agree to drive these roads at 3am in the morning. Fortunately, there is more paving on the roads, as I do remember the car sliding around back in 1992 on gravel. The other thing was driving at night, and diving in between all the trucks on the Hume Highway. It's just luck that we're all still alive -- well to the best of my knowledge. I don't really keep in touch with Plugger, Geoff or "John".

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