Sunday, September 15, 2013


September 15, 2013

One of our jobs as missionaries in Tasmania is to inspect the missionary flats every transfer. We like interacting with the missionaries located around the state and seeing the sites on the roads less traveled, as we drive to their locations.   This transfer, after inspecting Launceston, Devonport, and Burnie, we drove on the north and west sides of the island to Hobart.

We were a bit disappointed that the lavender farms weren't in bloom, but could see that acres and acres would produce blossoms in a couple of months. 

So, we took a picture of a post card and can imagine how beautiful these fields look before they are harvested.  

Lilydale Falls was just a short walk from the road. (I tried to get Sharla to get closer to the Falls but she would not do it)

Elder Hurt watches in anticipation as Elders Hosman and Whitehead have a contest to see who can polish off the last two pieces of cheesecake first.  Elder Whitehead won.

We booked a cruise on the Gordon River on the Lady Franklin II, but were interested in the piles of Huon Pine on the dock.

Strahan, Tasmania is described as one of the most unique places in West Central Tasmania, located on a spectacularly beautiful harbor at the end of the world.  

This is more than is the Southern Ocean.  Heading this direction, the nearest land is Argentina. 

Hell's Gate is the narrow channel that links Strahan to Macquarie Harbor and is only 60 meters across.  It was named by the convicts imprisoned on Sarah Island.  Escape was next to impossible, and they thought it was the gates to hell on earth.  

A large expanse of water to the left of the lighthouse island is shallow and dangerous.  A captain of this lighthouse lost his entire family, when the ship they were on tried to cross at the wider area. 

Rainbow Trout and Atlantic Salmon by the tens of thousands are farmed in these enclosures in Macquarie Harbor.   Fish food is being sprayed into the pond.  

The water in the Gordon River is  stained dark brown by the tannin in the tea trees in the forest.  Supposedly the water is pure and safe to drink.  We didn't try any.  

The water is so calm that it is difficult to tell where the forest ends and the river begins. 

The vegetation in the cool temperate rain forest is very dense, yet prisoners tried to escape. 

This is a 2000 year old Huon Pine that has toppled to the ground, because the roots are shallow and the rain forest soil is thin.  This tree may be down, but it isn't out; as it drops seeds and new shoots grow from underground root stock.  

Huon Pine is famous around the world as an extremely durable boat-building timber and as a beautiful, golden colored, easily workable furniture timber.  It is impervious to rot and insects and is very slow growing.  

The isolation of Sarah Island made it an ideal place for the worst convicts, many who had escaped from other settlements.  

Looking across the Macquarie harbor are spectacular mountains.  (yes that is snow, and yes they reminded us of the Three Sisters in the Tetons.)

Nelson Falls, one of many in Tasmania.

We stayed at Derwent Bridge in a funny little cabin that was really cold.  

Only in Australia!

Lake St. Claire reminded us a lot of Glacier Lake in Montana.  

The three tiers, framed by lush vegetation, make Russel Falls in Mount Field National Park the most photographed waterfall in Tasmania.  

The Swamp Gum tree is the tallest flowering plant in the world.  This one is 79 meters high.  

Max is craning his neck to try to see the top of this giant tree. 

When they fall, the Swamp Gum Trees seem to go on forever. 

"Homeless in Hobart"
 Actually, we stayed at a serviced apartment just a block from the waterfront but had to park 3 blocks away.  Thank goodness, we were traveling light.  

Greg Duncan is creating a 100 meter wall, carved from Huon Pine, on 3 meter high panels, depicting the history of the harsh Central Highlands region.  It was an amazing display.  Unfortunately, taking pictures was not allowed.  

The Deloraine Ward sponsored a great evening, where the youth of the ward were honored and received  certificates for their achievements.    The Walters family is joined by Graham Brown.  Lionel Walters is a member of the stake presidency.  

Most of the young women in the ward, from ages 12 - 18. 

Abby and Adam Rousse.  Abby is Sister Hornes niece.  

Emily Triffit is one of  many Triffits who comprise the ward.   We have often commented that it seems everyone is related.

Edna Scicluna, Bev Scott, Phyllis Moores, and June Bounds

Mike and Phyllis Moores have been great friends to us since the day we arrived in Deloraine.

Angelo and Edna Scicluna live in the Devonport Ward, but have been assigned to the Deloraine Ward to provide additional support.  

On September 16, we leave this beautiful island of Tasmania and will sail across the Bass Strait to Melbourne.  We wonder what adventure awaits us in Wagga Wagga, New South Wales.  

It has been our good fortune to have served in Deloraine, if only for a few short months.  When we came here in June, with six months remaining on our mission, we were sure we would finish here.  But, someone has something else in mind. Wagga Wagga, New South Wals is where we are headed.  What do we know about Wagga Wagga?  Not very much.  It is a long way from Deloraine.  It is in the "district" part of the mission (not part of any of the stakes,) and 450 - 500 K's north and east of Melbourne.  There are four sister missionaries serving in the branch, and we will be the first senior couple to live and serve there.  We probably will get to set up one more flat for ourselves to live in.  We know that it will be a much hotter summer than Tasmania would have been and even hotter than it was in Melbourne last year.  We know that it is a city of 50 - 60 thousand people rather than a town of 2500 people.  We know we will  miss the beauty of Tasmania, the people, and especially the missionaries with whom we have served, but we know we will come to love the people and missionaries in Wagga Wagga.  Stay tuned for the rest of the story.   

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