The yearn for going west is of course nothing new. Just outside Katoomba we pass our first roadside sign, a relic from the time of those first white men who found a path over the mountains in 1813. The monument is actually very amusing. It is no longer a tree but rather a cement plug with a bit of old bark wrapped around it. And to add insult to injury there are even people who question whether the tree was originally marked by the explorers or an early tourism fake. Follow this link for an article on its history and authenticity which ends thus "Whatever conclusion we come to about the tree’s links to Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth, the fact remains that its symbolic association with the period of exploration is well established. The quaint little wayside shrine that it has become is, nonetheless, one of the most powerful icons of Blue Mountains folklore."