The day was once again dismal, so Ryan, Sax and I gathered our things and absconded to the mountains.
In fact we absconded all the way to Mt Selwyn, where the horses run wild and nobody stays for the summer;
It’s still summer in Tumut. How’s the weather up here, Ryan?
Climbing the hill beside the parking lot, it became easier and easier to imagine the place coated in snow. The little stream would be frozen over in places, but continue to run underneath. There are rabbits and insects and frogs, and don’t tell Ryan this but I did see a snake, all of which must find some way of surviving the long, harsh winter months in this open terrain.
There’s also some fun things, like these odd mountains made of shale of various colours. Climbing looks easy; it isn’t. In our uphill traversal we encountered plenty of slippery clay banks, and hills like this, which Sax and I climbed. The steep black sides appear to be solid and have plenty of grip, but they are actually soft and wet and slippery.
But this is Sax’s country, he had an easy time of it, leaving Ryan and I to struggle after. This particular area contains a narrow dirt walkway of a few kilometres in length, completing a circuit of several old gold mining areas, which can be roughly made out from the cover of grass. The issue is, the path can also only roughly be made out from the grass, and our encounters with it were minimal.
Still, it’s a place with plenty of atmosphere. We saw more rabbits than anything, and luckily they managed to avoid being spotted by Sax, who would have adored a fluffy white tail to chase around the mountains.
Part of the old gold mining equipment near the parking lot.
Done with Selwyn, muddy to the knees, we hustled into the car and headed back towards Talbingo and Tumut. However it wasn’t long before we stopped, when the land flattened out into this broad plain between the forests of snow gum, and the low, dense grass was interspaced with these strange snaggle teeth of limestone;
These rocks are about a metre or so high, and trust me, you wouldn’t want to fall on them! They’re sharp, sharp, sharp. Looking back towards the car;
Picture of the Day 83: the plains
If you can bring up a map of the Selwyn/ Kosciuszko area, you’ll see how desolate it is. The towns are small and far between. There’s nothing here. Once there were huge gold mining towns. Now there’s just the plains, and the horses, and the rabbits. And the snow. Well, we didn’t see any snow, but doesn’t just the look of this place get you keen for snow-boarding? Tobogganing? Provided you don’t hit one of those rocks, of course. 😀
Again in the car, and rewinding our trip again, to Yarrangobilly River. Here it’s possible to see the foundations of the old gold-mining town. Interestingly enough, and I didn’t know this before, but this part of the Yarrongobilly River backs onto the Goobagandra Wilderness Area. Goobagandra, home of the Thomas Boyd trackhead, is one of my favourite places. I’ve also never heard anywhere designated a ‘wilderness area’, but it suits Goobagandra perfectly.
We saw yonder pine trees and approached;
There we found remnants of an old home, and new barbeques. And also! This excellent chair!
Anneque, Jarl of Boots!
A little further into the Goobagandra Wilderness, there are these wonderful rock mountains, the trees surrounded obviously heavily impacted by the heavy storms in 2011;
After exploring this part, we headed back down the mountain. I gave Black Perry (the rock) the nod; next time, my pet, I will climb you. Then it was down Talbingo Mountain. The guy in the 4WD ahead of us had the good graces to ride his brakes for the first four kilometres down the slope, forcing me to do likewise. When we stopped at roadwork halfway down the very steep, very winding mountain, smoke was pouring out of my front driver’s side tyre. The brake pads had heated up enough that the dust on them caught alight. Whoopee! I let the car cool down for a few minutes, then descended the rest of the mountain with gears alone.
High country! We will be back! With toboggans!