On a beautiful late summer evening, over 35 riders travelled from different parts of the High Country Rail Trail to converge on Ludlows Reserve. Awaiting the riders and volunteers was a chicken and salad picnic on the grass overlooking the every receding Lake Hume. It was a magic night – clear sky, warm and just a gentle breeze – made to order.
The occasion was to celebrate the completion of the Bonegilla boardwalk across the Kiewa River flood plain and the resurfacing of the trail between Huon and Ludlows reserves.
The next event on the High Country Rail Trail is the ‘Whistle Stop High Tea’ – Huon to Tallangatta for hot food and then back to Huon with a traditional ‘High Tea’ at the Sandy Creek Inlet Bridge – Saturday May 21st
Hume Weir has almost disappeared but this year it has been a slow receding of the water. Rain falling every 2 weeks or so – the valley has under these weather conditions become a vivid green and we still have lots of large ponds of water. Birds abound and the honking of the swans is the morning chorus that greets the dogs and I on our walk. Last year it disappeared quickly, leaving a muddy valley and after a week or so a covering of green that then dried to the usual Aussie summer brown. Lovely in its way but this year it is beautiful. With the Mitta Mitta River meandering though the lush green. When you get down into the valley it consists of many varied species of grasses and herbaceous plants and also some very nasty burrs ready to dry and attach themselves to the dog fur – so we will be sticking to the tracks in the future.
Guests at the Tallangatta Redgum Bed and Breakfast Dr Bob and Annie Cvetkovic have shared some amazing photos taken around Lake Hume , my garden and the house and native flowers on their walk to Conic Rocks.
I was away for a week and when I returned our weir water had gone and then to add insult to our lack of water – I was at a wedding at Wahgunyah and there it all was flowing in great amounts down the Murray to our irrigation farmers and Adelaide.
The landscape has changed and we now have to patiently wait for the end of the irrigation season, the Hume Weir gates to close and the winter rain to come – for the Lake to refill.
The Mitta Mitta River is back in full view and flowing rapidly to the Murray.
In two weeks a soft green canopy of grass will cover the mud and yet again the landscape will change to one of green river flats dotted by the skeletons of river red gums, logs, sandy drifts and fishermen dotted along the Mitta Mitta River.
I love autumn, the summer switch just suddenly turned off and the gentle autumn sun is a delight to enjoy as I sit on the terrace having a meal, reading quietly or watching the parrots, honey eaters and the sparrows come and enjoy a bath. So if you are heading this way for a visit don’t expect the big vista of water but instead a valley as it was 60 odd years ago without the green trees.
Last time I worked in the hospitality industry was when I was 18 and I spent a large amount of time each day washing dishes at the Sorento pub for very little money, no tips but lots of fun at the end of the night with my fellow live-in student workers. That’s another job replaced by technology!
My latest hospitality venture has proved more successful than I imagined. I expected a couple of weekends a month to be booked. Weekdays never. I got it so wrong.
My guests have been from all states except for WA and NT so far.
Visiting elderly parents
Elderly parents celebrating 50+ years of marriage
Contract workers in Tallangatta for a job for 3 – 5 days
Tourists taking the scenic routes from Canberra, Gippsland, South Coast NSW and Sydney.
Bike riders on the HCRT desperate for a bed (I lent my RV as my room was booked, as was every other bed in town was, this has happened twice!)
Wedding guests and so on…..
The best part of this whole exercise has been meeting such lovely, friendly people, many of whom go out of their way to say thank you and goodbye This side of the experience I did not expect but am very grateful for.