I left camp at about 7:30. The storm hadn't rained itself out, but the rain
was quite light and I felt that it might stop before long. Still, I wore
my raincoat and booties. There was a nice 10km climb out from the base of
the dam where they are re-aligning the road. At the bottom, while waiting
for the traffic lights around the road work, I took off the raincoat. By the
top, I had put it back on again as the rain has come back more heavily.
View from East Jindabyne
Road to Rocky Plains
Morning tea was at the disused Rocky Plains school, which consisted of
a single school room, a play shelter and an outside toilet. It appeared
to be in the middle of nowhere - flat empty land for miles around - and
reminded me a lot of the original Wilson's Creek school in its style.
After morning tea, the land was more undulating and the rain grew more
steadily. We had lunch in Berridale where I caught up with Ed and Glen
from last year. Ed looked a bit like he was doing it tough. It was good
to sit for a while as my bum was getting sore. Maybe more pre-ride
training would have been a good idea.
Morning tea at Rocky Plains school
I finally got to Dalgety before 1pm. The town basically consists of a
single block with the pub at one corner and the show-ground diagonally
opposite, nestled against the Snowy River. The road running from the
pub past the show-ground crosses the river on the historic Dalgety
Bridge, erected in 1888. The trees along the street remind me strongly
of the property which used to belong to my great uncle and aunt -
Clarrie and Sal - near Tenterfield.
Buckleys Crossing Hotel
The Snowy River upstream from the crossing has a weir producing a nice
looking little dam. They even have a small beach with surf lifesaving
flags. If the weather had been nice it would have been a great little
place to swim. Each year the town also hosts a
there were girls on horseback handing out leaflets for it.
I grabbed a camping spot under the shelter of a few pine trees as it was
obvious that the rain had set in. The main camp was in the middle of the
show-ground and looking very bedraggled. I wandered up to the pub and found
James from last year and a few others, and joined them in a few beers. Then
I wandered up the road where there was the rumour of a great steak sandwich
available at the town shop/post-office.
View from the tent
The rumour was correct; I had a steak sandwich followed by a sausage
sandwich. That almost killed my appetite for dinner which was in really
heavy rain. I think most people stayed in the pub and had whatever was on
offer there. There was a guitar player in Cafe Big (name change from last
year) who persisted in singing all the songs he knew about sunshine and
rain. It was a bit annoying at first, but he was a good player and the the
fact that he was out there with us counted for something as well. There was
definitely a 70's feel: Doobies, Dragon, James Taylor etc. By the time
the briefing came around we were all quite enjoying his show.
The briefing was moved into the memorial hall up the road as it was dry.
By this stage I had decided that wearing jeans, long sleeve shirt, jumper,
raincoat, shoes and a beanie was a good idea. The hall was filled with the
smell of wet stinky people - sort of like wet dog but more familiar. As
soon as possible afterwards I trekked back across to camp, which had become
a sort of bog in places, and had an early night - trying to keep my wet
clothes as separate as possible from everything else in a small tent.
Music tonight is the soundtrack from Donnie Darko.
In the morning, they apparently had to haul a truck out through the mud, as
everything had become slightly bogged.