Started writing Wed 7/1/08
(Those parenthetical comments do indeed refer to photos, which are yet to be uploaded. Will edit soon.)
It has been quite a while, I know - or at least it feels that way. So much has happened. This could be long!
I left the morning of Sunday 28th Dec in good spirits, if underslept. After an extended 'breakfast' session with a friend I found myself travelling south from Penrith late that morning. I was finally 'on the road' and the freedom finally hit me. The freedom not to look at the map also meant it took me a little while to finally join the freeway, which did mean the opportunity to enjoy some local sights - nice if not spectacular.
(01: Railway bridge somewhere between Penrith and the freeway. Possibly Bargo. As you may pick up, I have a thing for railway lines and bridges, so railway bridges are tops.)
Being what it is, nothing much happened on the freeway until I stopped for a late lunch at Yass. Entry to the museum didn't bring much more historical joy than expected, but it did mean an appreciation of the age of the (disused) railway bridge. I pulled in to eat in a park on the other bank of the river that was too good to refuse. It had views of the town and railway bridge, a park through the valley and some sporting fields.
(05d: Yass cricket field: reminded me that my radio was buggered and I didn't know what the score was.)
An hour or two later the freeway had gotten me remarkably tired and I stopped for a breather in Gundagai.
(08b: Gundagai from above: The freeway was raised through this valley for whatever reason.)
Having had quite a slow day, I didn't pull off the highway until just before Albury, where I poked east looking for the Hume Weir. I was by this stage 'driving into the sunset', which bathed the area in a profound palette of fading colour. I love the bush ([whichever that may be]) and its colours, which don't slap you in the face if you aren't looking, but impress whenever eyes are drawn from the road.
(09f: Driving into the Sunset My first action shot: unlike with the bike, it's easy to take photos while moving in the van. The surprise is that a few of them turned out!)
I did find the Hume Weir without much trouble, and while the dam itself failed to rouse much passion, I was fortunate to catch Lake Hume at the best time of day. (It looked here quite full, but [a later trip] up the Murray revealed no more waterflow than on any previous visits.)
(10b: Lake Hume.)
As evening became night, I decided not to bother pushing on to Bright, stopping at a campsite about 50km out, in the Kiewa River/Tawonga valley. With no functioning curtains I was sleeping under the stars in the comfort of my van - a nice way to doze off - though It wasn't until morning that I realised what a picturesque spot I'd picked.
(11b: My van comes with million-dollar views... view across the Kiewa River/Tawonga valley, just south of Dederang.)
So I rose fresh and headed towards finding work: I staked out Myrtleford first, to confirm its suitability as a backup, and for breakfast on the go. Confirmed and eaten I pressed on to Bright and arrived at a reasonable late-morning time to start asking people to employ me. Within the hour I was being shown to my (complimentary) accomodation and around the bar of a hotel that will have as much work as I can handle.
And I have been working non-stop ever since.
jsbaxter.com.au (coming soon!)