Week 50 – 51 – A final hoorah and a family Christmas

So we needed a way to finish off our exciting adventure and the Victorian High Country was calling. With the ‘campanionship’ of the Meandering Middos and a couple of extra Middo family members we hit the road again.

The first stop was Bright where we had to partake in a Bright Brewery Beer while waiting for the Middos to meet us there. There is nothing like a freshly brewed beer on a hot summers day.

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Beer for us, passionfruit drink for the kids!

Our aim for the first day was to reach a camping spot where we could tackle the Blue Rag Range Track up near Mt Hotham. Despite the initial hesitation due to the road being not suitable for vehicles over 6.7 metres in length and unsuitable for caravans, we drove down the Dargo Plains Road. The site we found was beautiful and peaceful and had provisions for a fire. It is defiantly as special place up in the high country with awesome views, clear skies, beautiful flora and occasionally you get to see some wildlife. And given the cooler temperatures the fire was a welcome treat that first night.

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Road caution…nah, let’s drive it anyway!

The next day we prepared to drive the Blue Rag Range Track. With lunch packed and the camera charged we set out. It was an amazing drive up and over steep hills, along ridge lines and down to the Wongungarra River.

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Blue Rag Range Track start
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A long drive down, then up, then down, then up
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The kids having fun posing for the track sign shot
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Water crossing at the top of the track

At the river the kids had a ball playing in the freezing mountain water while the sensible adults watched. The Middos set us up to take some fabulous drone footage at the Trig Point along the track (see the Meandering Middos facebook page). There was even their unbelievable trick of losing connection with the drone and crashing it through our car window and landing it on the dash, all while we were moving. It was the scariest and funniest moment of the drive, and I don’t think it would be possible to replicate it ever.

Another chilly night and a slow pack up day saw us heading down the road to visit the well known Dargo Pub. With free camping out the back of the pub on the Dargo River it was the perfect place to pull up. The kids were almost straight into the river for a swim thanks to a rope swing. Dinner, obviously, was at the pub and was pretty welcome, as were the beers.

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Iconic pub shot
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crazy kids

The next morning was pretty dusty so the plans for doing another track were soon quashed. We checked out Black snake campsite and drove down to Riley Creek where the kids tried their hand at skimming stones, before heading back to Benalla.

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Skimming stones with some success
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Awwwww, butter wouldn’t melt

This year we thought that we were going to have a quiet remote Christmas period, which was not the case. First was Craig’s extended family Christmas get together, with too much fun and food. Always great to catch up with the family. Next was a mini Christmas with Uncle Julian, Karlea, Cousin Sophie, Holly and Connor. A great excuse to open pressies early! My folks came down from Canberra and we spent Christmas Eve checking out the awesome silo art at Goorambat and Devenish. Christmas Day was a relaxing day of eating, drinking and spending time with family and friends.

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Could he be any more excited about his gift?
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Glorious books for Lily
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Silo art at Goorambat
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Mural of ‘Sophia’ at the Devenish Uniting Church
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Three generation selfie at Devenish silo
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Christmas day lunch

We were lucky to be invited to spend time with the Middo’s again down at Hume Weir for some knee-boarding and ‘biscuit’ riding. The kids were in seventh heaven, with Lily knee-boarding for the first time (successfully) and Campbell coming a cropper on the biscuit and loving it. Big thanks to Josh for driving the boat and Steve for teachin Lily to stay on the board. Even Craig had a go at knee-boarding and I went on the biscuit with Lily.

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Campbell in the bright yellow life jacket
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Lily carving it up in yellow

So with our last pack up came the last official day of our amazing 2018 adventure driving around this big brown land of ours. The whole family is both saddened with the end of the trip but also excited about moving back into a house with indoor plumbing. We have met so many awesome people and families that we’ll be catching up with in the future (be warned!) and have seen and experienced some amazing things. A big thank you to all those whole helped us to complete this trip and made it special.

Now back to reality…moving day…and that is it…we are home!

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Moving day all completed in 24 hours!

 

 

 

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