Yesterday we spent another five hours in the car. I feel as though I know the road to Mansfield like the back of my hand. Yet it’s amazing the things you can miss along the way. Like these very cute bales of hay in a roadside paddock.
When we picked up Tash she was exhausted from the physical work of the weekend. She was also battling a cold, however she was in very high spirits. Perhaps because she’d spent the last twenty four hours doing the things she loves most in the world: looking after horses, camping, horse riding and living and breathing the mountain air in the high country with like-minded people.
The sky looks clear here but the previous night a storm lashed through Melbourne. Strong wind, thunder, lightning and heavy rain pelted much of Victoria. This photo she took below shows ominous storm clouds gathering over the ranges. We were concerned for her and the group but fortunately their camp was in a protected valley and they had the added bonus of a hut.
The following morning dawned clear and the group was able to ride to the spot where The Man from Snowy River made his famous descent.
“There was movement at the station for the word had got around that the colt from old Regret had got away. It was worth a thousand pounds …”
And so Banjo Patterson’s legendary poem goes on …
“When they reached the mountain’s summit, even Clancy took a pull,
It well might make the boldest hold their breath,
The wild hop scrub grew thickly, and the hidden ground was full
Of wombat holes, and any slip was death.
But the man from Snowy River let the pony have his head,
And he swung his stockwhip round and gave a cheer,
And he raced him down the mountain like a torrent down its bed,
While the others stood and watched in very fear.
He sent the flint stones flying, but the pony kept his feet,
He cleared the fallen timber in his stride,
And the man from Snowy River never shifted in his seat —
It was grand to see that mountain horseman ride.
Through the stringy barks and saplings, on the rough and broken ground,
Down the hillside at a racing pace he went;
And he never drew the bridle till he landed safe and sound,
At the bottom of that terrible descent…”
There’s little doubt the ride down the mountain for the trail riding group was far less dangerous and adrenalin charged than the ride by The Man from Snowy River. But I’ve also no doubt the group wouldn’t have had it any other way.
After all, they had far more time to enjoy all the spectacular mountain views.