Before we could leave Wagga Wagga, Sue had some clothes shopping to do. It was by way of replacement actually, as she had discovered the two quality tops she had bought with her, had disappeared. Upon reflection, the most likely theft scenario wasfrom the washing lines at Adelaide.
After an hour of browsing, two new tops were selected, but the ensuing time allowed the boys and I to make some purchases from the sports store. Chris walked away with a batting helmet, myself a set of batting gloves and we also had a practice ball between the three of us. As Sarah had broadened her wardrobe with two, new pair of pants and a top during a visit to the shops on the previous afternoon, we had all exercised our consumerism during the previous 24 hours.
We returned to the cabin for the trailer and pulled away from Wagga Wagga with an enhanced view over that which we held from our Victorian Trip. On that occasion, we had been jostled and hassled when shopping in the last rush before Christmas Day, so it was good to see not all episodes in this large rural city of 56 000 people had to be negative.
The Hume Highway - the main north I south road between Sydney and Melbourne - was reached quickly, as it is slightly less than 50kms east of Wagga Wagga and shortly after, we were turning onto the Snowy Mountains Highway. From here, we travelled through a succession of towns which my sister Jenny and her husband Doug had lived in since their move south from Uralla.
Approximately 80kms past Tumut, we reached the Yarrangobilly River and the small flat which hosted the village of Yarrangobilly up until the early 1970's. All that remains now is Cotterill Cottage, which served as the post office from 1905 until 1970. The area is owned and operated by the National Parks and is part of Kosciusko NP. Picnic tables and pit toilets have been set up here for campers and sitting eating lunch. Sue and I reminisced about our previous visit here, sixteen years ago. We had camped on the flats here, when it was in its fledgling days as a National Park and had marvelled at the cold, clear water and the quiet. The other strong memory was the millions of flies which descended on us. Thankfully, no remnants bothered us during our lunch.
The river was flowing strongly, no doubt fuelled by spring melt from the snow and we watched as a
canoeist set off from nearby.
After lunch, we passed Talbingo and climbed the long , steep hill leading away from it. This was the
steepest assignment the Futura had encounteredfor the trip and one could watch the fuel gauge dropping as it pulled up the hill in third gear, dragging its heavy load with it.
Mt Selwyn was virtually devoid of snow - unusual for this time of year - only small pockets of melting snow remaining on some of the protected hill sides. At one of these, we stopped and clambered out to throw snow balls and pretend we were snow bunnies. The transition from desert sands to mountain snows was dramatic on our consciousness.
Adaminaby passed us by and we reached J&D's current home, at Cooma, by mid afternoon. We found Jen in bras and panties at Grace Brothers - a statement reflecting where she works, not how she was dressed !
After a short chat, we removed ourselves and settled in at their home.
The ensuing evening was one of family fun - Kirsten and Andrew and their cute littlies, Campbell and Jossey; Jeremy and friend Sonia; Jenny and Doug; and our troops. It was a busy, noisy place to be, but one which had a great deal offamiliarity to my formative years. There was a casual and relaxed atmosphere of sharing and caring which is part of the legacy Gog and Pa have created.