Excerpt From The Wagler’s V.3

img_1477img_1507img_1614img_1755img_1927img_1936img_2018The last couple of weeks have been quite the whirlwind and much has transpired since our last post. Kendall & I were a few days behind Landon and Jess since we didn’t get our vehicle quite as soon as they did. We chose to drive down the coast a bit and our first solo stop was in the quaint whaling town of Eden. We were able to visit their Killer Whale Museum, full of interesting facts and stories, and while there, we viewed whales frolicking in the bay. From Eden we headed to the East Gippsland area where we spent a couple of days exploring and took a walk on the Koala Trail and successfully scouted out 8 bears. One even jumped down right beside us to our shoulder height so we could grab few cute pictures. Since we are only in Australia for 6 months and there is a ridiculous amount of things to see, we’ve had to keep moving and cover a lot of ground. Our plans to travel to the high country were delayed a bit due to expected rain, so we camped at a nice caravan park in Bairnesdale for 3 nights and had a little R&R while gathering supplies. Last Tuesday we headed up to Hotham Heights, a big ski resort, and home to some challenging hikes. We ‘camped’ in a public parking area for the night. I say ‘camped’, but with our new vehicle, we are able to sleep inside on a full bed. We love it so much more than having to set up a tent each night and it allows us to pretty much park anywhere and sleep for a night if need be. Anyways, we had planned to ambitiously hike the Razorback Track to the Peak of Mt. Feathertop which is the second highest peak in the region. Typically it is a 7 hour hike but they suggest people stop for the night, as it is a very tiring hike with lots of up & down areas. Of course I thought we just had to do this hike! We started at about 8:15am and for the first 2 hours we just stared wide-eyed at the incredible beauty we kept coming across. At about hour 3 the screws in my knee began to throb. By the time we reached the climb to the peak, I could barely bend my knees and each step was painful. My only thought at the top was….”Oh, shoot, I still have to go all the way back down!” Needless to say, it was not a smart decision by this girl to try to do that sort of a hike with two bad knees. Thankfully I’m married to this hero of a husband who helped carry my pack on the way down. We survived! It really was a breathtaking hike with some of the most beautiful 360 degree views I’ve ever seen. That evening, since we were so grimy and dirty from the hike we decided against staying another night at our parking lot & headed down to Harrietville. Ok, this is where is gets great! We had planned on only staying in Harrretville for one night, but when we got to the campground, we found out there was a big bluegrass festival that weekend. We ended up staying 4 nights 🙂 So far, Harrretville has been our favourite stop. It’s located in a gorgeous little valley and we met some great great people that weekend. One gentleman especially took it upon himself to befriend us, took us for breakfast and went fishing with my husband for hours, which gave me sufficient time to read books 🙂 Win! That’s what we have come to love about this trip. People always looking out for you and being charitable, hospitable, and just sharing the love with complete strangers. Since Harrrietville we have traveled to the Mt. Buller area & did some serious off road driving up to Craig’s Hut. This stop was especially endearing to me, having grown up watching THE MAN FROM SNOWY RIVER. While the original movie set hut burned down, they rebuilt a close replica and it was so much fun to actually experience what I’ve seen so many times on a movie screen. From Craig’s Hut we headed down to Phillip Island, crossing through exquisite wine, cattle, & sheep country. Unfortunately as I write this from the truck stop we parked at last night, a cold front has moved in and it’s so rainy & gloomy I feel like I’m back in the midwest………We’ll probably stick around for a few days, do some laundry, clean our vehicle, you know, all the REALLY interesting and exciting things about backpacking 🙂
We sign off of this post feeling refreshed, blessed by our time in Harrietville, & excited to explore a new area.
Whether you are single, newly married, married for years…wherever you are in life, if you have an opportunity to travel, do it. If not for the general experience, do it for the people you will meet. We have met people we will always remember just because of the kindness they have shown us…& we hope to always show that same kindness to travellers we encounter when we get back home.

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