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Over the River and Through the Mountains

blog-0196247001396214827.jpgFor a week we’ve been following the Murray River east from Adelaide toward the Great Dividing Range, the mountains which feed the headwaters of the Murray. The Murray also is the boundary between the state of Victoria and the state of New South Wales. Thus we’ve been exploring both the northern part of Victoria and seeing the territory of New South Wales across the river. As we leave Wodonga we are headed east into the Snowy Mountains, part of the Great Dividing Range. Historically, this range of mountains impeded migration of people into the central part of Australia. Today the mountains still present challenges to travelers.

Near the town of Carryong we crossed the Murray. We stopped at a scenic view point which overlooked the wide valley of the Murray River. The flooding river had resulted in moving an entire town out of the valley and the outlines of building foundations were still evident in the exposed flood plain of the river. We visited with a man who stopped at the site. He was a train engineer who had operated the trains on the route into the mountains for many years. He told us about the village. He also spoke of the rail line which now is a bicycle trail. He has ridden the entire route of the bicycle trail many times and looks forward to the day when two trestles are converted for the bike trail.

From the viewpoint, we begin our climb into the mountains. We have chosen a little traveled route which will take us to the highest town in Australia. Cabramurra is a company town for the electric company which runs five dams and power plants on tributaries of the Murray River. We saw the dams and reservoirs on our drive into the mountains but the power plants are all built underground. Near the town of Cabramurra we saw one of the tremendous power switching and transformer yards that supported this huge operation. From there we descended on the east side of the Snowy Mountains into the valley of the Snowy River.

Travel through the mountains was slow and we emerged from the highest elevations in the late afternoon. We decided to stop for the night after seeing a wombat and kangaroo, both live and both near the road. Pulling into the first park that we came to, we made camp for the night. This was not a franchise park and it condition showed it. The owners were friendly and they even had complementary internet, a welcome change from many of the parks we’ve visited up to this time.


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