The hut in the morning and surroundings:
This morning is a cold one. I had to wake up at night because one toe was getting numb. I need to do a better job at closing my sleeping bag (it has an opening near my feet for when it’s too warm). It’s breakfast time and I light up a fire in the hut’s fireplace but I’m out of water so I need to ride my bike back down the hill. My fingers are really cold and plunging my hands in the near freezing water and waiting long minutes for the purification process to go through, gets me dizzy. I’m just too cold. I rush back to the hut.
I’m taking my time this morning as I expect an easy ride. With an option to stop at Happy Hut or to continue all the way to Providence Portal near Lake Euceumbene. Once the sun is up, I can finally pack up my almost dry gear. I get on the ride and almost reach an altitude of 1,700m, the highest peak on the Bicentennial National Trail. I think: this is it, it’s all over, bye bye mountains. Somehow know I’m lying to myself. There will be something hard coming up soon, there always is.
I’m going downhill to 1,200m. That is not good, they will go up again. I ride past a dam, part of the hydroelectric system of the Snowy Mountains, then the climb starts on a gravel road. It’s a slow progress and I have no energy.
Travelling out of the gorge:
This should be an easy one, and I’m struggling big time. The gravel makes it even more annoying, it’s too big and not suitable for a bike.
I must say though the scenery is amazing. I’m going through a gorge that is just splendid and unseen so far on this trail. Once I make it out of the gorge, I notice how tired I am. A small snack does not do the job. I have to keep going.
The scenery changes completely. I find it resembles parts of Brittany or Scotland. This network of small creeks covered with grass is a beauty. This is one of those days where I feel like I’m going through a different country every two hours.
I attempt to record a video of me riding in the grass and fall over. It had to happen. This is the most comfortable fall ever. Better than falling on a bed, the grass is so soft and comfy. A minute after I remember this is snake territory and I got to walk away and watch my steps.
After I while I make it to the turn off to Happy Hut. I can head to the hut and enjoy an afternoon of isolation in this magical landscape or I get head to Providence Portal where I can have a shower at the Caravan park and prepare the weekend. I’ve got a visitor for the Easter long weekend and I’ve decided to take 4 days off the bike. Decision is made, I prefer to head to the Caravan park. More work now, but I’ll be able to fully rest once I’m there.
I make it to Lake Euceumbene. Once again the landscape has changed. I haven’t made the pre trip arrangement to find out if the lake is covering the trail. I didn’t call whoever I was suppose to call but I trust my instinct, it will be fine. Just a small River crossing at the top of the lake and I reach Denison campsite. There is no facility here and I ask a retired couple what they think of the nearby Caravan Park. They don’t know much about it but offer me a cup of tea and we spend some time chatting. Originally from Holland, but farm owners in Queensland, they are just starting to enjoy their retirement. They drive this campervan around and still love to ride their bicycle around.
Arriving at Lake Euceumbene:
I push another 3kms uphill to the Caravan park. I’m so slow, it is sad to struggle this way. At the campsite, I’m soon in the tent after an early dinner and I get a long and warm night sleep. That was much needed. I just heard though the lodge next door my have rooms available. Luckily they have vacancy. Tomorrow I’m checking in a bedroom with an ensuite bathroom, so much luxury.
Distance: 52.5 km
Moving Time: 4:46
Stopped Time: 2:24
Min Elevation: 1154m
Max Elevation: 1664m
Summary Omeo – Providence Portal
- Distance: 340km
- Ascent: 11,827m
- Descent: 11,152
- Min Elevation: 292m
- Max Elevation: 1664m
Summary Healseville – Providence Portal
- Distance: 914 km
- Ascent: 35,647
- Descent: 34,754