Thursday, April 24, 2008

A Cold, Wet Nose Means a Healthy Dog

April 3rd

My nose has been cold for the entire day. I left Jindabyne late, around 9:30 but with a rare and fine breakfast of eggs. As of late, I have not cooked brekki for myself, and in my worn down state I figured I should be at least well-fueled. Yesterday’s forecast was correct, and as I rounded Lake Jindabyne, I could see the Snowy Mountains with a dusting of its namesake. The taller peaks were still crowned with clouds, and I could only assume more snow. I had an epiphany today. I have been riding with the misconception that it’s still the summer in Australia. In fact, it is more like there late fall. This explains the cold nose and red swollen fingers as I write in my bush camp just inside the ACT (Australian Capitol Territory). 40 km from the capitol of Australia - Canberra - my destination. Omeo to Mt. Hotham, and then on to Kosciuszko and Canberra in one week was not bad, especially budgeting 2 days for the bucks party. I was quite miserable today. It was manageable for the first half of the day, but the wind that brought the storm in yesterday (and, as I later found out, uprooted trees, knocked down walls and killed a woman) was still blowing in the clear sun. It was blowing hard enough that it seemed to suck the air from my mouth.

Today I sat at a rest area resting, reading a book and eating some cold lunch. I could not get away from the wind. It howled and made me cold despite the sun. A woman in a yellow car offered me a ride to Canberra, and I said “no, thanks” (rather weakly). I was not thinking that clearly, and the way I said it (despite my attraction to the offer), seemed to offend. I was sad. I really could have used that ride, and my bike seemed to agree. The front tire picked up two goat-heads (first of the trip) just as I was rolling off the grass at the rest area. It seemed to be saying, "Mate, I need a rest, too."

Ah well, we suffered through it, and my whole body hurt. It was mostly downhill on the way to Canberra, but the wind would not let me enjoy it. I was even peddling hard downhill to keep up time. I was so annoyed, and it was not until the last few km that I bothered to notice the beauty of the knobby foothills of the mountains. Now I do, and the birds make their last calls. My bush camp has the remains of a roo it in. It is not the first time I’m glad I’m not in croc country.

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