Well I have to say that I was very happy to see Collinsville and have the last week over and done with. This was probably the hardest week we have had on the trail, and it didn’t have anything to do with the level of difficulty of the terrain.
We set off over the Burdekin Dam wall with our new pack on Tuesday morning. It was quite an experience to be on horseback with gushing water and a huge cement structure that was holding all that water back. We arrived at camp after 35 km to find that our pack was not working like we had hoped and after some discussion, Gavin agreed to pull his caravan over to Collinsville to get us through. Once that decision was made, I sat down with out maps and condensed 5 days down into 3 days. The cows at this camp were very curious and I had 100 weaners watching me plan our next part of the trip.
The scenery was beautiful which helped us through our long days of riding. A highlight was riding down the leichardt range where we found the old road which had been cemented in two tracks it was that steep. The views were lovely and you could see for miles.
The temperature has started to drop … It has been cool at night with the lowest we have read being 4, despite the closest homestead reporting -1 degree.
The last stop before collinsville was at strathmore station where we camped at the homestead and listened to stories of willygoat, the resident billy goat who had decided that while I had food in my hand, I was his best friend. He was found in the yards with the cattle after a muster. He seemed tame so was loaded onto the back of the Ute and has taken up residency looking after poddy calves at the homestead.
There was not a lot of feed in some parts of this section so back up fromGav was again very appreciated by both us and the horses as he was able to carry feed for them.
We made it to collinsville very tired and sore, but were welcomed to the pony club grounds with open arms, which we greatly appreciate. After a million ideas and a lot of advice, we have managed to sort out a new pack saddle which will make it here in 2-3 weeks, so until then we wait here. I think the forced rest has come at a good time and the horses and the both of us will be ready to go after the break. It had been a big week for all involved.
We have hit a new milestone I am happy to say…. Over 1000km complete and 20% of the way!!!! When you break it up like that the end seems attainable:-)
Riding down to the dam wall
Early morning drink stop
Riding down the range
Views from the range