Thru Hiking the Lavender Federation Trail – Sept 2018 – Page 16

26 September Mt Beevor to Preamimma 25 km

The summit of Mt Beevor was windy and cold as we crossed it this morning and headed along the straight fence line towards the Murray River. The day soon warmed as we crossed paddocks with cattle and a couple of large dams. We descended the steep gully down Pyms Road then climbed steeply along Range Road to a high plateau.

Range Road went through a property “Butterfly Retreat” where a beagle was having a lovely snooze in the sun. He stirred and made a half hearted attempt to follow me but I soon left him behind. We followed Range Road for a few kilometres then the trail branched off following some broken down fences through private property. I stopped for Roger to catch up and soon found that he was being pursued by the beagle, who I had mentally dubbed, Benny. We climbed over a couple of fences and felt sure that we had seen the last of Benny but he always found a way through and bounded up to us with a wagging tail and a smile on his face – Benny was having a great day out! No amount of harsh or threatening language or actions affected him – it was all part of the game.

For the next 4km we passed creeks , dams and boulder strewn hills. Benny ignored the sheep and kangaroos but ranged far and wide, swimming in a dam, climbing hills and always keeping an eye on where we were. Climbing out of Gum Gully we found a farmer and explained that the dog wasn’t ours. He didn’t seem worried about Benny but was more concerned about activists who had found evidence of Aboriginal rock art on his property. The trail continued past the farm station house, then climbed a stile and headed up a gorge. We watched anxiously as Benny had three fences between us and him – surely he can’t get through that maze! He quickly found his way under the first fence and sauntered through the paddock to the next fence. Zap! -an electric fence which his nose must have touched because he shot off like a greyhound across the paddock, under the fence and up the hill behind. He was last seen travelling at a speed I wouldn’t have thought him possible of, over the top of a hill, and heading in the direction of his home. Bennys big day out was over.

Along Long Spring Gully Creek the trail was overgrown and boggy in parts, rocky in others but the creek had water in it. We followed this winding waterway for several kilometres before turning onto a road where a rusty old FJ ute marked the entrance to a property.

Our aim was to find a water tank which we had read about near Trevellan Park Station. We found the cluster of broken down farm buildings and machinery where the water tank once was, but it was long gone. Suddenly water became an issue. Since leaving Long Spring Gully Creek, the landscape had changed to almost semi desert with very little grass. Creeks were now bone dry, the temperature seemed to have jumped and the heat was reflecting off the track up to us.

Our new plan was to make for Preamimma Creek and if it was dry to ask for water at the nearby station. On the way to the creek we passed the old Preamimma gold and copper mine with its 12 metre chimney dating back to the 1860s. Preamimma Creek was dry so we downed packs and headed up to the beautiful stone building of Preamimma Station. The owners could not have been more helpful and allowed us to fill our water bags and to camp on their property, in a copse of pine trees.

In the later afternoon, as if to reinforce that we had walked into a different climate zone, we watched as the only snake we had seen on the whole hike, a black snake, wriggled under Rogers tent.