Thru Hiking the Lavender Federation Trail – Sept 2018 – Page 6

15 September – Webb Gap to Point Pass 16 km

The improvement didn’t come and by first light I was ready to get off the mountain and save my tent from more stress. Another shower of rain passed then it was time to move. Emerging from the tent it was cold and the gale force wind was still blowing. Breaking camp was done carefully to ensure that none of our gear was blown away. Tents had to be folded away further down the range where the wind wasn’t quite so frantic.

Thermals, trousers, jumper and down puffer were required this morning and I was still cold! We moved off the top of the range just after 7am. The effect was immediate with a relenting of the wind but not much change in the temperature. We started walking through the Peppermint Springs station with the most numerous stock being mobs of kangaroos. The trail followed a steep creek bed down to the main house of Peppermint Springs station. We slowly shed some of our clothing as the day went from frigid to just very cold but could never escape the howling wind which kept finding us all day.

A short easy climb through lightly timbered fields brought us to the top of the Bluff Range with excellent views down to the valley below where Robertstown could be seen in the distance. Along the top of the Bluff Range the trail took us. The wind up there was ridiculous, coming in strong and fast from the SW into our faces and constantly blowing us sideways. We reached Inspiration Point and had a rest to admire the view of the wide valley below then walked another 4km along the ridge top, seeming to get no cover from the winds howling off the Tothill Range.

A spur trail left the main trail to take walkers into Point Pass. There was no accommodation at Point Pass but the pub was said to be still open and that was good enough for us. At this point a glance to the SW told me to get ready for rain. I fitted my pack cover and wriggled into my raincoat as the rain and hail hit us. Alan and I found shelter behind a couple of gum trees but Roger, out in the open on the trail 500 m back, got hammered!

The trail down to the valley floor was steep. At the end of it we passed a car graveyard then turned onto Stock Route Road which took us into Point Pass. Its a sleepy little village with only one business, the pub. We clustered around the fire in the pub and tried unsuccessfully to contact Di, who looks after the oval in town. The afternoon wore on and we settled into the pub talking with Kelley, the barmaid and Mark, a grape pruner who bemoaned the fact that overseas workers are now brought in to prune grapes. Mark had a wealth of funny stories to tell, a real bush raconteur!

Its a small town and word got around that we were in town. Di turned up to take us to the nearby oval where she opened a room for us to sleep in, turned the power on and cleaned the mens toilets. Thanks Di! On the way to the pub for dinner we toured the town which didn’t take long as it is not much more than a one street town, but does have some beautiful buildings including the Manse. The meals at the pub were terrific and we walked back to the oval at 8pm in the deep freeze.