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Really, the story of today is all about the ride from Wolgal Hut to Cabramurra.

Start – Stop: Wolgal Hut – Khancoban

Distance: 52.9 mi.

Elevation Gain: 5073 ft.

Riding Time: 6:13:49

Time Awake Spent in Pursuit of The Trip, Roughly: 8:00:00

Weather: Exceedingly pleasant. I’d guess somewhere in the high-70s, which is like mid-20s or something for the un-Americans out there.

Day 06 Objectives & Points of Interest

  1. Survive the night in Wolgal Hut.
  2. Ride to Cabramurra for breakfast.
  3. Descend to Khancoban.
  4. Make the climb to Thredbo.
  5. Stay the night in Thredbo.

Five Similes to Describe the 20km from Wolgal Hut to Cabramurra

  1. Like traveling across the Atlantic on the Mayflower with dysentery.
  2. Like sitting through a dentist appointment where your dentist is that Nazi from the movie The Running Man.
  3. Like watching a kettle, waiting for it to boil.
  4. Like taking a number at the DMV.
  5. Like waiting for the next season of Game of Thrones to premiere.

A Brief Timeline of the Ride from Wolgal Hut to Khancoban

  1. 5:00am: Awake, in bed, freaked out.
  2. 6:00am: Awake, in bed, freaked out.
  3. 7:00am: Awake, in bed, freaked out.
  4. 8:00am: By this point Lachlan, Daniel, and Kyle have concluded that this hut is most definitely haunted. Probably by a spiritual mixture of cursed gold miners and pissed off aboriginals. Kevin Franks however slept soundly.
  5. 8:36am: It’s only 20km to Cabramurra, the closest place to get food. Only 20km.
  6. 9:17am: Only 20km? Really?
  7. 9:45am: Fuck me this in only 20km. This is a sneaky sneaky 20km.
  8. 9:57am: Lachlan and Kyle arrive at Cabramurra and commence eating breakfast sandwiches at 1488 Bistro.
  9. 10:10am: Kevin and Daniel arrive at Cabramurra and order breakfast sandwiches. How was that 20km?
  10. 10:11am: The ride to Cabramurra was supposed to be easy. It wasn’t.
  11. 11:46am: Depart from Cabramurra and descend. But this is a bad feeling descent, you know the kind that is always followed by a really steep ascent.
  12. 12:47pm: We start the really steep ascent. It’s already very very hot.
  13. 12:48pm: This is the ground zero Snowy River Scheme territory.
  14. 1:30pm: We’ve hit a solid descent and we’re tumbling down the mountain towards Khancoban.
  15. 2:15pm: Still descending Daniel cracks something on the road and burps his tire. So much for tubeless.
  16. 3:05pm: New tube installed and we’re descending once more.
  17. 4:15pm: We roll into Khancoban.
  18. 4:16pm: Over banana smoothies and espresso drinks we discuss continuing as planned towards Threadbo. Lachlan notes that the climb to Threadbo is arduous even on a non-loaded bike. Even as a paid professional road rider. Even when that’s the only section you have to ride in a day.
  19. 4:20pm: After mulling over our options it’s decided that we’ll stay in Khancoban for the night and reroute along the Murray River in the morning.
  20. 4:55pm: They’ve got a pool. We use it. Additionally we’ve got a guarantee from the front desk that this pool is Rockfish free.
  21. 6:15pm: Dinner in the pub. Turns out they have wide selection of Parmi flavors. Including Mexican, Hawaiian, Irish, Italian, Thai, and Regular.
  22. 6:47pm: The cafe owner/barista from early in the day enters the scene. She’s brought her own pool cue and she along with a gaggle of gals proceed to run the table.
  23. 7:03pm: THIS PUB IS GOING OFF!
  24. 7:04pm: A group of about 30 bikers (as in motorbikes, as in hogs, as in Sons of Anarchy but in dentist/dad kinda way) is ratcheting up the energy in this place. Turns out one of them has a birthday.
  25. 8:12pm: Neither a brawl nor a feat of strength has happened or has been hinted at. This party is boring. Our crew returns to our rooms.

Communication is a KEY component to an effective and efficient investigation of a culture. In order to 1) understand what people are saying, 2) fit in, 3) keep your foot out of your mouth11You won’t make the mistake of telling your wife you’re looking forward to sharing a coupla sluzzas with friends after dinner because you assumed a sluzza was a mixed ice drink not unlike a blended margarita., and 4) demonstrate respect via a willingness and excitement to learn, Yonder Journal collaborated with a team of Australian Linguists and Cultural Anthropologists to create an interactive glossary module of common expressions. Especially those which we’d be likely to hear and/or use in the context of a Normcore Bicycle Tour in the Australian In-and-Outback.

PARMI: an abbreviation of ‘parmigiana’; quintessential Australian Pub fare. A Parmi is a crumbed schnitzel, usually chicken (or beef or Veal) topped in napolitana sauce, mozzarella cheese and (often) ham.

The “Descent” Into Cabramurra

We survived. But the night left its scars.
Kevin was the only one unaffected by the haunting. We think it's because he's a daily yoga practitioner and is therefore really centered and aligned. Ghosts know there is no use even trying to haunt that kind of balance.
Kyle is wearing his talisman garment in the hopes that he'll be able to ward off evil, or at least low-energy, spirits for the remainder of the trip.
Thus begins a VERY sneaky 20 kilometers.
Oh, it snows up here. Sometimes to heights taller than a man! You wouldn't think it on this day, though.
Our first real taste of the Snowy Mountains Scheme. With a name like that, you know someone's getting ripped off.

Cabramurra

Cabramurra is the highest permanently inhabited settlement in all of Australia. Yeah, we rode there. No bigs.
Bistro 1488, WE LOVE YOU!
TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY TOO EASY
Mmmm... Bistro 1488.
PRO
AM

Khancoban

Neat little hospitality touch.
Kevin, "Do you guys like the movie Top Gun?" Lachlan, "Huh? Sorry, I've just been staring at the sun. It's like a drug man."
For those who don't know, this is the butterfly stroke executed to perfection and caught in its most beautiful moment.
Feet, if you're into that sort of thing.

Brief Histories: The Snowy Mountains

By Dr. Dale Power

The Snowy Mountains are the highest mountain range in Australia. The range also contains the five highest peaks on the Australian mainland (including Mount Kosciuszko), all of which are above 2,100 m (6,890 ft). It’s common for snow to fall in these mountains and there are a number of ski resorts. Getting SIQ in the Australian snow is common occurrence.

The first European to explore the area was Polish explorer Paul Edmond Strzelecki. Mt. Kosciusko, at 7,310 feet above sea level, is the tallest point in Australia, and was named by Strzelecki in 1840 after the Kosciusko Mound in Krakow (named after the Polish patriot Andrzej Tadeusz Bonawentura Kościuszko, who led a failed uprising against Imperial Russia and the Kingdom of Prussia in 1794). It’s said that Strzelecki thought that the mountain resembled the hill in Krakow. Which is true, it has a mound shape, but this armchair historical-psychologist thinks that Strzelecki was more than just slightly enamored with the brave and romantic idea of the patriot in question. I mean there are SO many mounds in the world, even in the 19th century mounds abounded.

The range is noted for its mountain plum-pine, a conifer that an eager Wikipedia author claims is suspected of being the world’s oldest living plant. Yep, nope this is total bullshit. This is exactly why you can’t trust everything you read on the internet. For instance everyone knows that the Bristlecone Pines found in California have been found to live over 5,000 years, so maybe the 600 years thing, although impressive, isn’t really that big of deal? Especially if you consider that American Raccoons can live to be over 120 years old. Also for instance, if you follow the citation on Wikipedia you can see that it doesn’t even claim anything of the sort. We don’t know how to use Wikipedia though, so maybe one of you all can fix it.

Early explorers were followed by stockmen who grazed their cattle in the fertile grass of these high elevations during the summer months. Have you seen The Man from Snowy River? You should, it’s great. It’s based on a famous poem called, go figure, “The Man from Snowy River” about the rugged high country stockmen by noted Australian poet Banjo Paterson. So there’s this amazing part in the movie when “The Man” drives his horse over a sheer cliff edge in pursuit of a prize stallion gone feral. It’s the property of the area’s rich landowner and “The Man” is out to not only prove his skill and tenacity but also win the heart of the rich landowner’s beautiful daughter. It’s wonderfully romantic. This plunge is accompanied by wonderful French Horn blast set against a rousing score.

In fact the stallion from “The Man from Snowy River” had taken up with a mob of brumbies, Australia’s free-roaming feral horses (in the States we call them Mustangs). Brumbies can be found in many areas around the country, but they’re are most commonly identified with the Australian Alps/Snow Mountains. Today, most of them are found in the Northern Territory, with the second largest population in Queensland.

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