Imagine camping at Hall’s Gap not far from the waterfalls. Imagine, you and others have planned a weekend adventure of camping, canoeing, and mountain biking.
One of the others has been camping there before, has told you, and the other stories about it, and everyone agrees it sounds great. He knows a great spot for a campsite, which means you and your friends can leave Friday afternoon. It will be dark when you get there but that won’t matter your friend knows exactly how to get there and exactly where to go and most of you have headlamps, and you’ll have no problem setting up camp quickly.
There’s a reservoir, a waterfall, a mountain lookout, and there are hiking and biking trails
There’s a reservoir, a waterfall, a mountain lookout, hiking, and biking trails, and there’s even a small convenience store a couple of miles down the road. Part of the reservoir has a forest of dead trees making it the perfect place for a game of canoe chasey, you know, “you’re it”. It’s almost summer and the weather looks like it’s going to be great; a little chilly at night but nice and warm during the day. Between you all, you have a bike and a canoe each, two tents, and some great camp cooking gear. There’s nothing like the taste of fried tomato, onion, eggs, sausage, and bacon while camping in the great outdoors.
Okay, so you’re almost there as your little convoy turns off on to a dirt track, and five minutes later you’ve arrived at a secluded spot with plenty of flat dry ground, not far from a creek. Cars are parked out of the way after they are unloaded.
Oh no somebody forgot the coffee gear! “Not to worry”, you tell them, “that convenience store was still open when we passed, hopefully, it’s still open and they have some coffee”. As you jump on a bike, one of your mates calls out “wait up, I’ll come with you”. You take off and feel the wind in your hair. The going is fast and exhilarating. You got your headlamp on and it’s downhill all the way, Paying bo heed to the return trip you guys cruise on down to the store.
The first day
The next day, after a scrumptious breakfast and a vibrant chat over coffee, everyone grabs their swimming gear and a bike and head on up to the waterfall. You’re back on the road, doing some pretty serious hill work, punctuated by hairpin bends. You wish you hadn’t eaten so much for breakfast, but console your self with thoughts of the ride back down. No sign of any traffic, it’s still early.
The narrow path in-off the road is a little hairy, and the water a little cold, but everyone has worked up a pretty good sweat. The waterfall is sending out a lot of spray. “Bombs away!” someone calls as you turn to see Bill flying through the air narrowly missing you and making a huge splash. The laughing stops, as his head goes under. You mutter something under your breath you climb out of the water looking to do the same thing.
On the way back down you decide you’re going to be first back to camp. It’s almost lunchtime and your hungry again. This should be fun. On the first downhill stretch, you pass a car coming the other way. There’s a bend coming up but as you apply the brake you realize it isn’t working. You daren’t touch the front brake. Even worse, there is an oncoming car about to enter the hairpin bend. There’s nothing else to but pick a spot on the earthy pebbly embankment and slam into it. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeoooow bam! Wow! You just beat the oncoming car. Your right thigh has taken damage, and as you tell the driver of the car you just missed, that you should be okay, you have a look at those blasted brakes. Good news, they still partially work. You can still ride but slowly, bleeding all the way. The others ride past laughing. “Huh!”
This is played in and out of the dead trees that the reservoir flooded. First, everyone draws straws to see who will be “it”. Then you all have to agree on a boundary. A boundary that confines the playing area. Then the one who is it moves 25 meters from the edge of the water. Somebody shouts SPAGHETTI, and the chase begins. It’s much more fun being chased than chasing, which is the motivation for the “it”. And then there is the taunting and the laughing and the cursing. When you’re “it’ your job is to chase another boat down and ram them and then they’re “it”. It’s great!
It’s surprising how fast a canoe can go, The last time I went on a canoeing camp next to a reservoir, we paddle vast distances exploring the other side of the lake – excellent fun.
And there is nothing so good as telling stories around a campfire at night. The pack up is not so bad either, because by that time you’re probably ready to go back to the comforts of home.
Those of us who are fortunate enough to enjoy the great outdoors are thoroughly blessed, so spare a thought for those less fortunate. And may you keep in good health.
Good camping and happy trails.
I hope you enjoyed my story and if you have any questions or comments please leave them in the space below. I promise I’ll get back to you.
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For an article on mountain bike tools, click here.
Halls Gap, a town in Victoria, Australia
Halls Gap is a village in Victoria, Australia. It’s a gateway to Grampians National Park, known for its sandstone mountains, wildflowers, and wildlife including echidnas and wallabies. Park trails lead to waterfalls like towering MacKenzie Falls and slender Silverband Falls. The Balconies lookout offers views of the Victoria Range, while Boroka Lookout is perched above Fyans Valley, with glimpses of Lake Bellfield.
Weather: 14 °C, Wind N at 18 km/h, 73% HumidityPostal code: 3381Population: 430 (2016 census)
Satellite image of the Hall’s Gap area
Camping trip into the red center
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