The Snowy Mountains Loop - Another Good Weekend Away

02 April 2016 / Ken Keeling

To foster inter-Chapter fraternization, our original plans were changed to coincide with Illawarra’s Anti-Freeze Weekend in Jindabyne.  The weather co-operated and 10 cars departed on time for Jugiong from our Hall rendezvous.  Before coffee was complete, the missing three cars had arrived and our full complement of 13 cars departed Jugiong, diverting from the Highway at Coolac to travel via the more interesting by-roads through Darbalara and Brungle to Tumut for lunch by the river. 

At “The Explorers Tree” Tumut River

After lunch, the Snowy Mountains Hwy gave us access into the alpine region and Adaminaby and from there more winding back roads led us to Jindabyne.

Regrouping @ Adaminaby

After settling in to our motel, our Canberra MX5-ers met up at the Banjo Patterson Inn with the Illawarra Group’s 35 people (18 cars) and a convivial evening followed. 

Apart from Natmeet and track day events, I think 31 MX5s meeting up on a weekend run must be some sort of noteworthy occasion

The number of cars involved sensibly required break-up into smaller groups and that precluded any sort of joint run with the Illawarra Group through the Snowy Mountains.  Consequently, it was agreed that each Chapter would independently “do their own thing” on Sunday although several of our people joined up to run with the Illawarra cars.  Sunday dawned a grey and drizzling sky, but the weather eventually relented, the rain cleared and our picnic morning tea was enjoyed in sunny conditions by Talbingo Pondage.

Morning tea @Talbingo Pondage

The sector between morning tea and lunch, was designated as an optional “girls run” and, much to my pleasant surprise, we had quite e few women drivers deftly piloting us through the bends to Tooma.  Enroute, a “history stop” allowed us to take in the story of the disastrous loss (and finding many years later) of an airliner, the remains of which may be seen in Cooma at the “Southern Cloud” memorial.

At the “Southern Cloud” memorial layby

A short drive soon had us at lunch, a pleasant break enjoyed at the Tooma Inn. After lunch three cars of our convoy broke off to return home to meet Monday commitments.

Lined up for lunch @ Tooma

The remainder of the 360kms to complete our Snowy Loop via Khancoban and Dead Horse Gap was an enjoyable uphill run over dry mountain roads.

The Penstocks @ Murray 1 Hydro-Power Station

An Italian-themed repast at Bacco’s in good company and a modicum of wine completed our thoroughly enjoyable day of MX5-ing.

Monday’s foray was again over some interesting roads less travelled, via Dalgety and Maffra to Cooma for an early lunch, after which we independently made our way home.  The only less than optimal aspects of our weekend away were one car being unexpectedly required to return a parent back home on Saturday evening (fortunately that outcome is OK) and the an emergent problem with the “blower” on Malcolm’s supercharged MX5, which started  making some loud and really weird music.  That racket was stifled by judicious use of borrowed pruning shears, but not without inflicting mortal injury to the drive belt and a resultant noticeable loss of power.  But the ad-hoc bush surgery did enable him to return home unaided and much less worried - in much appreciated golden silence – and with remarkably improved fuel economy.

Another Canberra Chapter “Good Weekend Away” – and a Snowy Loop run, home to home, of 1004 kms by my NC’s odometer.