Easter in the Mountains

Last weekend we had Friday and Monday off for Easter so we decided to take advantage of the long weekend and head to the mountains.  We stayed in Omeo, a little country town about a 5 hour drive from Melbourne.  It served as a good base for Phil to ride up Dinner Plain and Mt Hotham, his last two of the 7 Peaks Rides.  This is the first year he's been able to complete them all, we usually run out of weekends and can't fit in the long drives.  Luckily Easter was early this year so he had time to squeeze the last couple in before the end of March deadline.
View point just outside of Omeo
The cute little cabin we stayed at in Omeo
Saturday morning Phil set out on the 40 km ride to Dinner Plain.  Maybe and I went for a walk in Omeo and hung around the cabin for a bit before driving out to meet him.  I stopped at the Mt Kosciuszko look out, and though I could see hills in the distance, had to rely on the sign to pin point the tallest mountain in Australia.  It's no Mt Everest but it's all we've got.  I stopped along the way to make sure he was doing ok, and after receiving a thumbs up headed on to Dinner Plain.
Starting out the Dinner Plain ride in Omeo
Maybe splashing in the river
Mt K view point
I hadn't been to Dinner Plain before so didn't know what to expect.  So far the other peaks have been a strange mix of ski resorts with runs so shallow you wonder how anyone actually skis down them.  Dinner Plain was another one of those, a few cafes and some apartments around a circle but no ski runs in sight.  There was some sort of festival going on though so I found the last open parking spot and started exploring.

In the distance I saw some dogs in the trees so went over to investigate.  As I got closer I realised they were huskies!  Two teams of sled dogs were hanging out showing people what they did.  I've grown up with malamutes and huskies so I stood and watched them for awhile, just enjoying their antics.  They have funny personalities - they are all crazy and just want to run.  Occasionally they would take a team out pulling a cart and as they hitched up the dogs the others that stayed behind would howl and bark because they wanted to go.
Happy huskies
Phil finally made it to the top so I excitedly showed him the dogs.  He suggested we see if we could go for a ride, and of course I said yes.  We signed up, then went to the new Blizzard Brewery to wait until our turn.  I'm pretty sure we were the only adults out on the cart that day, but I probably enjoyed the ride more than any of the kids.  We sat down and they started leashing the dogs up as the others howled and cried in protest.  We set off, and right away the dogs got distracted and had to sniff a bush.  The guy explained that they get easily distracted when there isn't snow to cover all of the interesting smells up.  If he doesn't let them explore a bit they get cranky so he let them and then yelled at them to get on the way.  As soon as he told them to go, they did, they knew exactly what they were doing.  We bumped along in the dirt and the dogs pulled us through the grass and trees.  It was really enjoyable to see them do what they love to do, and better yet to learn that they were all adopted from shelters.
Dinner Plain finish
My miniature sled dog
Riding on the cart

Pretty view on the drive back to Omeo
After that unexpected treat we drove back to Omeo for the evening.  The next morning we set out again, this time to Harriotville.  We met some friends out there; the wife cycled with Phil up to the top of Mt Hotham and the husband walked around Harriotville with me before we went to Bright to wait.  The drive that morning took us over the top of Hotham so I had seen how windy the road was and was happy Phil was not by himself.
Crazy thick fog covering Mt Hotham
Glenda and Phil heading up Mt Hotham
Walking around Harriotville
John and Maybe
Hut near Mt Hotham 
Gorgeous view from Mt Hotham
They got back in the early afternoon and Phil was really happy to have finished the 7 Peaks Challenge.  We celebrated with some beers at Bright Brewery before heading back to Omeo for the night.  We took Maybe on one more splash in the Victoria River that runs through the town the following morning before heading back to Melbourne.  Lunch was a stop at Bullant Brewery (are you seeing a theme here?) and then we battled through all of the other cars heading back from the long weekend.
Victoria River in Omeo
Dirty tired dog
Of all the new places we explored that weekend it was quite surprising that we didn't end up on dirt roads like we seem to always do.  We decided to take a detour on the way home to avoid a pocket of traffic, and wouldn't you know, about 10 k from home ended up on this random dirt road.  It's always great to end a trip with a laugh.
It never fails, we always end up on a dirt road without even trying


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