Mansfield Travel Blog› entry 2 of 4 › view all entries
We left Brimin Lodge at 10am. It was about an hours drive to Benalla, and more or less that again to Mansfield. We stopped there to ask for chains. The guy in the chain store said, well basically he said the weather was going to be crap. There was going to be wind, rain, etc. So we decided against chains. You only needed them to stay the night on Stirling or Buller. And they cost twenty bucks to rent. So we decided we'd camp lower down, in Sheep Yard Flats.
Stirling was cool. Our original plan was to drive around to Craig's Hut and hike up to it. Unfortunately the winter barrier was at a place called the Telephone Box Junction, and even though it was technically the first day of spring, the gates, we found out, are kept shut until Melbourne Cup day.
They had a map, up at the Telephone Box Junction, of the surrounding tracks so it wasn't too bad. And they had a message board where they'd detailed where they'd found snow. So that was lovely, we took a trail that said it had snow. And lo and behold it did. Man was I glad we didn't bring the skis. There was enough snow to make me happy but not at all enough to ski. We could see buller over the trees and there was not a drop of snow. We took a quick look at the machinery shed then turned around.
When we got back it was around 4:30pm. We headed straight for Sheep Yard Flats.
Sheep Yard Flats is nice. As the name suggests, it is flat, but no, no sheep. Its next to a stream, which is always nice. Because its an actual, designated campground (unlike the places Al and I camped at on our trip to Mt Buffalo last year), there wasn't much firewood. We scrounged together enough to cook dinner and breakfast. Not nearly enough to keep warm, but lucky for us it was actually quite a hot night, relatively speaking. It only got really cold right in the middle of the night, and it warmed up quick in the morning. No rain, no wind, I think we were lucky.
We were woken by the sound of two people and a dog trying to saw a log that was the size of a small house. And an old guy walking his dog, and some magpies. The road was actually fairly noisy even at night. Lots of motorbikes - I think they have a lot of bike trails around - and a lot of cars going back and fourth. Doesn't help that the road was really bumpy, so every car was jiggling along.
Anyway, it was a late start, then on to Mt Timbertop.