Bongongo to Tumut
(By " Wombat.")
On Tuesday last I essayed a visit from Bongongo on a peregrination.
On my "short stay there, I was delighted; in a way, with the surroundings, but the roads thither from Bookham are in such a deplorable state that I was thankful and pleased to receive accommodation for the night at Mrs. E. "Gassidy's, where I was treated with every kindness and consideration.
The state of the road from Tumut leading to her holding is deplorable.
It is a nice little holding of 1440 acres. At the time of my visit there was a fair spring in the grass, and the sheep and cattle looked well, but it must be trouble in the dry season there as regards water.
In the absence of a frontage creek, a tributary of the Adjungbilly is rendering itself famous after every rainfall, by enlarging its scope by numerous tributaries, and acres of holding are in this way washed away to siltups the proverbially treacherous (as far a miners at Adjungbilly.)
The Juvenile creek—so to say—has developed abnormal proportions, being just about three parts of a chain in width by about from 10 to 15ft in depth.
There is no clay subsoil, and, if the said creek was dammed up, I am of the opinion , that good results would come after each rainfall, the accumulated silt would wash up, and in time delay the washaways, at present they are disastrous.
The same applies to the property owned by the esteemed squire of Bongongo, Mr. J. Graham, through whose property the recreant stream flows to the Adjungbilly Creek.
On my arrival at Bongongo Station I did not have the pleasure of an interview with the owner. His home is surrounded by happy prospects. The pine avenue to his homestead is a picture, and the undulating character of the whole of his holding, comprising some thousands of holdings, clad in spring's greenest mantle, left me.contemplative of his big prospects in the " sweet • by-and-bye." Tumut bound, I essay to cross the troublous Adjungbilly, and in front on a gentle eminence appeared an erection, afterwards I found was the Bongongo School..
Reminiscences of the past came back to me, when I, as a boy of 10 or 11 was truant-like inclined, and it struck me at once 1 had missed my chances, as I was never located in such a happy spot for it as this. For why.? there is about three or four acres of the happiest protected sweet-briar bushes I have seen; but I did not see a recreant " kid."
Well, you wouldn't; for he or she could plant in a twinkling.
Driving on I came to :the "Adjungbilly Greek," across which Messrs McEvoy Bros, have erected a bridge. I don't for a moment blame the contractors, as the bridge seemed faithfully built and was of two spans; but, whoever the Engineer was who laid out the plans.'he certainly should have his head read'. You approach it in an easterly and westerly direction, and; have to leave it in a southwesterly; for,if you foliow it in its north; and south direction, you ; run foul of a bank six feet high.
Anyway, urging onwards through plenty sweet briars and scrub, I spy the residential area of Mr. Jones, and another similarly held area. Thence,, passing through.a gate, I came to Mr. W.McGullock' a residential lease, which in my .early days I remember as the site ,of Mr. A. McDonald's Station holding, then untenanted and in ruins and hidden from sight by the growth of the accursed sweet briar Mr. McCullock has cleaned them out of his holding and with Mr. A. Morris, must be complimented on carrying out the requirements of the Land Board.
But, referring to Mr. Morris, whose .neatly built house and sheds, llittie paddocks and promising vegetable garden, struck me as meritorious from a batchelor; but what of the laned that divided him from McCuIlock, so well planted with briars ? There is no opportunity of dodging a nasty sideling, a dread and menace to the traveller.
Next I come to another residential lease,and whether Sheahan owns it or the briars this deponent refuses to say.
Following on and leaving the Adjungbilly Creek frontage behind I come across Mr. J. C. Grant's residential area to the left. He shows a bit of energy and perseverance, :as his holding is well fenced and cleared, and his residence will shelter arid shield him till he can; provide a better. It is a monotonous track and there is nothing so far to thank Carruthers, Waddell, See, Lyne, or any Premiernfor.
There are plenty of gates to open. (most of them erected on the top of a rise). Journeying onward, I have to negotiate. a, nasty hill, lately 'only' partly-cleared of timber;
Past memories of mining days, in the shape of deserted, shafts to my feft, tell me I am: within' the golden belt, but the road will never entice, a city man; A poor old fellow, with " Matilda " up, thanked me warmly for giving him a lift with it in my trap for a couple of miles.
Presently I drop down into an uninviting creek, evidently not deserving of a name. It was silted up, and a reedy growth of green stuff on either side, in,, a pantomimic way, Gem & to say " Trespass on me if you dare!" The country through which I passed was but poorly grassed thus far from Adjungbilly.
Then came the toughest bit of road of the lot—up a long, rutty, most uninviting hill on which someone has attempted to clear the timber off, but has failed.
I pitied my horse, but he was as staunch as a rock, and after steady tedious climbing I arrived, almost shaken to pieces, at the summit of the hill. The descent there from was gradual, and, not too trying.
Mr George Last's' famed holding was in the foreground. Coming to a small creek at the boundary of Messrs Last's and P. Kiley's holding, I strike another gate and strike Tumut aftwards through Mr. P. Kiley's " Red Hill" holding. (The track is a sideling one, pretty well as Nature left it, but, coming in site:of the Red Hill Station gate, with a bald topped mountain (conspicuous from Tumut in the foreground, the country becomes leveller, and, from the gate aforesaid where, by-the-way, a finger post for advice to strangers is urgently necessary), the road is good.
After a. time peel within the pale of civilization as I follow a cut and well-preserved road for about a mile, which, though particularly serpentine, is a treat after the bad road passed. Leaving this, I find a swampy hollow the head of Brungle Creek on my right.
The road is most uninviting, and the only thing to break the monotony of the track is the presence of cockatoos, who seem to.be,happy and at home. Crossing this swamp hollow, now developed into a small creek, I come into a forest reserve of, green timber, through which nature s road is at least endurable, and before me is Mr. Biffin with a waggon and 14 bullocks, laden with the first load of wool, this year from Mr. P. Kiley's. I pitied the poor driver and his necessity for, numerous curses on his onward way to Tumut; but I hope he will be treated in as hospitable a way as I was on truly the prettiest spot I have visited in New South Wales.
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