The Shepparton Adventure Club’s midweek walkers recently explored Mt Saddleback and beyond.
The group of 11 departed from the Country Women’s Association gardens in Dookie West to Chateau Rd then north to the Moylan property.
We walked up a steepish ridge, close to the top of Saddleback, which gave a revealing look back to Shepparton and down into the streets of Dookie.
The sparsely populated big yellow box trees were the highlight of the plant life on this uphill leg of the walk.
An eagle was observed circling the group — perhaps they looked a little bedraggled.
At that point they were only about 40 metres above Dookie, which is 189 metres above sea-level, but it seemed much more.
A question was asked about Mt Major in the distance but while seeming to be at the same level as Saddleback, it is in fact much higher at 350 metres above sea-level.
From that point the group walked north across the saddle and down to the Chateau on Hooper Rd where they had lunch.
It was wonderful to witness the healthy native perennial grasses on that slope with plenty of remnant vegetation.
Comedian Damien Callahan was an unexpected visitor at the Chateau.
He was visiting the district in preparation for his show Townsfolk, which was being presented in Dookie that night.
The last leg took the group east on Boundary Rd to the Dookie rail trail and then home.
It was a pretty tough walk with slopes, rocks, wet grass and a cool wind to contend with.
The distance covered was about 10km, but seemed like 20km; but the sun shone intermittently and the views were stunning.
The coffee and a rest at the Dookie Store were most welcome.
— Richard Dickins, Yabba North