Day 5: Horse Trek Crew arrives Georges Junction

Billy, Wrangler and Meg are having a well earned rest day today at Neil and Sandy Booths property at Georges Creek. I’m staying in a fantastic Hut right on the Creek and it is awesome. I have some great photo’s I will put up soon.  I have been out of phone range since I left home and will be until next Sunday! Go Telstra.  My horses  have  been working hard since last Saturday when we left home and rode the 30kms into Willawarrin to start off on the trek on Sunday. The night at Willawarrin was fantastic and a huge crowd were there to support ride4acure. Overall $5 500 was made over the weekend for the Hannah Rose Melanoma Research Fund.  A massive thank you to Aimee and Todd Wilson for hosting the ride4acure fundraiser at the Willawarrin Hotel and to all the fantastic generous businesses who donated goods for both the auction and also the BBQ at Bellbrook. Kempsey Stock and Lands Laurie Argue did another fantastic job with the auction, buying the ‘sell’ of the night for himself the Carlton Party Pack! 

Sunday morning kicked off with a donation of $1500 from the Sussman Foundation (collective of three local Rotary Clubs) to ride4acure, and also Father Peter Richards gave a moving Blessing of the Horses to start the trek. While we were gathered, 30 horse riders in a ‘horseshoe’ out the front of the Willawarrin Hotel, Coggie Wilshusen gave us a ‘on the spec’ poem that was brilliant.  As we rode along Armidale Road many motorists gave donations and we were also ‘seranaded’ by an enthusiastic local playing a beautiful peice on his piano accordian for us as all the riders processed past his farm gate. Lots of people came out to say Hi and give us a wave.

Sunday night  Joe and I stayed in Bellbrook with an old friend Ian Flood (ex Moparrabah) and Ross and Joan Foster from Bellbrook kindly let me put my horses in their paddock. Monday night Joe and I rode 30 kms to Smith’s Flat and stayed with friends from pony club Maryanne and Peter Flately.  We rode in in the rain (it rained the first three day! on and off) got the horses bedded down for the night and then had a beautful lamb roast for dinner, baths and into bed!

I have collected another $50 in donations yesterday just riding along  as I rode over the “Goat Track” aka Armidale Road. Also a donation of livestock for our ride4acure cattle sale on August 21st in Kempsey.

I have walked a couple of kms and went barefoot through three mountain creeks to get to Neil& Sandy Booth’s house this morning to get on their computer to update the blog! Now that’s dedication guys! And guess what here I am finally online and I’ve come without my computer cord to download photo’s for you! Next time. I am staying in the most fantastic hut on the creek that is available as a holiday cabin. Will post photo’s of it soon.

If your keen you can go to facebook and Esther has downloaded photo’s from the first day onto our facebook ride4acure group. There’s also a link there for ABC interview and photo’s.  The Mid North Coasts ABC Rural Reporter Kim Honan, rode with us the first day 23 kms from Willawarrin to Bellbrook and did an awesome job. I do think her muscles may’ve been a little sore the next day or two though!

Tomorrow I head off and am riding to Jeogla to stay with good friends of Hannah’s the Frizzel family and then into Hillgrove on Friday visiting the Chandler School on the way.  Sharon McIver and Emma Rossiter are riding with me for a couple of days as far as Chandler School.  Sunday I will ride into Armidale.

I find the most challenging part of the day the packing up of a morning. Saddling three horses and balancing all the packs is a big job.  And knowing that if I don’t get things right it could cause Billy to get a sore back which is to be avoiced at all costs. The horses and myself,  remaing sound is my top priority.  Lifting the packs all weighing over 20kgs each up to my shoulder height, Billy is 15.2hh so I’ve gotta lift it up to my shoulder to get it on the hooks. Then to top it off the big blue pack goes even higher up with all my camping gear in it above the green packs! Lucky that bike ride last year gave me muscles in my ear lobes!

The ride through the upper Macleay has been magnificent, stunning gorge and river country, windy narrow mountain passes, very single lane! Two more days and I’m over the Great Divide and onto the Western side of the ranges.

Joe rode with me up til yesterday on Gruggie, who was Hannah’s very first horse! Gruggie was very happy to have three great days riding and was happy as anything, I swear he was smiling! Said to Joe I think he’d like to go all the way to Melbourne!

Joe’s home with his Dad and gone in today to Kempsey Show, then back at school from tomorrow. Joe will be joining me for different legs of the trek, next time I’ll see him is June 2nd at Narranderra, then again  June 29th the last week of the trek. He’s such a great kid, and is totally dedicated to  ride4acure.

3 Responses to “Day 5: Horse Trek Crew arrives Georges Junction”

  1. Colleen Says:

    Go Maura great to read your story, love Coll

  2. Brian Grady Says:

    Maura, It is good to see that you and the horses are travelling OK. Will be following your trek to Melbourne.
    Wishing you a trouble free journey. Regards.Brian Kempsey.

  3. Pete & Erica Macaulay Says:

    Hi there Honey….great to catch up with your news tonight, both here and on the phone. Makes me proud to be considered friend to such an inspiring lady and fellow devotee of our beautiful valley. Better going for the horses, terrain wise, from now on…not to much up-hill for a few days so …’steady as she goes’ Maura…hug to the horses and love to you. LOVEEEEEEE

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