It had been years, okay, decades, since I last visited the lake. It had been created around the early 1900’s to supply water to what we now know as Sponars, nee Hotel Kosciusko, but even that amount of water couldn’t stop the original hotel from burning down in 1951 due to a fire emanating from the kitchen. It took just one hour to destroy the entire premises that had originally been suggested and promoted in 1904 by one Percy Hunter who was, wait for it, the State Minister for both Intelligence and Tourism. Not sure how that combination worked!
It’s not much of a welcoming carpark, just a slight widening of the road for about 50 metres at Dainers Gap. Above, the clouds are thickening, but there’s plenty of light about.
Since this was an unplanned stop for today I move into lazy mode, fairly normal for me I freely admit, and deign to keep my sandals on, something I regret it as the trail slides between some snow gums to a tiny streamlet widened by all the recent precipitation.
Climbing away from the stream on this gentle 2.5 km return trail the ground is decidedly boggy where there are no trees as I slip slide along the alpine grasslands. I pass a couple returning and they become bug eyed as they view my footwear. Who can blame them.
The temperature is benign, something that’s not always so in the Snowy Mountains, as I push uphill and reach the twisted snow gums that surround the lake. Flickering views can now be had of this sublime little body of water and, despite the movement of the sky, the surface is surprisingly calm and the unhindered reflections a delight for the eye.
The way to the eastern side of the lake involves a creek crossing where the lake drains and I take a few minutes to work out the way I can get least wet stepping across rocks and branches to walk among ancient growth that survived the 1939 and 2003 major fires that swept the region.
Also in the ancient class is the old wharf that must now be over 100 years old. Despite its relatively small size it’s a dominant and a much-photographed feature of the pondage though few would venture onto the rickety twisted remnants these days. Overhead the clouds are starting to thicken and the colour grey hangs from some of them, foretelling the return of the rain on the morrow.
Being here on one’s own is a special thing and I tarry a bit longer to soak up the atmosphere and the peace, especially the peace. There’s something about tranquility in the bush that cleanses the soul and I want some of it.
There’s a few hardy flowers about, though naturally they’re small due to the at-times harsh climate, unlike a couple of fungi I spy that have garnered a protected spot low on some tree bark beside some lichen. There’s a few insects around but getting a shot proves impossible so, with other things in mind, it’s time to head back to the motorhome.
There’s a wonderful sense of freedom on the return walk. You have this delightful place all to yourself and the zephyr carries a feeling of freshness with it. It’s been more than a pleasant afternoon and I hope it’s not decades before I return again because, by then, it will be too late.