Got up at 6:30 this morning and kitted up for really cold weather - thermals, double socks, glove liners the lot. The trip from Goulburn to Traralgon continues for a few hundred kilometres on high plains and although the sky was clear it was bitterly cold. By the time I fuelled the bike (too cold to do it last night) and headed down the Federation Highway to Canberra it was 07:30. Fortunately my multi-layered clothing kept out the worst of the cold and after a while with the Shadow purring away steadily, I started to enjoy the ride. Negotiated Canberra without a problem and then took the Monaro Highway to Cooma. The crisp cool conditions lent an almost magical quality to the Monaro's stark landscape and by now the temperature was rising somewhat, and I was starting too look forward to breakfast and a coffee in Cooma. The next leg was Cooma to Bombala which continues the 'high plains' theme and apart from a couple of delays due to road work, this section of the ride was uneventful and my confidence of making home by tonight improved. After Bombala the route goes down to sea level following the Cann Valley highway and with the rapid drop in altitude came a welcome increase in temperature. I crossed the border into Victoria at 11:50 about the same time that the feeling returned to my feet. Blue skies continued and by now the ride was becoming quite enjoyable. Another fuel stop in Cann River and off again along the Princes Highway and the familiar territory of East Gippsland. Made a brief toilet and food stop at the Bellbird Hotel, which is in the middle of nowhere between Cann River and Orbost.
The clear skies and warm weather held out until I got to Stratford. The skies over Traralgon looked ominous but I had already decided that if it started raining I would just keep going and tough it out. But all was well - although it got quite dark there was no rain. Pulled into my drive at 4:45.
Total Distance 653 km
Total Distance for Trip 4,745 km