All about touring, whether you are a local or visiting from overseas.
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Over the years many touring cyclists have travelled along the Snowy River Road across the Gelantipy Plateau and on the Barry Way beside the Snowy River. They would have met and not forgotten the humour and larger than life figure of Mobil Dave from the Seldom Seen Roadhouse.
If you stuff up on a back track in the Indi or the Byadbo, Mobil Dave will come and tow your car.
When you lose it on the dirt and you get hurt, Mobil Dave will always give you his hand.
If your horse casts a plate, the person to call in this back country who will make you laugh ... is Mobil Dave, 'The Man from Snowy River'.
David John Woodburn (Born England 1941, died in Melbourne 2012) and Jess his dog, at the Seldom Seen Roadhouse in the Indi Wilderness. Photo taken in March 2010.
Although Dave's rustic look might not look it, to back country travellers in need of a hand, he was the closest thing to Florence Nightingale going ... out in this isolated neck-of-the-Indi.
Those who met Dave will no doubt relate to the following words.
Dave's Brother Tim, Thanks for the great adventures, good times and humour mate. No one will ever pull off 70 going on 21 again like you did it. love you Dave.
Molais Gibson, An awesome, free thinking, truly individual man, fondly remembered and missed by many. R.I.P. David.
Graham aka Vintagetourer let me know about Dave's passing.
I'm way behind with blog. Been too busy cycling. We've reached Orbost. Fantastic ride so far. Top weather for the high country sections.
A bit of sad news though: Seldom Seen is closed and derelict due to Dave having died tragically earlier this year. He accidentally drank caustic cleaning fluid stored in a drink bottle. Was treated quickly but did not recover.
By chance we stayed with a good mate of his in Buchan who gave me a memoriam card and told us about Dave.
I met Dave many years ago, when I was working as a bushwalking guide. Over the past decade, we would lament how badly Essendon were going, and then brighten each other up by remembering the Bomber's good years. He was a staunch Dons supporter. I used to race in the Marlay to Paynesville Classic on the Gippsland Lakes each March, up until a couple of years ago (2010). I'd call into the Seldom Seen Roadhouse (via Wulgulmerang) and sit in the old caravan and chat. The reason we sat in the caravan and chatted was the Seldom Seen Roadhouse fell victim to the 2003 bushfires, and the business was burned to the ground. Dave and Jess the dog survived by taking shelter in the dam. The last time I visited Dave he was still rebuilding, but almost finished. We chatted as the cats, dog and chooks wandered freely.
I helped Dave round up his cattle once, when the cattle were road side grazing and they all shot through, only once though ... I think we spooked them because we were laughing.
In the 170 kilometres between Buchan in Victoria and Jindabyne in New South Wales, the Seldom Seen Roadhouse was the only place for basic resupplying and for fuel along the Snowy, in what has often been called Victoria's most isolated location. Dave lived in a stunning spot, high above the Snowy where the Byadbo Wilderness and Indi (Pilot) Wilderness meet. Photo from the Gelantipy Plateau not far from the Roadhouse, looking towards Mount Tingarringy on the horizon. In the middle ground is the valley of the Snowy River.
Now the magnificent road along the Snowy River is open again after flooding and the washed out road repaired, this is very good ... but I doubt for many who met Dave, it will feel the same, if they again pass by Seldom Seen. This horrific accident is a tragic end for a very fine bloke. Dave Woodburn will be sadly missed.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.
"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
Yeah, he was one of the truly great characters I met on my travels, I passed through there early one morning and managed to spend most of the day talking with him.
I fixed a puncture for him and he gave me a dozen ducks eggs, luckily I floated them before boiling and isolated a few that were inedible.
On a similar note I heard in the last few days that Adam Plate of the Oodnadatta Roadhouse was killed in a Targa rallying accident on 24 August 2012. He was another larger than life character. His daughter said that at least he was doing what he loved, ie, driving exceedingly fast, she thought he would have hated to end up in a nursing home.
Sad to hear of these iconic Australian bush characters passing away. In the same time period Molly Clarke of Old Andado Station (NT) also passed away in Alice Springs after some period of time in nursing home care.
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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