Unscripted – Week 8 – Avoca to Glenalbyn State Forest

26 November – 2 December 2022

440 kms (274 miles) 

Total trip kms: 2389 (1484 miles)

There’s a somewhat famous quote at the end of the movie “Back to the Future” where Doc says, “Roads, where we are going, we don’t need roads”!  Doc says this in response to Marty’s concern that they didn’t have enough road to get the Delorean up to 88 mph to launch into time travel. As the movie ends, the Delorean lifts its wheels and flies away.

Well, I’ve been thinking of this scene when I think about what makes a great tour for me – just being out on forest roads amongst the trees and hills. So when I get stuck in towns (taking pics of buildings)… well, that’s not a whole lot of fun for me. I enjoy looking at buildings when I’m in town to resupply, but if I’m just riding from town to town, well… that’s pretty boring for me.

So when I’ve been thinking of what makes a good ride, my head says, “where we’re going, there are no buildings”!

So it is only appropriate that I mentioned the Back to the Future quote in my reply to Greg’s comment on a previous post the other day. Little did I know that in a couple days I would end up riding for a while without buildings OR roads….

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Unscripted – Week 7 – Beaufort to Wedderburn

19 – 25 November 2022

225 kms (140 miles)

Total trip kms: 1949 kms (1211 miles)

Days 43-45 – Beaufort – Waddawarrung Country

I decamp early on Saturday morning, pay my $15 for the night and then go hang out in the Agricultural Society machinery shed for the morning and early afternoon. It’s where they would hold exhibitions and animals and such during their annual show (like a county fair in America).  

I share the space with a large rat that scurries along the walls but is thankfully not friendly enough to come say hello. The rain starts around 10am, is heaviest between 11.30 and 1pm, and then breaks to showers for the rest of the day. The wind clangs the metal doors continuously and there are gusts to 70 kph.

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Unscripted – Week 6 – Cavendish to Beaufort

12-18 November 2022

239 kms (149 miles)

Total trip kms: 1724 (1071 miles)

Sometimes you need some easy days on tour – the ones with no worries, no big mountains to climb, no nasty traffic to negotiate. Sometimes you just need a good place to hang. And thankfully, Cavendish gives me that. It does not give me good weather, but that was not expected. I’m here to sit out more rain, wind and storms. And those come, but not nearly as bad as other places, so for once, we got the best of the bad.

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Unscripted – Week 5 – Mt Gambier to Cavendish

5-11 November 2022

385 kms (239 miles)

Total trip kms: 1485 (923 miles)

It’s the golden hour. The orange glow of the sun bathes the landscape in that low, soft Midas light. The slopes of the volcano ahead of us look like a jagged saucer set down in flat limestone plains and old stranded sand dunes. Ah, sun!

This morning, as I packed up in the pre-dawn dew, I couldn’t believe how bright the moon shone. Wow – how much progress has it made since I last saw it! After 13 straight days of rain, including mist, drizzle, pelting rain, cloud, cloud and more cloud, this is the first time I’ve seen the moon in almost half a month. It’s almost full – and we missed most of the waxing. What a strange trip this has been.

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Unscripted – Rest of week 4 – Millicent to Mt Gambier

2-4 November 2022

75 kms (47 miles)

Total trip kms: 1100 (684 miles)

Day 26 – Millicent to Mt Gambier – Boandik Country – 75 kms

It’s raining at 5.30am. It’s raining at 6.30am. But at 7am, there is a break in the showers and I am rolling up toward the Mt Burr Range on wet pavement that’s been wet enough long enough that there is no steam to rise from the chipseal. 

It’s cold instead. It’s only 6 degrees, and there is a pretty strong wind already. We continue our ‘late winter’ tour, even though we never have had a desire to tour in winter.  I am not sure if I have had a single day on this trip where we hit the average high temp. And we’re 26 days in. Have we ever hit 20? The temps have all been pretty down low for some time.

But right now we are going up. The climb up the range is a little steeper from this side. But luckily, the traffic is lighter this morning than when we came into town, so it’s not stressful. And the wind is helping for now.

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Unscripted – Part Week 4 – Naracoorte to Millicent

29 October to 1 November 2022

Total kms: 100 (63 miles)

Total trip kms:  1025 (637 miles)

Day 22 – Naracoorte to Millicent –   Marditjali, Meintangk, Ngarrindjerri, Boandik Country100 kms

There’s a Husker Du song that goes like this:

Can’t tell you what’s coming next, I don’t know for sure

It could be good and it could be bad, I don’t know for sure

I guess that I’ll continue on from day to day….

And that is sorta how this tour feels. No use having a plan because the conditions are so changeable.  Just taking it day-by-day.

I had, however, planned on coming to Naracoorte when I was looking at maps last year.  But I thought I would come from the east and leave to the southeast. Instead I arrived from the southeast and I’ll be leaving to the southwest. 

Today I’m heading to Millicent – a town I’d never heard of before looking at the map over the past few days.

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Unscripted – Rest of Week 3 – Casterton to Naracoorte

25-28 October 2022

193 kms (120 miles)

Total trip kms: 925 (575 miles)

Day 18 – Casterton to Penola – Gunditjmara, Jardwajali Country – 102 kms

The world has reduced to such a small space – a couple hundred metres in any direction. It is wet and cold and the foggy mist quickly clings to my face, raincoat and rain pants. It is quiet, the world muffled by moisture. It’s like those silent mornings as a kid that excited me so much knowing there had been a big dump of snow and we’d get to go sledding.

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Unscripted – Week 3 – Days 15-17 – Hamilton to Casterton

22-24 October 2022

Part week 3: 87 kms (54 miles)

Total trip kms: 732 kms (455 miles)

It’s an old theatre stuffed full of camping, hardware, auto and gardening equipment. It’s not a place for the claustrophobic or someone of any width. There is stock overflowing the shelves, on the floor and bulging into the very narrow aisles. There’s metal stuff and tools and locks and latches and everything you need for a camping portaloo. There’s stakes and shovels and ropes and power tools. And absolutely everything a bloke could ever want, I think. I imagine my handyman Nigel, who is the only person I know that possesses a width appropriate for those cramped aisles, could wander in there and never come out. 

But I do find a tarp up where the theatre stage used to be and then crab-walk sideways down another aisle to find the cash register. 

And now, with a secondary floor for my saturated tent, we pack up and head out to see another volcano. 

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