Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Secret Riding Spots



Finally I’ve downloaded my photos! Weekend before last, Mr Legs and I headed back “home” to Boolarra. The weather was very warm, the pastures thick and lush from the recent rains (ie floods in East Gippsland), skies blue and roads winding and hilly. Originally the plans included a ride up Loves Lane, but I decided late that week that Loves Lane might be a bit ambitious after a 2 week layoff. Instead we did a usual loop that includes Grand Ridge Rd, with views to Loy Yang Power station northside, and the ocean (just! On a clear day, which both days were) to the south. Unfortunately my phone camera couldn’t cope with the vastness of both views, so you‘ll have to miss out those happy snaps.

After the Grand Ridge loop, rather than heading back towards Churchill on the highway, we took a detour along the Morwell River, which is bitumen for about 10km before turning to gravel and heading up towards Grand Ridge Rd (all roads lead to Grand Ridge around home). I’ve not been up the road along the river much. The first time, 11 years ago, I ran up it, as part of a 10/20km fun run that is now defunct unfortunately. The 20kers started within Boolarra itself, and the 10kers (ie me) started at the now run down Apex Park, just where the bitumen ends. The run is a slow, steady climb up to the now (also) defunct Prison Farm. From memory, I think Derryn Hinch had a stay there.

The road is extremely quiet, narrow, overhung with wild plum trees, pasture, blackwoods, with farms either side of the road cut into the hillside. Riding up, I noticed on a corner some stairs down to the river. On the way back, we stopped and coolled some tight, overheated calves and quads in the chilly water. Although it looks brown in the photos, the water was quite clear, with the rocks below providing the tint. Fox’s Hole was once a very popular picnic spot, complete with a swing rope over the river. Now it’s just a bend in the river, and my new hydrotherapy spot in summer.

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