Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ride to Ruffy...with friends

I took another ride out to Ruffy yesterday (4/7/09). I generally prefer to ride on my own these days because of the opportunity it affords for whimsical exploration (indeed, this has meant that I've taken to planning nothing more than an exit route from the city). However I do enjoy a social ride and so I invited some friends for this ride, of whom only one could come, Axel. He rides a Yamaha SRX660, the 80s evolution of my SR500. He brought along a friend with a Suzuki V-Strom. There were a lot of intermittent showers, and we rode tentatively through the national park to King Lake then via Flowerdale for lunch in Yea.  Following lunch we road to Ruffy, had a coffee, then returned via Yarck and down the Melba highway. I reflected afterward on what a genuinely enjoyable day I had had, both in terms of riding and conversation.

I do not have many photos for you, and yet this was one of the visually most stunning days I've encountered. As I say, there were intermittent and quite thorough showers throughout the whole day, but in between the sun shone. At those times the road gleamed like dull polished metal, the sky remained a dense and introspective deep grey, and the winter trees and lush hilly horizons were vivid green in the winter sun. It really was something special! During one of these moments, near Gobur, on a winding empty road, I rounded a corner and about three hundred cockatoos rose from the field into flight across my path. They were pure white, like a mass of paddock flowers interspersed with the odd shock of pink. I entered into the midst of this vivid explosion and rode with them down the road. It was wonderful.  I'm so grateful that I to experience days like this.

Below are the only photos I took that day, early on at the national park near King Lake. 

I haven't even stopped at King Lake since the fires, not only because it has the aura of a scene of tragedy with its ominous 'gaps' of now neatly cleared land, but moreso because I feel sickened by the way the town has been over-run by the voyeuristic 'fire tourists' (I visited that town very frequently before the fire, and it was never the happy-snap haven it is now!). King Lake felt like a second home to me and I was deeply pained at what happened. I have to admit, however, that away from the burnt-out homes, I find the burnt forest beautiful: the stark black and green contrast of the trees, the burnt blackness softened by the gentle winter light and the cool damp air.

Axel and I...

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