Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Yarra Valley and Acheron

I did a half-day ride today, from midday to 6pm. I did academic work until 3am last night and then couldn't sleep much, partly through my usual insomnia, partly because my cat kept trying to sleep on my face (which I assume is an act of affection, not aggression?).  So I arose very tired at 11am instead of starting out early.

I headed north via the national park to King Lake where I had lunch, Then I headed south-east for Healesville taking Chum Creek Road. Continuing through Healesville I did the Black Spur. All of these roads are well-known and popular with motorcyle riders. I must admit that, after years doing only half day rides (the arbitrary absurdity of which I never noticed) I am a little over-familar with these roads and they don't excite me in the way that new roads, more isolated roads, or northern country, does. So when I finished at the Spur and rode through what, before the fires, was Narbethong, I was tempted to keep heading north and to ride somewhere in the Eildon district. However it was 3:30 PM and I had two hours of light left. So I rode The Acheron way that connects Acheron (near Narbethong) to the base of Mount Donna Buang and Warburton. I was going to continue all the way through, including the dirt section, but as I neared it the road became wet and greasy.  My rear tyre began to slip about. And so I turned back the way I had come, from Healesville taking the Old Healesville Road home.

Here is a photo in Toolangi, on the way to Chum Creek Road. I love the way the forest flattens out with a clear floor, and the trees become giant and straight all for a momentary stretch.

Just prior to the Black Spur I came across this, seemingly put out for display in front of an art gallery. I wonder if it was a victim of the fires? 

You can now see Maroondah Reservior from the Black Spur.

Here we are on The Acheron Way. As I said, perfect blue skies, and a hint of warmth.

Some video

Again using the camera's delay, here I am riding through The Acheron Way

I had been talking about The Blair Witch Project the night before, a film the memory of which makes me shudder. Out on my own, in this quiet winter place, I was having 'fun' along this road trying to unnerve myself with thoughts of it whenever I pulled over. Then I saw this...

A nice bit of fun for a small ride. I also spent the time reflecting on how I want to utilise this blog, and developed a plan following completion of my thesis, which will probably involve local (post-settler) history, Australian literature, local aboriginal myth and metaphysics, my own philosophy, and a trip through the centre of Australia. The idea is surprisingly cogent despite its disparate-seeming aspects. More on that some other time.

If you enjoy exploring place and story and landscape in writing or other art, I suggest you watch this documentary film which happened to be on when I returned from last week's ride: Spirit Stones.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCpTzoTvNZI

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