Friday, October 23, 2009

Sea Lake

I slept in and left after 11am, but did 750km yesterday on the Hornet. The first half of the day was a ride up the Calder freeway and highway, from Melbourne via Marong, Charlton (lunch) all the way to Sea Lake, my intended destination. Melbourne was overcast but the Wimmera and Mallee were blue, sunny and hot.  It felt good to be a motorcyclist in a world of other people. At the servo a bloke called out "How ya goin?", others sometimes waved, kids in a bus had a coronary joy-attack as I flew past, and it was easy to smile.

In Seal Lake I enjoyed a coke, while listening to old ladies whose gossiping seemed so habitual they no longer sensed how cruel it was, and then headed south for Birchip.

Just out of town I saw water to my right and doubled-back to find a brilliant lake! Green Lake. I had a look and there's great camping facilities, including hot showers.

All along these roads are historic markers. If they knew what a sucker I am for them, they could charge a dollar at each one, and fleece me in a single day. At one marker, a 1938 memorial to pioneer women erected beside a tree marking the grave of a woman and child from 1872 was this collection of twisted old Mallee gums, a tree which I love. So lean, lanky and twisting. They remind me of those early European paintings of Australia where the indigenous people and the landscape twist and curl in the artist's honest attempt to capture this different world.

Outside Birchip I found another lake.

I grew up around Lake Boga, going swimming on summer days, attending sea scouts on its shore. There's photos of me as at a very young child, at family barbecues under the soothing peppercorn shade amidst summer heat, and out in the brown water with my mother or father. Everybody is dressed in the tight shorts and singlets of the late 70s and early 80s.

There's talk of filling Lake Boga again. Letting the lakes drain because of the drought has meant draining the area of the equally important income in tourism.

At Wycheproof I rode up the lookout. I was in a hurry, for dusk was settling in meaning that wildlife would be on the move, and I was still 150km from Bendigo and risked colliding with a roo. It would be nice to take some time here again.

Outside Boort I stopped beside some salt lakes in the evening light.

I went on to Durham Ox and down the Loddon Valley Hwy reaching Bendigo just on dark. Dinner at McDonald's and home down the Calder, tailing cars for their extra light and as a buffer against roos. I arrived home at 10.45pm. I was sore! This is a great bike, but it is too cramped and leant over for me. As soon as I can I will fit higher handlebars and highway pegs. For I am planning a 1000km day ride soon just for the fun of it.

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