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Jun
30
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Outward leg- via Rosedale, Willung (locality), Hiamdale (locality), Gormandale, Willung South (locality), Carrajung South (locality), Woodside, Greenmount (locality), Yarram.

We continued to experiment with cold weather bike gear which we can add to or subtract from so that we are assured of reasonable comfort on the USA / Canada trip later this year since it will be Autumn (Fall) over there and getting late by the time we get the bikes back to Chicago and in spite of it being a cold day we were toasty warm so I’d say we have our bike travel wardrobe finalised. I’ll let the pictures tell the story of the ride.



The coffee stop at the bakery at Rosedale. Note the wood carving of Ned Kelly out front, there are lots of other examples of this work inside.



A statue of Patrobas the 1915 Melbourne Cup winner which was a local horse. This stands in what used to be the Primary School playground but is now a community park and gathering area.



A glimpse of farm life looking down the valley which runs along Merriman Creek between Hiamdale and Gormandale.



An Aussie windmill near the intersection of the Carrajung Woodside Road and the South Gippsland Highway at Woodside.



An attractive setting . A property at the junction of the South Gippsland Highway and the Hyland Highway.



A view along the main street in Yarram. Our lunch spot is a little cafe just out of the frame to the right. They serve a yummy baked potato second only to the Gate Inn at Marshside (UK) and let me tell you that is high praise indeed.

Return leg – via Devon North, Calrossie (locality) Balook, Koornalla (locality), Traralgon South, Loy Yang (locality), Traralgon



A view from the roadside to the plantation covered hills as we head for the leafy glades of Tarra Valley.



An example of some of the tall timbers and ferns in Tarra Valley. No picture can do it justice. Like the sign encouraging responsible travel!



Late afternoon as we descend back to the valley floor from Balook.



A glimpse of continuing work on restoration of the timber plantations post bushfires….oh and yes a rocket as well….wonder who took that shot!



The entry to the little village of Traralgon South.



Looking across to Loy Yang Power Station from the Miners View lookout.

Tips to remember for the roads we covered:
The roads we travelled on today ranged from lots of corners through the hills and the closer we got to the coast the flatter the land was and the straighter the roads. The surface was good and the scenery changed back and forth from native bush with some small pockets of temperate rainforest to plantation timber and beef and dairy cattle country.

The exception to this is the Tarra Valley Road from Devon North to the Grand Ridge Road just before Balook which runs through the Tarra Valley park and the views are spectacular but the road is very narrow and winding with a number of one lane bridges and road width which barely supports cars beside one another. This time of year also (winter) the majority of it though sealed was wet and slippery with large quantities of sodden bark and leaf litter across the surface so you need to ride accordingly.

From Balook back down to Traralgon South the road surface has been badly affected from the Gippsland fires a few years ago as well as increased logging traffic to salvage as much of the burnt timber as possible and the surface has its challenges but is generally well signed.

Services available:
Large towns:
Traralgon and Yarram

Fuel: Multiple choices including Premium Unleaded, most BH but also some 24hr
Accommodation: Hotel, Motel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options and maybe some Serviced Apartments
Food: Multiple choices from small cafes to bistro’s bars and fine restaurants
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Multiple choices, small to large

Small towns:
Rosedale
Fuel:
Limited and often BH only if any at all
Accommodation: Limited Hotel, B&B and Caravan Park and Camping options
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Limited and not necessarily open on weekends

Small isolated Localities:
All the rest
Fuel:
Not likely
Accommodation: If you’re lucky and have done your research
Food and General Store / Supermarket: Unlikely so bring your own


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Jun
19
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Well things are progressing well for our USA / Canada trip plans.

Thanks to Robert (Du-Page Honda and Yamaha, Chicago) and nephew Kevin (Louisiana) we now have bikes (sourcing some additional accessories) and bike insurance and registration. I hope to finalise toll tags tomorrow (which will cover interstate / toll roads apart from a few bridges built by local authorities where we will still need to dig in our pockets for some real money). As well as that the GPS map cards I ordered have also arrived and we have measured what we need to on a 950 Yamaha bike at the Traralgon Yamaha shop as far as fitting suitcases and GPS brackets on the USA bikes so things are on track for the next adventure.

I will load the itinerary when it is finalised (only a handful of bookings to go now.)

We have also bought a GoPro camera to capture some video footage …. all we need is some time and ‘brain space’ to figure out how to use / drive it before then …. and have bought another still camera as well so need to find / make some time between now and the departure so we aren’t learning all this on the fly.


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