(January 9, 2021 – written by Dave)
What an interesting day we had today. It started early with Nancy spotting the perfect silhouette of a possum on the wall of the tent at about 4:30 this morning. It took minute for her to figure out what she was seeing but soon, we were both at battle stations guarding our respective sides of the tent. We don’t think that our new friend actually came under the rain fly but we heard him making fun little possum noises as he traversed the looking campground for any campers who didn’t have their food properly secured. Eventually, after a good 30 minutes, the possum sounds got further away and we drifted off for another hour’s sleep.
We still managed to get up the regular time and be first out of the campground by 8AM. Our first stop of the day was back to the lakeshore for more mountain photos. The photos below probably look a lot like the ones we took last night but trust me, the light is different. And Lake St Clair is so photogenic. I should also note that we had perfect blue skies again this morning, only today, we near really got the cloud build up – lucky us, we got to see Cradle Mountain from the south two days in a row. I guess that it’s not all that common.
For our next stop, we rode back out to the main highway and a couple Ks down the road where we stopped at “The Wall”. The Wall is an amazing wood carving done over the past 15 years by a master carver. He’s basically carved the history of Tasmania into giant Huon Pine panels; put them in a long building down two sides a giant hall. He’s left bits undone and as works in progress so that you can see his craftsmanship. Photos are strictly prohibited so you’ll have to google The Wall to see what’s online – alternatively, you can book a flight to Tassie when Covid ends and see for yourself this remarkable endeavor.
Form The Wall, we backtracked (yes, we actually backtracked – I know – shock) about 1k to have a second brekkie at the Hungry Wombat Café. The café was recommended by Ali, the gal we met up in Wynyard and well worth the stop. Had we timed things better, we would have stopped for brekkie there on the way out but a second brekkie is never going to be a bad idea. While at the café, we stood our bikes against a fence out front. We should have set up a marquee and sold t-shirts. We had several nice conversations with other travelers – so many that it wasn’t until 11AM before we started the ride for the day proper. Oh well, it was a nice day and we didn’t have far to ride.
We continued on down the A10 for a spell before pulling off on the C601 (aka Fourteen Mile Road) – yes, that is a bit of down-step in road numbers and road quality. But it was worth it as the gravel road saved us about 10k, plus at least one major hill. The only issue with the Fourteen Mile Road was the traffic. There wasn’t much, one car passed from behind and two cars from the front. The issue was the second car passing from the front was driving way too fast for a dirt road and he didn’t like us being on the road. He yelled something about getting out of the middle of the road (there is no middle/side – it’s a one lane road). I’m pretending now that he yelled “have a nice day” and that his speed just distorted the words. At least he didn’t hit us and to be fair, we’d had so few bad car moments here in Tassie, we’re just writing him off as an aberration.
On Fourteen Mile Road we crossed one of the big pipes used by Tassie Hydro to move water around for their dams and power stations. We’d heard that they still use wooden pipes but were surprised the by scale and condition of the pipe we encountered. They clearly wouldn’t use these types of pipes today. When we get connected to the internet, we’ll have to see what more we can learn about them.
At the end of Fourteen Mile Road, we re-joined the A10 and made fast time down to Wayatinah – we are leaving the mountains now. It is a little off the highway, with the camping being just short of town. We rode up to town to get a cold drink and found everything completely shut. It appears to be a hydro town that perhaps has shrunk now that the major works are in maintenance mode. So we rode back to the caravan park and got a nice spot in the shade.
The park is being run by new owners, so new in fact that they only took it over 3 weeks ago. They have some work ahead of them as the park is a little rough. It sort of has two halves – one an oval where most of the caravans and tenters are set-up and an older section down by the lake that is full of very old, permanent or semi-permanent campers. The old campers all have at least one form of random out building or addition. Many clearly have been here for many years. If you’ve seen the TV show Ozark, think the old places out on Lake of the Ozarks, well before they were gentrified. If you haven’t seen Ozark, well, if someone started playing a banjo tonight, I wouldn’t be completely surprised (and I might be scared).
As noted, the new owners have a project on their hands – it would be fun to come back here in 5 years to see how things have progressed.
Tomorrow we are on to New Norfolk or somewhere thereabouts. We’ll through this post up from there as there is no mobile signal here at Lake Ozark – no, I mean Lake Wayatinah. We have about 80k to ride with more down than up but we really want to be off the road early as its Sunday and I’m sure that folks will be heading home after the weekend.