Thankyou to both Rob Coustley and John Fowler for this pair of articles on the Club’s recent mid-week run. Photos provided by John Fowler.
ARTICLE 1. by Robert Coustley
More than a dozen different vehicles arrived at the Darnum Stump Tea-rooms for a 11.00am departure. My first impression was that this event had been high- jacked by the MG Car Club, but on further inspection several different vehicles were parked adjacent in the hall parking area.
The MGs were accompanied by a range of other vehicles including MX5, Peugeot, Citroen, BMW, Healey, Porsche, Jaguar, Mustang and a new white Camry.
After a quick coffee and a briefing from John, we headed off to Trafalgar and onto Sunny Creek Road for a right turn south and a quick run up the first incline. Several leading vehicles (red Porsche and mustard V8 MG) encountered a white utility trying to negotiate the bends like a rally rat. The first 10 kms of roadway was in good condition, winding around the hill sides, with a steep drop off to reveal views back to Yarragon.
I was told in no uncertain terms at this early stage to slow down and forget trying to keep pace with the likes of Glenn, as Heather promised to vomit in my new Mustang.
The roads were quite dry and the views spectacular and after the Allambee-Childers road, we headed towards Thorpdale. What magnificent country side we have at our door step, every shade of green, beautiful gum tress with imported blossom trees coming into bloom. We continued this on a spectacular drive via Narracan Connection Road and McDonalds Track to the Grand Ridge Brewery. Before we reached the World’s Biggest Tree, all drivers needed to negotiate past a small terrier, running all over the road whilst on some sort of mission.
The run ended at the Old Pub Coffee House and Eatery just in time to refuel the drivers and passengers with some light meals and beverage.
I am sure every participant had an exhilarating drive, over some of the best country in Victoria, with like-minded GSCCR members, thanks to the planning of John and Jan Fowler.
ARTICLE 2. by John Fowler
We had 27 booked in for lunch, but a few decided to meet us there, so the rest of us gathered at the Darnum Stump Tearooms for either a coffee or a chat beforehand. It was an overcast day and had been drizzling earlier, but was clear now.
I handed out the route maps and explained the turns, and stated that I would wait at turns for the group to reform. On the top of the map I listed both my mobile number and the Old Pub number in case folk had problems – but no one rang. It was about an hour and a quarter run. I also gave out an option of a short cut route for those who wanted to take it which a few did.
We left Darnum and traveled along the Freeway, and just before Trafalgar we turned right into the scenic Sunny Creek Rd and up to Childers. What a wonderful ‘drivers’ rd! Most of the slower cars had let the more ‘spirited’ drivers get past, and we waited at the Childers intersection for them, and then we set off through the red-soil potato country for Thorpdale where we turned left and back towards Trafalgar. We then turned right into Narracan-Connection Rd, where the scenery changed from open rolling spud-country down through a more ‘wooded’ section to the delightful little hamlet of Narracan in the gully. Then it was uphill again onto McDonalds Track and spud country, and continued across the Thorpdale- Morwell Rd, and up along the ridge with great views on both sides, to the site of the ‘Worlds’ Tallest Tree’ where we stopped to check out the sign (for a question later).
Back at the Thorpdale -Mirboo North Rd we turned left and then drove down the wonderful open and snake-like winding downhill road (marvellous) to the Strzelecki Highway, where we then turned right uphill to Mirboo North.
Here we turned left past the Grand Ridge Brewery and continued on downhill to Boolarra. It had been a great road with more scenic views, but unfortunately it was now a little ‘undulating’ – which made it slightly uncomfortable in a Sports-car with firm suspension!
At Boolarra we turned left and the group parked in the fairly large bitumen car-park opposite the Old Pub, and it made a great sight to see the wonderful range of our Club’s collectable classics – both old and modern. Inside the pub they had put 2 tables aside for us, but we overflowed slightly, and it was very cosy beside the open fire. Unfortunately for us the cooler damp weather had brought everyone else out too, and soon the place was unexpectedly packed! This slowed down the meals a lot, but it did allow more time for chatting, and the warm room was certainly very animated. Many made a trip to the ‘loo’ just to see the collages of historic newspaper articles and advertisements’ about Boolarra on all the walls. It was very entertaining – and promoted much discussion back at the tables.
The Old Pub specialises in light snack-like meals like Wraps, chips and Foccacias along with wonderful coffee, wines and beer etc. They were all very tasty from what was said. After most had eaten, I asked the question about the ‘Worlds Tallest Tree’, and there were many answers, but none correct! However, Kira Moore used her I-phone to google it, and eventually came up with the correct answer!
A little later, everyone started to drift off, with most electing to take the shorter route back via Yinnar to the freeway at Morwell. It had been a very enjoyable day with great scenery and ‘drivers’ roads, coupled with very tasty meals in a Pub with great atmosphere, and with marvelous like-minded enthusiastic club members to share it all with!