The Mid-Week Run that almost didn’t happen!
When Premier Dan announced on a Sunday night that regional Victoria could have 40 people in an eating venue, I excitedly decided that we could now re-start our Mid-Week Runs. There is an old saying that “The best laid plans of mice and men, fall foul of other things”. We need to replace “other things” with “our Dan” in my current MWR planning!
I made the mistake of taking our Dan’s words that day at face value on how we could visit regional venues and advertised a return to MWR’s. The Devil is in the detail (or fine print), it seems when it comes to opening-up the regional venues to his stated 40 people inside and 70 people outside rule. It now transpires that 40 people inside is ok – PROVIDED that they are in 4 separate rooms that can hold 10 people in each following the social distancing guidelines (ie 4 square metres per person etc)!
Ok, so eventually after a bit of research, I settled on Fozigobbles in Yarragon with their multiple rooms, and Jimmy D’s Diner nearby for the extra people that might want to attend. By the week’s end I was informed by Fozigobbles that although they could have a max of 20 inside and 40 outside, that the visiting groups could now only be made up of a max of 10 people in a specific group! A quick re-think and we arranged 2 separate named groups visiting Fozigobbles inside, and a further one outside under the Veranda, plus another group at Jimmy D’s Diner a hundred metres down the road, in order to cater for our numbers and possible rain! Phew! I wondered if it was all worth the effort?!
Very quickly we soon had 37 booked in with one car following just for the drive.
The Thursday was warm and sunny with a light shower predicted for the late arvo. We gathered at the Darnum Stump Tearooms for coffee, scones etc and a chat with reduced numbers inside and others on the covered patio outside, with many standing around chatting & enjoying the sun outside on the forecourt. After handing out maps and conducting a Drivers’ Briefing explaining aspects of the route, we set off north across the freeway leading the way in our old ’65 Jag S Type, past the Fonterra Milk Powder factory, up Bloomfield road to eventually turn left into the wonderful winding Old Telegraph Road towards Rokeby. Here we saw Steve on the side of the road in his red Bugeye Sprite taking photos of the cars as we passed by.
The countryside had looked magnificent with its rolling green lush spring pastures, contented cattle, and healthy-looking trees along the roadsides and in the paddocks. The rain has done its job!
We turned left at Rokeby and on up to where we turned left into the Old Sale Road at Buln Buln. This followed this old Cobb & Co Coach route, to go eventually past the Shady Creek area where we turned right into the fairly straight and open Araluen Road and past some large Jersey cow herds. Here a friendly farmer pulled over in his large tractor to let us all snake past.
Did I mention how great the countryside was – and how good it was to be out in our classic vehicles enjoying the sunshine as well, whilst meandering across this magnificent part of Victoria enjoying the views? It was great to be out and finally touring!
We then turned right at the Yarragon-Shady Creek Rd intersection, up past the old Hall to turn left into the Darnum-Shady creek Rd and back towards Darnum again. It was just a few km out of Darnum that we all came to a halt to let an echidna cross the road. However, some hooting horns soon had it confused, so it quickly turned around and went back across the road in front of us to the side – quite unharmed!
At Darnum we went across the Freeway past the Tearooms, and past the old Musical Village (now a resort of holiday units) and down onto the flats where Steve was again seen busy with his camera before turning left into Parkers Rd, past more large Fresian dairy herds. Then we turned left into Hazeldean Road arriving into the middle of Yarragon. Here we turned right up Market St to the end and left towards the Freeway, so that we could re-enter Yarragon from the East to be out front of Fozzigobbles and Jimmy D’s.
Frustratingly, others had discovered Yarragon too, so parking was a bit difficult with cars spread out all over the place. Anyway, once inside we all had to stay in our nominated groups as the staff were concerned that we had to be in specific groups in case of another ‘spot check’ by Police.
There was an unfortunate downside to this arrangement of splitting up into smaller groups, and that was that not all could be fitted into the seating arrangements, and so some were left sitting as couples by themselves in both venues, without a chance to socialise with others. This being the first venture out after lockdown, we still have some issues to resolve. Hopefully, the next time we are out, the restrictions will have eased some more to allow for more involved socialising.
Back to the meals, everyone seemed quite happy with the meals at both venues, except for one which was frustratingly forgotten for a while at one venue. People began wandering off from about 2pm and were safely home before the heavens opened with quite a heavy but short shower around 3pm – just as predicted.
It seemed to be quite a reasonable start to the re-commencement of our Mid-Week Runs. Fingers crossed for the future outings!
Words by John Fowler. Pictures by Steve Schmidt and John Fowler