Strathbogie Cycling: Euroa – Arboretum Loop

Hub & Spoke / Bump & Grind Cycling Route

Route Name
Euroa – Arboretum Loop

Mode: 
Gravel Grinder, mountain bike, hybrid, eBike

Start / Finish locations: 
Euroa Railway Station Railway St., Euroa 3666
•	Straight off the train, start at the station
•	Arriving by car, park in Railway St. to start

Map:
GPS -36.749156, 145.568173

Difficulty: 
Easy – intermediate (not for road bikes)

Distance and time:
17km plus a couple extra if you include the Arboretum. 1 – 2hrs.

Elevation:
163 – 202m 
Topography:
Flat with one small rise.

Surfaces: 
•	Good condition bitumen, with a nice wide shoulder on the Euroa – Main Rd return section
•	Good condition gravel.
•	Airstrip and Earnshaw Roads are two wheel dirt tracks which may be rutted. They have some dust drifts in summer, muddy in the wet.

Description and Features:
A ride from the sedate, urban areas of rural Euroa Township into the surrounding plains country. Flat expanses of cropping and grazing lands, with Strathbogie Tablelands as a backdrop. Wooded roadside vegetation. Many fine rural properties. A sad looking local airstrip. Large scale free range chicken farms.

Take a break at the excellent locally indigenous Arboretum. There are a few Km extra of intertwining bushland tracks to enjoy. Other amenities include shelter, picnic facilities, public art, wetlands, a bird hide, a small lake and the site supplied nursery is well worth your perusal.

Riding conditions: 
Minimal gradients. Very little traffic. Exposed to the elements.

Options:
It is about 3.5km (7km return) to the Euroa Arboretum via the Euroa – Main Rd.
Anti or clockwise

Anticlockwise Cues:
From the Euroa Railway Station
Right Scott St
Left Elliot St
Right De Boos St
Straight Branjee Rd
Right Cowells Lane
Left Wood Rd
Left Airstrip Rd
Straight Earnshaw Rd
Left Angle Rd
Opposite Euroa Arboretum entry
Straight Euroa – Main Rd
Left Birkett St
Right Handbury St
Right Elliot St
Right Scott St
Left Euroa Railway Station

Amenities (across Euroa & Arboretum)
Car parking
BBQ
Fuel
Shops
Seating
Parkland
Playground
Picnic tables 
Public toilets
Potable water
Accommodation
Historic features
Sports Reserves
Swimming Pool
Railway station
Road name signs
Alternative routes
Flora and fauna habitat

Cautions:
Soft shoulders
Limbs may fall
Embankments
Uneven ground
No potable water outside town
Slippery surfaces
Subject to flooding
Road surfaces vary
Snakes may be active
Beware of vehicle traffic
Mobile reception may be unreliable
Carry food, water, First Aid, be SunSmart 
Be equipped for self-reliant riding 

Restrictions:
Take rubbish with you
Historic relics are protected
Native flora and fauna are protected
No fires in the open
Use formed roads only

Strathbogie cycling #strathbogiecycling

http://euroaarboretum.com.au

Sunshower

 
Today I saw the sun come out
From behind a veil of rain
But still the drops
Fell all about
As rain fell just the same

The sunlight formed
Into golden shafts
Vapour lit illumination
The earth shattered the falling drops
I watched with fascination


Strathbogie poetry
#strathbogiepoetry

Every day is an orange day

there are many shades of orange
there are many shapes of orange
there are many types of orange 
there are many flavours of orange
every day is an orange day

the routine is largely the same
my wife, who is always up before me
puts out the half blood pressure tablet
and magnesium for the terrible cramps
maybe she worries I won't remember
and she will suffer once again 
for my negligence

it is the half tablet I cling to 
that half tablet as a perverse 
talisman of health
ho ho only half I guffaw and say
plenty of life in the old dog yet
I hope but don't pray

I grind to mill groats
while the kettle goes on
for 80 degrees of green tea
to be taken from a thin light
porcelain cup
well, mug really
beautifully decorated 
delightful indigenous flora
always a pleasure to see
to raise to my lips
ah the little things .....

there is skim milk 
to get from the fridge
and sultanas come from 
the cupboard under the bench
to add to the oated groats
oats sultanas and water 
to add to the microwave
120 seconds then stir
120 seconds once again

while oats and tea rearrange 
molecular speed and structure 
on my behalf
I transfer everything else 
from kitchen to table
I set up for reading
news, photography, email, poetry
whatever takes my fancy 
on a given day

I look out the windows
across garden and creek 
across craggy old swamp gums 
and wattles
to hillside pasture
and hilltop sky
to sunshine or rain or fog or frost
occasionally to snow
and I say to myself, "Ah, there it is".

then I walk 
back to the fridge
transfer an orange 
from the bottom drawer
to face cutting board and knife

every day is an orange day
but not all orange days are the same

valencias available in the warmer months
can be quite unreliable
anything from sweet and juicy 
to horribly dry and pithy
I top and tail
slice smoothly into quarters or sixths 
depending on what I can get my mouth around
evaluating the internal quality of the fruit 
giving rise to the first 
pleasure or disappointment of the coming day

the navels of the cooler months
are more consistent
at their best oozing sticky zesty tart 
juice across the cutting board
following skilful bladed removal 
of the sometimes uncannily human like navel bulk
usually in promise of a very good breakfast finale

I look forward to my orange start to every day
Full of all the goodness 
orange juice alone will always leave behind
full of the possibility of each new day
some days have their disappointments
to be relegated to the compost bin
some days have their nuisances 
with more seeds and pith 
to deal with than is preferable
most start sweet and juicy
and stay sweet and juicy
all day long 


strathbogie poetry
#strathbogiepoetry

Today’s d’verse poetic prompt came from Kim. She introduced us / me to Imtiaz Dharker’s poem “How to cut a pomegranate”.I loved it! See the link below. The challenge was to think of a fruit, how it looks before and after it has been cut open, and how it tastes. Think about where and how it grows, and what it makes you think of. You may choose to write a poem in the style of Imtiaz Dharker, or you can explore the fruit in another way and in any form you wish. Whichever you choose, your poem should appeal to the senses.

https://dversepoets.com/2021/06/01/poetics-how-to-cut-a-pomegranate/

https://www.poetrybyheart.org.uk/poems/how-to-cut-a-pomegranate/

Fledglings of fear

The dawning was a slow one
we were fledglings of fear
victims of illness,
Children of Lir

Number 1 was long strong.
Her job to protect.
Strong for a long while,
until proven imperfect.

Number 2 was a mess,
times hard as hard
for that little girl,
our fractured shard.

Number 3 was me.
Death to the fiddle!
Hate for love.
None in the middle.

Number 4 was Baby,
always our most precious.
Watching and suffering,
the indiscriminate malice.

Mother was mad
as mad could be.
Inside we knew,
outside, 
none could see.

House to school
school to house
all running scared
each quiet as a mouse.

Freezing bath water,
heads held down.
Gasping for breath.
No sound,
lest you drown.

Smothered in cereal, 
honey as glue,
naked on the floor
kicked black and blue.
 
We lost our only friend.
Older sister on the verge.
Took flight literally.
Our life and death dirge.

To young to know.
To young to do.
I first noticed the down
while cowering, we few.

Necks stealthily extended,
to get a better view
of punishment to come,
forewarned by cue.

Heads tucked under wings,
to avoid each other’s pain.
Our wings were getting stronger
unobserved by our bane.

Three remaining cygnets
together finding voice
seeking strength together,
a transformative choice.

Reddened eyes were normal,
the feathers came next.
Black, as our experience
lengthened our graceful necks.

Then came time to speak
with red bloodied beaks
making plaintive warning sounds
ugly ducklings began to sneak.

Eventually, we broke out of bounds,
braved an outside world,
the hurt, the rage, the hopelessness,
to unravel and unfurl

And when we told our story,
of years of abuse and neglect,
no one knew a thing
out of privacy respect.

Together we remain fragile.
Together we remain strong.
Together we mourn our sister.
Grief upon hope upon wrong upon wrong.


For Sinead O’Connor.


Strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry

Mountains old

Strathbogie Ranges
 
 Mountains old
 worn down
 by time and weather 
 Peaks 
 smoothed
 Summits 
 rounded
 Rocks  
 broken to
 new
 beginnings

 Stones to gravel
 sand to granules
 dust to mud
 growth to decay
 decay to soil
 
 Inclined to 
 slippage
 Declined to
 fertility

 Treacherous
 nurturing
 home of the 
 tenacious

 Boon to the
 potency 
 of flood plains 

 Mountains old 
 are so much more alive 
 than the hard 
 sharp ridges 
 and strewn 
 craggy defiles 
 of the young

strathbogie poetry #strathbogiepoetry

strathbogie photography #strathbogiephotography

ABC Breakfast Radio interview

This morning’s interview with presenter Matt Dowling regarding my work on tracks and trails promotion in the Strathbogie region. Commences at 43.30minutes.

ABC radio tracks and trails interview

A bike for every occasion?

My recently acquired touring ebike. Battery assist range 150km. It includes an auto power selection mode. Pedal pushing is always required, but you can choose how much effort to put in. You will keep fit!

Sub title: Central Victoria, the Centre for eBikes.

As I have aged (now approaching my mid 60s), I have progressed from road bikes to mountain bikes to hybrids and now, ebikes.

My message to everyone out there who rides or is contemplating riding is “Get on your bike!” If you are fit and able enough to provide your own power, find the bike that best suits your journeying and ride. If you think you are past it, reconsider. From 8 to 80 years old, anyone with balance who can get astride a bike frame now has bicycle touring at their feet!

With the advent of ebikes for all modes of cycling, the Central Victoria region is perfect for you and your bike. There are many kilometres of un-trafficked rural roads and tracks traversing diversely beautiful landscapes. You will be amazed at where an ebike can take you, from sealed flat stretches across the plains, amongst rustic rolling foothills, to tall treed dirt tracks through mountain forests.

Many people have asked me about the different modes of cycling I refer to in the cycling route descriptors I publish. Most often, about Gravel Grinders. Gravel Grinders as a specialty appeared somewhere in amongst my cycling experience. I missed their rise until alerted by a mad keen cycling cousin.

This alert coincided with the commencement of my mapping and publishing of walks and cycling routes in and around the beautiful Strathbogie region. A good port of call for those interested is the Gravel Grinders Melbourne fb page. The article linked below may be American, but is brief and indicative of gravel bike features for the uninitiated, as well as being fodder for dreamers. It is worth noting that one of the bikes listed is an ebike.

apple.news/AJlzTcm5gRhO2EROnKg-VTw

The cycling routes I have been recording will be found here on seanmathews.blog/cycling and the Connecting the Goulburn Broken Catchment Facebook Group https://www.facebook.com/groups/591666734808645 .

Walks can be found at strathbogierangesnatureview , VictoriaWalks and in Pozi online mapping

A winter day

A photo a day.

Cold, wind, sleet, sun, rain, wood chopping, fire, magpie release, novel reading, photo learning, koala watching, glass and nail collecting, vegmite roll, tea, miso, water, Coca Cola, salad roll, apple, banana, writing, poetry, improving news, art, music and a photo a day.

Mountain Hut Creek Reservoir / Charman’s Falls Hike – Garden Range Flora and Fauna Reserve, Kelvin View

Responsible Authority:IMG_3908

  • Parks Vic
  • GV Water

Acceptable modes of transit:

Walk

Distance & duration

  • Mt Hut Reservoir 2km return 1/2 -1hr (dirt track)
  • Charman’s Falls 6-7km return, 4-5hrs (no track)

GPS coordinates & map

  • 36°48’23.0″S 145°38’20.3″E
  • -36.806393, 145.638982

MountainHutCharmansFallsGrading (using the Parks Vic Track and Trail Grading Manual)

Grade 5

Amenities:

None

Hazards

Snakes, tree and limb falls, very steep inclines, cliff faces, overhangs, steep embankments, slippery surfaces include wet surfaces, loose rocks, soil, mud and vegetation, absence of pathways, flowing water

Restrictions

  • No hunting
  • No camping
  • No pets
  • Take your rubbish with you
  • Take potable water with you

Trailhead sign & Informational Signs

None (Mt Hut Reservoir, GV Water sign at gate)

Directional signs / bollards or trail markers

None

Brochure

None.

Recommendations

Significant sections of this walk are a scramble through steep bush terrain. Trail marking and eventual foot trail creation would improve access and safety.

Conclusion

For experienced, well prepared hikers only. A service track begins at and returns to the Mt Hut Reservoir GV Water gate on the Euroa-Strathbogie Road, but only goes as far as Mountain Hut Creek Reservoir itself. From here you follow the Mountain Hut Creek embankment to Waterhouse Reservoir. At this point, cross the dam wall and once again proceed upwards, around the Reservoir and again onto the creek embankment. There is no trail, the slopes are steep and littered with loose surface material. Take care. However, the reward is great. Charman’s Falls are spectacular, particularly with a good spill of water, and it is downhill all the way back.

A frenzied feed

I initially thought I had come across an introduced black rat feeding on a cockatoo carcass in the Seven Creeks. However, as I approached more closely I saw the tell tale white tip and webbed feet. You can see the tale tip swishing in the water. It was a smallish rakali with a big appetite and keen to eat as much as it could as fast as it could. So keen in fact, it didn’t notice me standing above it,