Was out yesterday afternoon riding my mountain bike – usual itinerary which is about 20 kilometres of highway followed by 30 of dirt track. Pretty good ride and happy to say that each time I do it I’m walking less of the steep uphills. Stopping at Bruce’s Cafe in Woodford for a coffee, Bruce is a MTB freak himself, before taking on the dirt part of the ride, I noticed the western horizon had turned near Prussian blue but the oncoming storm appeared to be moving slowly so thought I could outrun it down to Glenbrook and that if not, it would swing around the top of the mountains and follow the deep valley south of the ridge along which stretches the ‘Oaks’ fire trail.
Bruce’s Cafe in Woodford – if you looked the other way the sky was turning Prussian Blue.
For the first few kilometres of trail the storm was hot on my heels but as I climbed higher it appeared to dissipate indicating that it had gone for the valley route rather than climb above the ridge from where I got a few pictures with the point and shoot I always have in my backpack.
We hear that a lot – that Australia is ‘the lucky country’. What’s lost is that Donald Horne who wrote the book of that name meant Australia is lucky in that it’s success is more due to good luck than good management. As he said, a first rate country run by second rate people and a recent example of that is the domestic supply of gas. Previous governments sold near all known reserves to Asia, amongst the world’s largest, and at a price so low that it would now be cheaper to buy Australian gas back from Japan than frack for more. New South Wales and Victoria have heaps of gas but the resistance of their rural communities to fracking is such that in the end the federal government had to ask the energy companies to please, please put a little aside for domestic consumption and not export the lot. I wonder how much that will add to local energy bills which are already ridiculously high and when combined with the equally ridiculous cost of housing will result in even more average families heading bills in hand to their local Salvation Army office.
Anyways… thought I’d share a few pictures I took a few years ago when and as some who have been accessing this blog would know, I was homeless and living in a tent in the bush. ‘Harmonica Mike’ was well known to backpackers who camped in the woods. Actually and given the tendency of the younger generation to post all and everything on social media, Michael had become a bit of an international celebrity with many wondering how in a country like Australia a man with a plethora of health issues could be left to live in a tent.
I said ‘don’t smile’ – Mike thought that was a crack up.