To Everton via El Dorado: A short ride extended
Sunday April 2, 2017, 57 km (35 miles) – Total so far: 393 km (244 miles)
Today I only had a short ride on the rail trail out to Everton. Along the way I decided to include a side trip to Eldorado. I was a bit surprised when I turned off the trail to do it but obviously the subconscious mind decided for my logical part which said “Hey; but it’s only 5 ks to Everton!
The trail was interesting this morning with plenty of Weekend riders out.At the first stopping point I met a guy on a mountain bike and another on a Greenspeed 3 wheel recumbent. We were all pretty much ignored by the Lycra riders.
I was having a hard day, not feeling 100%, so was doubly surprised when the bike turned off. The road to Eldorado was flattish and the usual good chip seal. The wind was behind so the 8 ks to town went quickly. The first thing I found was the smallest pub in Victoria.
So, deciding it was worth exploring, I checked it out and ordered lunch. “One piece of fish or two?”. Um – two. The fish, chips and salad was huge. Two pieces of flake (shark) that sat across the diameter of a good sized plate. No room for chips alongside – they were uncovered as a layer underneath. What a feed.
After lunch I explored the township. In 1840 a Royal Navy man settled and named his spread Eldorado. When gold was found, the name was adopted by the town.
This area was known as the Woolshed Goldfields and at it’s height 8000 gold diggers lived along the banks of Reedy Creek. It’s so hard to imagine now. For some reason old gold mining towns resonate with me. Those that time has passed by and left, sort of, as they were. On my list are Hill End and Sofala in NSW and Malden in VIC and now Eldorado.
The local claim to fame is the Dredge. It was fired up 1 5 1935 and worked until 1954 still pulling gold out. Weighed 2142 tons. In it’s life it dug, lifted and treated 27,063,242 cubic meters of Creek bed.
In 1955 the totals for life were added. 70,664 ounces of gold and 1383 tons tin concentrate.
One more fact. When switched on the dredge was the third biggest power user in Victoria – after Melbourne and then Geelong.
Enough. After exploring the town while digesting the large lunch, I turned the wheels back to the rail trail. Unfortunately this direction was into the wind but it was OK. The rail trail turned up eventually and 5 ks along it was Everton Station. It was another 3.5ks to the township and caravan park.
In the caravan park I met another rail trail cyclist. He was riding it on a Brompton folder carrying all his camping and cooking gear. The equipment fits into a front bag and rear day pack! We discussed things cycling over a bottle of wine around a fire pot until it was time to turn in.
Footnote : after the fish and chips and the look around Eldorado I felt much better. Food ? Was I out of fuel? Perhaps the fish – after all Bertie always fed Jeeves fish to help him think. (P G Wodehouse); it must provide energy too.