The overnight squal had abated but it’s companion the breeze was here for the day. A constant twenty knots blowing from the south east chased us up the coast to the mouth of the Torrens.
It was there that we turned inland and the sanctuary of overhead acacia and gum. Following the river as it meandered lazily into the heart of the great formal city – Adelaide.
“Mate this place is impeccable” muttered Horse, and it was. It has beautiful trashless trails that open up onto wide manicured fields and open public spaces. All the way from sea to summit.
We blew it
After all the delays our original plans were a complete shambles. So we decided to improvise and follow the coast as best we could north to Port Wakefield then overland to Wallaroo before heading god knows where.
This required us to turn off the Adelaide river trail just prior to the Hope valley. But we blew it. In the bliss of a good back wind we’d blown right past that deviation. And now the shadow of the Black Hill loomed.
In the silence of our collective smirk we knew the right decision. We pushed on up the trail to the Mawson. ‘The mission was still on.’
Claw and crawl
We turned off Torrens Gorge and began the crawl up Stone hut Road. We were at the trail head with a 450m climb in a little under six k’s. “’Rude’ I thought, but I’ve been here before.
Everything I’d read prior reinforced my current demeanour – this was going to be a mofo section.
Gravel was soon replaced with rust coloured soil and mobs of kangaroos. We scrambled our way up, at times pushing and coaxing the heavy bikes through the soft stuff.
Then startled, we burst through the forest at its crest to be greeted by a tortured live rendition of old Tom Waits Rain dogs.
Like a beacon in the roughage to a world civil, we followed its source to Andersons vineyard. Shiraz shortly followed.
The drop and drivel
It grew close, cold and quick. We had already reached todays temperature high of 11 degrees, but without the wind chill. Our blood now thickened, we set off for the drop to Lobethal, shelter and a much needed feed at the Rising Star.
Horse found god at the Rising Star. It came in the form of a cheese toasty and accompanying bowl of liquid garlic butter. As I read the deep fried menu with growing alarm, I couldn’t help but reminisce at the sight of last Friday nights salad.
After prizing Horse from the bar, we made good ground north to Birdwood and the nights shelter. Escorted on route by a squadron of Galahs. who chasing the last of the days light, skipping and swooping through the trees, the lightning flashes of crimson under wing.
Day over, we were pleased to have finally put some distance behind us.
Today’s top track: Tom Waits – Rain dogs