Day 46 - Chinchilla

Day 46: Thursday August 25
Chinchilla 194km

The plan today was to head from Roma to Miles. I left at 6, and made such good time, I began to wonder about Chinchilla, which is another 48 kilometres on top of 142 to Miles. The wind and hill profile checked out when I got to Miles, so I had a quick afternoon tea, booked a cheap motel room, and came on.

Leaving Roma

Leaving Roma

Leaving Roma

(The Bureau of Meteorology has a brilliant app called MetEye, where you can look at the four hourly wind direction and speed forecasts, and Google Maps gives cyclists an altitude profile if they enter a ride in. We're getting soft, but it's a great help!)

I'm in a palatial room because, the owner confessed, he was sure no one could leave Miles at 2pm and get to Chinchilla, so he gave the last budget room to someone else! So I have a stove to cook tea, plenty of room to dry my tent, and still more room for a barn dance, if I wish.

I stopped 40 kilometres out of Roma at Wallumbilla for a few have mouthfuls of peanuts, jammed down a couple of Chico rolls at Yuleba (56km), and had a proper lunch at Dulacca.

Somewhere past Wallumbilla

Typical Warego Hihgway between Roma and Miles

 

Traffic today was heavy, and not well behaved. I'd say 25% of drivers were passing at highway speeds and well inside 1.5 metres. I had one sports car use my lane to overtake towards me. It passed me so that we were three abreast. When the cops don't give you a metre I guess the behaviour of everyone else is no surprise!
The other 75% of drivers were courteous, crossing to the other lane. I've never experienced such a marked contrast in driving attitudes, especially in such open rolling country where there is no "need" to pass close.

A classic example were the three cattle trucks from the same company who pulled onto the highway just behind me. The first one crossed to the right lane, as one would like, but the next two, in the same kilometre, nearly ran me off the road. Dead flat, wide and straight road, no oncoming traffic. What gives with these people?

 

Mistletoe

Old church at Jackson

 

Laugh of the day was to see a farmstead five or six hundred metres up from the road, with a new long lake along the road at the bottom of the front paddock. Two Border Collies were down exploring the new water feature, paddling around with intense interest as I arrived. They didn't know I was coming, as I was down wind, until I said, "Hey fellas! How are ya?"

The first one immediately thought he'd been sprung by the boss, and made a bolt for home. The second shouted, "You idiot! It's a bloke on a bike. We chase them!"

He launched himself in my direction with all his might, only to find the water was really really deep... and disappear in a flurry of foam!

In my initial planning, I had thought of doing Roma-Condamine-Dalby instead of Roma-Miles-Dalby, to avoid some traffic, but left it, because it would mean a bush camp, and I've had enough of them. Condamine is coal seam gas country, but even on this road I saw what I took to be a CSG power station, and also a couple of CSG wells on the edge of the road. There are signs pointing to plenty of others.

CSG Well

The only place a CSG well (see the signs below) makes any sense!

I've been following the railway line for days now, and finally saw a train today.

There's been lots of cropping, and numbers of silos. We're in the inside country for sure.

What are they growing? Some kind of aloe?

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