Day Three 323 km Route Part One Part Two
Day three was one of those glorious days where it all comes together. I had a following breeze— only 6 or 7km/h— but that's enough.  Road surfaces were brilliant. Traffic was almost zero all day. The day was long enough that I flattened the battery on my GPS, and rode for an hour or so while it recharged. Needless to say, I stopped at a motel! No setting up a tent at 1a.m. for this little black duck.

I left St Arnaud on the Sunraysia Highway facing the question of where next to stop. Lascelles was a very short day, and Patchewollock was a bit far. The distance is not the only thing to consider when touring: also important is what is at the other end. Patchewollock had no shops likely to be open, that I could see. I would be setting up a bush camp in the near dark. Water could be a difficulty.

I made such good time, however, that I abandoned the idea of the "sensible" route through Patchewollock to Pinaroo and Tailem Bend and went straight on to Mildura. Local service station folk said Tuesday night traffic would be very light, and that most of it came out of Mildura.

I covered a lot of broad-acre farming country similar to the country where I grew up. Grandpa's trees reminded me of the sugar gums at Hillview. Grandpa planted these and now, 100 years on, the trees are aging too.

 Old telephone lines recalled the party lines some of us endured.

I remembered my Dad wondering if cement posts were all they were claimed to me, and going with creosote pine. I guess this fence is only ten years of so younger than me, but it had a fair bit of concrete cancer.

And crop everywhere. Some places in the mallee are well into harvest. Others have a few weeks to wait.

Mallee sunsets are glorious.

Night riding is dangerous if not done correctly. Cold is a major factor which can exhaust blood sugar very quickly. This is not only the most foul feeling I know— it feels like you are dying— but it can kill you from exposure, or from crashing off the road or into traffic. I added a long sleeve base layer, went to a winter weight jersey, thick woollen socks over my riding socks, full finger gloves under my touring gloves, and a balaclava. At the top of the panniers I also had a wind proof vest— they breathe through the back, and a full jacket and heavy duty base layer on standby.  According to the GPS, average temperature was around 10 degrees. This is a warm night for riding.  Once it gets below 6 or 7 degrees life becomes "interesting."

Lots of kind comments from Facebook friends followed the selfie.

Night riding also has serious safety issues about visibility. These are covered in another post.       Day Four >>>>

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