|12-30-2011, 01:23 PM||#1|
Joined: Jan 2006
Location: Blue Mountains and West, N.S.W. AUSTRALIA
WEDNESDAYS RIDE 28-12-2011 Ben Chifley Dam, NSW, Australia
Wednesday 28th December 2011
Ben Chifley Dam
The weather forecast for the day looked pretty good. On arriving at Maccas I found only five other riders waiting. By 9.00am nobody else had arrived; I guess some were away or had people visiting for Christmas. So there was just Noel (appropriate for the time of year), Eric, Bill, Gary B, Richard and me. Noel reckoned we hadn’t been to the Chifley Dam for yonks, so that’s where he was going to take us.
We set off westward up the Great Western Highway and just reached the lily pond at Faulconbridge when we ran into a police RBT. All of us (except for Eric who looked too innocent) were herded into the truck bay where half the NSW Police Force were waiting. There were coppers everywhere and they proceeded to give us an arithmetic test by making us count to ten. Anyway we eventually got going again and the further up the mountains we went, the colder it got. By Katoomba we were freezing and were copping misty rain. We finally arrived at the Shell servo at South Bowenfels where we stopped for morning smoko. It wasn’t much warmer here and we were struggling to avoid spilling our coffee from shivering. Where was summer???
Having partially thawed, we set off towards Tarana. As we crossed Lake Lyell,
we could see that it was almost full and there were a lot of camps set up along the shore. The road had improved greatly where some (but not all) of the really rough sections had been torn up and re-sealed. As we rode through Tarana and towards O’Connell the sky started to clear and we were getting patches of sunshine. This was more like it. From O’Connell we took that really beaut road out to The Lagoon (yes, there really is a lagoon there). From here it was just a short run down to the Chifley Dam.
This dam stores water from the Campbell’s River (I just looked it up and no, I don’t know who Campbell was) and is the main water supply for the city of Bathurst.
We proceeded to one of the picnic sheds for lunch. The weather had become sunny but there was quite a cool breeze blowing. While we were eating we were able to watch the people hooning around in their power boats. I find it hard to comprehend that they are allowed in a domestic water supply. After digesting our sandwiches we went for a stroll along the wall of the dam. It was obviously full as when we got to the far end there was water cascading down the spillway. Eric, Noel and Gary walked down the staircase to the bottom of the spillway where they found some huge fish swimming in a pool. They reckoned they didn’t look like European carp, so a few of us decided we’d make a return visit soon with fishing gear to find out what they were. I hadn’t gone down to have a look as I didn’t fancy the climb back again.
Having packed up our lunch gear we rode back to O’Connell and headed south to Oberon to check out the dam there.
This one is on the Fish River and is the domestic supply for where else but Oberon. Here they definitely do NOT allow power boats. When we arrived it was much warmer and we began to shed our jumpers. (Strange for Oberon.) When we walked onto the wall here, the water level was higher than we’d seen it for some time but reckoned it was still only about fifty percent.
We decided to forego afternoon tea here and have it at Mt Victoria instead, so we headed off along the Duckmaloi Road (always a nice one) to Hampton. From Hampton we headed north to the Great Western Highway, joining it at the bottom of River Lett Hill. Then it was along the highway through Little Hartley and up Victoria Pass to pull in at the Caltex servo for afternoon tea. Eric left us at this point to return home via the Bells Line of Road.
After a leisurely cup of coffee in the servo cafe it was time to leave for home. Noel reckoned we’d done enough dams now for a while and for the next few weeks we’d find other destinations. Sounded like a good idea to me. We headed back down the highway and at Medlow Bath who should we see but the boys and girls of the RBT again. I think it was the same crew but this time there were fewer of them and they were pulling up motorists outside the Hydro Majestic Hotel. We gave them a cheerful wave as we rode past. At least I think that sticking up your thumb is a kind of wave. Then it was along to the roadworks at Wentworth Falls. From time to time the traffic would slow to a stop and then crawl along at snail’s pace. The traffic wasn’t particularly heavy and I’ve no idea what was causing it. I finally arrived home about 6.00pm having ridden 318km. A particularly good one this week but unfortunately I don’t have any photos. Many thanks to Noel for leading the ride.
If it gets to much GO FOR A RIDE
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