Called in at Derby for morning tea at the Two Doors Down Cafe. Great little cafe with lots of those gluten-free cakes that the Sparrow loves. Nice silver dog water bowl with little bones stamped around it for canine patrons. I always think water tastes better out of a good bowl!
The town itself looks quite historic with many old buildings set in very hilly terrain. According to the Sparrow-phone, it was a tin mining town from the late 1800’s to the 1940’s. The town declined seriously after the mine closed and at one point only had a population of about 150 people. No mention of how many dogs but I’m guessing there were a few! Derby has resurrected itself in recent years by becoming a major mountain biking area, thanks to a progressive council and the Blue Derby project. It now has over 100km of mountain bike tracks and even hosts a major international mountain-bike racing event. There are several bike shops and bike hire places in town. The whole place has the feel of a historic ski village, but for mountain bikes. The folks noted a free camping area on the river with showers and toilets that looked like a prospect for another time, but this time we had plans for Scottsdale, so after morning tea it was back to the van.
Just on the edge of Scottsdale, we pulled into Northeast Park, where the council has a free camping area with toilets and showers – very progressive, must be the same council! The park seems to be run by three large geesy-duck creatures who strut around all day demanding tit-bits. I guess that’s instead of site fees. After all, what would ducks do with money? Like dogs, they have no pockets to put it in. Out the back corner is a great parklands area for playing ball and the Willis Walkway, an elevated boardwalk through rainforest.
From there we followed the access path up to the Rail Trail (just like the Bruthen Rail Trail) and followed that into the township of Scottsdale itself, then down the highway back to Northeast Park. Great walk, about 6km. Apparently you can cycle about 35 km along the rail trail, almost back to Derby. Makes me wish dogs could ride bikes!
On the trail we walked past a couple of paddocks of goats and young steers. One young steer came up to the fence to stare me down and point his horns at me. Noting that the fence looked secure, I stared right back and gave him a couple of barks. The folks had to pull me away, that showed him whose boss! My breeding tells me you’ve got to show no fear in situations like that. (On the other hand, without the fence, running may have proved a good plan ‘B’).
The campsite was next to the main road, which surprisingly had regular traffic throughout the night, so we all woke up intermittently. That problem was compounded by the temperature plunging to an overnight minimum of 3 degrees. The folks decided to leave first thing and look for a good breakfast spot on the road.
I think we’re going to wineries today so it will be “Guard the van Enzo” mixed with sleeping under lunch tables. Hopefully they’ll get something nice for lunch and drop a few bits my way!