By Cosette Woolley.
The morning decision, feed the birds or shower and get dressed first. Decision, shower and get dressed. What could go wrong? This particular morning one of my feathered friends decided to use me as target practice. Ok, change of shirt. It is supposed to be GOOD LUCK!
A leisurely drive to the The Gap, passing through Ashgrove I still had some spare time. My first nineteen years were spent in Ashgrove so I decided to go past the family home. It has been done up in the Hampton style, looks good.
Arriving at The Gap Park and Ride a little before time. It was enjoyable listening to the whip birds in the surrounding greenery. Watching all the energic people getting ready for their hikes. It is getting very close to 8 O’clock, no Lotus have arrived. Open the email with the directions, confirming I am in the right place. I was very pleased and relieved when the second car arrived shortly afterwards.
A good catch up. Watched a poor motorcyclist get pinged by a member of the two wheel constabulary. Just move on, nothing to see here. There was a deep and meaningful discussion about numbers. Somebody informed Kev that some people registered through the App. I think the consensus, no idea on numbers but it was a good roll up.
Driver’s briefing, and we are off, up Mt Glorious, Mt Nebo up to Esk through some beautiful mountain roads. Esk is a delightful town in the Somerset area. The main street has many cafes, unique gifts and antique shops. The town was named after the Esk River that runs from Dumfries and Galloway in Scotland to the Solway Firth in England. The area was first explored by Captain Patrick Logan in 1830. The town was established to service the short-lived copper mines of Eskdale and Cressbrook Creek. Settlers moved into the region during the 1840s. Esk forms the southern border of the Garumga clan of the Dalla Tribe.
Morning Tea at Angie’s Country Café, 85 Ipswich St, Esk. Great country hospitality, extensive menu of hearty country fare. The house made cakes are enormous with lovely Barista made coffee. The service was quick, as I placed my order the Barista informed the counter staff there would be a 20 minute delay on coffees but they came much quicker than that. After some amicable conversation it was time to leave.
As a solo occupant in the car, I try to predict which direction we will be going in order to join the convoy and not get left behind. Yet again I got it wrong. Fortunately somebody let me in. Off to Murphy’s Creek, through Ravensbourne and Perserverance.
Oops, who tried to put us on a dirt road? Disaster averted, a detour through Highfields and down to Murphy’s Creek. It was lovely to see the May Bushes in flower and wild Wisteria growing on the side of road through Highfields.
Murphy’s Creek is a rural town in the Lockyer Valley. It was originally known as Murphy’s Waterhole and Fingal. It was developed as a railway town on the line between Toowoomba and settlements to the east including Helidon, Ipswich and Brisbane. The railway station was opened in 1867 as part of the Ipswich – Toowoomba section of the Southern and Western Railway. Based at the foot of the Great Dividing Range, the station and water tank was intended to provide water and services to the locomotives about to embark on the difficult journey up the steep slopes of the Toowoomba range.
A Brisbane Courier newspaper correspondent, at the time described the site as the “feeding place for the engines” travelling to and from Toowoomba. The town was renamed Murphy’s Creek from Fingal on 17th January 1924. It has a population of 629 (2016 consensus). We certainly swelled the population for the afternoon.
Murphy’s Creek Tavern, 3 Thursa Street, Murphy’s Creek. A nice country pub with great service, good food and ample parking. Outside and in-doors dining areas with an extensive menu. I believe they also do take away and even have a courtesy bus. The service was very efficient and surprisingly quick considering being inundated by our masses, notwithstanding they were expecting us. The bar service was also great and efficient.
It was so interesting to hear from fellow club members imparting their European knowledge of places of interest and their experiences to a fellow club member who is about to embark on his own European family adventure.
The publican was very appreciative of our patronage and personally thanked us on our departure. He took many photos, so look out on social media. A nice drive down the highway home.
Thanks Kev for organising a great day, drive, food, and company. What more would you want?