Tuesday, 23 October 2012


This sunflower was photographed at Back Plains.

You can always rely on a warm welcome when you visit the Clifton District but on this particular occasion it was warmer than normal with unseasonably hot weather accompanied by a smoke haze brought in on a north easterly breeze.
Although our group, U3A Peddling for Pleasure, have ventured to more distant parts including Victoria and New Zealand for extended tours, this was the first of what we hope to be many enjoyable 2 day rides in close proximity to our home base of Cleveland on the bay side of Brisbane.
Clifton in the smoke haze
When you live on a bay as pretty as ours, it could well be difficult to come to grips with the fact that there might be other nice areas to live and ride. No, we're not as parochial as all that as the majority of our group are well travelled both in Australia and overseas and we know that the world is full of exciting and beautiful areas to explore. Interestingly enough, that is the sole reason why we have formed another smaller group called the Peddling Pathfinders tasked with finding new paths and trails closer to home and suitable to the main group.
Having settled into our accommodation, we decided on the Black Cat cafe for lunch. Being fuelled up, we were ready to head off on our first ride which was on the western side of Clifton.
We headed out of town in a northerly direction towards Nobby before taking a turn to our left which took us in a westerly direction towards Mt. Moler, where the views will enable the taking of some spectacular photographs to show the family and friends.
Photo taken at the base of Mt. Molar

Photos taken at the base of Mt. Moler

Photo taken from the summit of Mt. Molar

The slope on the southern side of Mt. Moler allows a descent which will quickly have the adrenaline pumping through your system.
Not too far down this road we come to a junction where we turn right past the airfield on the left and another right heading towards Back Plains. Bange's airfield is quite well known to amateur aviators as they hold a fly-in once a year for both historical as well as new light aircraft and draws a crowd both aeronautical as well as interested spectators. It is this type of country event that breathes life into small country towns.



Back Plains and Felton are typical of the Darling Downs mixed farms and is an area which was settled in the mid 19th century by predominantly Irish Catholic and Lutheran German immigrants, the descendants, although fewer, still farm the land to-day. Unfortunately, the families have dwindled with the evolving of higher education and the prospect of better paying jobs, enticing the younger generations to leave and seek their fortunes in other parts. One thing they couldn't take with them however, is the outstanding beauty of the country and rural areas and the laid back lifestyle of the locals, some of whom would never dream of ever leaving unless forced to do so.
The above two photos were taken in the Back Plains/Felton area
We covered the rest of the 44km without too much stress and arrived at our accommodation at the Clifton Arms Hotel in time for a refreshing shower. As throats were parched.............stay tuned.
Jimmy Bee

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