Mylor to Cleland
Southern Guidebook, Maps 3.2-3.4
Graham led his first walk at an amazing pace. After an hour's hiking we brought to his attention the silence that had descended upon the group. We were all getting tired hiking so fast! Even though Hilary was punished with having to write out lines, she was later awarded positive points! Did I get any? No! We awarded him 2.5 strikes for leading us astray two and a half times... seriously though, he's a natural. He promises to specify the rules & regs in future...
It was a surprisingly good hike, looking at the map it was through residential areas, much of it along roads. But there was little road walking, along most roads there were trails following parallel to the roads, although seemingly far from the road. So we were treated to many special little places.
Some intriging history stuff today, or so I found out after google'ing it later. The photo below shows a tunnel under a main railway. So what, you say? Notice the steel pipe at the top of the photo just beyond the tunnel, and stonework beyond that (top left of photo). That steel pipe - it's cast iron from the 1880's, and with the stone abutment, formed part of a large bridge that crossed Cox Creek, I think it was "filled-in" in the 1920's. Compare to the photo from 1885, see? I presume the method of building up an earth embankment beneath a 4-span bridge that needed strengthening would result in very little disruption and cost compared to building a new bridge and associated earthworks beside an existing bridge. Once the earth embankment was built up to within a metre or so of the bottom of the bridge span, the span could be removed and the rest of the earth built up and the tracks relaid, presumably very quickly.
The photo below shows the millrace that fed water from the dam on Cox Creek to the Bridgewater Mill. The millrace is immediately to the right of the path, in the form a concrete culvert (but not clear in photo, I just thought it was a gutter). Of course the millrace had to be on a slight incline, and obviously involved lots of earthworks in it's construction. Apparently (thanks Google), there was a village further upstream, but the mill was built downstream. The Mt Barker road was re-routed in the 1850's through what is now Bridgewater so a town grew there instead. The Mill built a new dam in 1870, but within a year the dam wall collapsed and washed away the village. More info.
The hike to the summit was tough, ascending some 200 metres in a short distance, but it felt good to reach such a milestone - from Cape Jervis in April last year to the landmark of Mt Lofty now.
I was eager to get a cover shot for the next Trailwalker mag, so I subjected people to various photos which will tee up End-to-End 3 reaching Mt Lofty Summit with the recent Sea to Summit hike.
Michele brought along an old school friend, Ros, and her daughter Jo, who are visiting from Scotland. Ros was particularly concerned about today's hike - it's toughness and length. I'm don't think Michele had been entirely honest with her about the length of the hike, gradually easing her into the idea over the week. As it turned out, the hike was only 16.5km, not the 19km it purported to be. And both really enjoyed the hike, despite the warm weather.
- Distance: 16.5km
- Hike duration: 5 hours
- Weather: 25 degrees, clear