Pristine new curb and guttering gleams white along the top side of the newly sealed gravel avenue.
Why one side only comes to mind. Why does it end short of the end of the avenue ? Perhaps the answer will come if a resident comes out. It did. The answer to ‘ how do you feel about the sealing of the Avenue ‘ ? Was “well it’s practical because the gravel road was eroding from water cascading down the slope on the steep side, practical but no I don’t like it. “
There is the dilemma.
I drove away thinking there must be other ways of solving this problem. I believe there are – more appropriate to these rural laneways. One is well formed shoulders to gutters lined with half guttering to divert run off to the end of the road and incidentally watering the surrounding native bush.
This avenue connects a series of delightful walking tracks in several directions, including a ‘ pedestrian only ‘ bridge over a very steep gully, to an enticing picnic area to the right,
refreshed by a mineral springs outlet with a pump for access to the water the district is so renowned for.
To the left the Pavillion cafe for rewarding coffee and lunch or breakfast and further along the mineral springs track, Bath House for a swim.
The local residents may already know of these delights as evidenced by the number of walkers I encountered in a short ten minutes and by the charming and helpful postman who guided me to the avenue, grinned when I said you must be pleased with the sealing of this avenue and suggested where to take a photograph.
And the owner of my favourite dog breed, an Hungarian Visla, which prompted an exchange of stories and laughter at the energetic antics of her dog who kept retrieving it’s ball and dropping it at my feet.
A Game I reluctantly extracted myself from so their walk could continue.
These friendly encounters occur so often in my short four years in Hepburn Springs. Still a ‘ newcomer ‘. Twenty more before I might be honoured with belonging as a resident I am told.
Celia Waldron is a local resident and member of the writers group