Thru Hiking the Lavender Federation Trail – Sept 2018 – Page 12

22 September – Moculta to Keyneton 17 km

A whopper of a frost greeted us this morning and my mind went back to the young farmer I was talking to at the Point Pass Hotel who said he had crops in the ground and didn’t want to hear the “F” word! He wouldn’t be happy but after the initial shock of getting out of our tents, we knew we were in for a beautiful, fine day.

The Moculta Road returned us to the LFT and we were soon walking past Parrot Hill on our right. Appropriately there were plenty of rosellas and corellas around this morning. The LFT made use of some forested road corridors in this section. We entered private property following a rough bush track across a creek and up a hill. Amongst the forest, the ground here was strewn with fallen timber as if a cyclone had gone through. “Plenty of firewood” I thought, but we were a long way off pitching tents tents yet. It was a matter of picking our way through the dead timber until we came to a long and well maintained drystone wall.

The trail follows this wall for several kilometres. Some kangaroos grazing on the other side of the wall were startled at finding me only metres from them, having approached them unseen. In their casual but purposeful way, they bound off to a safe distance. The rocks of the wall were covered in lichen. The wall continued heading south to Henschke Winery but the LFT diverted off here to follow several quiet dirt roads. Some of these roads had mountain bike trails along their edges. They seemed well used and maintained with banked corners and many jumps.

Along Paschke Road we stopped to look at a Pioneer Cemetery with a couple of families interred. There was an information board giving history of Bridget Evans and her 12 offspring. We walked along Blandford Road, lined with some massive old gums and North Creek. Dairy cows were in the surrounding paddocks, inquisitive but wary.

The village of Keyneton, like many others, had seen more prosperous times. At the main crossroad was the former Temperance Hotel, where in days of old, you could get a good cup of tea, but no grog! Further along the road I found the Soldiers Memorial Hall, built by the North Rhine Band of Hope and Total Abstinence Society! They sound like a fun group! If nothing else, they left behind some lovely old buildings. A church, community Post Office and small book exchange are next to the Soldiers Hall.

Vineyards were introduced here in the 1860s which must have caused friction with the hard core members of the Abstinence Society. The vineyards are still flourishing.

Our camp for the night was at the Recreation Grounds where we spent some time in the afternoon on the grassy slope in front of the pavilion, enjoying the warm sunshine. Again we could camp under cover and make use of the toilets and water tank.