"Fourbears" Run to Parkes and Forbes
15 September 2014 / Iris & Tony McDonald
On a beautiful sunny morning a group of 17 enthusiastic starters in 9 cars headed off in convoy up the Barton Highway past Yass, before branching onto Lachlan Valley Way north to Boorowa. After a relatively short run, we arrived at the Superb Bakery in Boorowa for a life-saving coffee and assorted edibles.
Fully refuelled, the group retraced its steps a few kilometres to the Harden turnoff leading to Young and Grenfell. This segment of the run went past huge fields of flowering canola and bright green early wheat, and the bright yellow and green patchwork was something to behold. Those who had not travelled this area in Spring were suitably impressed. At Grenfell, we took a small detour to see the memorial marking Henry Lawson’s birthplace, before pressing on to Forbes.
Shortly after midday, we arrived at McFeeter’s Motor Museum in Forbes where we lined our cars up on the forecourt for a photo opportunity. The owners of McFeeters took some publicity shots which they will use in their future advertising. Photos over, we had a pleasant lunch in the museum café before being provided with a lengthy guided tour of the museum. Bill McFeeter had a very detailed knowledge of the various cars in the museum, and provided many comical insights about the cars and their previous owners. Later in the afternoon, some of the more adventurous decided to avail themselves of a wine tasting offered at the site. Eventually we moved on to our motel where a short ‘happy hour’ was enjoyed after checking in. This was later followed by a wonderful group dinner which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Sunday morning saw us off to the CSIRO Observatory at Parkes (as featured in the movie ‘The Dish’) for morning tea and a personalised tour of the observatory by the site manager. The tour was very informative and provided access to areas usually restricted to CSIRO staff only. The views of the surrounding countryside from the gallery immediately below the receiving dish were impressive, and added to the impact of the tour. A quick alfresco lunch followed before all but two cars returned to Parkes to visit the Henry Parkes museum complex to see the Elvis Museum, a collection of memorabilia owned by the yellow Wiggle, Greg Page. Then back to Forbes for a short rest before walking into town to find somewhere for dinner. This turned out to be a bit of a challenge as most eateries were closed on a Sunday night. However, we were fortunate to find a lovely old pub with a great bistro which provided a splendid meal.
The return trip to Canberra was via Cowra where a detour to the Japanese Gardens was made for morning coffee. After coffee, the group broke up with some touring the gardens, whilst others returned directly home.
In summary, the run was considered very successful by all participants who enjoyed its many aspects, but particularly the visit to the Parkes Observatory. A total of approximately 670 kms was covered on highways and secondary roads, without incident.
There are also a few photos that have been posted to the Canberra Flickr Group by Damon.