May Challenge – Bricks: 1860s- early 1900s

It’s that time of year when the sun is at such a mellow angle that there is lots of golden light that really illuminates rocks and bricks in a beautiful way. So I should have taken heaps of rides to take advantage of it. The weather has been really good, too – lots of sunny, warm days with a light breeze. (We should be into the rainy season, but haven’t seen much of that yet).

So apologies for all the missed opportunities – I’ve only been out for short rides. I have FINALLY figured out why I’ve been feeling so crap, low on energy and so very itchy. The rash that has been coming and going, and the immune system activation that goes with it and makes me feel like junk, is the latest body revolt. Apparently, my body now will not let me take common medications (i.e. ibuprofen and anti-histamines) and then go out in the sun. That is what is causing the rash. It only took me eight weeks to figure this out and to see that I was in a vicious circle of ‘rash-anti-histamine for rash-sunlight-rash-repeat). Now that we’ve got THAT figured out, I’m hoping to get my energy back to its normal lows and then start moving forward toward ME/CFS remission again.

So here are our brick photos from our short rides this month. I leave in a few days for Colorado, so this will be it for the month. I’m looking forward to seeing my family, enjoying the mountains and taking the new Salsa out for a ride – though I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to ride with my shoulder’s range of motion still very limited and painful. See you in June!

Bike and bricks at the Carlyle Cemetery. Bike is leaning up against a post that says “Jews Compartment” for which I can only see one headstone. The bricks are burning towers, but I didn’t feel right leaning the bike on them, so this was the closest leaning post.
The Chinese burning towers built in 1887. These are thought to be the only square ones in all of Australia. There are bigger towers about 40 min from here at Beechworth, but they are round. These are associated with the gold rush influx of people in the 1860s.
One of the Chinese headstones – I think the sign said there are 40 Chinese burials in the cemetery.
Bike with bricks at the Soldiers Memorial Hall. This is the side of the building. I liked the fire escape near the bay window that ends way above the ground.
The stables at the Victoria Hotel built in 1868. The doors are padlocked, so they still must use it for storage.
Back of the hotel – still in business with a nice beer garden and cheap lunch specials.

See more about the hotel here.

And here is the first school – built in 1872 and then added onto. Next door is the current school – another brick building built in 1909 with interesting architecture. You can see the long windows of it near the door of the old school. No pics though because it was just about school let-out time and taking pics would be a bit creepy.

See more about the old school and local museum here.

Bike at entry to All Saints Wines. The golden leaves of the grapevines in the background. They were even more striking about a week later.
Tree-lined entry to All Saints. This will be spectacular when these trees turn – but I’ll be in America when that happens.

All Saints was established in 1872. The castle on the grounds was built by hand. If I had time, I would get a pic of the brick kiln where they fired all the hand-made bricks for the castle. There is also a Chinese dormitory (keeping in theme with the burning towers above) and quite a few other historical buildings on the property. All Saints always hosts the big Day on the Green concerts. Elton John will play here next March. Check it all out here and be sure to look at the History page.

Of course, after many rides, the guys want a float, even if we’ve only gone 20kms. Here they are on the Murray. The irrigation season downstream is over, so the river is way down.


Nerdy chick in Australia who loves to ride and is accompanied by the crew: 'The Commander' Verne and the 'Mental Health Specialist' Kermit.

12 response to "May Challenge – Bricks: 1860s- early 1900s"

  1. By: Rich-Illinois Posted: May 19, 2019

    The lighting does make for some great photos.
    Looked up the burning towers ……. not what I thought at first!
    Have a great trip, and enjoy that new Salsa!!

    • By: The Navigator Posted: May 20, 2019

      Thanks, Rich – ah, yes, the burning towers were for burning incense and other offerings, not cremation of remains! And I should have said the towers at Beechworth are cylindrical not round.

      • By: gregblood Posted: May 20, 2019

        Like Rich, I hadn’t heard of burning towers. I’m not sure if I was on the same page as Rich, but when I first saw the term “burning towers” in the same caption as “the Jews Compartment,” I was thinking of something much, much more evil than cremation of remains. I’m greatly relieved it wasn’t that.

        As others have said, I can’t wait to see you on your new bike. Hopefully the crew is coming to Colorado with you. I think they’d love a float in a little lake fed by streams of water that were fields of snow a few minutes earlier. I know from experience that there is nothing more exhilarating (and scream-inducing) than diving into an icy mountain lake.

        One more thing: nice brick photography.

        • By: The Navigator Posted: May 21, 2019

          Ha – each section of the old part of the cemetery has a compartment. Church of England, Catholic, etc. Nowadays, everyone just gets buried over in “lawn” unless they have a family plot in the old part.

          The guys did get a float at 12,000 feet at Independence Pass last year – I’ll see what I can do for them this year 🙂 I used to do a Polar Bear Plunge every month of the year with my boyfriend when I was in college. We had to break the ice a few times in the reservoir above Ft Collins. My good friend Jen whom has joined me on my tours (and we did the ride with her one-year-old in SD in 2016) has jumped in many alpine lakes with me, too. It’s probably not a good idea for my body at the moment – I have enough regulating temperature as it is, at the moment. On the other hand, maybe my body could use a big shock and reset!

  2. By: Seasidejanet Posted: May 19, 2019

    The Golden Hour is beautiful!! Hope you’re feeling better soon and have a great trip and visit with the folks. I’m hoping you enjoy your new Salsa as much as I do my Troll!! Ok now I need to look up Burring Towers….

    • By: The Navigator Posted: May 20, 2019

      Thank you! I’m so glad you are in love with your new Surly. It will be a bit before I can really break in the Salsa because my reach is really limited at the moment, but I do anticipate at least a little bit of pedaling while in Colorado.

      The burning towers were for burning incense and offerings. They are scattered all over Victoria in the old towns that were big in gold rush days.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: May 21, 2019

      Thanks, Janet. Hope you continue to find many new adventures with the Surly and favourite rides with Bessie.

  3. By: Suzanne Posted: May 20, 2019

    Yes, beautiful golden light, especially warm on the bricks. Thanks for the tour of interesting historic sites including bricks 👍.
    I’m looking forward to meeting your Salsa. Have a great trip and happy time with your folks.

  4. By: NancyG Posted: May 20, 2019

    Nice that you are feeling better enough to get out for a ride. And what a lovely ride it seems to have been. All great photos and interesting brick findings. I would not. Want to have to escape a fire with that long jump down at the end! I will guess it is that way to prevent “intruders” from climbing up it and having illegal entry. Cannot think of another reason!
    Feel better Em, and enjoy your visit to Colorado with your family.

    • By: The Navigator Posted: May 21, 2019

      Yes, I thought the same about the fire escape. I thought maybe they figured the fire brigade would be there to pluck people from the ladder or catch them below in the actual event. You wouldn’t have wanted to jump – not only because of the distance, but also because it is on a hill and it would be impossible to land on your feet with the hill throwing your balance upon landing!

  5. By: Lednar De Nalloh Posted: May 21, 2019

    All the best for your trip to Colorado.would love to do some riding around there

Leave a Reply