SKIM THROUGH THE COUNTRY.
' ,750-MLBSm A MOTOR,' IMPRESSIONS BY THE.JVAY,
[ll— By our Special Reporter,] r In a rocent contribution to tte 'People si; Work' Series a colleague declared in ippai-ent seriousness that a reporter's me itlui .--.« mmnprnaitions Tf I had any doubt
on the question it was dissolved into tnm air about u fortnight ago, when Mr. W. K. Johnston, the South Australian manager of Messrs. James Bell L Co , obtained tscrmission for me to accompany him on a nine days' motor trip thiough the wheat districts of Yorke's Peninsula and the lower and middle north. That was a good well-grown compensation with a vengeance' For nine delightful days we skimmed over all manner of roads,— good, bad, and indifferent— through some of the most productive country in South Auhtraha. Wheiee\er the eye roamed as the petrol hor'P glided along it wan met by signs of progress, signs of plenty, and signs of solid substantiality. The crops looked remarkably healthy, stock' fattened on an abundance of sweet green herbage, and the producers were improving their holdings with a confidence which spoke volumes for their faith in tlie country. All '.ilong the route we noticed scores of high clnss stone houses, either in course of construction or only recently erected. Not only was this noticeable on tl.e farms, .but almost every country town, both on the Peninsula and the mainland, presented quite a busy facene, owing to the presence of builders.' — An Uncanny Tire. — Motor tnps are daily becoming more frequent in this part of the world, but our Journey probably constituted one of the best reliability tests which the State lias yet witnessed. Seven hundred and hity miles were covered practically without a hitch or a check. There was not a single puncture, and tiie chauffeur (Mr. O. \V. Dnval) did not have to touch the tires on one occasion. To tell the truth, when we started out on a sunny afternoon our pilot predicted that one of the tires would not last long. 'But we'll let it run. untd it blows out,' he said. 'We have several si ore ones.' That tire was far from new . and before 100 miles had been put in the rear the lubber cover began to peel like the sLm of an orange. At 500 miles it was still peeling, and at 750 the process had not been completed. If the Adelaide Museum wants bomctlung really worth exhibiting let it remove that uncanny oldveteran from Messrs Gilbert & Jenkins's powerful Minerva car, which carried our little party so nobly about the country1 I The only respect in which the car suffered to any extent was in the springs, and for that the blame must be attributed unreservedly to some of the atrocious tracks which the authorities arc pleased to call 'roads ' Two new springs had to be litted, but this did not interfere with the programme in the slightest degree, and it was quite a common occurrence for Mr/ John: ston to arrive at one of his calling places ari'hoin? or two ahead of the, scheduled; time. —An Undeserved Prejudice.— , A« most of the ^country thiough which we travelled ib not blessed with railwajb, the trip could not have been accomplished by any means but motor in lets than three or four weeks. It would not have been necessary to ro to all this pam to prove the reliability of the modern motor car were it not for the fact that many people eutertaiu a deep-rooted' prejudice against this means of travelling. Our trip proved conclusively that1 a good cat in the .hands of a competent driver can accomplish fai n-ore difficult feati, th.in it is generally given credit for It may not be out of place to give a table showing the mileage each day. Except on the last evening no travelling was done by night, and at no time was an effort made to rqual biand Prix records, while on two occasions only about one-fourth of the day -vsas spent in actual locomotion. It must be remembered in castinc! the e\e over the following list that as a ruin the places mentioned were reached by roundabout routes, involving manv stoppages — IW 4 ,SfarVr!? Placc- Terming MlJea rirst— \dplaidp Port \\ akefipl.l m jtaond-Pt WalrfUd MoSrta ' n ^r^* t Port tmcont . '.'. m Iourth-Pt Vincent Minlaton . . m r«fth-Minlaton Kadma . S Sixth— Kadina Vort Hm»i. .. Soventh-Pt. Breton Port &to' ' % t» intn— Georgetown Adelaide .. .. !. 151 Total .... i'..~isb —A Sore Temptation — Speeding through the country over all sort* of roads one could not help bein«r mirjre«ed bv the almost entire Lick of finger no«ts Time after two the traveler comes to a spot where four, five, or sk trades meet, only to diverge again in as many directions. A wrong- turning may cost him hours of needless journeyinsrond take him far ficiii his destination. This is not as it should be. For a ridiculously small outlay,; considering the i?sef illness of the work. -.the authorities could erect 'finger .posts .-at. all, the turnings, an'd thus, niake trave_lling in, f. strange district a matter ^ of certainty. Often a local resident, wio professes to. know the roads as he, knows his own backyard, will tell yon to 'follow the, metal ah the way. and you can't go wrong' He foiaets that a few miles further on the track unexpectedly divides into two. and one hrould need a magnifying glass to discover which has more metal on,, it. What i* the liiotoristi the. cyclist, the horseman. or,: for that matter, anybody else to do in such a case as this? More than'onca wo were sorely tempted to leave the choice of the rpad to the spin ..of a coin, but- fortunately the shade of Mr. Jcdkins intervened. Had it .not been: for a copy of ''The Tourists' Guide'^ we might have gone ' . sadly astray on many, occasions, '; Besides, placing posts at the diffe-' rent . crossings the, , authorities . . would be cor.ferrinjr a boon-npon all: ,and sundry if they, displayed; signs here and thprpjjiKKcating , where- a dangerous ; .hill or. a particu- ? larlvtibad piece of road may be- expected. IathiS; tihev would be -following an excellent example set in the useful publication to which:.! haye already referred;.. . . 1 ( — When Horses Meet a Motor.— : It is suTDrisirie that' sonic of the country people have not T-eeonie -reconciled to the 'motor ; yet.' It was a common' experience on Yorke's Peninsula1 to see ' accdmplislied 'drivers null'flieir horses into the scrub the moment the car appeared on the rorizoh. In' manv cases the men ; were infinitely more frightened than the steeds, for'Hv'hen the motor slowed down to pass .theni tlie animals usually regard'ed the affair in a philosophical lictht. In any case
the people' should realise that the petrol propelled machines have come to stay, and the sooner they make their horses familiar with them the better it will be for^all concerned. In some cases, of course, discretion is decidedly the better part of valour. For irstance, on the road between Yorketown and Warooka we met a lady driving a particularly nervous animal The horse, she said, had once played unspeakable pranks ac the sight of a motor, and, she knew she could not control it. There was nothing for it but to take the frightened equine out of his harness, lead him past the car, tht engine of which had been ^topD^. and. reharness-him further down thle road. That horse had no more love for a motor than the public has for the tariff. Others w l-ich were straying JdVise on the roads behaved in varying manner. Some, seized by a great fear, galloped m front of, the car for miles without taking advantage of a turning either to nglit or left; others, 1mrelled apparently by a feeling of curiosity, actually ran alongside for a few yards; and still another made a flying leap over a 4-ft. fence into a growine crop. ,
SKIM THROUGH THE COUNTRY.
- MANY MILES IN A MOTOR. MORE PASSING IMPRESSIONS.
fll.— By our' Special Reporter.]
Of all the impressions gathered on our long motor tour tlirough Yorke's Peninsula and the middle and lower north the one that sank deepest into my mind was
the triumph of the artificial-manure. 'It is the making of the State,' w.is the testimony wherever the Hying .vehicle took us, and though a reporter necessarily hears scores of juries' decisions in the Courts every year, I never listened to a verdict ?which »ave me more pleasure than this. Every fanner in South Australia knows that the plaintiff, in thi3 action, a party by the name of Super .Phosphate, has fairly and' squarely -won his case, and though be demands fairly heavy 'costs occasionally he works such incalculable good that nobody begrudges him p. respectable, found sum. A start was made for Port Wakefield along the atrocious Two Wells road, which is nearly always in a bad state owing to the heavy hay trafiic, and we had only sped as far a3 Dublin when the untold benefits of the manure began to make themselves apparent. Although the district is not many miles from Adelaide, the soil is fairly light, and would never have produced^ extraordinary crops but for a liberal use of 'super.' As it was. however.' the wheat looked' remarkably healthy, and gave an earnest of the magnificent prospects which we found in evidence throughout the whole of the trip. At Port Wakefieid a tone of substantial prosperity and confidence in the future was plainly apparent. 'Every fanner around here keeps a few sheep,' said a representative townsman, 'and they have all experienced a first-class lambing. 'As for the prospects— well, they were never better. The wheat harvest promises to be splendid, and the outlook all around is just fine.' Many similar statements might be given, but this may be taken as typical of them all. and as such it will I suffice. ? -— A Word About Roads. —
If the members of the Main Roads Commission i. want to hand their names down to posterity, they should take just such a motor trip as is the subject of tb.'se articles. Some— only some— of the highways over which the car jolted would make corrugated iron positively straighten out in ehame. True, they serve the purpotu of leading the traveller from town to town, but there their usefulness ends. This must not be taken as a comprehensive denunciation of- the roads of the State; far from it. Taken right through, ours —particularly on Yorke's Peninsulaare real bowling greens compared with many to be met with in- Victoria, but m a few individual cases they take second place to none. The worst road encountered, ou the second day was that approaching Kulpura, but it came under the heading of neither bowling green nor corrugated iron. It was just bad,, and more than tolerably bad at that. But the motor surmounted the little difficulties with ease, and carried us through good agricultural country in the Melton and Paskeyille districts to Moonta. . ' —Three Topics.— Here we found three topics of conversation—the price of copper, the tariff, und 'the Federal pocket-fillers.' The two former easily aiio'rded food lor dibcussion, but the third apparently admitted of no argument. The Eiuglish language did not contain enough striking adjectives with which to properly anathematize the action. of the ??Doodle grabbers,' and in the absence oJ varying opinions the local bar orators had to reluctantly abandon' the subject, 'i'he fall in copper was regarded seriously, while the tariff came in for all-round abuse and ridicule. Strolling along one of the mam streets one found a typical notice in a bicycle shop to the effect that 'AH accessories have been advanced 10 per. cent., owing to the new duties.' But bicycles represent orily one of many . lines winch are affecting the pockets of Moonta people in common with every one else in South Australia— except . the Federal members. 'You have to look at a. match twice nowadays' said a publican to a member of that happy mass, which graces every town— the incorrigible borrower. I know' one or two of this class in Adelaide who would make a man look at a match half a dozen times! A delightful run to Wallaroo, .and a stroll along the pier served to put. in the afternoon. The country between the two mining towns looked lemarkably well, and the erection of a good- class of stone housss in all directions was sufficient sign of the prospects of the- district. —A White Elephant.—
After a comfortable night under Host Fcrors's roof at Moonta, we packed our traps, and the motor set out on a thorough conquest of the Peninsula. The roads fpr the first 10 miles were enough to make the car almost hum with joy, but the next stage was over airather Tough track tlirough scrub country. Here was another testimony to the value of superphosphates. Laud which had been comparatively worthless before the advent of the manures was carrying healthy young crops, and the farmers in every direction were busy rallowin' or cfearins more of their holdings with a view to further production. A few more revolutions of the flying wheels landed us at Clinton, where an expensive white elephant in the shape of a useless jettystretched its neck into St. \mcent's Gulf. All the wheat shipped from the district— and it is not to be despised— is carried as far as possible in wagons, transferred to -arges, and from them to the vessels lyme out in the anchorage. It is said that occasionally a person may be seen walking on the jetty; but he who is anxious to witness that novel sight must, be blessed with untold patiince and a remarkably keen eye. —Heard at the Bar.— 'At Price, a few miles down the coast, the car 'stopped just long enough to allow its occupants to have a word or two with the publican and his customers. Here it was ;hat we beard an apparently well-founded grievance The settlers in the Hundreds of Clinton and Tipara are anxious - to have the Beetaloo water system extended to their part of the Peninsula, and in a few days the Premier will be asked to receive a deputation on the point. 'The trouble is,' remarked one au;hority, 'that water cannot be obtained here bvsinkirui as it can further south. Notwithstanding the good rains, we Have felt the need of water more this year than ever since tbe break up of the drought., The' average fanner has not more than two months' supply. ? Consequently he may have to reduce his stock, as he would haranulea to cart water, and the process would be too expensive to keep going. The use of phosphates has increased the amount of feed to such an extent that if water were^easdy obtainable the country would -be. able to carry considerably more stock. Others in the district amply bore out the statement of their spokesman, and po doubt the proposal will receive as much attention as the Labour Party's suggestion to increase the salaries of State members. ? Further Down' the Coast. —
The next stopping place' was Ardrossan — the birthplace of the stnmpjump ploughwhere the implement works representet quite a hive of industry. Magnificent roads and jequally good country characterized the run through the clean, prosperous loking, town of Maitland to Moun Rat, Curramulka. and Port Vincent. A alone the line the crops looked splendid, while the strong herbage fattened any number of horses, cattle, and sheep. Yorke's Peninsula has been proved by Mr. F. W. Allen and others to be a capital horsebreeding country, but it is questionable whether the industry might not be carried on on a considerably larger scale than at present. AH the horses we saw ixom top to bottom of the Peninsula looked remarkably hardy, and stood upon ; capital legs The sight of Port Vincent after driving over 100 miles was enough . to imbue the chauffeur and his passengers with a feeling of wondrous content. It is a . delightful little spot in which to spent a quiet — very' quiet — time, and would blow the cobwebs away from the most beclouded brain. He would. Indeed, be a dull clod who could not enjoy himself in such a refreshingly restful place for a day or two-^-or a week or two for that matter. The hotel which Mr. F. W. Luxmore built years ago occupies an enticing ?position overlooking the sea, and the waters of St. Vincent's Gulf lap withm half a dozen yards of the eastern windows.
skim through the COUNTRY.
IMPRESSIONS OF A MOTORIST. GATHERED BY THE WAY.
[III.— By our Special Reporter.]
In dealing with our 760 miles motor trip through the agricultural districts I catu not resist 'the temptation to devote a few lines to the worst road we encountered on xorke't Peninsula. It was from I Port Vincent to Stansbury, and only about 11 miles along; but what there -was of it would do credit to a washing board. If the narrow path! leading to heaven is anything like this particular track it is a sad outlook for motoiists. Like the curate's egg, it waa 'good in parts;' but the parts .were b& small that by the time the back wheels had reached them the front ones were jolting over the bumps beyond. Surely there is no excuse for allowing a mail road like this to remain in such an outrageous state! 'Generally speaking, the . thoroughfrjeb on Yorke'a Peninsula are remarkably good; but the stretch from Port Vincent !-? Stansbury makes a dirty smudge on what would otherwise be a pleasing impiession. There is anv amount of limestone on the surface, and if the ; authorities should not do their duty pretty soo'n some suffering traveller will turn a somersault. -Salt and Salt Lakes.Stanabury, like Clinton, possesses a white elephant which stands as an everlasting monument to «omebo'dy's shortsightedness. The jetty originally built to serve the shipping proved absolutely useless, and another had to be constructed a mile away from
the town. The next calling place was Edithburgh. where a salt-refining company was busily shipping its product to Sydney by the Corio. The salt Iake3 throughout tbe southern portion of' the Peninsula are providing the State with an industry the value of which may not be generally recognised. ?;? As the motor sped along we caught sight of lake after lake on each side of tbe road, with great piles of salt along .side ready for carting into -Edithbntgh. A -quarter of a century ago the track between Yorketown and Warooka through the Peasy Swamps was almost impassable. As ?a matter of fact, it. was hard to get through on horseback. Through the Hon. Ebenezer Ward's influence, however, a first-class road wag made, and travellers to-day have reason to remember his .name with gratitude.' Mr. H. Toessei, a judge of horses, who is living in retirement at Maitlahd, was the contractor. . . ^-Signs- of Substantiality. — No tourist should miss calling at Point Turton if he . gets within reasonable distance of that little portion of the Peninsula jutting into Spencers Gulf. Hardwicke .Bay, of- which Point Turton forms the southern arm, is . one of the most delights ful places in the State, and, moreover, presents on occasions an -attractive .ecene of activity. When the motor arrived the Broken Hill Proprietary Company's flux works were going at full pressure, and a barge was being laden, with over 1,000 tons of the product. .??'? The industry provides work for a large number of men, and there is an interesting little township comprised for themost part of bag habitations. Making northward once more, we sped through F.rentwnod, Sfinlaton, and Mount i Rat to Port Victoria; where a vessel was being laden with wheat. v It was a delightful drive, and all along the route we found signs 'of progre:B; and substantiality. Almost every farmer had ;i good stone house that would outclass thousands of city homes, while capital crops and excellent etcck ferd met the eye in every direction. —Thriving Mining Town.— Similar ha.ppy, indications were everywhere apparent on ;tlie run through Maitland to Kndina, where business is thriving. This mining town' boasts of a splendid class of shops ' and private residences, and on occasionspretentsasbusy a scene as many more pretentious places. Money i? changing hands at a great rate, and if the public-house trade counts for anything it speal:s volumes for the comparative prosperity of the worker. On thia particular Saturday evening^ the streets wcro crowded with people, Virile many thirsty individuals who -patronised the hotels had their favourite tipples handed to them over the heads of two or three rows of money-spending customers. . — An Unconscious Humorist. — The need of fingerposts was again emphasized on the journey from Kadina to Bute, a surprisingly solid but unpretentious township in the midst of a well-to-do agricultural district. At one part of the road we were confronted by five or six crossings^ and it was more by good fortune than good management that we reached our destination without making an exasperating detour. At Port Broughton I found, an. unconscious humorist disguised as a fisherman. lli-3 appearance bore testimony to a hard, rough life in search of the finny denizens of the 'creek' and the deep beyond. If anybody works for a living, that old boatman does, but in answer to sympathetic questions concerning his business, the man remarked: — 'It is very slack. You can go out for days without catching a decent haul. I'm thinking seriously of giving it up, and starting work!' —Magnificent Country. — After crossing the range from Port Broughton wre emerged into, a magnificent tract of country, where the wbeatfields and herbage almost made our mouths water. But the roads were not so good as their surroundings, especially after Crystal Brook had been left well behind in the trip to Port Piric. Approaching Warnertown .we blundered into the most abominable tlioroughfaie imaginable. Twice the car was anchored in wagon ruts over a foot deep, and had it not been for its great power, combined with the experienced efforts of the chauffeur, the motor wduld have had to turn back defeated. However, the difficulties were' overcome, :and the sight of fine healthy crops, many of which were in ear, provided ample compensation for such temporary inconveniences. *? rort Pine wore a prosperous garb in keeping with the surrounding country, while the wharfs were rendered busy by the presence of two large vessels being laden with wheat. — Through the Gorge. — The heavy sandy road to Port.Germein provided another opportunity for the' driver to show -his worth, and the motor to ex: hibit its power, while the passengers filled in the half-hour's halt by indulging in a lon^-distanct: craze at a couple of ships which were taking in a respectable wheat cargo. Then came the run through 'The Gorge,' where the same monotonous creek had to be croeeed 44 times. -In' the absence of a railway, the road to the port should be considerably widened, or one of these fine days a team of horses— to say nothing of their valuable freight— will take a flying leap. Twire the motor had to be backed into the creek and 'the engine stopped, to allow teamsters to get past Having crossed the range3, we passed throuch rich timbrr connlry.-to Murraytown. The^ greater port of this -land comprises two large e?tates, carrying many thousands' of sheep. Here 'and there, however, a portion is being farmed, with e-rceWlfnjrly happv results, and some are looking forward to the time when considerably more ' wheat win be grown Without impairing the ?, capability ,,of the country to support iust as much stock as ever. -One of the chief difficulties of the farmer* is to get enough teamsters to take tlie produce to Port Germein. —A Final Word.-; Booleroo Centre was the most northern town nt which w« called, and after half an hcr's halt, the motor was turned towards Adelaide. Mile after mile of capital country was leffr'bnhind. Everywhere the prospects looked rosv. .ind, siren a. eood sainRhorHv. . the * farmer* are looking for- ! ward to a-'Piasnifitmf s-\i«:on. TV ernie delitrhtfnl firit of oprimiRtn ho'd sway at La'jra. Oladstonp. Georgetown. Brinlrvyorth. | Snowtown. and BalaVlava, and we returned to /he ritv harbonrintr an unconquerable confidence' in the fnture of the State.