08 Jun Great Dividing Range Australia Top to Bottom | Part 2
We woke to find Mark’s bike on a lean with a flat tyre. Our first mechanical drama which we were prepared for. It must have been an omen because the rest of the day was hell.
We went over to the eastern side of the highway looking for a short cut and ended up a dry lantana gully without any paddles and had to turn back after dropping the bikes a couple of times.
We backtracked and followed the railway up to St Laurance where we headed west up to Mt Nebo and then onto a great little quite camp spot Moonlight Dam.
In the morning we thought we would try a shortcut single track .. bad call. I broke my windshield when the DR ended upside down in a rocky gully, nothing that some duct tape and oversize washers couldn’t fix!
We continued up through Emu Plains, Collinsville heading for the Burdekin Dam, another short cut opportunity. Through a few closed gates and along ever narrowing tracks we eventually came to a very steep, and very washed out track down the side of the hill we were on. We would have got down, maybe would have slid the bikes on their side but we didn’t know if we would get back up if we had to so backtracked again for the day.
This road should have a dead end sign!!
The washed out decent, turn back!
We ended up in Ravenswood and shouted ourselves a few beers for the effort! A couple of old birds at the post office were telling us that they get all sorts on the Bicentennial Trail, they have seen people riding camels, horses, donkeys and gypsy’s. They often get mail forwarded to the for when they arrive. Wow I thought we were adventurers!
We got to the local campgrounds and it was chockers. We went to pay and the old Vietnam vet said “council hasn’t given me a receipt book so I can’t charge you” …ok can argue with his logic and then the penny dropped why it was so busy.
Next day was onto the Savannah way heading to Blencoe Falls via Valley of Lagoons, great run and only saw one vehicle a property owner with 170 km of frontage to look after. He was chasing some pig shooters that we didn’t see. Stopped at Bluewater Springs Roadhouse for a burger and to top up on fuel, it is a real oasis.
As we headed up the range the DR started spluttering a little, will have to watch that?
We set up camp at Blencoe Falls.
As luck had it, we bought along some Brazillian aged cashasa (spirit) to make caiparinhas with if we could buy some limes. At Blenco falls we came across a wild lemon tree full of lemons … perfect! The photo with the blurry lights is the from that night , bit seedy the next day.
Bush lemons had a nasty effect!
Our plan was to ride out out of Blencoe via the Culpa Track but there had been a bit of rain and their were trees down over greasy clay tracks, no good for the big bikes. An uplanned back track meant we were getting low on fuel and had to nurse the bikes into Mt Garnet. We then via Irvinebank and into Atherton where had booked the bikes for a service and to get my spluttering looked at.
We are loving the trip, although the miles and miles are tiring…
The scenery has been magnificent .. you dont realise how big and spread out the place is. We did two days on dirt roads from Mount Morgan to Atherton and passed one other vehicle each day.
With our plans to ride as much of the way on dirt as we can, we have been up a few dry gullys … literally! With the loaded up bikes some of the single tracks get a bit hairy. We have both dropped the bikes, and Mark is up on me three to two at the moment.
The bikes have held up really well, couple of things though like Mark’s rubber cush drive has melted and we are getting one sent to Weipa for us to replace. I am getting new chain and sprockets, should have listened to the mechanic’s advice before we left! New rear tyres for both bikes as well, the weight and rocky dirt roads have shredded our tyres that were new five days ago.
We have met some characters along the way like the hermit living in a clapped out van in the middle of nowhere … he helped us find our way out though. Last night we met up with some local bikers and a local mapping guru at the Herbeton pub and swapped notes on routes to the top, very handy!
We have seen an almost run over every kind of animal.. roos, emus, pigs, rabbits, deer, birds, camels, horses and cows everywhere! We have the environmentally sustainable policy of eating anything that you run over 🙂
Camp sites are good.. half of them free as no one really gives a shit about things like collecting camping fees. The riding is endless …up at five each day…on the bikes and away by 6 to 6:30 and riding through until between 3 and 5 in the arvo. Dinner and a few (too many) rums … to bed and do it all again!