Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

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Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby WarrenH » Sat Oct 20, 2012 10:11 am

On three previous occasions over the last few months, I have failed to make it around The Rock Hill. The first time, Burkes Creek flooded (lasting for some time) so I couldn't reach The Rock from Wagga Wagga.

A view of The Rock from Estella. Estella is to the North of Wagga Wagga.

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Then the Murrumbidgee flooded to a record level of 9.6m ...

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... and the third time when I finally made it to The Rock, the heavens opened up again and the already soft ground totally ruled out riding.

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The Rock Hill is The Rock's official name. The Rock is 35 kilometres SW of Wagga Wagga. It is one of the Continent's largest inselbergs. Others of note are Uluru, Mount Augustus and Mount Coolum. The Rock is no less impressive than that illustrious group.

On the fourth attempt, during this past week, I was successful. I circumnavigated The Rock by linking travelling stock routes and then headed North to the Sturt Highway and followed the Murrumbidgee, East to North Wagga Wagga, then back to Estella. The weather was stunning but still cold at night. There were heat hazes in every direction after 10am. The days were surprisingly warm. The rivers and creeks are running quickly. The bird life in the wetlands was prolific but totally fractious and unapproachable ... while the back roads traffic was typically light.

When I reached the Rock, I took the Yerong Track in The Rock Nature Reserve, then south to above The Rock Travelling Stock Reserve.

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I found a well used animal track and wheeled my bike through the bush until I reached the stock route, which was relatively easy.

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I entered The Rock Travelling Stock Route, this way because the entrance is the Kubara Emergency Access Only Level Crossing. My route avoided having to get permission from Lochart Shire and NSW Rail. The Lochart Shire had stretched fences across the stock route. I'm presuming that it was drovers who have righted things and cut the fences. No one or herd has been on the unformed road of The Rock TSR for a long time, except for roos, goannas and snakes who left their tell-tail tracks.

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I followed The Rock TSR until it joined Yerong Creek Travelling Stock Route at the southern end of the range. Here the Yerong Creek TSR follows tarmac of the Osborn Yerong Creek Road. The TSR is about a chain wide on each side of the road.

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When the Vincent Travelling Stock Route was reached, I turned North. This is flat country of the most magnificent ... and giving much relaxed riding.

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I did have one rush of blood though. When I reached Gap Road. I thought why not go over the range and see what's there. Wrong move. After about a kilometre and a half the road became two vegi' slots. It wasn't long before I thought that no amount of good views warrants this torment, so I rolled back down the hill and rejoined the stock route.

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Work in Progress, more photo coming.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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by BNA » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:36 pm

BNA
 

Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby rifraf » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:36 pm

Pure magic to behold Warren,
How bout breaking up all that splendor with a pic of your bike amongst it all?
I was trying to find a pic of your Giant after telling someone recently about your touring
the back blocks on your full suspension rig.
Its an Anthem from memory?
Polishbiker (Pawel) has just returned to Perth today and his talking about his Cairns to Perth trip
coupled with your post here is inspiring a bit of wanderlust.
Cant wait to see some more of your great pics of Aussies great places.
Thanks for sharing
Cheers
Aidan :D
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.
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Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby WarrenH » Sat Oct 20, 2012 2:43 pm

Rif, thank you Mate. My bike is a 2010 Giant Anthem X3. Icicle the Bicycle. Icicle has had a few changes recently (that aren't in the photo below). Done for this looming Summer. I returned to Canberra yesterday because I forgot that I had to vote today in amateurish Territory elections. I'll be returning to touring tomorrow. I bought 4 Specialized Purist (the silicon dioxide coated) bidons. Two bidons now are on the fork. The Purists are supposedly as pure as glass and don't taint even stored water. My MSR water filter came into its own over the past few days. The rivers west of the Divide ... well you know them, hey? Chocolate milk.

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After Vincents TSR, I hooked up with the Tootool Travelling Stock Route, that is, I'm guessing, is as good as it gets for flatlanders.

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The slightly rough stuff was interesting and wet but most of all, what impressed me was that when I left the Tootool TSR near the Tootool Wetlands the back roads to join with the Blackwood and the Bullenbong Travelling Stock Routes, the back tracks were like clay tennis courts. Just as smooth and equally fine.

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One thing that caught me out was the heat haze and it was gusty when ever I stopped, to take a shot. The kit lenses that I have didn't have the resolution to record the heat haze well. They recorded the heat haze as something flat and dull. The heat haze was beautiful, with the gradation of tones.

Some heat haze shots in the Box and Red Gums and The Rock from the Tootool TSR.

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West of The Rock and up to Coolamon the wheat fields are gigantic. I could wait-out the gusts by watching the wheat shimmering. Watching the gusts coming over the crops like a sailor looking for puffs on the water, told me when to stop ... but unlike sailing, I couldn't use the lifts to advantage nor avoid the knocks.

More photos coming.

Still a work in progress, I'm slowly processing the shots.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby rifraf » Sat Oct 20, 2012 4:17 pm

WarrenH wrote:Rif, thank you Mate. My bike is a 2010 Giant Anthem X3. Icicle the Bicycle. Icicle has had a few changes recently (that aren't in the photo below). Done for this looming Summer. I returned to Canberra yesterday because I forgot that I had to vote today in amateurish Territory elections. I'll be returning to touring tomorrow. I bought 4 Specialized Purist (the silicon dioxide coated) bidons. Two bidons now are on the fork. The Purists are supposedly as pure as glass and don't taint even stored water. My MSR water filter came into its own over the past few days. The rivers west of the Divide ... well you know them, hey? Chocolate milk..

Warren.

I caught a pic of yours showing some bidons on your shocks in another thread.
Great idea with the hose clips which I might plagiarise (and call my own). :lol:
Just finished a couple of days away with Aushiker off road and whilst the Moulton coped better
than I thought it might, I was discussing other options more suitable for the rough stuff.
I liked the look of your bike for the full suspension offerings and the Surly Ogre or Troll for the hard tail options thus far.
Much as I love my Moulton it struggles with the amount of gear/water I find necessary for extended off road trips I fancy
myself trying.
The lack of rear panniers option and the inability to tow a single wheel trailer is a little limiting for the types of
touring my eyes have been opened to reading yours and others threads here and on CGOAB.
GJ Coop (my reading intro to the genre') has a lot to answer for. :wink:
Surly Ogre, Carry Freedom Y-frame Trailer, Extrawheel trailer.
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Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby ldrcycles » Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:17 pm

Absolutely beautiful photos, and very interesting to read about where you went and how you did it. Thank you for sharing :) .
When man invented the bicycle he reached the peak of his attainments- Elizabeth West.
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Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby WarrenH » Sun Oct 21, 2012 7:39 am

rifraf wrote:I caught a pic of yours showing some bidons on your shocks in another thread.
Great idea with the hose clips which I might plagiarise (and call my own). :lol:


Rif, I got the idea from the August 2012 issue of Tracks magazine, Australia's Bicentennial National Trail magazine. It prompted me to set up my fork, for this coming Summer. The article by Dave McLeod is about mountain biking on the BNT during extreme weather conditions ... like during heat waves. The photo shows from L-R Brad McCullach, Terry Montgomery and Jeff Coward hiking and hauling, Terry's bike and BOB up (what could be) the nightmare called Lazareni Spur in the Victorian High Country ... http://s225.photobucket.com/albums/dd30 ... dszxrd.jpg

Idrcycles, thank you. I'm pleased that you like the shots.

The next few shots are from when I reached the Sturt Highway and went into Berry Jerry NP, before headeding for Wagga Wagga. It was ironic that having ridden along two Travelling Stock Routes and sections on three others, the only stock that I saw that wasn't in a fenced paddock, was a feral bull in the National Park at Beaver Creek.

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A giant River Red Gum on the Mighty Murrumbidgee. The high tide mark from the recent flooding is still evident across the flatlands.

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The last shot that I took of The Rock. Then it was into Coolamon and over the hills to Wagga Wagga.

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I'll restart the tour later today, after the ridiculous ACT town council elections but this time I'll be east of Wagga Wagga.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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Re: Fouth Time Lucky. Many photos.

Postby WarrenH » Mon Nov 05, 2012 1:05 pm

Three shots taken during the futile attempt to cross the range on Gap Road ... taken late in the day and at sparras' the next morning.

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I've been assessing what worked and what didn't during this trip. I see now that I should have had the correct topo maps and camped beside the road, up high on Gap Road and walked the road to see if it improved. At the time I wasn't sure if I was in the nature reserve, where camping isn't allowed. The only topo that I took was a photocopy to climb The Rock on the walking track. The Garmin TOPO V3 maps that I have, don't have the boundaries to reserves marked like paper topos do and showed Gap Road as a navigable secondary road, not the goat track that it deteriorated into being. I've a mapping GPS 62S and this part of the trip was not well planned.

Warren.
"But on steep descending...Larson TT have bad effect on the mind of a rider" - MadRider from Suji, Korea 2001.

"Paved roads ... another fine example of wasteful government spending." - a bumper sticker.
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