In February I fitted the front knobby tyre, loaded some gear and the rear knobby tyre and, late in the afternoon, rode the 340km to Rockhampton, to go riding with my mate Frog again. The next morning I fitted the rear knobby tyre and we loaded our bikes on his Ford Utility and headed to Kalpowar State Forest another 220km south of Rockhampton.
The last 60km or so into Kalpowar is gravel road and the town no longer has any stores of any kind so we'd had bought meat, bread etc on the way down.
What I hadn't noticed while taking the pic in Kalpowar was that the bars on my bike had folded into the tank. On arrival at the camp site 3km out of town it has started feeling tired and was leaking over towards Frog's bike. After unloading the rest of the gear I straightened the bars and unloaded it.
Frog and I spent the afternoon wandering around the forestry area and took in the views then headed back to the camp ground. Instead of stopping we followed a track that led out into some scrub land.
We found this little fellow, a blue tongue skink, basking in the late afternoon sun just a kilometre or so from the camp ground. It eventually decided it didn't like our company and skittered off into the bush. Heading on around this track the scrub closed in to the point that the lantana growing along the way was slapping us across our chests and faces.
At one point I'd fallen far enough behind that I lost sight of Frog through the scrub. When I stopped on an uphill section my bike slid backwards with the front brake on hard. I let it slip and watched straight ahead to keep my balance until the rear tyre hit a rock or something that stopped it rolling. I could see no tracks to indicate the passing of another vehicle so I turned around, went back 40 metres to a track junction where I'd turned left and looked for signs of tyres. No luck in any direction. As I was about to give up in disgust when Frog rode down from the original track I'd followed and said "It turns into the Erzburg Rodeo about 200 metres up that track and I had to throw the Husaberg into the rocks or crash and get injured, let's try this way."
Some more adventurous riding and we returned to camp.
A few beers, camp fire cooked steaks on bread with some lettuce and tomato and we headed for our stretchers in the tent.
The following morning we went and had a look at the rail trail that passes through 10 or 11 tunnels on the retired rail line from the port of Gladstone to this area.
Near Many Peaks and at the other end of the rail trail is the site of an old copper mine and smelter. This is part of the old smelter.
There are mounds of this slag that was dumped out of the smelter as part of the processing. No thought was given to the environment 100 years ago.
That's mess standing in front of the mine entrance.
An assortment of old mining equip is slowly returning to the earth in the scrub around the site.
And bits of debris found nearby liner the fence.
Somewhere hip in that bush country is another building that was part of the mining operation.
Frog led the way through Some lastly tracks and I was always working just to keep going so he was often out of sight and I had hip stop once or twice and wait for him to come back so that I knew which way he'd gone. After crossing the tip of a range we passed a homestead called "The Tops" then turned right onto a track, followed it for a kilometre or so then stopped to check where it went. Weigh no phone service our maps didn't work so we turned back and followed the sign to Monto.
It brought us out at this track junction that Frog said he knew. That made one of us, I still had no idea.
After some discussion we decided to go to the old gold mine at Monal. Then Frog said it's 23km which I didn't hear correctly and just replied "yeah whatever". 1km or so up the road I realised what he'd said and thought, but it's only 23km. 10 km later I realised that we were in a dead end road and it would be another 23km back to where we started. Oh well that's the way it goes on adventures. Just 2 or 3 km beefier we reached the old mine site we passed a closed gate and a sign indicating it was the other end of the track we had tuned back on a little while earlier. Bugger!
The old miner sure is an open air museum ort steak era equipment that is slowly returning itself to nature.
Street exploring it a while we explored a nearly track that ran out close to an old mine entrance. At least that was our guess by the mounds of mined rock that appeared to have been pushed out and dumped from hills above, beside the track.
We then headed back the way we'd come. I took the lead this timer with Frog power sliding corners and wheel standing behind me. I would hear his engine rev, glanced in the mirror and see him having fun.
We'd crossed a concrete causeway over a slow running steam that had algae growing on all but the 2 tyre tracks left by farming vehicles using it. I lined up to the left track, kept a steady throttle and ruled across it. To my surprise the rear tyre spun up and attempted top overtake the front, then spat mer across the track and into a deep tyre rut on the uphill climb out of the crossing. I managed to keep it upright and stopped 50 metres on, I also heard Frog's engine rev and in the mirror saw him creak on the causeway. I ran back to check and he was okay. We picked his bike up and he was soon on his easy again, this tinned in the lead.
We rode to the tiny village of Mungungo, had a beer at the pub. The publican knew Frog from Rockhampton and we chatted a while then rode back to Kalpowar on a sealed road.
Returning to our camp site, we loaded up, cooked some sausages and ate lunch then headed to Rockhampton where we unpacked. I changed the rear tyre and the sprockets back to road use, spent the night and rode the 340km back to Mackay the next day.
I had a great time.
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