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Riding the Clarence

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Recent rains and a blazing sun conspired to make it decidedly humid here on Sunday. A loop through the rainforest seemed to be the ticket so we set off in search of long lost trails marked on an old forestry map. Not planning a long ride I ran the DRZ pretty light in the fuel department and this would make things interesting later on. Turned around at various points where the tracks no longer linked up, the ride took on a path of it’s own, steering us towards the overgrown trails of Pickapene State Forest.

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Next along the line was the Clarence River where the sand washes from past floods provided a bit of entertainment.

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The river was flowing at a healthy rate and with temperatures in the high 30C’s we couldn’t resist the opportunity to practice our creek crossing skills, even if there was a bridge nearby.

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After a quick swim it was time to head out of the valley and into the hills.

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The mountain range that separates the east coast from the western plains (called the Great Dividing Range funnily enough) holds some great scenery, these big boulders are all over the place and look majestic along the sides of the trail.

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The hilly country also offers some great erosion mounds. I could have been a bit quicker on the shutter though.

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This area has been mined extensively in the past and signs like this make sure you don’t stray too far from the trail.

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Some parts of the track become impromptu creeks when the rains fall.

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Severe bushfires in 2002 had opened the canopy up quite a bit in the forest but they also cleared a decent lookout at the camp area on top of the hill. As a littel fella I was fortunate to spend a bit of time in this country courtesy of my dad who was a mechanic on the forestry. I still remember standing in this clearing helping (probably hindering) him fix a water tanker when an F-111 flew over just above the trees. The noise was intense and it gave us a hell of a fright, but it was a very impressive sight.

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From here it was a quick dash to catch the servo in Tabulam before it closed. Not sure on the actual closing time, Mal went ahead as I laid the bike over to get the last scraps of fuel over to the reserve tap. By the time I reached the bowsers it was running on fumes. I was impressed by how well the tank scavenged the fuel though, the other side was completely empty.

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The servo had shut just as Mal arrived but luckily they re-opened and saved us a long walk home. In hindsight I should have known better really, it’s not the first time we have ended up doing a couple of hundred kilometres on a “short” afternoon loop. It was a lot of fun though and next time I will fill up first, we could end up anywhere then :cry:.

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:cry: If my short rides were any thing like that I could die a happy TT'er :cry:

Nice pics and great ride report :cry::cry:

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