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Old 01-06-2012, 05:40 AM   #1
gonescratchin OP
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Old Mt. Bryan East School via Caroona Creek (east) - nearly!

After visiting this area back in Nov last year, a group of us decided to head back up for some more exploring around Burra, via Taylor's Run and the Tothill Rnages. In particular, the plan being to locate the eastern entrance to Caroona Creek Cons Park, and ride through to the western end, and up to the school house for the night - well, that was the plan

NB: Once done, links to video footage of the trip will be posted here when ready.

We met up at HJ's at Darlington: Alan (R800GS), Grant (V-Strom 650) & me (R1200GSA). We then head off to meet Nick (MG Stelvio 1200) at Gawler.


Before long, we had turned onto Taylor's Run, and stopped to grab a drink (it was warming up already), and drop the tyres down.


Once past Marrabel, we headed up the Tothill Ranges, taking a nice little side track off to the east, which brought us up to a rise with great views, and a chance to catch up on the cricket score



Fortunately, digital radio reception was pretty good out here still!

In good time, and with Grant getting low on petrol, we made into Burra for lunch, and fuelled up if needed.


After Burra, we headed east towards Redbanks (thanks to Masterbrewer's advice) and found the turn-off to Caroona Creek's eastern entrance - a 28km ride north on a reasonable dirt road with an occasional dry river bed crossing.

A typical stretch of road up to Caroona.

About 7kms up the road, we passed a turn-off to the left, which headed north-west, around to the western side of the range. A little further on, I got a message from Nick through the intercom (Chatterbox) that Alan was hearing some noises, so we pulled over and investigated. Nothing some chain tightening didn't sort out.

Not Alan's better angle!


So we continued on in the heat and dust towards Caroona, passing the Caroona homestead on our right, eventually coming to a sign directing us to the park entrance towards our left. So up we turned and arrived at the park entrance, only to find:

Bugger!

So we headed back south about 23km to Mongolata Road turn-off, which would take us directly up to Mt. Bryan East, and the old school house. We very quickly found this road to be far less used, more weather beaten, and 7 gates for the first 10kms.

Queuing up again for a gate.

A very typical stretch of erosion/floodway around here - of which we were soon to see many!

Shortly into the first 10kms of this road, we started the (dry) river bed crossings, which just kept coming, one after another.


The more challenging of the crossings usually had a few things in common - lots of thick river sand, and dirt or sandy jump-ups at the base of the climb out. A couple had sizeable erosion cracks on either of the banks that would swallow a front wheel if given the chance, but were able to be avoided.
The soft, sandy climb out of one crossing took 3 victims without injury, with Alan getting through on his F800GS with relative ease (more due to experience that the bike). Footage below of Nick being taken out -


As the afternoon rolled on, we finally made it to the old school house around 6:30pm, spent and hungry. So Grant offered to stay back and watch the gear whilst the 3 of us went into Burra to grab some drinks and dinner.
My Enduristan Monsoon panniers came into good use as our mobile eskies.

With full stomachs, 2 bags of ice (1 in each pannier) and a full load of beer, and a meal for Grant, we headed off for camp, eyes peeled for roos, especially as it was right on dusk.

The evening started out very windy, then backed off and cooled down, so a small fire took care of that, as we recounted the days challenges. Apart from some local lads doing some spotlighting down the road, it was a peaceful night for camping under the stars.

Our plan for the next day was to head up to Pandappa CP, however, Nick awoke in the morning to find;

We used my mini electric pump to get some air into it, but had no luck at locating the leak.
In the mean time, we got a visit from Aurthur, who owns the property backing onto the school house, arriving on his little ag bike. He has taken it upon himself to keep an eye on the place, and apparently, is the one who keeps the fire wood stockpile up. He even offered to take care of our rubbish for us - which we greatly appreciated.

Arthur showing interest in the F800 - he loves his bikes!

Some of the camp set-ups;



After a lazy start to the morning, we farewelled Arthur, and decided to head to the Mt. Bryan lookout, which we later found out wasn't accessible (locked gates). It doesn't seem to readily accessible any more. So we made our way back to Burra, to grab lunch, where Alan and Grant bid farewell as they had to be back in Adelaide sooner that Nick and I.

Grant and Alan gearing up.

Nick and I decided to make our way down the eastern side of the Tothill Ranges to Tarnma, then west to Marrabel, and then back down Taylor's Run to Kapunda. Some of the pics below;


This wall reminded me of the one in the Shawshank Redemption where he left the tin hiding for his made when he finally got released.






Ruins at beginning of Taylors Run (southern end);



And there you have it. My first RR out the way. Once I get some video organised (we had 2 ContourHD's filming off/on) - I'll post it up.
If you want GPX tracks, let me know - have them too.

Cheers

gonescratchin screwed with this post 01-06-2012 at 06:46 AM
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Old 01-06-2012, 01:21 PM   #2
masterbrewer
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Excellent work, thanks for sharing.

The stars or open gates certainly didn't align this trip , guess you're heading back sometime soon

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Old 01-06-2012, 01:50 PM   #3
baldtire
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[QUOTE
If you want GPX tracks, let me know - have them too.

Cheers[/QUOTE]

It would be nice to see where you went,can you please send me a copy. baldtire
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Old 01-06-2012, 08:53 PM   #4
gonescratchin OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baldtire View Post
[QUOTE
If you want GPX tracks, let me know - have them too.

Cheers
It would be nice to see where you went,can you please send me a copy. baldtire[/QUOTE]

Will do baldy. I'll post here when they're up. Should be in a day or so - busy doing paper mâché with the kids just now!
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Old 01-06-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
gonescratchin OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonescratchin View Post
It would be nice to see where you went,can you please send me a copy. baldtire
Will do baldy. I'll post here when they're up. Should be in a day or so - busy doing paper mâché with the kids just now![/QUOTE]

Track for day 1 is up here under the title ;
Taylors Run_Marrabel_Burra_CaroonaEast_Old Mt.Bryan East School

Cheers
Chris
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Old 01-14-2012, 01:43 PM   #6
baldtire
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thanks mate.
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Old 01-22-2012, 09:53 PM   #7
KIZ
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Nice pics and writeup I camped at Redbanks last Sep and rode through Caroona there is an interesting hut on the Hyson trail reachable on bikes . Lots of great dirt roads around there.
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Old 01-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #8
gonescratchin OP
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Nice pics and writeup I camped at Redbanks last Sep and rode through Caroona there is an interesting hut on the Hyson trail reachable on bikes . Lots of great dirt roads around there.
G'day KIZ, thanks, and you're right - fantastic spot. We'd planned to go there on this trip, but forgot our bullet-proof gear, so gave Caroona a miss. Hopefully next time - loved the Mongolata road. Will have to take in a closer look at Redbanks next time.
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Old 03-14-2012, 10:24 PM   #9
gonescratchin OP
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15 minute HD video of the trip is available here.

gonescratchin screwed with this post 03-16-2012 at 05:47 PM
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Old 04-06-2012, 03:57 AM   #10
bull600
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Nice report, with some great photos

Pity about the the damn park being closed!

Cheers
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Old 04-06-2012, 06:02 AM   #11
gonescratchin OP
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Originally Posted by bull600 View Post
Nice report, with some great photos

Pity about the the damn park being closed!

Cheers
Thanks bull, yeah we didnt count on the park being closed. Still, wouldn't have found the Mongolata road if it wasn't - which turned out the best part of the trip.

Actually, I wanted to pick your brains about one of your trips up to Pooncarie (via Loxton, Murray Sunset, Wentworth etc).

We're planning a trip that way in May (you're welcome to come), and will mostly be big-bore bikes (3 x 1200's, and an 800, and possibly some more) - and wanted to pick your brains on some of the tracks, and camp sites.

Once I've got some specific questions, I'll drop you a message and take it from there.

Cheers


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Old 04-06-2012, 11:34 PM   #12
bull600
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gonescratchin View Post
Thanks bull, yeah we didnt count on the park being closed. Still, wouldn't have found the Mongolata road if it wasn't - which turned out the best part of the trip.

Actually, I wanted to pick your brains about one of your trips up to Pooncarie (via Loxton, Murray Sunset, Wentworth etc).

We're planning a trip that way in May (you're welcome to come), and will mostly be big-bore bikes (3 x 1200's, and an 800, and possibly some more) - and wanted to pick your brains on some of the tracks, and camp sites.

Once I've got some specific questions, I'll drop you a message and take it from there.

Cheers


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

Happy to help

Flick me a PM when you've got a rough plan and I'll help as much as I can.

Off to Victor for the rest of Easter to take my newly rebuilt XT500 for a spin

Cheers
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Old 04-07-2012, 12:18 AM   #13
gonescratchin OP
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Much appreciated. I'll definitely be in touch.



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