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Old 11-19-2009, 03:05 AM   #1
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
Oddometer: 1,992
great divide ride- OZ

We had a couple of weeks off work, no particular destination, but a rough plan to cross the great divide as many times as we can - ideally on tracks we hadn’t done before. Two 640 KTM’s and a well used DR650, enough food and camping gear for a few nights out but every intention of finding pubs if we could.

Norm lead for the first couple of hours, weaving through an interesting collection of trails in the foothills towards Bairnsdale , eventually reaching the old weir site on the Mitchell River- a nice relaxing introduction
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:07 AM   #2
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
Oddometer: 1,992
I knew better than to let Norm lead when we hit the real hills- he’s a reincarnated mountain goat with a sadistic streak, and it was way too hot to be dragging bikes through rock gardens. Armed with a GPS I ducked and weaved through the trails NW of Bairnsdale in a general northerly direction- lots of single line and a bit of flowing open loamy tracks to get us in the mood. A couple of hours later and the thermometer was climbing so we left the single line and looked for some faster flowing trails. Just about every track we came to was closed- courtesy of the fires a few years ago, and those that weren’t still had seasonal road closure gates – 2 weeks after they should have been open. Even those that were open had their fair share of fallen logs.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:09 AM   #3
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
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We went looking for an old boiler that was marked on the rooftops map just Nth of Taberaberra rd- lots of weaving through unmarked tracks was rewarded with an old mining shaft and remnants of a house but no boiler- not to worry – we headed back along the same tracks and kept going Nth. The track down to Marthavale looked interesting and I’d never been there before so we dropped into the gully to what would be a magical camping site- cool river, shade and an old hut for shelter. Pitty it was too early in the day to stay the night.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:11 AM   #4
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
Oddometer: 1,992
From Marthavale we climbed back up the ranges then dropped back into the valley, stopping at Dawson “city” – an old gold mining area that is now little more than the crossroads of 3 tracks. Whilst we debated which way to go a group of locals dropped down Dawson City trail on the way back from a day ride- about 17 riders on trail bikes covered in sweats and smiles. The usual questions of where are we headed followed, and I think it was Norm who decided it’d be Queensland “that way”- pointing up the hill they’d just dropped down. Shit. If we didn’t make it up that hill we’d look like complete twits now…. And my receptionists boyfriend was in the group so I’d never live it down. Not surprisingly around the first corner was a log, followed by a steep climb and another log, but the 640’s got traction and we didn’t have to return red faced. The real fun started shortly afterwards – charlotte spur trk. If you’re riding near Omeo give this one a try- it’s got road closed ahead signs on both ends but no clear road closed gate. Lovely flowing ridge top ride followed by a rough rocky descent. Magical riding.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:14 AM   #5
Dr AT OP
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Location: maffra, vic
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Left at the bottom then up Powers gully trk. Loose shaley tyre shredding stuff- that’d be worth about 1000 k’s on the Michelin desserts but well worth it. Sitting at the top I could hear the distant sounds of a 640 bogging down followed by silence. Then the tinkle of tools. Bugger. Down I went to see Peter pulling his carby apart- apparently he couldn’t pull over 3500 rpm which was making hill climbs interesting. It was getting hot and he’d chosen a dusty spot without any shade so I wandered back down the hill to sit in the shade. Off with the hot riding gear and time for a rest, only to be greeted by about 20 trailbikes on the way to Dargo. Lead rider had a chat for a while, enquired if I was heading up the hill “just been up then came back down, my mates having carby issues so is doing a little trail side repair”. At this stage I realized I must seem like a right bastard leaving him up there to work alone, so I added “He’ll be right, Norm Watts is with him”. The knowing nod that followed indicated he knew Norm , so I suspect all was forgiven. Turns out it was Heffo leading a group ride, and he sent them up the hill one at a time. Some poor guy on a WR had to come back for a second and third attempt-I guess light bikes struggle on loose surfaces.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:15 AM   #6
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
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It was getting hotter and later in the day so we opted to transport out to Omeo for a late lunch. The bakery was closing so Pete and I scored extra pies for free, Norm didn’t- guess he wasn’t as good looking? The transport continued in our quest for a cool camping ground – up along Nunong rd towards Moscow Villa. Along the way we came across this old disused logging winch – apparently they had 3 guys running it pulling logs out of the valley. It must have been hot, noisy hard work- makes me almost appreciate my desk job.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:17 AM   #7
Dr AT OP
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Onwards to Moscow villa – and our camp for the night beside a mountain stream. Complete with mozzies. Thank god for aeroguard.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:19 AM   #8
Dr AT OP
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Day 2, and where to from here? I’d pulled the maps out overnight and noticed some interesting looking tracks running south of the Buchan headwaters Wilderness. Thankfully the gates were open and no 4wd’s had been through so we got to mix some riding amonst the snow gums with riding over the snow gums. For hours. And hours. If you’re in the area check out escarpment / jam tin / diggers hole and mt Stratham trks.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:21 AM   #9
Dr AT OP
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lots of photos of this section.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:22 AM   #10
Dr AT OP
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more of the same
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:23 AM   #11
Dr AT OP
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and lots of grass to keep the brumbies healthy
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:25 AM   #12
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
Oddometer: 1,992
Lunch was beckoning, so down Dawson road towards Buchan. Hmm, Dawson trk looks interesting and it’s not too far out of our way, so right turn lead to lots of fun. About half way down Dawson Trk I stopped seeing evidence of recent traffic so I scrolled forward on the GPS. Lots of contour lines leading down to a river crossing then what looked like a much easier track up the next hill. What the hell, so long as we could get across the river we’d be fine. So long as we could get across the waist deep fast flowing river with large loose rocks covered in slime. On ADV bikes with luggage. Hmmm….unload the bikes and drag them across, followed by a much needed swim – perfect.
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:28 AM   #13
Dr AT OP
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“G’day Tam, just checking in, we’re at Buchan having lunch”

Silence….”but that’s only an hour away…..and it’s been 2 days….what have you been doing?”

“Having a great time- about 500 k’s of great time so far!”

“where are you going next?”

“not sure, we’ll probably cross the snowy at Mckillops bridge then try to get up onto Mt Tingarry- if the tracks are open- I’ll call you in a couple of days”

We were in no particular hurry so stopped for a wander around little river gorge
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:29 AM   #14
Dr AT OP
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then wandered along the transport to Mckillops bridge
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Old 11-19-2009, 03:31 AM   #15
Dr AT OP
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Joined: Jul 2006
Location: maffra, vic
Oddometer: 1,992
Then the fun began- looking for an open trk Nth to Mt Tingarry. First there was Armstrong – the gate still wasn’t open but it should have been so we went around it, but it was way too hot a day to tackle a steep rutted out loose hill so back down we went.
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