Mid North Long Weekend (South Australia)

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Day Trippin'' started by bull600, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 1<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    With the final long weekend for the year upon us, a quick few days up in the mid north was a good tonic for some hectic times at work.<o:p></o:p>
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    The weather in the few days preceding the weekend was rather wet, with over an inch falling in some of the areas we planned to pass through.<o:p></o:p>
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    Sounded like it could be fun<o:p></o:p>
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    So, we loaded up the DR650’s<o:p></o:p>
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    and headed off to the north via Lower Hermitage <o:p></o:p>
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    and Hannaford Hump Road<o:p></o:p>
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    then past Para Wirra Recreation Park<o:p></o:p>
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    Once past the Barossa goldfields we crossed the Barossa Valley Highway and found the first of the dirt roads that I had planned to follow north<o:p></o:p>
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    Things started out fine with not a lot of recent rain evident<o:p></o:p>
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    It was a wonderful morning with excellent views across the plains on either side<o:p></o:p>
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    However, it wasn’t long before the track started to show some signs of water<o:p></o:p>
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    As we moved further north we skirted the edge of the Barossa Valley wine region<o:p></o:p>
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    Before the familiar feeling of slippery mud and no traction became apparent!<o:p></o:p>
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    With a bit of effort we cleaned off some mud, got a little traction and headed up onto the verge<o:p></o:p>
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    The grass along the edge gave us some forward movement and we ended up doing quite a few kilometers before we reached some more sandy ground.<o:p></o:p>
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    Riding the verge took quite a bit of concentration because as well as looking for hidden rabbit burrows, ditches and drains there was always bits of loose barbed wire to keep you on your toes. At one point I noticed a long bit caught under Paul’s rear wheel when we stopped.<o:p></o:p>
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    Soon we hit some more all weather roads<o:p></o:p>
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    And it wasn’t long before we passed Map Kernow the “Giant Miner” as we approached Kapunda<o:p></o:p>
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    Where it was time to do what one must - when there is a bakery in sight :wink:
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    From Kapunda we picked a route that took us through some farm paddocks<o:p></o:p>
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    Some off the way tracks<o:p></o:p>
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    Before picking up Taylors Run Road towards Marrabel<o:p></o:p>
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    Once into the more open country it was obvious that this was a good year for the farmers with canola and other crops as far as the eye could see<o:p></o:p>
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    We had now reached the foot of the Tothill ranges and found some tracks that took us up to the top<o:p></o:p>
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    From there we picked up Scenic Rd and ran along the ridge with great views out over the eastern plains towards Robertstown<o:p></o:p>
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    Before cutting back through Webs Gap and then north once more towards Burra<o:p></o:p>
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    After a quick stop to refuel we picked up a track north once more but found more verge riding was required<o:p></o:p>
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    We soon passed the grassy expanse of Mokota Conservation Park along White Hill Road and saw the hills towards Mt Byran East in the distance<o:p></o:p>
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    Now, the plan had always been to try and make camp early and sit down, relax with a few beers and listen to the AFL Grand Final on the radio. I’d sussed out some good likely stealth camping spots on Google Earth and now it was just a matter of having bit of luck in finding them. Thinks were very quiet with no sign of any other vehicles as we passed through various gates<o:p></o:p>
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    But then, lo and behold, just near were we needed to duck off a couple of 4x4’s appeared out of nowhere. After exchanging pleasantries we let them through the next gate and waved them on, only to have them do the same for us a short time later! Finally, we arrived at the spot we needed to turn off but decided to cut into some trees and let them pass. Sure enough they came along only to stop at the same spot and wait for what seemed like forever before heading off. <o:p></o:p>
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    With them out of the way we made our way through (around) a few more gates and found the area we were looking for<o:p></o:p>
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    Off with the helmets, out with the chairs and on to with the radio<o:p></o:p>
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    To catch the last half over some nice cold ones<o:p></o:p>
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    After a close game it was good to see Geelong run away with it over the Pies in the last quarter. <?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"><v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype><v:shape style="WIDTH: 18.75pt; HEIGHT: 20.25pt; VISIBILITY: visible; mso-wrap-style: square" id=Picture_x0020_8 alt="0" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1026"><v:imagedata o:title="0" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Greg\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image001.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape>The bad news was that 3 of the beers hadn’t survived the trip up and had leaked from the top. They don’t make cans like they used to <v:shape style="WIDTH: 11.25pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt; VISIBILITY: visible; mso-wrap-style: square" id=Picture_x0020_9 alt="0" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1025"><v:imagedata o:title="0" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Greg\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image002.gif">:cry</v:imagedata></v:shape><o:p></o:p>
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    Dinner was then underway with the traditional first night BBQ on the menu<o:p></o:p>
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    Once done we settled around the fire, reset out clocks for daylight saving and then had an early night<o:p></o:p>
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    #1
  2. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 2<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    Next morning it was quite brisk with a light fog hanging over the plain near our creek side campsite<o:p></o:p>
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    Soon we were up and into the bacon and egg sandwiches<o:p></o:p>
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    Then it was time to get packed. No small feat for Paul who I think models his rig on those of Austin Vince&#8217;s crew in &#8220;Mondo Enduro&#8221;<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> :poser</v:shapetype>
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    The last, and it must be said most difficult task, was to make sure the fire was out with our flat beers that had opened on the way up<o:p></o:p>
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    The next obstacle was getting out of the sandy creek bed. I popped out and stopped to get a shot of Paul on the way through. <o:p></o:p>
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    Ready<o:p></o:p>
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    Set<o:p></o:p>
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    Go<o:p></o:p>
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    Perhaps not<o:p></o:p>
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    More like - dig the bastard out :D<o:p></o:p>
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    Finally at the top! (maybe I shouldn&#8217;t have left such a big hole when I went through :evil)<o:p></o:p>
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    Then it was time to explore some of the surrounding countryside<o:p></o:p>
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    We followed some quite a few interesting tracks that were a little washed away in parts<o:p></o:p>
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    and came across some excellent creeks with fantastic views<o:p></o:p>
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    Soon we were travelling through the Caroona Conservation Park <o:p></o:p>
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    And the main track that runs west/east across the park<o:p></o:p>
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    On the eastern side we stopped for a break at the ruins of Thomas Hut<o:p></o:p>
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    Before refilling our water supplies at the camp area<o:p></o:p>
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    It&#8217;s a bit sad when you can&#8217;t drink rain water :huh
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    It was then back off to the west<o:p></o:p>
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    Where we hooked onto Dare&#8217;s Hill Summit Road which has great views out towards Collinsville<o:p></o:p>
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    Rather than head down off the hill we took a track north that joined up with Scrub Road <o:p></o:p>
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    After a nice run through the mallee and more farm country we popped out on the main road at Hallett<o:p></o:p>
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    We were now on a course east with a plan to make it to a camp in Wirrabra Forest. It wasn&#8217;t long though until some water logged tracks reappeared<o:p></o:p>
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    Once past these obstacles we dropped into a valley and then crossed the range<o:p></o:p>
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    With hunger pangs on the rise we then spotted this sign and decided to deviate off our course a little<o:p></o:p>
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    And ended up here for lunch<o:p></o:p>
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    After a few toasted sandwiches we hit the road again and decided to do a lap through the Broughton River valley<o:p></o:p>
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    Nice dry twisty roads <o:p></o:p>
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    led us through the valley until we picked up some farm tracks that took us through to the Bundaleer Forest<o:p></o:p>
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    but there was always the odd obstacle to contend with<o:p></o:p>
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    Some easier to get around than others<o:p></o:p>
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    After hitting the highway near Laura we found both petrol outlets closed (it was a Sunday) so we had to zip down south to Gladstone to fill up before returning past Laura and onto some tracks that led us towards Wirrabra Forest<o:p></o:p>
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    By now it was getting late in the day and we were keen to get to camp but I thought I&#8217;d get a shot of Paul coming through a deepish water hole. Unlucky for him I did<o:p></o:p>
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    Once I&#8217;d stopped laughing (which was several minutes) I returned to find a rather sheepish Paul righting the bike and wiping the mud off<o:p></o:p>
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    After mumbling about low blood sugar levels he was soon back on board and we hit Block 9 Road and headed for our camp<o:p></o:p>
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    Having used this spot a few times it wasn&#8217;t long before we were set up in what really is a nice out of the way location<o:p></o:p>
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    Dinner was less salubrious with the old faithfuls on hand<o:p></o:p>
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    With our beer quota now out of whack we were forced into sharing mode<o:p></o:p>
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    Now, Paul and I have been camping out for close on 35 years together (no Brokeback Mountain jokes* please :eek1) and I must say he excels in many aspects of bush craft (having spent a long time in the army reserve no doubt helping and that&#8217;s his excuse for wearing those pressed green shirts see * above). <o:p></o:p>
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    However, he is a dedicated technophobe. Over the years despite the advent of new gizmos to help in camping he has remained stuck in the dark ages (literally). This leads me on to the subject of torches. I have for many years been encouraging him to use a head torch around camp. Apparently though he &#8220;doesn&#8217;t like things on his head&#8221; (including hair by the look :rofl) so continues to use an old army hand held torch which has the output of a yellow firefly. <o:p></o:p>
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    This would all be fine if he was <o:p></o:p>
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    A) able to find it when it got dark and <o:p></o:p>
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    B) able to use it with both hands. <o:p></o:p>
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    Neither happens too often and generally lead to the rather loud statement &#8220;HEADTORCH ME&#8221; which roughly translated means &#8220;come over her and shine your headtorch so I can see what the fuck I&#8217;m doing&#8221;. Begrudgingly, I generally comply (as it often means food is burning) but the call on this occasion was due to him dropping his beloved torch during a minor campsite ablution and not being able to find it. This time I let him go and enjoyed his cursing as he crawled around looking for it<o:p></o:p>
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    It was a pity the flash going off enabled him to spot it :rofl:rofl<v:shape style="WIDTH: 29.25pt; HEIGHT: 11.25pt; VISIBILITY: visible; mso-wrap-style: square" id=Picture_x0020_16 alt="0" type="#_x0000_t75" o:spid="_x0000_i1025"><v:imagedata o:title="0" src="file:///C:\DOCUME~1\Greg\LOCALS~1\Temp\msohtmlclip1\01\clip_image005.gif"></v:imagedata></v:shape><o:p></o:p>
    #2
  3. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Day 3<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
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    The next morning saw us up fairly early to start the run home<o:p></o:p>
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    We picked our way through some forest tracks<o:p></o:p>
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    And then weaved our way carefully through Port Germein Gorge avoiding the many early morning roos by the roadside. We then swung south down Top Track which runs along the western side of Mt Remarkable and Terowie Gorge.<o:p></o:p>
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    Past Napperby we watched as a giant loco swept north with its load of cargo<o:p></o:p>
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    Then it was over the River Broughton<o:p></o:p>
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    And across the railway line just in front of the Ghan which was heading south from Darwin<o:p></o:p>
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    Once past Redhill we crossed the range to the west at Hope Gap and followed the wind farm south<o:p></o:p>
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    Once we chose the right track it was then a fast run past the South Hummocks towards Pt Wakefield<o:p></o:p>
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    At Port Wakefield we dodged the long weekend traffic (no mean feat<?xml:namespace prefix = v ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:vml" /><v:shapetype id=_x0000_t75 stroked="f" filled="f" path="m@4@5l@4@11@9@11@9@5xe" o:preferrelative="t" o:spt="75" coordsize="21600,21600"> :baldy<v:stroke joinstyle="miter"></v:stroke><v:formulas><v:f eqn="if lineDrawn pixelLineWidth 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 1 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum 0 0 @1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @2 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @3 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @0 0 1"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @6 1 2"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelWidth"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @8 21600 0"></v:f><v:f eqn="prod @7 21600 pixelHeight"></v:f><v:f eqn="sum @10 21600 0"></v:f></v:formulas><v:path o:connecttype="rect" gradientshapeok="t" o:extrusionok="f"></v:path><o:lock aspectratio="t" v:ext="edit"></o:lock></v:shapetype>) and hit the bakery (of course)

    [​IMG]


    before hitting the blacktop for home.<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Another trip done and dusted :clap:clap<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Thanks to my partner in crime - Paul. I just wish that one day he&#8217;ll learn how to put ear plugs in properly so I&#8217;m not always searching for them when he takes his helmet off (it is a modern invention after all:lol3)<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    [​IMG]<o:p></o:p>
    <o:p></o:p>
    Cheers :thumb<o:p></o:p>
    #3
  4. rabrd001

    rabrd001 Solo Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2011
    Oddometer:
    113
    Location:
    South Australia Adelaide
    I love reading your RR good to see lots of photos.. def going to check out some of the places you have seen in this

    :clap
    #4
  5. markwrich1

    markwrich1 Going South

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2008
    Oddometer:
    104
    Location:
    Albany WA 400km to the nearest traffic lights
    Looks like great fun , some of the mud definitely had the skid demon in residence by the look of it :clap:clap:clap
    #5
  6. Happy Snapper

    Happy Snapper GOMOB.

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,808
    Location:
    Brisbane, almost heaven!
    Man.. what a great trip and excellent RR and pictures.

    Well done!
    #6
  7. TerryK

    TerryK Ulysses

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,903
    Location:
    adelaide South Australia
    Top report as always, well done once again.

    One thing I don't understand "West End Draft" most people stopped drinking that stuff years ago.....Along with Paul's torch I guess !!! LOL

    Cheers Terry :clap:clap
    #7
  8. masterbrewer

    masterbrewer TDMster

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2005
    Oddometer:
    3,087
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    :thumb

    Love travelling your rides with you, if only in words & photos :webers

    So close yet so far apart, everyone riding the mid north together that weekend. :lol3

    Isn't it time Paul got his own back & got a camera to your exploits, Bully :evil

    Great job, thanks for sharing :clap

    Cheers
    :beer
    #8
  9. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    I think he buys them only because Southwark Longnecks went out of production:rofl:rofl:rofl
    #9
  10. Turborob

    Turborob Minimalist.

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Oddometer:
    693
    Location:
    Wodonga, Straya
    Enjoyed that, thanks.

    Many of the roads looked familiar.

    Must start scouring Google for out of the way places/tracks.

    Thanks again.
    #10
  11. TerryK

    TerryK Ulysses

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,903
    Location:
    adelaide South Australia
    Hey Kym, saw you this morning on Leslie creek rd, you were by yourself, I was in a group of approx 40 bikes...Twisted1 was leading & no I didn't have the helmet cam.

    Cheers Terry
    #11
  12. senfiddy

    senfiddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    NE Adelaide
    Yet another top notch report that shows how much fun can be had in good ol' SA.

    I must go and re-visit Taylors Run. That is one hoot of a road ( or at least was a couple of years ago)

    After reading this, I raced over to the TAT website to have a look at the GPS file and.......:cry

    Lift your game Greg. :lol3

    Cheers,
    Graeme
    #12
  13. Miss Jane

    Miss Jane Ride like a girl

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Oddometer:
    2,124
    Location:
    Central Victoria
    Great RR, thanks. Awesome country through there, a combination of your pics and route advise for our last trip has me hungry for more riding between the Spencer Gulf and Victorian border. Thanks to you I found out just how slippery that red SA clay can get.:lol3
    #13
  14. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    Sorry mate... I'm on to it :lol3

    Cheers :thumb
    #14
  15. senfiddy

    senfiddy Been here awhile

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Oddometer:
    132
    Location:
    NE Adelaide
    Just picked a very valuable GPS route from TAuT. :clap
    Planning starts now.

    Cheers,
    Graeme
    #15
  16. PhilCoaster

    PhilCoaster Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Oddometer:
    29
    Location:
    Southcoast UK
    Enjoyed the report :D
    #16
  17. XRman

    XRman Long timer

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,914
    Location:
    SW Victoria Oz
    Very interesting Bull600. Forgive my ignorance but what is the TAT website?

    I have hatched a plan to visit this area when I am in semi- retirement (if that ever happens). I can slot is a visit to my sister in Stone Hut !
    #17
  18. linksIT

    linksIT nOObie

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    Oddometer:
    272
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA
    Thanks for sharing, looked like a great trip with good company:freaky
    #18
  19. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    13,769
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Marvelous! So refreshing sitting here while it snows outside and we won't see green grass (or any grass) for months. Thanks.
    #19
  20. bull600

    bull600 Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2008
    Oddometer:
    489
    Location:
    Adelaide South Australia
    It seems my photo hosting site has a habit of corrupting certain files which then don't appear. I just noticed this had happened on this thread so uploaded all the dodgy photos again:lol3

    Cheers:thumb
    #20