All I can say is that Mother Nature sure has ripped SEQ a new one. (AKA ... How wrong we were.!!) The day started out with a short trip up the Hwy from home to Caboolture and then a nice easy run across the Beerburrum - Woodford Road to meet the rest of the group for breakfast at the Woodford Bakery. The sky was a bit overcast but a bit of rain wasnt going to stop us. The rains have definately arrived in Qld for the first real wet season in many years. Most of our favourite roads and trails have been closed so many of us are getting a bit of cabin fever. We havent had any real rain for a couple of weeks now so Cruz and I hatched a plan to do a ride and get out and see how much damage had been done in some of our general riding areas. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-comfficeffice" /><o></o> After catching up with a group of Caterpillars at Woodford, Cruz, Sean-O and I headed towards Kilcoy and the top end of Somerset dam. You could see there had been so much water down every creek and gully. The watermarks were metres above normal. <o></o> Looking across at Mt Archer (part of the Mt Mee forest) there were numerous landslips carving out the side of the mountain. <o></o> <o></o> Somerset dam was as full as Ive ever seen it. They have let a lot of water out but the level is still right up there. <o></o> <o></o> After stopping for fuel in Kilcoy, (never miss an opportunity to fuel up hey Sean. You never know when you might have to do some backtracking.) we headed up along Mt Kilcoy Rd. One of the locals at the servo said it was open but we should be able to get past the landslips on the bikes. <o></o> Theres a bit of water damage around. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> You even get to fall into some of it <o></o> We finally made it to the top of Traves (Mt Kilcoy) Rd and continued along Bellthrorpe Rd towards Jimna. The road was in pretty good nick considering. A few minor landslips and the odd washout but not too bad <o></o> We stopped at West Kilcoy crk for a look. It looks clean and fresh. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> We continued along Bellthorpe Rd and turned down 10 mile. This track is in good condition too. Again a few minor washouts but good other wise. Even the whoops are still good. <o></o> After 10 mile we crossed over to Monsildale Rd. Not far from the start there were signs that the water had done some damage. The road normally goes on the left of picture. <o></o> <o></o> A bit further along there is a bigger landslip. Its hard to see where the water has come from but it taken ½ the side of the mountain down the hill with it. This was there back in October but I think its got a bit worse with all the recent rains. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Many of the crossings on Monsildale Rd have changed considerably. What used to be slight trickles have obviously been raging torrents. The damage is enormous. But only a sample of what lay ahead. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Lots of slippery green stuff on them too <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> Down in the valley, you could see the reshaping of the river. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> So after a rest at the end of Monsildale Rd and a chat to some other locals out for a look. They were going to see if they could get across Mt Buggery to Imbil and Kenilworth. We were headed North along Kilcoy Murgon Rd to Gallangowan and then south towards Linville and we were thinking a nice lunch at Moore around 1- 1.30 How wrong we were.!!! <o></o> <o></o> We took our usual route through the forest from Gallangowan and down to meet up with the Eastern Branch rd. With all the rain this track is getting a little overgrown and was hard to follow in places. Its really a case of point the bike and hope youre on the track and there are no rocks hiding on the grass. There is a little creek that you cross and its the first time its been totally dry. We were thinking this side of the range must have missed the rain . How wrong we were.!!! <o></o> <o></o> We linked up with the Eastern Branch Rd and headed down the hill. The river has totally reshaped this area. In some places, what used to be road is now river and other places the road just doesnt exist. <o></o> Lots of washouts and nearly impassable tracks. Many of the usually dry little river crossings arent even there any more. Apparently this area had something like 11 inches (275mm) of rain in about 1 hour. That is a massive amount of rain. <o></o> I didnt get a lot of photos through here as I would have been stopping every 2 minutes. It is just incredible to see. <o></o> This got even worse just over the hill. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> We followed the Eastern Branch as far as we could until we were confronted by this. <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> <o></o> It looked like a trip to the beach.... Boys I think you forgot your surf boards .!!!!! <o></o> We looked, we tried but we had to turn around and head back the way wed come and head across to the Western Branch. From there wed run down to Linville and then onto Moore for lunch Maybe 2pm . How wrong we were.!! <o></o> We finally got through and it was actually easier going back through the 2<SUP>nd</SUP> time than the first. Once through the tough bits we stopped and rested for a while. Sean was a bit tired from kicking the BRP all day. <o></o> We came out onto the Western Branch Rd at the old forest station and headed South for Moore. Over the first crest and <o></o> <o></o> There has been some serious water through here. <o></o> We headed south across a few creek crossings, maybe 7 or 8 or 10. Some deep and some just a trickle. We came out at the intersection of the Western and Eastern Branch Rds. There was this piece of rusty corrugated iron leaning up against a post with the words pained on it Road closed Residents only We have 2 options go forth and see what happens or turn around and go back. Wed done a bit of back tracking here and there and the fuel was starting to get a little low for some hey Sean? So go forth we did. <o></o> Just down the road we see why the road was closed. Again, what used to be a concrete ford across the river was no longer. It was gone and there was no sign of it anywhere. What are our options? We could see a new road had been cut into the hill just off to the right so Sean headed off to investigate. No sooner had he rolled away than the local farmer paid us a visit. He wasnt too happy. He even laid some heavy blame on the Victorian Education system as he told me I mustnt have be able to read. He mixed in a few words that an uneducated person like myself couldnt quite comprehend. Lots starting with F and even some starting with C. They must teach these in Qld . <o></o> BUT.... In all fairness these people have copped it pretty rough lately. No food or power for days. And they are now getting loads of tourists getting stuck and expect the farmers to come and help. When our new friend calmed down a bit he was telling us about a few of the recent rescues. So if you happen to be out that way and you see a Road Closed sign please adhere to it. The Western and Eastern Branch Rds are closed and will be for a very long time. <o></o> We tried to explain that we were getting low on fuel but our only option was to back track again and head for Nanango. So be it! Back through all those water crossings Maybe lunch at Nanango around 4 You guessed it How wrong we were.!! <o></o> <o></o> We got through all but 3 of the crossings on the way back until some useless fat bastard (namely ME) decided to drop his bike in the river and drown it. Its starting to look like no lunch for us today . <o></o> I didnt get any more photos, not even one of the drowned bike. (I think Sean has some.) <o></o> Anyway long story short . After an hour of drying out the bike it decided to go again. We got a few km up the road and Sean runs out of fuel. OK we have about 25km to go to Nanango. I drain some from my bike and off we go again. About 10km further down the road. I notice no-one in my mirrors. I slowed down but still no one. I decided to keep going as it was only about 5km into Nanango. I fuelled up and still no one. I'm sure someone has run out. At least I had some fuel to hand over now. I headed back out, drained some more fuel for Sean and we all headed into town. <o></o> It was about 6pm at this stage and still no lunch. Time to slab it the 200km back to Brissy. We were lucky the Blackbutt range had re opened in the last few days otherwise we would have had to head home via Gympie. Maybe getting home sometime Sunday. <o></o> It was a good run home even the stop lights on the range were in our favour. There is only one lane open and it is one way traffic for 15 mins each way. So if you miss the lights you're waiting for up to 15 mins. <o></o> We finally got to Moore at 7pm. We didnt stop for lunch we just headed straight for Woodford where we expected the Caterpillar riders to be waiting for us. How wrong we were.!! Theyd packed up and gone home hours ago. Cruz and I left Sean at his car in Woodford at about 8 and hit the highway home, finally arriving to a cold beer and a well needed shower around 8.40. A long day, a great day and an eye opening day. <o></o> Thanks for the company Bruce and Sean. We'll see if we can find something a little trickier next time for you Sean.