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Old 12-05-2013, 06:10 PM   #1
Fipsy OP
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Location: McLaren Vale, South Australia
Oddometer: 490
Caroona Creek CP via Mt Bryan East(Nov, 2013)

Despite a number of trips to this area before, there always seems to be somewhere new to explore. On this occasion we stumbled across a new track, which particularly suited the bigger bikes.

The weather forecast was a mixed bag of 'cool, with a few showers', to 'sunny, and 19deg' - so we basically had no idea what we were in for, other than it wouldn't be a repeat of the previous trip with temperatures north of 35deg.

The rally point was just north of Gawler at midday on the Friday. After introductions, but mostly "how the f*ck are ya?" greetings, we set off for Taylor's Run, up to Burra, via the Tothill Ranges and Quinn's Gap. For previous video footage of sections of Taylor's Run, see here. Once at Burra, we grabbed a few supplies, and headed straight up to the old schoolhouse at Mt. Bryan East, and set up camp.

Once done, we made the 30min trip back to Burra, where dinner at the Royal Exchange Hotel was booked.

…and we settled in for a feed dutch….(bloody miserable lot, judging by the facial expressions!

When DR Ozzy's beef snitty arrived, he didn't realise he was going to get half a cow . He thought he'd found a perfect replacement for his queen size mattress he lugs everywhere - it was big enough to sleep on, AND he could still spare some for a midnight snack

We got back to camp later that evening, and got the fire going. It was pretty breezy up on the hill, but we got a windbreak sorted for the fire, and all was good.

After a cool, windy night, most were up pretty early, to cool, breezy, overcast day.

So we kick-started the fire to warm things up…

Unfortunately for Marty, he awoke to a rear flat, so it was off for a tyre repair before breakfast…

The plan for Saturday, was to head over to Caroona Creek CP, find some previously missed tracks, then continue an eastern loop towards Murkaby and back to Burra for lunch. However, 15 minutes into the ride, just after we got through the western entrance, a couple of the guys spotted a track going up a ridge, and in turn spotted another track meandering through the ranges.

So Paul and Allan shot up the hill to find a fantastic lookout. (footage below courtesy of DR Ozzy)

View from the hilltop (courtesy of DR Ozzy)

Once they got down, and we heard about this other track, the plans for a Murkaby loop quickly evaporated - this looked a far more entertaining prospect. So off we went.

The track was about 16km long, and wound through the ranges at a good pace, largely running parallel with the Mongolata Rd (aka Dust Hole Creek Rd).

Video of this section of track…..

The track opened up at a clearing….

….which showed some promise as a future camp location.

By now, we figured we must be close to the southern end of the CP, and a fence line with tracks, led us in either direction. The first, was a locked gate only a couple of km's up the track, so we doubled back, and found ourselves heading though another small gorge, crossing though Newikie creek, which proved very slippery with stagnant water, and mossy rocks, but everyone got through ok.

(Courtesy of DR Ozzy)

A few easy km's on, we came across another locked gate, and only 10 meters on the other side, was Mongolata Rd. Whilst the thought of doubling back was enticing, we decided to press on. So with a can of WD40, some chanting, and some creative engineering, the gate magically opened for us.

From there, we made our way east along White Hill Rd, and up to the eastern entrance of Caroona - a few of the lads hadn't been here before, so was a good chance to show them around, and explore a couple of previously overlooked tracks too.

………more coming…...

Fipsy screwed with this post 12-05-2013 at 07:03 PM
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Old 12-06-2013, 12:40 PM   #2
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Old 12-06-2013, 02:17 PM   #3
Fipsy OP
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Location: McLaren Vale, South Australia
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So we went up to the eastern entrance to Caroona, turned in, and showed the newcomers around…

Camp site at eastern entrance..

A quick visit to Thomas Hut ruins..

Heading down into Tourile Gorge…

After Tourile Gorge, we made our way to the western entrance to the CP, and then headed down Mongolata Rd back into Burra for lunch and fuel.

Footage below showing the ride through Caroona, the gorge, and down Mongolata Rd.

We then headed back up to camp in the early afternoon, with plans of heading up to a spot near Hiles Lagoon - a large roadside creek bed, thought to be a good spot for the smaller bikes to have a play. However, we made the mistake of sitting down to a couple of beers - which pretty well finished the day for us.

Firewood was the only thing left on the agenda, so Nick and I went up to a nearby abandoned house, to scout the nearby tree line for firewood.

These old places must have some interesting stories to tell. I imagine places like this one would have fallen victim to the larger pastoral companies, in the struggle to keep a smaller property viable.

The remains of what was likely the original dwelling, before the larger one pictured above was built.

What appears to be an old bore in the foreground, with tank.

Not a bad view from the front porch!

Another cold, breezy night lay ahead of us. DR Ozzy settled into his traditional camping dinner of a box of "Shapes" and a carton of beer.

Fortunately, the schoolhouse wasn't locked once again, so those who found the previous night a bit chilly, wound up indoors for the night, complete with roaring fireplace (which wasn't the only 'roaring' coming from inside the place as the night went on!)

Despite a few fragile heads the next morning, we made our way (the long way!) up to Hiles Lagoon, to find the creek bed I had seen when passing though that way on our way back from Yunta via Terowrie on a pervious trip.

After managing to find it, most of us were still recovering from the night before, so after a brief look around, decided to make our way back to camp, pack up and begin the journey home.

Part of the creek bed, which opened up a bit further down (we hadn't found that bit yet).

We made a direct run for Burra, had some lunch, and broke off into groups, depending on who was heading home which way.

Once again, a great ride, and great bunch of blokes.

'Till next time…….

Fipsy screwed with this post 12-06-2013 at 02:39 PM
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Old 12-06-2013, 05:08 PM   #4
DR Ozzy
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Crooner creek

Crooner creek
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Old 12-06-2013, 06:41 PM   #5
Fipsy OP
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Joined: Aug 2010
Location: McLaren Vale, South Australia
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Originally Posted by DR Ozzy View Post
Crooner creek
….. yeah, Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble were down there singing "Send in the Clowns"……

…….."Don't bother, they're here!!"
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