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Old 08-13-2013, 05:22 AM   #1
masterbrewer OP
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Murray-Sunset National Park, Australia August 2013




Murray-Sunset is the second largest national park at 633,000 hectares in the state of Victoria, Australia.

The park was created in 1991 and was the site of a major salt industry from 1916 to 1975. At its peak, ten thousand tons of salt was harvested.

A defunct railway, the Nowingi line, terminates at the remains of a gypsum mine hopper on the Raak Plain. Other relics include Mopoke Hut, built as grazier accommodation in the 1960s.


Warning! Tracks in the park contain areas of deep sand with wide wheel ruts.


Big deal, so what, we are Adventure Riders ?

Gonescratchin, DR Ozzy, TonyRDR, GrahamG, Masterbrewer & Todd the support crew.


Gonescratchin had organised the multi-day ride, confident in the knowledge that his heavy BMW R1200 was familiar with the area & would make life easier for its rider

................................. or so he'd read somewhere while indulging in the usual BMW riders' past time .

(actually his bike was Daryl Beattie's (ex 500cc Grand Prix rider's) weapon that had unfortunately had a misdemeanour with the Sunset country some years ago and was familiar with kissing the sand beneath his tread)

Never-the-less confidence was high as we grouped at Callington with a support vehicle of Caffe Latte's and cold beer and TonyRDR's one bottle of Southern Comfort for medicinal purposes for the trek into the Murray Sunset National Park of adventure.

masterbrewer screwed with this post 08-13-2013 at 04:04 PM
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Old 08-13-2013, 03:11 PM   #2
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Old 08-13-2013, 04:01 PM   #3
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.... continuing on, well! starting the ride actually

Gonescratchin led a quick trip down the black top to our first stop at the Coolabah Tree Café, Tailem Bend, being the closest resemblance to a bakery he obviously knew about.


View Larger Map

....................although from personal experience, the Tailem Bend Bakery, one street over serves excellent coffee & vanilla slices .


View Larger Map

But hey! I was impressed so far ..... my first Murray Sunset trip with a support vehicle of cold beer


With a passing light sprinkle of rain in the air, GS made a quick check of track conditions on his bat phone with supposedly someone in the know (I was impressed with his "on the run" contacts from up above).

... and we received the all clear that our off road life would be good while we negotiated the terrain towards Karoonda.



However it wasn't long before the temperature rose under our mountain of warm clothing and a strip tease of sorts began.





We were revelling in the conditions when GS realised that time was slipping from his GPS calculations to meet DR Ozzy at Meribah on time, so an easier faster route choice was taken, although lucky for us, GS did entertain us with an interesting short cut track, which was good riding ..................................... both ways.



While GS searched for his special beemer fuel, we slipped into the Karoonda Bakery for a top up.


View Larger Map

Eventually arriving in Meribah being greeted by DR Ozzy lounging in his armchair under the Mallee scrub.



After a meet & greet it was into the park for fun & games




masterbrewer screwed with this post 08-13-2013 at 04:07 PM
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:20 PM   #4
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Day One and TWO bakeries, along with a review of third...........this RR has some fantastic potential....
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Aussie Trev screwed with this post 08-13-2013 at 05:45 PM
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Old 08-13-2013, 05:37 PM   #5
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........ continuing


Initial tracks into the park were fast, open & suiting GS, who was looking the part.



I was watching my mirrors when he failed to round a corner. I thought the worst as you do & rushed back to help But he appeared to have everything under control.

I didn't think anyone could lift a Beemer that fast, when he saw me coming

I was impressed and please with my efforts to improve his fitness

..... although we didn't know at the time, he had broken his rib in the fall.



We stopped shortly after & watched GS grab a torque wrench & appear to tighten his front wheel under mutterings of shoddy BMW servicing again.

Yeah right we all said, stop blaming your bike ..................but in fact he was correct .................. the nut was loose WTF



venturing further into the park there appeared many puddles shape like a map of Australia



The coast was treacherously slippery.



and as I was nearing Cable Beach on the north west corner of the map, my poor ol' girl decides to take a dive.





Extra caution followed with the big bikes whenever water was spotted on the track thereafter.



But that still didn't make any difference at times





The going was getting harder, especially when one is exhausted & in so much pain and we found out later that the big pig had "got tired" a few more times cresting the dunes..

With daylight fading fast, we still had some 15kms of unknown track conditions to our planned destination for the night, Mopoke Hut





It was decided for safety sake to camp here and let the appropriate medicine taking party begin.



After a cold night, Graham was over excited when he noticed the sun was shining only on his BMW

...............................or was it the glow from his newly acquired tent.






masterbrewer screwed with this post 08-13-2013 at 05:51 PM
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Old 08-13-2013, 07:41 PM   #6
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Old 08-14-2013, 04:06 AM   #7
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Enjoyable RR. What's next?
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Old 08-14-2013, 05:09 AM   #8
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..... continuing

The following morning turned out to easy riding into Mopoke Hut despite our hesitation the night before.





... and to ensure the Beemer riders kept up their strength, a mandatory catered coffee break was enjoyed recapping the previous days incidents and planning what's next .

Strangely I could feel myself being brainwashed into enjoying such a thing on a regular basis.



While some waffled on, others smelt the beautiful wild flowers popping up everywhere.



It was agreed that using Rocket Lake as a better base camp that would ensure an easier exit out of the park fully loaded when the time arose.

GS subsequently took the lead, strangely exploring different camera angles for his ride report.





Conscious of the damage endured by "Inspector Gadget's" adventurous side, it was here that I suggested he turn his helmet camera rearward so as not to scratch the lense further.

But alas, my plan for a few minutes of fame was thwarted & before we could say "jack rabbit", GS was gone in a cloud of dust, so to speak.





Arriving at Rocket Lake, GS enquired "what kept you guys? "Dust" replied Tony



You can't keep a good engineer down, even collecting fallen timber on a camping trip



Before relaxing under a beautiful sunset.



With our new little glow worm, we were confident none of us would need head lanterns tonight.



While the old, injured & thirsty stayed at base camp, DR Ozzy, TonyRDR & myself headed into Hattah aiming to partake in a delicious burger, having previously tasted such delights some 6 years earlier on the Hattah Burger Run 2007

DR Ozzy was again setting a cracking pace on the often deeply rutted, undulating, sometimes whooped out sandy tracks towards Hattah.



Passing the usual photo opportunity of the Pink Lake



Until we caught up to a stationary DR in the middle of the track. "I'm outa fuel guys!" exclaimed a sheepish Ozzy.

With some 20kms to burger central, a fuel equalisation exercise was required.







After refuelling bike & body, DR Ozzy exclaimed he had found a "short cut" across the Raak Plain a few weeks earlier.

He made it look easy, what little time we saw him in front of us, but I can tell you, the extra weight of a full tank of fuel and a full belly, made for some challenging manoeuvres through the sandy 4x4 tracks to keep upright.

Before enjoying the opening countryside's smooth tracks, apart from the marauding mob of sheep of course.

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Old 08-14-2013, 05:14 PM   #9
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Thanks for an awesome ride guys amazing riding good company . Great report so far mate, looking forward to the rest
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TonyRDR screwed with this post 08-14-2013 at 05:25 PM
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Old 08-14-2013, 06:52 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by TonyRDR View Post
Thanks for an awesome ride guys amazing riding good company . Great report so far mate, looking forward to the rest
Sadist! ......................... you know it doesn't end well
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Old 08-14-2013, 10:25 PM   #11
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............... never-the-less let us continue the "fun"

Another evening of pain comforting, intense frivolity eased the stress levels
However next morning brain searching ingenuity was called for to get the fire going again which surprised everyone, considering the number of brain cells that had been depleted over the last couple of nights.



Some serious & painful discussion followed before it was decided that a heavily suffering "Inspection Gadget" had run out of gadgets to ease his dilemma & needed treatment sooner than later.



To fit his 'angry with himself' mood, he donned his Angry Birds hat for moral support.



Luckily we had emptied our support vehicle the previous night and had no further use for it so we loaded our bikes and headed for the main road some 50kms east to Nowingi, resting only at the derelict gypsum mine hopper on the Raak Plan and a local farmers speedway track.

http://goo.gl/maps/ep02J

Unfortunately, disaster follows disaster & on the sandy track out of Rocket Lake, Gonescratchin clouted his foot on an exposed mallee stump and he could feel his foot rapidly swelling within his boot.







By the time we reached the Calder Highway, GS knew he had made the right decision and we later heard pain levels had reached excruciating by the time he arrived home along the black top.





TonyRDR, GrahamG, Dr Ozzy & myself headed further east to the Murray River finding some very rutted sandy tracks, deep enough for my foot pegs to scrap the tops of the ruts. A few butt clenching moments followed, but nothing to what was to come.






Imagine this ................................... "Let's go riding in the sandy Mallee country guys? ..... yay"



Then out of the blue you find .................................... "THE 150 Metres FROM HELL"


Super slippery clay mud on a cambered road on a 300kg (+) bike with 50/50 tyres is not good news The lighter bikes easily cruised through.



To make things even more interesting, halfway along, I looked ahead only to see .....................



Oh! No! ..................... my worst nightmare



...................... 60 pairs of beady little eyes belonging to a group of scouts/girl guide trekkers, watching my every minuscule slide with interest, waiting for their moment to ..............................little buggas'



Eventually I managed to disappoint them, but not before lots of this



Following that excitement, DR Ozzy headed his own way home and we continued "The Adventure".

On route to Lindsay Island, the Old Mail Route Rd was closed, so a change of plans called for a bit of careful map plotting, enabled us to reach Lock 9 for the night and de-stress.





The weather next morning was fantastic, a good days enjoyable riding along the Carwap Track was planned with a delicious steak sandwich as reward at the end in Loxton.



But that was not to be ................................... I thought I had the perfect line covered along a ridge on the left between the ruts, but alas, the TDM front wheel slipped sideways & down she drops








Searching for answers, apart from the obvious .... slow down why is it that most puddles I've crashed at are shaped like a map of Australia. I just can't seem to get past the north west location of Cable Beach.

I know an omen when I see one and have taken the hint, so I have cancelled any plans to ride around Australia.



After raving so much about their fabulous steak sandwiches enjoined on my previous trips ..................



Todays was no exception and were gone in a flash.



On refuelling, we headed 'as the crow flys' towards Adelaide on my favourite "Fun Road" of all time, made up of 70 kms of smooth, fast, hard packed, hundreds of whoops between undulating, ever sharpening, loose gravel corners that make up the east/west road just north of Mantung & the Old Loxton Road

Of course neither helped my torn inner thigh muscle very much, slapping it on the seat every launch into the air, but I couldn't stop myself, I couldn't slow down .................. smiling ... wincing ...smiling ... wincing... smiling all the way though

The final sting in the tail for GrahamG's first sandy, motorcycle camping adventure (he's originally an Adelaidean who's been mixing with easterners & mexicans' whose idea of camping is apparently with credit cards ) was the Black Hill sand track, which he has continued to thank me for ever since (by the way, my favourite "Wolf Creek" track is now like a super highway )



Thanks Gonescratchin for organising the trip & to everyone for their great company & lots of laughs. Hope to cya again soon


Oh ! by the way GS, I've found you a replacement BMW for your next exploits into the Murray Sunset


















































Progress report day 4, the leg was definitely slapped about somewhat I would say ................. can't even sit on the bike at the moment


masterbrewer screwed with this post 08-15-2013 at 12:16 AM
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Old 08-15-2013, 02:17 AM   #12
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I count myself blessed i survived andy's coorona trip

congratulations to all that survived this ride
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Old 08-15-2013, 03:28 AM   #13
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Holly Shit Kym it looks like that bloody great BMW landed on your leg !!!
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Old 08-15-2013, 04:59 AM   #14
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Holly Shit Kym it looks like that bloody great BMW landed on your leg !!!
Bugga!

Why did I take so many photos? I could have gone for a sympathy vote here
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Old 08-16-2013, 02:59 AM   #15
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Progress report on the leg: day 6

If you get squeamish don't scroll down . .












































.............. Alcohol must be diluting the stain



I warned you

masterbrewer screwed with this post 08-16-2013 at 03:31 AM
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