Wednesday, November 24, 2010
It was an utterly futile quest, but it was a lot of fun. Sometimes they’d stand still and look at me, and as soon as I’d get the camera out, they’d bounce off.
So I tried holding the camera in one hand and the handlebars with the other. This is not a good idea. I didn’t fall off, but I could almost hear the malicious macropods laughing at my erratic attempts to steer and photograph at the same time.
I’ll be back, Skippy!
Sunday, November 21, 2010
I tried to ride to Diana’s Bath today. It’s up in the D’Aguilar Ranges half way between Dayboro and Kilcoy. It’s about a 100km round trip from my place and I would have made it except I ran out of time. But I’m happy with my efforts to get within 5km on my first attempt.
Surveyor Robert Dixon drew a map of the area in 1842 and noted a “Bunya Scrub Camp” on the upper reaches of the North Pine River (he called it the Eden River). But I think this bunch of trees is even further up the river than Dixon surveyed.
This is the source of the North Pine River. It continues for another kilometre upstream from here in the rainforest. This is the same river that passes within 500m of our house on its way to the sea about 50km downstream.
View Diana’s Bath in a larger map
This map gives an idea of how close I got. About 1.5km as the crow flies, but about 5 on the road.
Friday, November 19, 2010
Grant Street causeway, North Pine River, Petrie. This crossing is directly below the North Pine Dam, often floods, and is closed to vehicular traffic. But I regularly ride through on the bike. Only problem is, you get wet feet
This bunch of mushrooms decided to grow on the leading edge of a gate. If the gate swings open, it will knock them over. I had to open the gate, so before I did, I took lots of photos. Then I carefully lifted the gate up and over the mushrooms to avoid disturbing them.
Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Monday, November 15, 2010
Photo courtesy of John Henley
Alfred Delisser was a 19th century surveyor who surveyed the Nullarbor Plain in the 1860’s. Noting the distinct lack of trees, he coined the name “Nullarbor” from the latin words “Null” (lack of) and “Arbor” (tree). The Delisser Mobile Sand Dunes in Eucla National Park are named in his honour.
You can read more about Albert Delisser at John Henley’s excellent website about the Mapleton Tramway.
The crossing is still there today surrounded by peaceful bushland. I ride it quite regularly on my bike. By some strange quirk of geography, it rarely floods – even after much rain. There once was a bridge over this crossing, and I think it’s possible to see the remains if you look around hard enough.
So I was delighted after finding this survey tree last week at Mosquito Creek just near the crossing to discover that it was blazed by Alfred Delisser in 1889. He had passed through this area several years earlier and was probably quite familiar with it, making him an ideal choice. No survey marks remain on the tree, apart from its original blazing. In fact the wooden “heart” of the blaze has fallen out. I thought it deserved a bit of respect so I cleaned it up and set it against the tree.
The tree itself isn’t that big. But it could easily be over 200 years old. Ironbark trees grow slowly.
Here’s part of the survey plan of the Mosquito Creek crossing created by Alftred Delisser in 1889. Many thanks to Leith Barter for obtaining this copy for me.
The survey plan is over 111 years old. But even as Delisser created it, the road he was on had been used for 45 years by Evan Mackenzie and the Archer Brothers as they made their way north to Durrundur Station.
But even that is fairly recent compared to the thousands of years that the original track had been in use by Aborigines walking from Meeanjin (Brisbane) to the Bonyi (Bunya) feasts in the Blackall Ranges.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
I did a pretty long ride today. From our place I headed out to Samford, then up into the D’Aguilar Range to Mt Nebo, down some beautiful dirt tracks to The Gap, then along some cycle-ways to the Moreton Bay Bike way through the mangroves in the Boondall Wetlands, and back home. This was a solo ride. I’ve done similar distances with friends before, but this was the first time I did it by myself, which meant I rode a lot more conservatively than if I was in a group.
That’s not to say I didn’t have setbacks. I got a flat near Samford, which wouldn’t have normally been a problem. But I have tubeless tyres. When they go flat on the road, you have to stick a tube in. But my bike has thick rims, and the tube stem didn’t poke out far enough for me to lock the pump on it. Eventually I figured out if I screwed on a presta / schraeder adapter, I could inflate the tyre through that instead. But it took me three-quarters of an hour to figure out how to do it. (Next time it will take 10 minutes).
It has miles of trails to ride as well.
I couldn’t resist leaning the bike up against a large spotted gum and taking a picture of this old wrought iron gate in the middle of nowhere.
Thankfully most of the way is via bike ways which go through the many parks that line the creeks on their way to the sea.
Kalinga Park is usually full of people enjoying a picnic lunch on a Saturday. Today was no exception
All up, 112km with 1750m of vertical ascent. 5,800 kcal burned. (That’s a lot of Gatorade ).
Friday, November 12, 2010
The carving says “B&W 70 1860″. Burke and Wills passed this way in 1860 on their way from Melbourne to the Gulf Country. They carved their initials on this tree as a survey marker.
Amazing how slowly a tree grows. And amazing to touch something of such national significance. About 100 miles south of here is another tree, the “Dig Tree”. Google it for more info. It’s an amazing story.
This photo was taken in 1993 when I visited Birdsville with my mate, Brian.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
One of my favourite spots on the Dunlop Lane / Smiths Road loop is the Mosquito Creek crossing. It’s in the middle of several km of quiet bushland trails. When I first rode it, I had to dismount to complete the crossing, but these days I just zip across it on the bike and always feel smug about it
Another survey tree. It’s amazing how once you know what to look for, these trees just seem to pop up everywhere.
Surveyors “blazed” Iron Bark Eucalypts like this one, for use as survey markers, because the species is very slow growing. So a mark will remain relatively unchanged for decades. This one is probably almost 100 years old. I’ll update when I find out more info from our wonderful local history librarian.