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Saturday, September 10, 2011

Pine Forest

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Last week I complained about how monotonous Pine Plantation Forests can be to ride through. Today I thought I’d rectify that by exploring the Beerburrum Pine Plantation for a few hours to see if I could find some more interesting tracks.

Forest Tracks

You’d be forgiven for thinking that they all look like this, with long straight dirt roads and rows of pine trees, but that’s not the case.

OasisForest Tracks

Some of the land bordering creeks and swamps is unsuitable for plantation timber, so it usually is just left as is – an oasis of biodiversity within a larger monoculture of slash pine. Riding along the borders of these sections I often found twisty narrow little tracks which were much more fun to ride on. Because of the extra grass, the tracks were less muddy than the big wide dirt roads.

Pine ForestLace Monitor

This was another section of pine forest bordering a creek. While trying to avoid some puddles, I looked down at my feet and spotted this magnificent looking Lace Monitor, or Goanna. He didn’t move a muscle – just stared at me and hoped I’d eventually go away (which I did).

Forest TracksForest Tracks

In between the large straight roads, there are myriads of smaller tracks like these. Some grassy, some just two lines of vehicle tracks. They’re all fun to ride – it just takes a bit of curiosity to find them.

Today I rode about 54km in almost 4 hours. I didn’t rush it – it was nice just to take it easy and see what I could discover. The tracks were mostly flat, and easy to ride. I hardly raised a sweat, so I’m giving this one 5 out of 10 on the tough-o-meter. But for enjoyment, I’d say it’s well worth the time.

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