It's Wood, not Dale - A new way... - CycleBlaze

It's Wood, not Dale



Not to confuse Jarrahwood with Jarrahdale, where I started out this ride. Not that you would if you've ever seen the two .... 

Donnybrook is about 5 km off the Munda Biddi and most of the riders make that deviation just for a stop off at the pub or to resupply at the supermarket... or possibly both? It then takes about 10 km on a backroad to join up with the track again if you don't want to backtrack to where you left it the day before... and I didn't.  

Staying at the pub was... ok. It is a pub afterall, so you shouldn't expect much for your $90 aud. There is also a backpackers, still in the downtown area and it is half the price. Normally, the backpackers is full with young 'uns working in the local orchards and market gardens, making money and doing their time on their under 30s working visa. I'm told under normal conditions it can be a lot of fun - they work and party hard. Unfortunately, almost all of them have had to scurry home due to the virus and that has left the agricultural sector in a bit of a pickle with no one to do the seasonal harvests or work in the outback. One of the MB riders I met yesterday, Adrian, stayed there last night - he said it was quiet and he had a room to himself. 

It's about 40ish km to the Jarrahwood hut and once off the paved road, I bounced around on single track and old logging roads for most of that distance. I met a Parks & Wildlife ranger who was checking the track and the signage around another FPC logging diversion. We talked forest management, the FPC and Alcoa. Well.... he politely listened and nodded while I went off about them. There is a serious fungal disease running riot in the southwest, Phytophthora Dieback. It's more common name is Jarrah Dieback. It lives in the soil, is easily spread and kills Eucalypts (like Jarrah), Banksias and Grass Trees. It's a bitch, there is no cure and entire areas of the forest have been quarantined, but it still keeps spreading. Yeah, I forgot to add that one to my list of environmental challenges out here. While I'm at it, let's add the feral pigs. They are everywhere and they roto-till the soil, munching on native flora and fauna - they too are very effective at spreading Jarrah Dieback.  

The track deviation put me on a quicker, but just as scenic, nicely graded dirt road. Unfortunately, it also went through a recently clear felled forestry block. For a while I thought I might try to ride with both eyes closed, but had to settle for just closing the one on the logged side of the road. Low cloud cover and a thick layer of smoke haze from burning off made for a very surreal afternoon ride into Jarrahwood. 

I hear banjos playing...
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Jarrahwood is a small ex-mill town. All that's left of the once thriving town is a few run down homes and the Munda Biddi hut that sits uncomfortably on the edge of the settlement. The residents are an interesting group ... Adrian said, "you can almost hear the banjos playing." It's just a km or so off of the Vasse hiway that runs inland from the coast. Because it has road access and because there are no hut fees, non riders have been known to avail themselves of the facilities from time to time. It's only about 25 km  from here to Nannup, where many of the riders prefer to stop for the night. There were three of us in the hut tonight: Tim, Adrian and me. Apart from one mufflerless car rumbling through the town in the middle of the night, we all slept soundly. 

The wildflower show continued, despite the banjos and the clear felling.
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Bill ShaneyfeltThat flower might be large flowered Thomasia. Apparently quite variable.
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3 years ago
Victa CalvoThanks for following up on my wildflower photos Bill. I'm hopeless at identifying them. I ride along in a state of ignorance. That's right along side of the state of Denial, another state I visit frequently.
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3 years ago
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