General busy-ness has delayed this post from our trip to Tasmania in April. There were some initial impressions in an earlier post – again I’ll let some more photos mostly talk for themselves – this was a very special journey.
Since the Canning Stock Route trip the fat-bike world has gained much greater mainstream attention with a consequent increase in bike, frame and tyre options to the point of easy confusion.
Ready to go. Having a non-steel frame gives some confidence with so much salt in the air and water.
Homebase. Learning from previous washouts, we used a campervan to do drop-off and pick-up.
4WDers come out to ‘play’. Our route as far as Pieman Heads is open to all.
The party we meet are treating things the same way we are – with as light a touch as possible. Scott donates a portion of ‘fat-bike-grin’ while they wait for the trailing pair to catch up
Fat-bikes can skirt the pools without damaging more vegetation.
This part of the world can and does throw everything at you. We’ve managed to chance upon pretty benign weather, but there’re still quite enough hints of what we’re being spared. Atmosphere and some…
We could have started quite a bit further south – maybe even at Hell’s Gates, but (mostly) time didn’t permit. The other factor is getting across the deeper rivers. Pack-rafts provide the obvious self-sufficient solution, but our starting point allows us to take advantage of the river traffic.
Once we’re north of the big river crossing we’re onto tracks that haven’t seen motorised vehicles for a while (and it shows).
Though there are still a few unexpectedly deeper pools.
Scott working on the only puncture of the trip – the result of whoop-bombing down a steep rocky descent :-)
Plenty of space to get lost between sky, sea and sand
A few waist-deep fordings to catch the unwary
A campsite chosen for vista and a remembered CSR-wish for dune-top slumber
Morning surf – the wind shifted overnight bringing dousings of sand into the tents with every gust.
Weaving a path through the dunes
The new wind direction is strongly and unflaggingly offshore – carrying all the loose sand it can find.
Mental note: must stay out of the waves.
Sarah and Bryn are there to meet us at Temma where the route gains road access again. Overnight the next front hits and the wind shifts to a more prevailing sou’westerly.
This means tailwinds for the final stretch to Arthur River – no slog, no sweat but effort-free riding. A great end to such a short but incredible journey.
A fuller article and additional photography can be found in Issue #2 of Cranked – due for publication this week.
GPS files for the route can be downloaded here.