The best ride ideas always seem to arrive mid afternoon, just when you’re not sure if there is enough daylight hours left and just when you’re feeling like slothing the day away.
I was hanging out for a uni fix so decided to squeeze in the MUni ride from Moonlight Flat to Expedition Pass and back, on a section of the Great Dividing Trail. On the map it looked like an easy cruise more or less… HAHA, sucked in badly!
The trail starts out as a GUni dirt freeway, running alongside Forrest Creek before heading into the bush where it becomes a mix of single track and wider trails, passing ‘Troll Corner’ (!), Manchester Reef and the Garfield Wheel, all the while climbing steadily towards Expedition Pass though it drops in and out of several steep gullies along the way.
The trail passes through hard core Gold Mining country. The Garfield Wheel was one mighty structure in its day. Check out a photo of it taken during the Gold Rush. All that is left now are the stone supports, still impressive.
After a lot of huffing and puffing – my fitness is lame ATM – I arrived at Expedition Pass, well sort of. My turn around point was the Expedition Pass Reservoir but I couldn’t get to it due to the ‘new’ official trail being surrounded by private property. I backtracked and cut into where I’d seen some single track earlier. Nice.
It took a LOT longer than I thought it would to get to Expedition Pass. It was getting late in the day so fingers crossed the run down to Moonlight Flat would be a lot quicker and I’d make it back before dark… but I hadn’t yet come across some of the excellent single track I’d noticed from the road a few days earlier and was determined to find it before heading home.
The single track didn’t take too much finding, starting just down behind the reservoir wall. Nice twisty single track, winding alongside a creek, passing ruins of old bridges and such, before joining back onto the main trail. Back on the main trail the ride home turned out to be a lot faster, lots of downhill to enjoy, and steep sections to clench the butt.
Not much daylight left by the time I returned past Manchester Reef. Nice light.
My eyes took a beating from a few late afternoon swarms of tiny insects. Must remember to take clear glasses. Nothing Scooby Doo snacks couldn’t fix though once I made it back to the van 🙂
The 24 GUni ran like a rocket, though I reckon a lot of the trail would also suit a 29 and even a 36 wheel. The Expedition Pass trail isn’t far from The Pineys and Kalimna Park – both great MUni – so once my fitness picks up again there are some good options in these parts for long MUni rides.
All up a great ride. It kicked my butt!