After a great day & night staying at a friends shack in Orford, I planned to go for a mountain bike ride somewhere in the Wielangta Rd forest area.
I drove to the Thumbs lookout reserve area and headed up a fire trial that had a boom gate (to stop cars & trail bikes). The start of the track is near 'Flash Tier' on my 1:25000 map and I was aiming to get to the Three Thumbs peaks a few k's to my north, but also to find out where the track went.
Quickly the track was heading to the south, but I needed to go the north to the Thumbs. I took every option to the north but I kept reaching dead ends where the track just petered out.
After spending a few hours hitting dead ends I headed back to the car. Near the car park there is a walking track to the Thumbs but I was hoping to find a fire trail to ride on - unsuccessfully.
I then set my car gps to plan a route home using the 'shortest route' options - knowing that this could take me through some 'short cut' tracks.
Initially it was plain sailing continuing down Wielangta Rd but then I had to turn right at Franklins Rd. The trouble was that when the gps said I was at Franklin Rd there was no turn - just dense bush. At the next narrow gravel rd to the right I turned up a small rd/track and was soon crossing rising creeks in the fairly heavy rain and dodging boulders.
After about 20 minutes of challenging terrain I reached a 'regular' gravel rd that ended at a locked boom gate. I turned back and just like my bike ride I started checking all the side route options. Again each track became steeper, muddier and narrower until they became just bush again.
On many occasions I found I had to reverse back along the challenging track after reaching the end and not being able to turn around.
About 6 hours after I started my 'short cut' in the car I got back to Wielangta Rd and then had a 20 minute drive home following the normal person route. I used up a whole day taking short cuts but had a great time.
My little subaru forester with cooper tyres was great in the mud & I used the low range gears a lot up some steep climbs.
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