Another extended camping trip with SOTA thrown in. Nothing went to plan and I didn't get to any summits!
Altitude, mud, horses, wrong bike type, another flat tyre and my guts were all working against me getting anything done.
Had Wednesday to Sunday to do some camping. So I headed up to Barrington Tops National Park with grandiose plans for getting onto Mt Carson VK2/MN-001 and Mt Hungerford VK2/HU-006.
The Scone road that passes through the national park was in a shocking state. I haven't been up into Barrington Tops for a couple of years so was surprised by the state of the road. And it looked as though there had been a lot rain the week before. Very slimy drive!
Mt Carson is about 3km down the Barrington Trail, which off the Scone Road. Scone road passes all the way through Barrington Tops from Gloucester to Scone. So can access from either town. From Scone head out to Moona Brook.
Wanted to get onto Mt Carson before I setup my camp as the trail to the summit was a few km before the camp ground. But as it was close to 3pm I felt that I wouldn't have the time to get there and back and set up my camp before it got dark. So I skipped it for now and went and setup camp at the "Little Murray" campsite. When I was setting up my camper I found I had another flat tyre. Not happy! Second SOTA outing that left me with a flat tyre.
Next morning there was a heavy frost (yes it was bloody cold). After the frost had cleared away I went for a little test ride to see what state the tracks were in and to see how my touring road bike would handle the conditions. Quickly worked out that I wouldn't be doing a 40km ride in these conditions. I could barely get over 5kph, not much faster then walking. The biggest issue was the damage done by all the horses that are now in the park. Large mounds of horse crap everywhere and the muddy tracks had turned to slush from all the hoof prints. Damage from pigs also. The amount of trees across the trails meant I had to get off and walk around them. My touring bike just wasn't going to be up to the task. Needed fatter tyres (like 42C!) and some suspension. It's a job for a mountain bike and when the park is a bit dryer.
Felt sick later that day. Light headache and blocked sinuses kind of like a head cold. I guess the altitude might be messing with me. But I was only up at 1500m so I don't know? Heavly over slept Friday morning so I just chilled out and read my books for the day and did some bush walking.
Up early Saturday so decided to try for Mt Carson. So back up the Barrington Trail with all it's large sharp rocks sticking out. Another very slow ride. Had trouble keeping my heart rate below 160 bpm as I struggled up each hill. Got onto the Mt Carson Trail and found it to be not in much better state then the Waterguage Trail I tried a few days before. Got a few km down the trail jumping on and off the bike and just before a very steep hill, I had to get off the trail and had a major "out of stomach experience". Boy was I sick and it come on all of sudden. After I had recovered I knew I wasn't going any further! I did a quick set up of the radio gear so I could work some of the summits but as a portable at least.
But then I started to feel very isolated. Being on my own and a few km from any the main track. I felt that my safety will be paramount. So I packed up as fast as I could and made my (cautious) way back to my camp site.
Chilled out till Sunday and then headed home via Scone. With out a spare tyre again.