So once i had finished ogling the deer at Kingaham, i carried on towards Manumbar. I haven't got any photos of the stretch between Kingaham and Manumbar as it is mostly just boring trees until it opens up-
After a few pleasant kilometres like that, i reached the Manumbar Road turnoff, which is bitumen (hooray!) and has some enjoyable twists and turns to it. Given how the rough dirt roads were knocking my average speed around, i took the opportunity to pick up the pace, only stopping to get a photo of the beautiful little Elgin Vale CWA hall-
Before i reached the turnoff for the road down to Linville.
Yep that is the only road in or out of that area (known as "Spean" after a cattle station there) and it is actually slightly more substantial now than when i first saw it 2 years ago.
It's still very rough though, so i was glad for the excuse to stop and take photos of the "hairy trees"-
This patch of trees covers a few kilometres, and every single one has a generous coating of lichen, possibly a species of Usnea. It must be some pretty hardy stuff to grow in such a dry environment.
On the other side of the road is a lovely view of rolling hills stretching to the horizon-
In due course the road starts to flatten out a bit as it gets out of the hills that form the absolute extremities of the Brisbane River catchment, and into the more open country.
And the road starts it's many crossings of the Brisbane River, usually in the form of a dry collection of stones.
With the road still rough and the going very slow, i stopped a little way north of Mt Stanley to stretch my legs, enjoy the shade of a roadside tree, and take in the view-
I spotted a small wedge tailed eagle being hassled by some magpies at this point, but was too far away to get a photo of it. With my Mars bar gone (that being the extent of my provisions, with the exception of a packet of Tiny Teddies that i was keeping in case of emergencies) i got moving again, and after passing the junction of the East and West branches of the river-
it wasn't long before i finally reached Linville. From a good 10kms out i was salivating at the memory of the meat pie and coke i had from the General Store last time i passed through, so i parked and ditched the gear quickly-
only to find the piewarmer was missing. It turns out the store has changed hands, and when it did, the local council did an inspection and put the kybosh on the piewarmer (along with imposing a bunch of other restrictions and requirements). The very nice lady proprietor took pity at the sight of my despair, and offered to make me a sandwich, "Just so long as it's not toasted, i'm not allowed to make toasted sandwiches". For fuck's sake, reasonable hygiene in food preparation is one thing but council laws are just getting ridiculous these days!
In any case, she made one of the best ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches i've ever had, and suitably replenished, i headed for Kilcoy. Now by this stage i had expected to use at least one of the jerry cans, but Yammie was still chugging along on the contents of the tank full from Kenilworth, without even going onto the reserve. I was a bit anxious at the thought of spluttering to a halt on the D'Aguilar Highway, but luckily there was a servo not far from Moore. Surely, i thought, she must be on fumes by now, all that distance, working hard on shocking roads?
Apparently not, as just 5.2L had the tank chockers again, a whisker over 100 miles per gallon!
I was chuffed with that, and continued on with my spirits considerably boosted. Unfortunately those spirits got beaten back down again in short order, as i became reacquainted with the very special breed of halfwit that roams the D'Aguilar. Sitting on 100kmh is uncomfortable enough with the XT's super short gearing, all the more so when you have some knuckle dragger sitting a foot off your rear mudguard. Despite the time getting on, i decided at Kilcoy to stick with the planned route, even though it would take quite some time it was a much more palatable option than trying to avoid the motorists wanting to sit on 130+kmh.
The climb up the Jimna range was delightful (though unfortunately it is somehow completely unphotogenic) and i turned on to Sunday Creek Rd, keen to find out what condition it was in. The last time (in fact, the only time) i went through, construction had just started on a new bridge near the start of the road, it is now complete and the road is sealed for a kilometre or so either side. Even when the bitumen ran out, the dirt was in amazing condition, and one cleared section offered a pleasant view (the rest of the road is thick rainforest).
Sadly the road had only been graded up to the school campground, and beyond that it immediately went to hell in a handbasket. On several of the downhills i was reduced to just 10kmh in 1st gear, as any faster would have jolted my eyes clean out of my skull.
And that was one of the smoother sections!
Eventually the razor edged cobblestones ran out, but they were replaced by loose pea sized gravel that had been put down for logging trucks. I got through without trouble but it was seriously squirmy stuff. Eventually i popped out of the forest to this view-
And after passing the packed Charlie Moreland campground-
And then it was just an uneventful cruise back to Coolum, and the world of people.
Christ i hate people!!
P.S. I really need to pop a link here to the blog of Neil Ennis, he has some great photos and excellent writing about mountain biking all over SE Qld and Northern NSW, but especially the Mt Stanley and Jimna area, which is all but ignored by the rest of the world.