Sunday, December 03, 2006


The pines

I went for a ride out to the Bussell pine plantation. Not having been there for a long time I didn't realise how beautiful it was. The purpose of the ride was to find a small mica mine that I'd been to as a kid. It was just a small hole in the ground with bits of mica sticking out. I have a mental picture of the area but that's about all.

I used aerial photographs and maps to plan my ride. When riding in the Wellington Dam area it's a good idea to use maps because there are several inlets to the dam which spread out like large fingers and they all look the same and it's a long ride around the shoreline. The pine forests all look the same too and it's easy to get confused by the maze of tracks.

I followed the Bibbulman Track for a short distance out of town and then deviated through some great Jarrah forest.

The trails took me to Mungalup Road and from there I turned onto Kelly Road, riding this for about a kilometre before turning left onto McLusky Road. I went down a long descent that followed a winter creek and entered the Bussell pine plantation.

I had to ride for some time to get to the northern end of the plantation, weaving in out of pine forest and jarrah before crossing an open paddock and coming to the end of Bussell Road. Some sections of the road were of Lord of the Rings type beauty, I wouldn't have been at all suprised to see hobbits emerge out of the undergrowth.

Reaching my furtherest point the sun was setting, I didn't have much time to explore but it didn't look like the area of the mica mine anyway. I followed Bussell Road downhill, stopping several times to consult my GPS, the lack of sunlight and the twisting nature of the road made it hard to distinguish my direction. I arrived at the waters of the dam and followed the edge until I arrived at a small creek I recognised from the outward trip, from here I went east to find the Mungalup Road. At a small rise the area looked similar to what I remembered of the mica mine, it was too late to explore now so it'll have to wait for another day. I got to the Mungalup Road and followed it for a short while before turning off onto Best Road with the idea of heading east to the Bibbulman track but I once again entered a pine plantation that was so dense I turned on my headlamp. The trails didn't take me where I wanted to go and eventually I popped back out on Mungalup Road and decided that since it was dark and getting late I'd follow the main road home. I got back at 8:30pm having covered 61 km.


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