Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Forrest in the Forest

This past weekend, we headed down to the Otway Forest Park to do some mountain biking at the Forrest Mountain Bike Park, in Forrest, VIC. Still with me?

It's a fairly good sized park, with somewhere in the ballpark of 45k of marked and maintained trail. Some was closed due to wetness concerns, but most was open.

It really is amazing. As long as we've been here, the government is preaching about the drought. Sometimes though, I really am convinced that the drought is over. This was one of those times. It's been ages since I rode in such mud. The trails really reminded me of east coast riding in the US - tight and twisty, roots, logs, mud and trees. It was a pretty cool throwback. Plus, whoever maintains those trails does an awesome job. Three cheers.

Saturday night, after a quick stop at the Otway Estate brewery (and winery) for a pickup, we rolled to Stevenson Falls to meet our friends Bronwyn and Bryan to camp. They had selected a pretty cool campsite, and had gathered wood, since we were late. We're slack, but we brought booze. It's a team effort. To be fair, it's not our fault that we were late. We had issues with cattle in the road.

The local wildlife on hand was pretty impressive, with the standout being the birds. Saturday night, we had visits from a few kookaburras. They totally hammed it up for the camera.

We had a ridge right behind out campsite, and silhouetted against the setting sun, we had some kangaroos bound down the hill. They are a little tough to see, but you get the idea.

Sunday morning, we awoke to the largest symphony of birds that I believe I've ever heard. I can't identify any of them except the magpies. But it was amazing. We watched some from our tent as they poked around the table that we had left set up. Eventually, we got up, and saw this guy, among others.

Then it was up to Stevenson Falls proper for a quick look before hitting the other sections of mountain bike trails. The falls were really surprising. Much larger and more dramatic than we ever expected, considering we had never heard of them. It's amazing - sometimes you can find some really great stuff that's never been advertised. Pretty cool!

Sunday's riding was fun as well. A shorter ride, but good times, followed up with parking lot beer and lunch (so it can't be that bad!) Another great Victorian weekend.

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