4,000 for 40 – Sep Ride 2

Finally ticking Wiesner’s Swamp Nature Reserve off my ‘to-ride’ list

Saturday September 24, 2016, 56 miles (90 km) – Total so far: 56 miles (90 km)

It’s been a very wet winter in my neck of the woods. Like sloppy, soggy, sodden. The wet winter has continued into a wet spring. There’s been rain on 15 of 24 days in September. Because it’s been so wet, I’ve kept wanting to ride out to Wiesner’s Swamp since it is likely to be full and gorgeous. However, through July and August that ride just kept not happening.

So I returned from 3 weeks in America on Monday evening. It quickly became apparent that there is still water everywhere. There has been enough flooding at work that our normal carpark access was cut off for several days by overflow from the Murray River. So all of that this week said to me that Wiesner’s Swamp should still be looking great and should still be worthy of a ride.

So I started thinking about that as a Saturday ride (before more rain forecast that night). Then I saw that Bill Stone was encouraging us all to go “Ride Your Park”, even if we weren’t in the US. So that sealed the deal.

Today will be the NSW version of “Ride Your Park” day – since Wiesner’s Swamp is a nature reserve administered by the NSW National Park Service.

My hayfever is really bad at the moment which means I can’t breathe. It is prime magpie season (I got swooped by 10 over 56 miles). And even though traffic was exceedingly light – I still got passed way too closely by 4 vehicles. Welcome home to Oz!

Still, I had a wonderful day and enjoyed getting back on the bike for a decent ride after about 6 weeks of not riding much at all. Good to be riding again! The photos tell the story.

This is a new road for us, and it is appropriately named.
A couple kilometres down the road and we can start to see part of the swamp off to our right.
And more swamp ahead on our perfect little road.
Here we are at our park for the day – Wiesners Swamp Nature Reserve – administered by the national park service. You have to climb the gate to get in – but wandering about is totally permissible. They don’t publicize nature reserves and don’t encourage recreation…. which means we had all the beauty to ourselves.
I’m wearing my National park Service 100th Anniversary jersey today that Jen gave me while I was home. She knows the guy who did the art on the jersey. This bit says “find your park” – we found it!
Um…. walking down to the water required walking through some really tall grass. Some of the grass was waist height and most of it was knee height. I stomped as best as I could and walked cautiously – we’ve already seen snakes at work, and it was a very nice warm and sunny day…. Luckily, I did not see any today.
Guys on a log soaking up all the habitat. They were in heaven. There were heaps and heaps of frogs calling out.
Seriously, I thought I was just going to have to leave them there. They were entranced, enthralled and very intent on not going anywhere.
More gorgeous trees and so much bird call.
Looking out over just a small portion of the swamp.
Okay, so really we needed a kayak to really do this justice, but water is so scarce in Oz that you really just stand in awe when it happens to be in abundance.
Time to go. I took a bunch of mozzie bites for the team, but I eventually convinced the guys we needed to start heading home.
We just rode through that. No big deal with depth, but I was worried we would sink into really thick sand on the bottom and I’d have to put a foot down. We made it through fine though. Based on the debris line, that water was knee-deep at some point and covered another 200 feet behind me, too.
We did not ride through that. I picked up the bike and carried it as I tiptoed through the high bits. We did ride a road today called “Gluepot Road”. You would be forgiven for thinking that this was that road. But is is not. This is Morgans Stock Route.
Closing in on home. The yellow crop is canola and my asthma does not seem to like it.
My dam is full! I ride by this dam all the time and use it to gauge how well the winter rains have done. I’ve seen it completely empty and completely full. It’s looking good this year!

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