Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Mt Hay Ride

With Christmas on our door, and some time to myself, I chose to ride to Mt Hay. In a previous post ( and others) I have mentioned Mt Banks, Mt Tomah, Perrys Lookdown, Victoria falls and Pierces Pass. All lead into the Grose Valley, and this is no different. Lockleys Pylon is the walking track that leads off the Mt Hay road and will take walkers into the Blue Gum forest.

The ride itself is not difficult, with only a few steep climbs and a fire trail that is well cared for and constant. However, for someone who has had little training, maintaining a steady pace was the order of the day. Mt Hay is accessed off the great Western Highway at Leura. The day was not hot but humid, and New Holland Honey Eaters were a welcome site as too were Yellow Tailed Cockatoos and Rosellas. The bush smelled sweet with a comination of Tea tree and Eucalypt.

After about an hour I was greeted with magnificent views of Mt Banks, Mt Tomah as well as Perrys Lookdown. To the east, distant views of Sydney and Cumberland plains. The weather began to turn and it looked like storms so after a light snack of sutanas, and an apricot bar I set off back. I was greeted by a couple of other mountain bike riders and walkers, keen to take advantage of the Christmas break.

I have to confess the ride towards the end was not easy. I was tired and clearly lacked stamina as a result of a lack of training. All I could think of was Christmas puddings and Turkey.

I was relieved to see the Troopie and load up and return. It was a great Christmas ride. Peaceful and quiet.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Here is a treat. Me, singing a lesser known christmas song...

Thursday, December 18, 2008


Black snake on our deck

Last night I came home to discover a 5 foot black snake on the back lawn. Whilst poisonous they are a slow killer and generally quite timid.

The "Red Belly" hence its name "Red Bellied Black Snake"
Sadly it had been killed by our two terriers. Even more sadly it had bitten one of the dogs which is now at the vets under going anti venom treatment. The needle is $1200.00 plus the vet bill itself.
Small fangs but can be deadly.

I am advised that there is no guarantee the dog will live. If my daughter was not with me at the time I would have advised the vet to put the poor little fellow down. But its Christmas, and he is a great little dog.

I am awaiting the news from the vet either way as I type. The fact is- no poisonous snake is ever 100% safe.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Jeep update

Troopie and Jeep loaded up.
Yesterday I decided to take the Jeep home. I borrowed a car trailer, strapped the jeep to it and away we went. The Troopie towed it well, although the climb up the mountain was slow and steady.

Once arriving home, the trick was to get the Jeep off the trailer. you see, the driveway slopes down hill, and the Jeep has no brakes, so giving it careful consideration I decided that I would use an old technique that is used in very rough terrain.

Reversed into the driveway.
In extreme off road conditions if you lack braking or the terrain is too loose or steep you can turn your engine off, and use the starter motor to turn the engine over.

It kinda goes like this:- 1. Select 4 wheel drive. 2. Place the transfer case in low range. 3. Place the gearbox in 1st or reverse. 4. Do not touch the clutch. 5. Hit the starter motor.
This allows the vehicle to move slowly by using the engine compression as a brake, hand brake and brakes (if you have them).

David learning how the Jeep works.

Hey presto! One Jeep off the trailer safely! What is amazing is just how many people really love the vehicle.

The Jeeps new home.
My neighbours all came over for a few beers and the children really enjoyed it. It even brought a smile to people who don't usually smile! over the Christmas break I will pull the brakes apart and restore them. Stay tuned.