July 2014 ,Paradise and Fred Haigh Dams

July 2014 ,Paradise and Fred Haigh Dams

Date:Jul 20, 2014 Time: Type: Location:

Ride to Paradise and Fred Haigh Dams

July 20th 2014

By Warren Walker

Six of us gathered at the usual Quay Street car park for the days ride. There was a little confusion with a number of other riders from another club turning up for a ride also. After we sorted out what was happening attention turned to the day’s plan. Unfortunately there wasn’t one with Peter Hansen down to coordinate the ride being unavailable having ridden to Brisbane for the Laverda Club bike show.

After deciding I should lead we departed almost on time and headed off towards Gin Gin. For something different I turned off after the railway line just past Sharon and we took some back roads leading us behind South Kolan and rejoining the highway several kilometres on the Northern side from there. Just a nice road with little traffic and something different to look at.

Disturbing breakfast

Disturbing breakfast

Turning off at the Gin Gin golf club onto McIlwraith Road we followed it through before joining Drinon Road. This is always a pleasant little detour but we all noticed how dry the country side was. It’s definitely a better outlook when we have had rain and everything is nice and green. Following Drinon Road and then onto the Wallaville Road we passed through Wallaville and onto the highway. A smooth run to Booyal followed where we turned off onto the road through to Dallarnil. Deciding again to do something different I then lead the group to the Booyal crossing, taking the turn off just a few hundred metres down the road. The road is a little narrow but fairly smooth with some tight bends before turning to gravel just 100 metres from the crossing.

After riding over the crossing we pulled up next to a backpackers van. I wasn’t sure what the road was like in the camping area next to the river so we pulled up here where it was level. Not sure what the backpackers thought but I am sure they didn’t expect a group of motorcycle to disturb their breakfast.

Kev checks it out

Kev checks it out

We checked out the river and the camping area with plenty of comments on how dry the area was. Ironic really as debris from the floods could still be seen in the trees. Some members had never been to the crossing before so there was some discussion on the area and how it could be flooded when releases from Paradise Dam occurred. After some obligatory photos and various conversations, including how cold it was, we jumped back on the bikes and returned to the Dallarnil Road and to the turn off to the dam.

Upstream of the Crossing

Upstream of the Crossing

We proceeded to the dam at a leisurely pace, some less leisurely than others, but all well behaved. Glen was along on his Triumph Bonneville and seemed keen to show us how well it went, passing me and eventually disappearing from site. I have to admit for a retro styled bike it does indeed go well. We arrived at the dam and soon ordered some hot coffee, and hot chips for some, from the cafe. It was actually a bit cold with John A complaining and having a hot coffee instead of his usual iced coffee to try and warm up.

On the way in we had been passed, in both directionsby a Kawasaki ZX10R and Ducati 999. Obviously they were enjoying the road with multiple passes. They joined us as we sat around and a lengthy conversation ensured. It was a great way to spend some time until we decided it was time to leave. We graciously allowed the Kawasaki and the Ducati to leave ahead of us to save them the event of passing us further down the road. We had the impression that they might corner a bit faster than we would.

Returning to the highway we made good progress to Gin Gin before pulling up for fuel. We noticed two police cars also at the service station. This was a sign of things to come. During the day we say multiple police vehicles, leading us to believe there was some form of blitz happening. But we had no problems being our usual well behaved selves.

Refuelling quickly we got going and made our way to the Fred Haigh Dam. (not  Monduran Dam, as Harry informed us.) We did however find plaques on the walls of the shelter shed to refute his claims. Obviously they didn’t change all the plaques when they changed the name of the dam years later. We admired the views of Lake Monduran before noticing the day was slipping away and we needed to high tail to Gin Gin if we were going to get lunch at the local pub.

Discussion at Lake Monduran

Discussion at Lake Monduran

Glen decided to head straight home, apparently it was his birthday and he was anxious to get home for some… birthday cake? Other then Kev not seeing us pulling into the back of the pub and doing a lap of the block we arrived without incident. Lunch was pretty good. The meals were as good as the usual pub fare although some lucked out when they ran out of the usual steak for Steak sandwiched and had to substitute rib fillet instead.

Sitting in the dining area we observed the group who we had met at the car park that morning ride past. They must have had a well paced ride if they had done everything they had planned that morning as they had spoken of doing a loop through Gayndah and Mt Perry. We also noticed more police cars moving through the town from the highway. They were certainly putting in the effort to catch speeding drivers etc. Glad we had nothing to worry about on that score we finished lunch before heading home across the Cedars Bridge.

We had all enjoyed a pleasant days ride of only a few hundred kilometres and were home early to suit the short winter day and early sunset. Thanks for those who came along and to Kev for taking on the Tail End Charlie role.

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