Carinyah to Wungong
Munda Biddi Trail
22nd August 2021
The Ride - Day Two on the Munda Biddi and after cutting the first day 36km short of the target, it was agreed that we would be up early and out of camp by 7:30am at the latest. This would give us plenty of time to reach Jarrahdale and assess our options from there as we attempted to make up some lost ground. With a tried and tested sleep system, I had a nice rest made more comfortable by keeping my earbuds in all night to drown out the collective snoring of everyone at camp that night (including me). One of the three guys that rocked up in the afternoon the day before had warned us and brought his own large bag of earplugs but I found they didn't quite do the job. Riding at the end of winter as always going to present the challenge of cold mornings but it wasn't too bad as we went about packing everything away and loading up the bikes.
With multiple bags spread out over the bike, I find packing up when riding much easier as there isn't a specific order to things and there are less bottlenecks of what needs to be ready first. After a nice tea beverage to warm the insides, we were ready to leave and said goodbye to the three guys doing an overnighter, knowing we would see them again at some point today as they overtook us heading into Jarrahdale. We made it all the way to the end of the spur trail leading into camp before Aron had to faff about with his gear (now sporting a third story on his back rack) but were soon riding off into the She-Oak, looking very spooky in the misty conditions. With wet and humid conditions, my camera wasn't playing ball and was fogging up quite a lot early on, meaning the photos weren't very good. I think I've salvaged enough to fill the galleries but it wasn't ideal. Having cycled this section to Brookton Hwy with Donovan last year, I knew it was a pleasant, if a little forgettable as you ride through the forest. With a good mix of flowing vehicle track, single track and excellent forest riding, it was just nice to be out and about.
I was stopping frequently to photograph the various wildflowers and forest scenes along the way, having to wipe my lens before most shots. This provided a nice opportunity for Aron to catch up and we'd exchange a hello or a nod, something that would happen hundreds, if not thousands of times over the course of the next three weeks. Mixed in with the forest through here is a taster of what to expect after crossing the highway with some open granite sections providing some variety. With lots of grey clouds around and a foggy lens, the photos don't do it justice but the scenery was really calm and moody, something I enjoy quite a lot. At one point you head towards the highway and are sure the crossing is nearby but then the trail loops around on itself and you ride parallel for a few hundred metres before reaching the official crossing. Finding the blue wooden marker that lets you know where to go next, we made it to the other side and continued on towards Albany Hwy. If we didn't have such a long day ahead, I would have taken the side trip to Boulder Rock by heading west along the vehicle tracks just after the crossing but that would have added another 3-4km (at this point my plan was to cycle 90km+ to Dandalup).
On the other side of the highway you continue along vehicle tracks, some containing extra large puddles, through more lovely looking forest. A mix of She-Oak and Jarrah & Marri, there are some beautiful old trees that survived the chop when this area was logged sometime in the past (like most of the forests of WA). The first of many granite platforms that the trail runs near comes into view and my camera was finally starting to un-fog. This meant better quality photos as we joined an obvious rail formation that was raised above the surrounding creek system. An old wooden bridge that looks just about ready for retirement allows you to cross Poison Gully before a smol puppa hill extends out of the valley. Over the course of the ride we would talk about hills in terms of being a smol, medium or big puppa and I think this helped make them seem like less work if our minds associated them with dogs. While riding along, just like with hiking, my eyes were always scanning the edge of the trail for different wildflowers. I'd like to think that my wildflower radar is pretty good but being able to spot shapes, colours and patterns while riding at pace would present a challenge.
I would also need to stop fairly quickly in order to be in position to photograph it without too much backpedalling and thus the hills provided the best opportunity when the pace was much slower. After a really good day yesterday spotting several Spider Orchids and an array of other wildflowers, my good fortune continued with some Pink Fairy Orchids and lots of Couch Honeypots lining the trail through here. Aron and I would play to and fro through this section as I frequently stopped and then caught up. Reaching another granite platform, this one was different as the track took you over the granite and into the forest on the other side. Unfortunately this area is well frequented by idiots and one of them had discarded a gas bottle in the middle of the granite. Up ahead there was more unpleasantness with a large pile of tyres dumped on the edge of the vehicle track. Unfortunately there aren't enough rangers or DBCA staff to patrol these areas properly and the bogans are allowed to roam free through here pretty much doing what they want.