Sparkplug kindly invited me on a run up Good Friday Trail to meet some bikes heading south.
Even better, he let me ride his brand new KTM690 to the rendezvous.
It was a very pleasant change from my old DR, once I got used to the savage brakes.
I only had to think about stopping and I was nearly over the bars.
Spark seemed to be enjoying the old DR as he was roosting and sliding all over the place.
As for the 690? Well, heaps of power. Great suspension. Stable handling.
Felt much smaller than the big bike that it is.
I could get used to one..
Spark informed me that DR650 Guru Vince Strang was in the group.
Vince knows more about the DR's than anyone else.
His shop specialises in accessories for them.
Tell him I sent you. I might get a discount later.
We heard the Northern Boys on the UHF and they arrived soon after.
Some shenanigans were observed on the way to Collombatti Trig.
Here comes Vince now. He gets along alright for an old fellow.
A quick stop at the top of Collombatti Trig to check the view,
and more importantly organise the lunch order.
Sparkplug and Tom, our Trailbike Adventure Magazine photographer-Editor.
We managed to annoy the locals by hogging the bowsers for a while.
First come first served I reckon. They only seemed to be in a hurry for the pub.
Leaving Willawarrin we all congregated at Toorooka Bridge for some touristy photos.
We gathered at the Majors Creek causeway for an ADB photo moment.
Tom had us ride across in a group a couple of times.
We got quicker each time and eventually swamped him with a mega bow wave.
Up through the Willi Willi cattle country for some great views.
You can see why my wife and I bought property up here.
We lost Spark on the way through Haydonville.
He emerged from the scrub, where he was doing recon to the Natural Arch.
We gathered the rest of the crew and headed down to the rock face.
The Natural Arch is a sheer rock wall cleft by a creek bed.
It leads into a surreal rainforest environment of huge rockfalls.
Spark missed his line and had an argument with a tree.
A bit of wheel dragging got him out again.
Looking back down towards Willi Willi from Carrai Road.
Mount Banda Banda in the distance.
Another rest stop at Kookaburra Scout Hall to check out the digs.
The scout hall can be hired from Kempsey Scouts.
Usual pricing is about $50 a night. Not bad for all the comforts of home.
There's a wood fire, hot water shower and 12 volt hookup for lighting.
Contact Eric Walsh on 0418 691 473 to book and get the keys.
Spark and I left the boys in our dust leaving Kookaburra. (Home advantage helped)
We had a very fast run up to Racecourse Trail.
I think Spark was very surprised to see the old DR650 on his back wheel all the way.
I left the boys here to make my way home via Brushy Mountain and Hastings Forest Way.
They continued on to head down the Racecourse and Gingers Creek.
This creek was full and quite deep.
The old DR650SE is not scared of water though.
I stopped at Brushy Mountain Reserve for a leak and a look around.
I spotted this spiky little fellow on the way through Hastings Forest Way.
Some good views south to Birdwood and Forbes River.
All in all, a top day.
Thanks for inviting me Spark, and thanks to the riders that shared the day.