In early Sept 2018 I had four spare days so I decided to sneak up to Ikara/Wilpena and see if I could ride a couple of Mawson loops. I knew the forecast was dodgy but I figured I could walk if it was too wet to ride.
Around Pt Augusta it started looking pretty interesting.
Sure enough, when I arrived at Ikara it was good. Dawn the next morning was great.
But after that it started raining, so I walked up to the pound.
I got pretty lucky. There were three pauses in the rain that day, all when I happened to be out and about.
And the light at dusk was sensational.
Next morning things were looking pretty good. I walked up to the pound for sunrise, and it was much drier. It had rained overnight again, but I figured I could sneak out on the Mawson to the north, and turn back when it looked boggy.
And it was gorgeous. The section of the Mawson from Ikara up through Bunyeroo gorge and up Razorback Lookout is just about as good as it gets I reckon. Super trails and wonderful surroundings. It was soft, but the rain must have missed it mostly, as it was perfectly ridable.
And yeah, the view from Razorback is kind of a cliche, but there's a reason for that. This was the best ride through Bunyeroo and up I've ever had. The info centre was telling people the gorges were closed, and I made it all the way here without seeing a car. Normally I don't even like the gorge so much because you get 4WDs, but this day I had Bunyeroo Gorge Rd to myself and it was wonderful.
I had intended to double back from Razorback, but the lack of 4WDs inspired me to keep going. It was great at first, but then I broke my own rule and ended up poking mud out of the forks with a stick. No great harm though.
The next day it was actually warm. I didn't feel the need to ride so I had slept in and then finished my book, but it was so nice I just did the out and back to Rawnsley. A section of that is on the bitumen, but there are two great sections - old telegraph road next to the pound in particular, that make it really worthwhile.
Photos are taken on a $5 op-shop 35mm film camera I wanted to try out. I was impressed; these are shop scans, and all I did was tweak the exposure and levels a bit. Camera: Canon Snappy LXII. Film - Kodak Ultramax 400.