The detour

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When I got close to Sydney, traffic was stopped for construction. I didn't know how long I was going to be parked there, so I figured I'd look for a way around. Zooming and scrolling around the GPS's map, I found a tiny little road (Glengarry Rd?) that looked like it would come back to the main road some distance ahead. It quickly turned into a gravel/dirt/rock road, varying depending on what part of the road I was on. After a couple wrong turns, I got on the right trail heading north.

After about half an hour of driving, I came to where I was supposed to turn onto a small trail leading back to the main road, but I couldn't find the turn. I went back and forth a couple times until I noticed a small path hidden behind a small stand of trees.

It was blocked by trees, and there was standing water up to a foot deep covering the trail... but there was a small muddy path about a foot wide to one side. Of particular concern was a large hump in the path, followed by a grassy muddy section that ran right next to the standing water. The center was notched in a spot not much wider than a tire.

I thought about it for a little while. I had spent a lot of time getting to this point, and according to the map, there wasn't much farther to go, if I could make it down the trail. I looked the hump over to make sure I'd have enough ground clearance to go over it, and decided to go for it. I pulled the trees out of the way and went for it...

It was a sketchy ride, but I made it! The trail was rough from there on, and I wondered what else waited for me down the trail. It didn't take long to find out:

I couldn't see a way around it, and had to turn back. Unfortunately, I didn't do so well on the return trip. I think I chickened out a bit and didn't quite have enough speed. Halfway over the hump, I slowed too much, and had the terrible realization I had made a big mistake as I started going over to the left. With nothing to put my left foot down on, the bike teetered over into the water. I half jumped off so I was only wet below the knees. I immediately started ripping bungee cords off and throwing everything onto the trail before the stanky water soaked in any more.

I took the rest of the tarps off and thought about how to get out of this mess. Standing in the water, I was able to stand the bike up most of the way, but I was down too low to control the bike, and with the bike straddling the hump, pushing it would've been about impossible from where I stood. Finally, I decided the best thing to do would be to pull the bike into the water with me, then stand it up.

After some gruntwork, I got the bike in the water and stood up, and tried to fire her up. After some sputtering, she came to life, and I rode her out of the water. This was a huge relief to me, since I was in the middle of nowhere, and hadn't seen any other vehicles the entire time I had been riding around that trail.

I packed everything back onto the bike, wading into the water a couple times to find lost bungees. I had to keep spraying myself with DEET to keep the mosquitoes off of me; they were loving the eau de stank. I was about to leave, when I remembered one last thing: I dragged the trees back across the entrance to the trail.

In retrospect, they were probably put there on purpose to keep idiots like myself out. I guess they should have used bigger trees for me!

Since that little path through the trees was the only other path to the main road, I had to backtrack the way I came. The ride went a little faster the second time around. I noticed that my windshield was cracked and my cupholder was completely gone, probably underwater.

Finally I made it back to the main road, and just caught up with a group of cars as they started moving through the construction zone. At least I was moving again!

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Copyright (c) 2009 Paul Miner <$firstname.$>