EDIT (29-03-2014): At the same time as I was putting this post together, in another part of the Interverse, one Cheri Lucas Rowlands was creating the latest ‘Weekly Photo Challenge‘. The theme is ‘Street Life’, and the criteria is pretty broad. Given that I live in the back country as some might say, I guess this is pretty much my street. So I changed the title and went with it 🙂
This post may well be as boring as guano for some of you. For others, it will satisfy a mild curiosity. We’re going for a bit of a drive from Mt Louis to the Big Annan River. I wanted to show you a sample of the road, and the scenery that I travel through half a dozen times a week. We’ll start off at the view that regular readers will recognise. MT Louis and The Gap were enveloped in cloud on the way up. A good sign that rain was ahead.
As you head up the Gap, the mountains begin to surround you. One of my favourite, yet quite common sights up here is cloud/transpiration rising from the rainforest. The deeper you go, the thicker the forest gets. Much of the road verges are cleared of trees where the powerlines run. The road was once shared with the main Cape York power line. The line ran up the old CREB track and then followed this road. Just before the big climb, which is now all bitumen, you pass through this gully. Just to the left of the road at the bottom, is this series of waterfalls. The right side drops steeply about 20 metres, into Gap Creek. Here’s Norm, giving you an idea of the size of the stream.After the creek crossing, the road rises to about 560m above sea level. As you head up the range, there are a series of falls that drop right next to the road.
Once at the top of The Gap, you cross from Cedar Bay National Park into Eastern Kuku Yalanji Freehold land. The road also leads into the ‘Rossville Scrub’, another thickly forested valley, but high above sea level.
In some places, the trees close over the road, reaching for the light created by the cleared road. In the wet some of these trees will fall over the road, because the extra weight of branches and leaves on the road side of the tree upsets it’s balance. That, combined with sodden ground causes them to topple. Most locals carry a chainsaw with them.
The closer you get to Rossville village, the messier the road gets. When it’s wet, it gets very slippery in places. Then you have washouts, potholes and exposed boulders that help make the road somewhat hazardous.
Rossville has bitumen right through now. Within six months, the entire section from Rossville to the Mulligan Highway will be sealed.
These are some of the boulders that had to be extracted from the road before the sealing could be done. After Rossville and the roadworks, the road is sealed to Cooktown. Wallaby Creek is crossed by a pretty ancient bridge.
After Wallaby, there are a few windy sections and then you reach The Lions Den Hotel. It’s hidden behind that grove of trees.
After The Den, you head over Mungumby Creek, then past Wilma’s Kitchen, where you’ll see a good view of Black Mountain. Past Mungumby Lodge turn-off and over Sandy Creek. Then it’s just a kilometre or two to the highway.
After Black Mountain, watch out for cattle. Some sections are renowned for them. You’ll see Mt Cook, and the Mt Amos and Archer Point turn-offs. MT Amos is the road to take if you want to check out Trevathan Falls. Eventually you’ll cross the ‘Big’ Annan crossing. It’s about 5km to Cooktown from the bridge, but I’m not going that far in this post.
Instead, I’m taking you home.