Sunday, 6 March 2016

Tassie Day 13 - Jacobs Ladder

Over the years Mick has heard of a rather challenging road in Tasmania called Jacobs Ladder.  As it isn't too far from Launceston, he was keen to ride up it.  It is something that you would only do in fine weather due to the altitude and today looked promising.

It was a lovely morning for riding, nice and cool, but sunny.  The clouds were fascinating to watch.

We travelled along yet another scenic route.

It got a bit cooler so we pulled over to add a layer.  Upstream looked like this.

Downstream was a little different.  Mick wished he had a fishing rod, as it looked like an ideal trout stream.

Meanwhile, our destination could be seen in the distance.

Our first dirt road on this trip.  We had about 40kms ahead of us. (20km each way)

We started off in nice, flat forest. The corrugates were a bit bad, but it is too dry for the grader to get in and fix it.

Once we entered the National Park that changed a bit.

Those hills were getting closer.

Before long we left the trees and the ground changed to this.

At last.  Jacobs Ladder.  Lots of warning notices.  We weren't too worried, as an elderly couple we know rode a large BMW road bike, two up, to the top yesterday. By the way, you can see here just how big the rocks are in that jumble down the side of the hill.

Jacobs Ladder as such doesn't go for too long.  If you look closely at the above pic you can see it zig zagging up the hillside.  OK.  let's go!

It isn't too steep.  The road is quite gravelly and there are some water ruts from recent rain. Not too bad. Vehicles going up have to give way to those descending.  It is fairly wide and there are guards at the sharp corners.  I admire the couple who came up yesterday as I would have been a bit nervous on the back of a solo bike.

Before we knew it we were at the top, on an alpine plateau.  Ben Lomond is the second highest point in Tasmania at over 1,500 metres above seal level.

There is a ski village up there that was closed for the summer.

As always, I love looking at the alpine plants.

It was quite colourful, with lots of red and coral flowers dotted over the hills.  They are Mountain Rocket.

Meanwhile, as I'm examining plants, Mick has gone off playing mountain goat to have a look over the edge.

If he'd just walked a bit further he would have arrived at the lookout.  That is what we had come up.  Rather spectacular. It looks more like something you would see in Europe.  See the tiny speck of a car at the very bottom.  

Mick decided that he wanted a photo of him one road, so he abandoned me and went back down a couple of turns.

There he is.  Another speck.

I found more pretty flowers and white lichen.  It really was surprising how much colour was up there.  Some of the plants would look great in my garden, if they could handle the heat.

OK?  Time to head back down.  The sidecar handled it well.

The views were stunning.

We even spotted a wedge tailed eagle soaring above the cliffs.

Back past the rock scree.

Once back in the timbered country we saw several old tree trunks bearing scars from the early timber getters.  There aren't many old growth trees left, but the forest still looks good.

Mick was really happy to have ridden up Jacobs Ladder.  I think it made his day and was a hilight of the trip.

As we still had plenty of the day left we rode up the Tamar.  I loved this sculpture in Georgetown.

The estuary was looking good.

We kept on our way up to Low Head, which we have visited on each of our visits to Tassie.

The sky looked amazing behind the lighthouse.

The sea was sparkling in the sunshine.  We certainly had picked a nice day to visit.

Back in Georgetown I made a quick visit to Sarah at Patchwork Plus.  A couple of charm packs may have jumped into my bag.  You can always fit them in.  This is the only patchwork  shop I've seen on our trip.  I know they are about, but I've just missed them, which doesn't matter.

And that finished our ride for today.  We then went back to our camp and I finished all the stitching that I brought with me.  I'm happy about that.

Tonight is our last night in Tasmania on this trip, so we treated ourselves to dinner at the same seafood restaurant that we ate at last time we were here.  The meal was delicious once again.

Tomorrow there is a big parade through town and the actual AGM meeting takes place.  We will miss those and just pack ourselves up once the dew has dried off the camper and take a liesurely day back to Devonport to catch the ferry home.


Jenny said...

Your trip up Jacob's Ladder looked a little scary, but well worth it for the fabulous views. Well done, you can now cross that trip off your bucket list.
Good on you for finding a patchwork shop on your travels. I've discovered that they are often in rather out of the way places, and not necessarily found on the main streets of town.

Chookyblue...... said...

You have had a gorgeous trip..... Thanks so much for sharing so many wonderful pics.....

Rachaeldaisy said...

WOW!! It was well worth it to brave the challenging roads to experience such beauty!! I've never heard of that national park, the views are spectacular and rocks are so sculptural. Thank you for taking us there with you through your great photos and details.