The desert trip

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BillWest
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The desert trip

Post by BillWest » Thu Jun 07, 2018 9:30 pm

Well, so far we have made it to Capricorn Roadhouse, just south of Newman, about 1150km from Perth.
The road to Mount Magnet is not much to speak of.
After that, the Gascoyne and Pilbara rain event showed its face, with some heavy downpours along the way.
Here at Capricorn it is still drizzling.
We'll see what tomorrow brings. Port Hedland is forecasting some rain.
The Kimberley is dry.

Stay tuned.
You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office.

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BillWest
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Re: The desert trip

Post by BillWest » Sun Jun 10, 2018 3:53 pm

We left Newman at 5:30am on Friday morning, It was still raining, and did so most of the way to Port Hedland, where we were headed for fuel. Clouds and drizzle all the way to Sandfire Flats Roadhouse, where everything suddenly cleared up, and blue skies were the norm.

We had planned to stop at Broome, but with leftover daylight we pushed on to Willare roadhouse for the night, in the meanwhile dodging plenty of cattle.

Saturday morning, on the road at 6:00am, headed for Halls Creek. We arrived there at around lunchtime, and the place was packed, grey nomads, trailers, caravans, 4WDs. Most were heading for the Gibb River Road, another one of those magic drives.

After fuelling up at Halls Creek, we headed for the start of the Tanami Track. A typical dirt road with plenty of dust and corrugations. At the right speed however, they're not too bad. We met a couple of heavy haulage trucks taking equipment to and from the gold mines along the track.

115km down the track was the turn-off to Wolf Creek Crater. We stopped to take a few photos, and then wanted to continue.
Car wouldn't start!
I said WTF a few times, but that didn't help.
Bonnet up, saw nothing untoward, but after checking a few things I noticed that the positive lead to the main battery had worked itself loose.
A couple of spanners, and it was on tight, and all was good.

Down the track to the crater was reasonable road, except for a stretch that had very bad corrugations. The best option was to get to a certain almost comfortable speed and hug the side of the road.

We set up camp (couple of tents), and went to the crater for a good look. Impressive.

That night we cooked on the gas cooker, had a few beers, sat around, gazed at the stars. Mick Taylor was nowhere to be seen.

We left around 7:30 this morning, and made our way south. The road was actually quite good. A comfortable speed of around 80kph ironed out the corrugations. We passed the Balgo turnoff, did another 65km, and made our way to the Coyote Gold Mine, owned by the company our son works for. They are feeding us and putting us up for the night. Very hospitable. They have WiFi.

We will leave again in the morning, headed for Tilmouth Well Roadhouse, about 200km north of Alice springs. Only another 550km of dirt road left, followed by bitumen. We're told that the NT part of the road is in much better condition.

Stay tuned again.
You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office.

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BillWest
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Re: The desert trip

Post by BillWest » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:21 pm

After an excellent tour of the Coyote processing plant, we have a top meal provided by the onsite caretakers.

After a good breakfast we left there at around 9:00 WA time, and headed south. This was around 520km of dirt road, until about 20km after Yuendemu, a thriving fun loving local community, culturally and eco aware, taking care of the land and supportive of the local liquor industry. It is the only place along the entire Track (1100km) where we saw rubbish.....
90kph was a good speed to achieve a mostly comfortable ride. With the 2 jerry cans I had sufficient fuel.

After a couple of flat tyres we arrived at Tilmouth Well roadhouse, 180km from Alice. i copped a flat just 20km before the road changed to bitumen - rock puncture at the shoulder of the tyre. Fixed (patched from the inside) in Alice. Phil had a fast puncture, a bit larger, and it wrecked his tyre, with sidewall sustaining damage from rolling flat. New tyre there.

Alice if full. The Finke desert race has just finished. Big waiting times to get tyres done. We're booked in at a caravan park, in a reasonable, almost clean unit. Alice itself is full of people sitting around doing nothing, backpackers, tourists and Finke afficianados.

Tomorrow we head for Ayres Rock, and will attempt to climb it. It closes for climbing in October 2019.

Pics when we get home. WiFi isn't always the best.
You never see a motorcycle parked in front of a psychiatrist's office.

PMelzer
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Re: The desert trip

Post by PMelzer » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:47 pm

interesting read Bill. I wish I had have logged my resent Snowy Mountain ride
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