Old & young minded farts headed to Tibooburra in the far north west of outback New South Wales for the annual Ulysses Adv Riders gathering in mid September 2009. Our planned route was to follow the Darling River to Menindee, across to Little Topar Roadhouse then north to Tibooburra or so we thought Meeting point for our mixed (up!) crew was the Golden Arches, Renmark where we exchanged condolences for each others' machines before Grumpy C (XT600), Young C (Dakar GS650) & HOC (TDM) aka OC on our last adventure together, but now a "Happy Ol' C" with a recent new look on life, together with our new recruits, Uncle Fester (KLR) & Andy on his 850km old KLR started our adventure. YC & I had made the "cut lunch" ride from Adelaide through fabulous tracks near Bakara Well the previous day enduring strong blusterly head winds. Departure day was wet but the roads weren't slippery as we headed to Wentworth north of the River Murray. Although there still isn't much water in Lake Victoria .... (they should fix that map ) Wasn't long before there was heard the sound of loose bits in the gearbox of GC's XT He managed to limp into Wentworth with our moral or lack thereof support & after much indecisive discussion, it was agreed that the KLRs' would continue as they had a room booked at Menindee. HOC & GC hightailed it on the more comfortable TDM 150kms back to Renmark to get the ute, against head winds, rain & constant spray from the many semi's on the highway. YC waited patiently for us to travel the 300+km round trip Creature comforts were now the order of the day, so the TDM was loaded up for the return journey Then swapped over again. "To hell with it, I'm still coming", but as we were now some 5 hours behind schedule, GC picked up some cold beers & we found the nearest camping spot on the Darling approx 40kms north of Wentworth on the western side ........ brilliant, absolutely brilliant for our first night of adventure with its own "street lighting" of course .................. aah! ....... the luxuries of a support vehicle. I thought I'd never say it but ..... Things are definitely not looking healthy "Hey! ......You over there! ........ yes! YOU! .......... can you save some for us further down stream" Next morning we weren't sure if we should head back to Wenworth to restock the beer supply or just make up time and scoot along the now drying "black soil" roads which had slowed the KLR boys the previous afternoon and forced them to ride the last 80kms or so into Menindee in the dark. :eek1 Our only casualty was a non bouncing emu off the ute's bull bar. North of Broken Hill the country opened up ( ie became boring ) and with the thought of not getting a "pretty one" the lads prepared themselves Race ya! last one gets the ugly one I was beginning to enjoy the comforts of the stereo blasting ute following But alas .......... all the birds looked the same except for the odd old goat or two oser Finally cruising into Tibooburra around 5pm Friday after our brisk 700 + km dash from 70kms south of Pooncarie. It is amazing that in 1844 our famous explorer Captain Charles Sturt dragged his boat so far inland from Adelaide some 1,200kms away, in search of an inland sea which he never found The bike display .................. takes a KLR owner doesn't it Some interesting machines never-the-less Even a Ural This one is certainly looking out of place, until you look inside & see the three eskies Can I be your friend? A Fazer adventurer with 6 inch bar risers :huh ................. makes the TDM look normal me thinks ? The rough roads getting up here took their toll on YC's Dakar ...... patent pending oser The day tour took in the very dusty, rocky, rough, sandy, roo infested Mt Wood "scenic drive" Tibooburra in the distance ....................... did I mention they have rocks in these parts of the world that's lots of rocks and more rocks an even more rocks early engineering was interesting A precision tool ................ that is until the tree grew oser Obviously the start of belt drive way of thinking think this was its last load Interesting Milparinga From there we headed south west to Pimpara Lake & The Veldt Coming across refueling of a sheep mustering machine "Sure Lady !...... I can fly one of those ......... up & down, looks easy with those motorbike controls" "Oopps! what did you say? ......... my fly was down" oser We continued on over absolutely fabulously varying landscapes & tracks With the luxuries of a support vehicle, it was no trouble to boil the billy anywhere While some refuelled Others inspected their bike and wondered what this lid thing was for After we hit the main highway again it was south past Broken Hill until the Loch Lilly turn off. Apart from this stretch of water on the road it was quite dusty anyone for a There were quite a few gates to open, but it as nice to be welcomed Within 40kms to our planned camp site and as the sun was setting, the TDM unexpectedly just stopped dead in her tracks ...... but why? :huh So this looks like a great spot, right here to camp ....... I'd say. Turns out 4 years of floggin' the battery on rough dirt roads & tracks is too much ................ when I took it out is was hot & swollen (the battery that is!) Luckily there was a fresh one nearby .... thanks GC & his XT, the mighty TDM was a goer again. The night was young, the beer was cold , the fire warm , the food was ....... err :dg , did I say the beer was cold , the stories tall , the music rocked & our final night was perfect waking to a fantastic day with the predicted thunderstorms passing further north. bastard! ................... who moved the ute? The run along the recently graded Morgan Mail Route was unfortunately extremely dusty after this section But what trip would be complete without the mandatory bakery stop ....... of course you ask Unfortunately we got as far as Blanchetown before the deafening hail on the helmet, pelting rain & storms hit YC & me all the way back to Adelaide while GC returned to Renmark in luxury No matter what they say though ....... Another memorable adventure, thanks guys. It's not always the destination, but the journey with great mates that counts.