Well it seems that lots of guys in OZ are out doing some big outback/desert trips this year. My group has just returned from an epic trip across the middle of country from the west coast to the east coast and I thought you guys might want to have a look. We have a core group of 4 who like to stay well away from the bitumen and take the road less travelled and we like to do one big trip each year. As some of you would know, if you like the more adventurous riding it’s sometimes hard to find riding partners that enjoy the hard slog and are willing to push on. I am lucky to have these guys to ride with and enjoy some tracks and places that others only dream about. This year it was decided to ship our bikes from Central Queensland East Coast to Perth in Western Aust. We would then fly over and pick up the bikes and ride home through the centre, stopping off at Alice Springs to watch Australia’s biggest desert race (Finke) and then onto the Simpson Desert and home to the east coast in QLD. Because we had a year to organise the trip, the route changed a few times as I found new points of interest that NEEDED to be ticked off. Ultimately it was decided that we needed to start our easterly trek from Steep Point WA (which is a 1000kms north of Perth and is the most westerly point of Aust.) and then take in the Gunbarrel Hwy including the abandoned part thru to Surveyor Generals Cnr. If we were going to do SG corner then we may as well do all the other state corners as well. These survey markers have no visual appeal, they are just a “been there done that” sort of thing. The other points of interest were The Olgas, Uluru, Kings Canyon, Finke Desert Race, Dalhousie Springs and the Simpson Desert via the French Line. The problem was after cramming in all these places there was only a two week time frame because a couple of the guys worked for themselves and couldn't get any more time off. That meant 7500kms in 17 days with 2 days at Alice Springs for the Finke race didn’t leave much room for error when traversing some of the most demanding tracks in Australia on fully loaded bikes. During the lead up we picked up some more players, we now had 7 starting in Perth and 1 meeting us at Uluru. Some had long distance experience, some did not. Nothing like getting thrown in at the deep end! We made up some rules and expectations so that someone who turned up unprepared didn’t impact anyone else’s holiday given the limited time frame. None of us are photographers so some of the pics are less than perfect and my story telling maybe a bit ordinary. Bikes waiting to be picked up by the bike freighters (Bikes Only) Holy fuk, did he bring the kitchen sink on that KLR? The trip started with drama as not everyone was on the same plane to Brisbane and a power outage caused flight disruptions which meant Craig and I only made the connecting flight to Perth by seconds after being raced across the tarmac in a car. That might not sound too important except this was the last flight (midnight) and Craig and I were the organisers of the trip, the others had no idea about what was happening in Perth. Us taking delivery of the bikes in Perth I was hoping this was not going to be a sign of things to come but we only made it 1km before we had to visit Super Cheap and dismantle a bike. Wallys DR had a flat battery when we picked it up but once it started the carby spewed fuel out the breather and after trying to get the needle to seat with a few hits it had to be pulled apart. I think every ride that Wally has come on this bike has given trouble, luckily we werent going far Now one of the things I was adamant about was that all the riders had to be able to navigate themselves with their GPS, people waiting on corners is last century and slows the trip too much. Of course at the first sightseeing detour (which was clearly marked on the GPS) The Pinnacles, only 3 of us managed to see them. My big KTM The highway runs very close to the ocean. We caught up to the rest and camped at Geraldton in a caravan park that took an hour to find the entrance. The point of camping here was to make sure we hadnt left any camping gear behind before we left civilization. We could buy it here in the morning, the next major town was 4000kms away. We sent our bikes semi packed 1 month ago so it was easy to forget what we'd packed and what we hadnt.