Deep sand, ruts & an Iron Lung - The Border Track

Discussion in 'Day Trippin'' started by kano650, Sep 28, 2013.

  1. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    I really wanted to tackle a ride that would challenge me. I needed to know if I was good enough in the sand to confidently ride many miles in it. David and I have done many rides together but haven’t spent a lot of time in the technical stuff . So this time we planned to ride sand, and lots of it. This ride would test our bike setups, skill, fitness, tempers and resolve. It’d also be a chance to establish the fuel economy of the DR650’s for a future Simpson Desert crossing.

    As often happens situations change. A week out from the trip I bit the bullet and bought an 07 G650 X challenge. This ride was now likely to be my last on the yellow piglet before she gets moved on and the Xchallenge moves in.

    This was our planned route. We aimed to test our sand legs on the border track in Ngarkat Conservation Park.

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    Click here for interactive map
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  2. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    After a short ride through the foggy Adelaide Hills I met David at Crafers at 6.00am. Together we rode with minimal visibility along the freeway to Murray Bridge. There we fueled up and reset the odometers and a short ride on the bitumen saw us hitting the dirt about 20km east of Murray Bridge. The weather was overcast with heavy droplets of moisture in the air. Apart from the low visibility it was a beautiful morning to be out riding.

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  3. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    We took easy gravel roads for the next 60km before turning onto one of the ‘dotted lines’ on the gps. We opened the gate and blasted on through.

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  4. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    There were fresh dirt bike tracks in the damp soil. It was good to know we were sharing this fantastic bit of bushland track with other like minded individuals.

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  5. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    Eventually we came to the end of the twin track and back onto open gravel for an 80km cruise into Pinnaroo. The world was a divine place as we both enjoyed the fresh air and emerging sunshine. A flock of wandering sheep traversed onto the track as we briskly passed by at legal speeds of course :lol3. I locked up the back wheel as I hit the brakes and avoided them easily in the end. Due to the earlier than expected start we arrived in Pinnaroo at 10.00am.

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  6. advNZer?

    advNZer? Long timer

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    nice pics mate!
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  7. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    The only place open for lunch was the local Foodland Supermarket. The bakery is closed on Sunday’s and the two pubs dont open until 11.00am. With time to kill we decided to purchase ingredients for a civilised platter of cabana, cheese and crusty bread :evil

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  8. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    Thanks mate. I was a bit disappointed with most of them to be honest although some turned out alright.. Most were just taken on our phones
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  9. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    As soon as the pub opened at 11.00am we stocked up on the essentials- a slab of Melbourne Bitter cans, 2x bags of ice and 2 bourbon and cokes.

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  10. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    I filled up the brand new waterproof Wolfman medium duffle bag with drinks, ice and meat for tonight's bbq. David fueled up and reset his odo and we headed off towards the Border Track to beat the convoy’s of 4x4’s queuing up at the service station.

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  11. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    The track started nice and easy but it wasn't long before the sandy stuff started. The tracks through here are really heavily rutted by 4x4's and the sand is very powdery and deep in some sections. The recent rains made the going a bit easier.

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  12. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    An hour into the hard stuff and David looked like he could use an iron lung. Beads of sweat were forming on his brow and dripping down his face while he struggled for breath. He'd mentioned prior to the trip he was suffering from stomach problems and clearly our gourmet lunch hadn't agreed with him. To the old fella’s credit he insisted he was ok and wanted to continue.

    And so we did...

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  13. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    We stopped for another rest at a lookout and took in some amazing views of the Big Desert and the Ngarkat Conservation Park.

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  14. kano650

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    David assured me he was ok to keep going so we pressed on.

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  15. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    Unfortunately he spent a bit of time doing this sort of thing which only added to his exhaustion. He continued to press through the pain and kept going.

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  16. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    At the southern end of the park we approached this sign. It wasn’t exactly what David wanted to see at this point in the day but it was sand either way so rather than taking the detour we opted for the dunes. He was now well and truly amidst a personal battle of mind over body. Only David could express how he was feeling right now.

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  17. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    First gear and some steady throttle and both DR's tractored up. As a 4x4 struggled to get up the hill I chatted with some of their convoy while David almost blew a gasket. Fortunately the track got a little easier after the two big dunes and we rode on until eventually pulling into camp at 5pm.

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  18. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    With our priorities in order I went straight to the Wolfman bag to grab a couple of cold beers.

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  19. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    Aaarrkk!! :splat

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  20. kano650

    kano650 more cowbell

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    Out of a total of 26 cans only 10 survived. We decided to look on the positive side and focus on the 10 that made it rather than the 16 that smashed apart in the bag. :freaky

    We pitched the tents and set up camp before cooking up the steaks, sausages and potatoes on the fire. After tea David turned in early. I wandered around the campground for a while, then sat down and drank the rest of the beers while watching the full moon come up over the horizon. I tried to take photos but none of them turned out. After a mediocre sleep I woke up at 6.20 and David got up soon after. David had some color back in his face this morning and mentioned he was feeling considerably better today. I was relieved to hear this as I was worried about him yesterday and a medical emergency is far from ideal out here. We had a big day ahead of us.

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