Five Deserts- Australia

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by bikerooter, Sep 1, 2008.

  1. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Introduction For me this trip was revenge for the failed attempt in 2007, where a busted gear box left eight months of planning up the creek, actually Halls Creek. As soon as the word was out that another attempt was on the cards the hats were thrown in the ring thick and fast. There was to be five riders from the Townsville area and of course our usual far away trip companions from Gympie, five in total. The plan was to meet at Boulia and traverse five deserts including the Canning Stock Route and return home. Sounds easy.


    The Townsville participants:
    Andrew (aka Adc - mechanic ) (ADVRIDER Name:Killametre) [​IMG]
    Bearing a remarkable resemblance to Ken Berry The leader of the F Troop, what the hell is it with that scarf !

    Deaf Johnny (boiler maker),
    [​IMG]

    Rodney (aka Rodger the boilermaker / pineapple squeezer)
    [​IMG]


    Dudley (aka 3D-apprentice electrician)
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    and myself (aka lots of things).


    The Gympie Crew:

    Tony (aka Woody- track press man)
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    Allan (aka Homer- electrician),
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    Mike (aka Fishes Bum- government employee),
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    Ken (aka Kenny-mechanic),
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    Mark (aka Mark-chef)
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    #1
  2. SteveRed

    SteveRed Adventure Moto

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2006
    Oddometer:
    2,726
    Location:
    Sydney Hills - Australia
    Bring it on! :lurk
    #2
  3. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    DAY 1 959km
    Simple day. Ass burn 950 km on the tar to Boulia.

    [​IMG]
    Townsville - Walkabout Service Station

    The 6 AM start meant the air was still chilly even by Townsville's standards with a super heavy fog that lasted for better than 90 km towards Charters leaving the gear dripping wet at the first piss stop.

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    Prarie - Windmill (largest model windmill in the southern hemisphere)

    The first fuel stop was at Hughenden where Andrew riding last was complaining about the squash balls that were flying off the back of Rodger's KTM, on closer inspection we found the 640 was throwing the centre knob of the desert tyre Rodger had freshly fitted.

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    Maxxis Desert failure !

    Burgers all around at Winton and a fresh tank of juice and a swap of ass cheeks and we cut for Boulia before the roos started to move. Adc could smell the food at the Boulia Fuel and Grease mart cause the needle started flicking on 140 and the roos hadn't come out to play. Lucky.
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    3D on the gas !

    The Gympie boys were to be waiting at Boulia but had decided to long grass that plan and headed for Tobermorey instead. The restaurant only had enough tucker for two specials so it was burgers all around again for dinner, the deaf bloke didn't mind. There didn't seem to be too much inviting grass at the caravan park so we shuffled out of town a few ks and camped in the dust.

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    #3
  4. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 2 715 km

    The sunrise across the dry plains was quiet stunning even from inside the sleeping bag peering through the tiny hole left by the draw string, hesitant to get out incase it was actually freezing and hoping Rodger would have the billy on.
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    Boulia sunrise

    The first pack up of camp was bound to be steady with everyone trying to remember where they put the shit on their bike with Rodger having the most trouble remembering, must of needed another cigarette. The road across the Plenty was just as I remember it, straight and fairly uneventful apart from the random rocks that whip the bars in your hand just to make sure you were awake.
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    Flat outback

    Adc's chain lube blew all over the back of his bike as we hit the border, good excuse for Rodger to have another cigarette. Being out the front, I could see the fresh trails of the Gympie boys and was hopeful of running them down but as Mark scored a flat at Jervois they waited long enough and our two groups were joined. For nearly all it would be the first time down the Cattle Water Pass Track, Woody and Homer almost didn't make it after a close shave with a 4WD and a cattle grid on the Plenty.
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    Cattlewater Pass Track

    Homer and Fish pulled an early camp at Arltunga camp ground well before dark, this camp ground was to be the downfall of the deaf boy's air mattress as the ground was littered with goat head burrs. But the shower wasn't too bad.
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    #4
  5. Killametre

    Killametre no time for photos

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2008
    Oddometer:
    33
    Location:
    Townsville
    Top work sra. :clap:clapPhew I made it through the first day without any bad press I am going bush for about a week so be nice I cant defend myself:D
    #5
  6. dirt rider X

    dirt rider X tropical traveller

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Townsville, Australia
    off to a flying start Capt'n Detour.
    keep it coming:clap :clap :clap
    #6
  7. atgreg

    atgreg Africatwinarama

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2003
    Oddometer:
    10,042
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    lookin good !!!!
    #7
  8. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 3 296 km

    Orange sunlight beamed from the harsh surfaces of the East Macdonnell Ranges as we followed the Binns Track through to join with the Stuart Highway south of Alice.

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    Sunrise on the East Macs

    By now all had a small taste of sand riding and the effects of the extra gear they were carrying on their machines.

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    Adc's rig amongst the stone ridges

    We had prearranged with Desert Edge Motorcycles to deliver some tyres to a servo as the town was closed due to the picnic day, one phone call and the tyres arrived, excellent service. Two hours in the sun and every bike had fresh tyres, some a fresh gut full of oil, and others just lost half their excess baggage.

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    City centre service bay

    After a quick gathering of food from the Coles grocery store, we headed west on the Larapinta Drive to connect with the Boggy Hole Track 118 k from Alice. I checked with a local to confirm directions and headed into the sandy whoops and pebble filled bed of the Finke River which the track follows for the most of its entirety.

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    Rodger and the Deaf Boy on the pebbles

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    Boggy Hole mirror

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    Boggy Hole sand paddlers

    Some of the crew were having difficulty with the river sand so when we pulled up for camp at the Boggy Hole I scored a couple of suspension test rides to tune overladen bikes, the suspension was fine and the bikes really honked in the sand. I had to pat the DR when the testing was done so she wouldn't fret and keel over on me during the night. There was a hire 4WD with a burnt out clutch left at the Boggy Hole along with a prepacked camp fire which we enjoyed for the tourists which had left both behind.

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    3D enjoys the fire

    The top loaded fruit cake came out for dessert with a cuppa as the moon filled the sky.

    [​IMG]
    #8
  9. dirt rider X

    dirt rider X tropical traveller

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Oddometer:
    399
    Location:
    Townsville, Australia
    had to search right back to page three to find the thread:lurk :slurp
    come on, what happened next?
    #9
  10. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2006
    Oddometer:
    4,904
    Location:
    Lake Macquarie , NSW, Australia
    Ya got me hangin` on your every word n` pic BikeRooter !!!!!!!!! :clap :clap :clap
    #10
  11. philth

    philth www.motorbikin.com.au

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2006
    Oddometer:
    6,945
    Location:
    bald knob
    yeah yeah rooter, keepem comin
    #11
  12. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 4 299km
    Kenny headed off early to get a start on the loose sand on the SE but soon ended up trying to unpack his gear to right the ship, just too heavy for him.

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    The Deaf Boy carves the river sand of the Finke Gorge

    I made a navigational error along the river missing a track to crossover and ending up with a 12k diversion up a pretty little hollow with spinefix lined ridges.

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    Track through the spinefix to nowhere

    Plenty of bull dust holes followed before we were finally out of the Finke Gorge National Park. A 5k shortcut led the group to the Ernest Giles Road which was sandy and corrugated but fun at speed and shortly dumped us out on the Kings Canyon Road then it was a dash to Curtain Springs before the sun dipped too low.

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    The shortcut lynching party held up at a natural spring, just 2 k from the road

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    Ernest Giles road, Kenny's footprints tell the story, sometimes sand is all about the mind. Or not having one.

    Mark and Fishes Bum decided they wanted to climb the rock the following morning so they headed off to Yulara straight into the setting sun.

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    Glad to see everyone made it out of the bulldust holes

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    Curtain Springs, a small oasis(there is water there) in amongst the red dust

    We camped in the camp ground and donated a couple bucks for a breezy but warm shower, the night air set in just after we finished our rump steak and dessert so there was no lingering around just off to camp.

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    #12
  13. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 5 731 km

    A dingoes breakfast and off to the rock, but not before Rodger's 640 sight glass started looking the wrong way into the engine, Adc layed the thing over on the Lasseter Hwy and gave it the full treatment.

    [​IMG]
    Roadside KTM mechanics $$$$$

    We paid the $25 fee to fly past the rock and with a far off regroup came plenty of complaining about the shitty view, must have been the trees in the way.

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    $25 to ride straight past the rock

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    Not a bad view if ya stop in the right place

    Kenny and Mark left the group here to continue their own journeys around the West Macdonnels and Alice.

    Leaving the Olgas in the dusty mirrors we hauled the heavy sand to Docker River were Homer let the friendly kids model his helmet as we refueled and had the horns rung off the bikes.

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    There is a great walk amongst those rocks (the Olgas) if ya into walkin'

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    Long straight sandy roads abound

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    Rodger keeps a firm grip on his helmet

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    Homer at the border

    300k down the great central road brought Warburton and another chance to buy everything you ever need in one shop, including a few tank fulls of Opal fuel.

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    Dam straight it is

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    3D meets Camels. This mob had several young tackers

    Every bowser in these communities is still fully caged, remnants of the effect the sniffable petrol had on the locals, not to mention the need for fuel to run their V8's.

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    Warburton Roadhouse-the shop with the lot

    We slipped out of town and across the Heather Highway and made camp as the ruts threatened an off in the late afternoon shadows.
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    Turn from The Great Central Road onto the Heather Highway,(highway for 46k at least)

    A pre dinner snack of cracker barrel cheese, spicy salami and jatz and a cup of port set the seen for the evening of fine dining on delicately prepared cuisine.

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    Night time ninja's feeding on cracker barrel cheese and jatz

    Homer stoked the fire along unaware of the damper hiding under the coals which added a good crust to the finished product, actually I think it was all crust.
    Cold night.

    [​IMG]
    #13
  14. johnnyandjebus

    johnnyandjebus Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2006
    Oddometer:
    532
    Location:
    Kingston ON
    Brillant!!

    I have to ask, what is a track press man? By the look of his bike I assume it is a profession that invovles building super sized, aftermaket gas tanks for KTM's?
    #14
  15. pirate63

    pirate63 SUPA 10 PILOT

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2007
    Oddometer:
    446
    Location:
    brisvegas,oz
    keep it coming:clap :clap
    #15
  16. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    A Track Press actually presses chain links apart to replace the rollers and pins in the chains similar to a bike chain. The chains are used on machinery such as excavators and bulldozers. There are limited numbers of the old machine that Woody's family business has and he is constanly busy repairing and replacing tracks and chains.
    The tank is Australian made and holds just short of 50 litres
    #16
  17. Tappet

    Tappet Feral

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,451
    Location:
    South Africa
    Ace report - keep it coming. Some seriously kitted-out bikes you guys are running there. I suppose thats what you need with all that open space you have there and all that bull dust.

    Thanks!
    #17
  18. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 6 397km

    A glimmer of ice on Adc's helmet was evidence of the overnight temperature with all crowding the raging morning fire. A young bloke in a Patrol ute passed early on route to tow his olds from the Gunbarrel as the ECU died in the Cruiser. The blue dog he had on the back had a knowing look on his face when reference was made to how warm it would have been in the front of the ute with the heater running, apparently sharing the swag was as far as the relationship was going.

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    The Deaf boy scored a mulga stick through his saddle bag before we left the Heather Highway

    The Gunbarrel was fast flowing with more alternative routes than a rave party with the odd washout keeping you busy and concentrating. We met some Mexicans after climbing Len Beadells mountain to take in the vastness of the Gibson Desert and marvel at the supreme toughness of that man that made the majority of the outback roads we had traveled.

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    Some weasel had removed the aluminium distance marker from the Beadell tree. Why?

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    The slight rises in elevation across the Gibson reveal distant veiws

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    The Gunbarrel is actually straight in places. Len Beadells road building party was named the Gunbarrel road construction team as for most of the roads they built were as straight as gunbarrels apart from a few deviations around sand dunes and rock outcrops

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    A hand pump draws water from the Geralton Bore which was drilled by CRA exploration in 1989 to a depth of 42 meters and has water at 16 meters which is fine to drink even by Adc standards

    The last 80 km to Carnegie was fast being freshly graded and maintained by the Wiluna shire, Homers BM ran out of room on a couple of corners when the DR pushed him wide or the corner ran all the way around the end of a sand dune almost turning full circles.

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    Some of the signs on the gunbarrel have been refurbished in recent times by a group retracing David Carnegie's journey

    Homer waited at the entrance to Carnegie homestead for the others to arrive while I rounded up the caretaker to locate the digs and the fuel.. Rodger didn't like the look of the vast homestead and kept charging for Wiluna with only a few litres of fuel in the tank he wasn't going to get far but Adc ran him down not far out. Reason given; brain fade.
    Lee and her hubby had only been caretaking Carnegie for six weeks but along with their three children welcomed us hole heartedly and couldn't have given better assistance. Having said that, we had a meal cooked for us that evening that was left for us to help ourselves, little did we know that there was a similar meal also left there for three days worth of meals for one of their staff; it was also consumed by our hungry rice eating gang. Oops.

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    Cooper and his little sister struggle for best seating position on the DR at Carnegie

    Earlier in the afternoon we took on some 60 liters of fuel each and changed some air filters under the watchful eye of and eight year old called Cooper. Now Cooper was well educated for 8 and had a unique measurement of speed, when he looked at Woody's big tanked 990 he promptly announced that it would be faster than “one hundred camels tied together”. While cleaning the air filters we stumbled across a brilliant product for removing air filter oil from your hands and leaving them smelling all pretty, 'Head and Shoulders' hair shampoo, pretty sure it is the stuff for dandruff but it sure does work.
    [​IMG]
    Not too crusty even riding at the back of the pack

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    #18
  19. Tappet

    Tappet Feral

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,451
    Location:
    South Africa
    Nice - keep it coming.

    Man you guys down under are spoilt. Does everyone have AndyStraps & Aqualine tanks!? :cry
    #19
  20. bikerooter

    bikerooter the hard way

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Oddometer:
    328
    Location:
    by the C !
    Day 7 387km

    Cold morning with a steady smooth road to Glen Ayle station, smooth that is till a red roo gives you the in and away at 95 and ya take him with the left fork leg and a big stomp on his back. F#$ker.

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    Full of fuel and ready for the Canning

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    A road maintanence fee applys to the Glen Ayle road to well 9 as the station keeps it in good condition. $10 per bike

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    The old guy at Glen Ayle has been there 62 years and reckons he might just settle down there now, no point in leaving I guess.

    Well 9 was the start of the Canning stock route for us with easy going over pebbly sandy tracks with a fair amount of corrugations, the dunes started to come small and easy to negotiate.

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    The Deaf Boys reflective goggles weren't letting on how excited he was to be at the Canning at last. Well 9

    Past the aerodrome salt lake we started to find the dunes with the curvy approaches and came across the first 4WD's and of course they wanted to know how far back our support vehicle was.

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    Named Lake Aerodrome as it was deemed suitable for landing planes on in the early days of the Canning survey

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    The shrubbery starts to close in

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    3D takes a break on one of the many broken rock outcrops

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    The track heads due east at the end of the Calvert Range

    The light was glowing a deep red on the Calvert Ranges as we rounded the northern most point and it was only a short distance to Well 17 and Durba Springs.

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    Woody appears from the setting sun on the White Horse

    The camp at Durba Springs is spectacular in such a harsh piece of country with a mass of ghost gums and grass manicured by travelers and cool water running from somewhere under the ground. I busted out the 2kg bag of flour from my pack and pushed together a not too shabby damper, the first of many after dinner specials.

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    Durba damper

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    #20