Simpson Desert & Hay River Track April 2012

Discussion in 'Epic Rides' started by lotsa, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

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    Day 1 <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:eek:ffice:eek:ffice" /><o:p></o:p>
    Sunday 22nd April 2012<o:p></o:p>
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    Myself and Tryhard rolled into Birdsville with the bikes on the trailer at 1.30pm after a 2000km drive, one flat tyre caused by a shard of roo bone after running over a carcass and a car with a bashed in front end from hitting a medium size roo head on.<o:p></o:p>
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    We planned to spend the night in the camp ground and get away before dawn. After sitting around for five minutes we decided to go then and there. At 2.30pm we left Birdsville and headed for the Simpson Desert.<o:p></o:p>
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    Entering the desert<o:p></o:p>
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    It took a bit of time to get my sand legs in the chopped up detour around the lake before big red.<o:p></o:p>
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    Tryhard and the lake before Big Red<o:p></o:p>
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    After the first dune there was no looking back<o:p></o:p>
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    Between the dunes<o:p></o:p>
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    I don’t think we could have had better conditions. It was a bit cool with cloud cover and the sand was firm.<o:p></o:p>
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    Riding along, it was about time we crossed Eyre Creek so I stopped to look at the gps which showed we had crossed already. Tryhard told me over the Bluetooth we just went through it. I hadn’t even noticed it. No water, just a bit of a dip and some different coloured sand.<o:p></o:p>
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    Clay pan in the distance and green desert<o:p></o:p>
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    We were at Peoppels Corner about 6pm<o:p></o:p>
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    The camp was setup in the dunes on the start of the French Line where we fuelled the bikes after 178km. My DR650 took 14lt and the KTM690 took 12lt. It was a good first day or half day. <o:p></o:p>
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    The whipping trees growing close to the edge of the track were unavoidable sometimes and the hand guards got a good workout. <o:p></o:p>
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    That night we heard a dingo howl that seemed to be standing directly outside our tents and a pack of them howling in the distance. Earlier in the day I rode over a dune to find one laying on the track in front of me and it bolted just in time. A cheeky fox came within five feet of me at the camp site also.<o:p></o:p>
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    #1
  2. Stefs_cruiser

    Stefs_cruiser Been here awhile

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    I Love the Simpson and Hay River Track :lurk Subscribed.....
    #2
  3. Russ

    Russ . Super Moderator

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    :clap

    Looking green out there.

    Looking forward to the rest of the RR.
    #3
  4. Sroz

    Sroz Adventurer

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    Looking perfect for a crossing! Good luck and will keenly wait for your updates once you are back in range!
    #4
  5. Dusty Rhodes

    Dusty Rhodes Yowie Chaser

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    :lol3 Excellent.
    #5
  6. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

    Joined:
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    Day 2
    Poeppels Corner to Mt Dare

    A little while after dawn we had broken camp and were riding
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    “The hills of death” section was next, which is between Poeppels and Knolls Track on the French Line
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    Dunes in this section were great to hook into. The track would turn right along the face of the dune and then have a sharp left at the top with a deep rut left by the 4wds. We both got into it railing the ruts, foot over the front wheel ( I don't know why), pannier dragging on the high rut wall, laughing and saying how good it was. Sorry, no photos, having too much fun.

    We stopped for a couple of minutes at each intersection along the French Line to take it all in and have a breather.
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    Tryhard fuelling
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    There was more of this stuff
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    From the Rig Road turn off the track is clay topped with some wash outs.
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    There was no traffic until just before Purnie Bore where we came across a 4wd tour of 6 vehicles covered in mud.
    Tryhard asked them if they had left any mud for us, which I heard over the helmet Bluetooth and was laughing my head off. They replied it should be dry by the time you get there!

    Don’t think so
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    The KTM faired better in the ‘mud stopping wheels moving’ department than the DR650. I had to dig the mud out twice to get going. It was like glue and stuck to everything but when the tyres broke through that layer it was slippery as. Both bikes were on their side at one stage.

    Got to Dalhousie, had some lunch and the ranger come over and looked at our desert passes.
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    We went down to the spring for a swim and while I was reading the tourist sign near the steps, Tryhard had gone in. I turned around and asked him how the water was and he said “Good…..you know I’m naked”. “Right….. I’ll meet you back at the bikes”. Bit too much of a Wild Hog (the movie) moment for me.

    More mud to Mt Dare
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    We congratulated ourselves with a few drinks in the bar, fuelled the bikes and parked them in the our garage for the night
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    Birdsville to Mt Dare was 515km on GPS. The DR650 took 38lt of fuel and 690 took 36lt all up.

    After checking over the bikes, getting cleaned up and settling into our brand new cabin it was time for food and an few drinks
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    We were the only ones for dinner and Karen (hopefully I get the managers names right) grilled us great steaks. We chatted to Jeff and Karen over drinks until closing. They were hoping for a good season this year. I hope they get it.

    It was a very satisfying day realising we had just crossed the Simpson Desert.
    #6
  7. 59DEN

    59DEN Been here awhile

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    Thank's for the RR and update on track conditions, wise move not going for a swim, I would be worried too if one of my mates felt the need to point out that he was naked. :lol3
    #7
  8. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Love your work!

    :bow:bow:bow

    Looking forward to the rest of it! :clap
    #8
  9. Joe Watson

    Joe Watson Long timer

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    Good stuff mate! So from Birdsville to Mt Dare it was only really one and a bit days? So how many litres of fuel where you actually carrying and also how where you carrying it? What about water? How much and how where you carrying it?
    #9
  10. Ian Robinson

    Ian Robinson SlowRobo

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    Great pics and report.. more please.
    #10
  11. Doctor

    Doctor Banned

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    more please, i'm in :thumbup
    #11
  12. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
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    Central Coast NSW Australia
    Yeah, one and a bit days. There was about 45minutes digging mud out of the bike and bit of a crash before Dalhousie and an hour at Dalhousie Springs itself.

    I actually carried 45lt of fuel in two half filled 12lt fuel bladders in either saddle bag and 9lt of water comprising of 4.5lt in the Camelbak and the rest in bottles in the panniers.
    #12
  13. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

    Joined:
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    Day 3
    Mt Dare – Finke – Alice Springs

    There were a million stars out when we got up to go and it was looking like a fine sunny day. Brilliant
    The garage in the morning

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    All the roads were open so they don’t seem to be too worried about a bit of water over them.
    Coming out of Mt Dare

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    On the way to Finke

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    Entering Finke. I don’t think much of the sign on the left. No porn or alcohol. Wouldn’t like to live here

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    A head start for the race would have been good. Being a month away we carried on

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    On the way down the road we jumped on and off the race track a few times to see what it was like. Whoops and Whoops and more whoops. We get the picture, with open sections later on.

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    The main road Finke to Alice

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    Arrived at Alice about lunch time realizing it was halfway through our programmed day 2 on an eight or nine day ride and we were already at Alice. I was expecting three days to Mt Dare, a day to Alice then a rest day in Alice which would have made it day 5. Where to go from here.

    It was always intended to work out where to go from here depending on how we had travelled. The Hay River Track was decided on, so off we went to find a permit to cross the traditional owners land.

    When we arrived at the office of 4wd Direct they were out training to return a 4pm.

    Heavitree Gap camp ground was a good place to set up and kill some time with some grocery shopping and a pub only a walk away

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    Normally it takes a month to get a permit but we thought we would chance it. They were the most helpful people ever. The permit was is our hands within half an hour.

    They rang Batton Hill to let them know we were coming on bikes. Lindsay, the traditional owner, isn’t that happy with the bike riders because of accidents and mechanicals I think.

    Joel is the boss and after telling him what we wanted to do he said he had some waypoints for the GPS and invited us to his place that night to load them on. He also explained the Hay River track to detail, washouts, pushing through scrub, tight right turns before the dunes.

    There was a full class of 4wd training going on and he was off to do the Canning Stock route the next week with a tour. Good luck to him. He has a great setup and workshop there, too.

    We got back to camp after getting lost in the suburbs at night….scary, had a good feed at the pub and got some sleep for what was looking like a great next day.
    #13
  14. jtb

    jtb Long timer

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    Did you lose the BMW supporter by the end of the trip? :D

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    #14
  15. philth

    philth philth

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    good stuff!
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  16. crowe2815

    crowe2815 kenoath

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    Very Cool:clap. Much better to be ahaed of the schedule with options all around you, rather than having to miss out on shit because you're behind.
    #16
  17. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

    Joined:
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    Central Coast NSW Australia
    Well spotted in the mirror.:roflThat's as arty as my phtos get

    I wear BMW Rally Pro 2 jacket and pants and people ask me at stops where is my BMW and I tell them it's that blue one over there that looks like a DR650.
    #17
  18. b0mb3r

    b0mb3r Old Git

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    im in too :evil
    #18
  19. lotsa

    lotsa Ride while you can

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2010
    Oddometer:
    43
    Location:
    Central Coast NSW Australia
    Day 4
    Alice – Hay River Track

    Up at sparrows we made our way towards Ross River Resort and the scenery was stunning. McDonald ranges I think

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    The dirt started after Ross River Station

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    It was a great windy road to punt along until we reached Cattleman’s Pass turnoff which was closed

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    We obeyed the sign and took the next turn north to the Plenty Hwy which would put a strain on our fuel range.


    The Plenty

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    Tryhard was blowing into his tank for the last 30km to Jervois Station to feed the 690 fuel pump. We came into Jervois on vapours. Tryhard filled his 26lt tanks with 26.3lts and my 30lt tank took 30.6lts. Not much room for error we realised.


    Jervois Station

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    We chatted to the lady running the show about movements on the track and living on the station. Hopefully she wasn’t telling us any Furphy’s

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    Fuelled and watered, we set off for the Hay River Track with the turnoff only about 2km away

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    There was about 75km of this

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    At Batton Hill there’s a camping area and the track goes past the caretakers shed who came out for a look at us. We had our permit so all cool

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    It starts off like this

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    We camped the night here 125km in

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    #19
  20. poppy

    poppy Slow and Steady

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    G'day Lotsa, great read and pics mate. The ground looks a lot more moist than when we were out the last year. Its a fair stretch to Jervios, we got a splash at Atitjere Aboriginal Community.
    #20