Canning Stock Route Unsupported 2014

Discussion in 'Ride Reports - Epic Rides' started by sh4kes, Aug 25, 2014.

  1. sh4kes

    sh4kes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    553
    Location: Well 26 to Well 19
    Distance traveled today: Approx 360km (200km on CSR + 160km round trip to Cotton Creek for fuel)
    Total distance traveled (of 1800km): 1242km (on CSR)

    Started today around 7:20am. It was only about 40km of winding sand track and dunes before we came to the Talawana track. (The Talawana track "crosses" the CSR. I say "crosses" as it traveses 30 off kilometeres of the CSR between where it enters and exits.) The CSR/Talawana track was a change!! A big wide corrugated path...and the best thing was no more slappy sticks! We sat on 110km/hr, racing each other along parallel tracks until we reached Georgia bore. Along the way we noticed a heap of bags on the side of the track - we stopped and checked them out. They were soil samples for a mining company.

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    Georgia Bore is a bore with a hand pump supplying clean fresh water for drinking. It was installed by a company prospecting (or mining?) in the area back in the day, and left intact for future travelers. After leaving a message for Cam & Jess (who we "lost" yesterday) we left the CSR via the Talawana track and took off on our 80km trip to Cotton Creek. Steve told me a story of a father and son who were unprepared and set off from Cotton Creek in the summer to do the northern section of the CSR (a silly thing to do even if you are prepared). They'd broken down 8km from Georgia bore, and not having a map had ended up dying of thirst! Anyhow, knowing the typical distances we were covering each day I was dreading both the time and energy the 160km round trip would take...but I was pleasantly surprised. A mining company had set up shop at Lake Disappointment, and so almost the entire way from Georgia Bore to Cotton Creek was graded. Rad. (Gotta watch those corners that sneak up after long boring straights!!)

    In short time we were in Cotton Creek to fill up on Opal. We find the local store keeper, Nelson, and let him know we're the bikers that called. "Yep no worries" he says, "how much do you reckon you'll need? We dont have a bowser, we usually just hand pump it out of the barrel...only thats broken so you'll have to siphon it out. How much do you reckon you'll need?" So off we go estimating how much we'll need ($3.00/L). Then Nelson jumped on the forklift and bought out a pallet of Opal drums. Out with a length of garden hose, put one end in the barrel and suck on the other until fuel starts coming through then jam it into the tank. An hour later, with fuel taste in our mouths we were full. Steve is well over-full with fuel as he is concerned he'll puncture his low jerries again & lose fuel. He has 82L of fuel, I have 70L. I estimate I'll only need 50L, so I', also overkill. Better safe than sorry!

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    80km later we arrive back at Georgia Bore. (I had my first highside crash on the way back!! I was daydreaming and came around a corner to Steve pretty much stopped at a muddy puddle...locked it up and ended up highsiding into the ditch.) We filled our water bottles and prepared to head off, just as Cam & Jess showed up. A quick hello and goodbye - this is where we part ways as they head off to Cotton Creek, then on to Rudall River NP for a few days.

    Back onto the CSR. The sand after Geogia Bore was excellent, and with plenty of flat open lakes to traverse we made good progress. (These lake pans would be horrible in the wet, as evidenced by all the deep wheel tracks!) As we were riding past Lake Disappointment today we came across the same mining track that we noticed leaving the Talawana track! (Remember I mentioned a mining company had graded the Talawana? Turns out the mining company has set up shop down Lake Disappointment ways.) We pushed on until the sun had just sunk below the horizon, then set up camp under some Desert Sheoks just before Well 19.

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    The jerry can mounts are slowly bending upwards as time goes on...sandwiching the jerries firmly into the tank!

    One point to note is that today I ran off the track into some Spinifex (spikey grass). I got back onto the track quickly (as I hadnt come off the bike), but smelt burning. Stories of cars going up in flames from spinifex getting caught between the bash plate and engine came to mind so I smartly jumped off the bike and cleared the engine area of spinifex. One of them was touching the exhaust pipe and was a glowing ember! Lucky, but also good awareness.
    #21
  2. sh4kes

    sh4kes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    553
    Whoops, the title should read DAY 8

    Location: Well 19 to Well 12
    Distance traveled today: Approx 210km
    Total distance traveled (of 1800km): 1452km (on CSR)

    Last night was cold!! Headed off this morning around 8am after a morning fire to warm up. My bike needed 500mL of oil - the first time it's needed any oil in the entire trip around Australia! No visible oil leak so I guess it leaked out the breather when the bike was upside down in one of my numerous crashes yesterday. This mornings ride of 70km to Durba Springs was a heap of soft sand and lots of slappy sticks. (The sand was too soft to try zipping down the middle with all the corners.) During this ride i saw the bottom of Steve's bike for the first time, then Steve bogged it up to the swingarm at the base of a dune.

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    Later today he clipped his jerries on a bank and had quite a good high speed crash into a bush, knocking a lens out of his sunnies and gashing his cheek, then half an hour later clipped the jerries again resulting in a fat lip and a broken windscreen. With all these crashes his "repaired" jerry cans started leaking again, so we put as much fuel as we could into the bikes and strapped them on as best we could to lose as little fuel as possible. (We have waaay too much fuel, so it doesnt matter if we lose 20L...heck, we could probably lose 40L between us and still be fine.)

    Anyhow, I'm getting ahead of myself. Around lunch time we'd covered the 70km and rolled into Durba Springs. Durba Springs is a gorgeous camp spot along the CSR with plenty of greenery, water, and cliffs, not to mention there's plenty of things close by to go and check out. (The pictures I have really dont do it justice!!!) Unfortunately when we went there the water was a bit stagnant due to it not flowing from the lack of rain....not that that stopped Steve from jumping in for a quick wash!

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    It also has a bog with a nice view. After using the facilities I trotted on over to the river to wash my hands. I put my camera on the bank behind me, washed my hands, then turned around and went to grab my camera. Half bending down I froze - a snake was squiggling right under my camera!!! I've been in Australia for 3 years and this is my first live snake up close (other than the three I've thought were sticks on the road and accidentally run over on my motorbike). The snake was maybe half a meter long and 2cm diameter...not large, and was steadily moving away from me, not being aggressive, so I just stood still, maybe 75cm from it. (I'm a LOT more comfortable wearing good riding boots in snake terrain as they wont get a fang through.) Later on I was checking out the "common local snakes" and came across a picture of a Whip snake (venomous) that looked very very similar, so thats what I'm going with. Such a pity it was under my camera otherwise I'd have got some beaut photos of it! Steve said he was watching me and saw me recoil and freeze and thought to himself I'd probably seen a snake!

    After leaving Durba Springs we had a particularly bad section of aggressive slappy sticks. (I should point out the Aboriginals used to make spears out of a certain bush, and they'd burn the tips to harden them. It just so happens that these bushes are on parts of the track that have been burnt off, so there is the occasional section of nasty, sharp, slappy sticks.) The ground is starting to break into rocky sections more often, and there's the occasional muddy patch from the rains a few weeks ago. Finally, late in the afternoon the track opened up and we were able to sit on some good speeds. I had a ridiculously stupid crash on a patch of cut up dry mud (i.e. lots of criscrossing deep wheel ruts that had dried into hard mud). I came down hard getting a few grazes and breaking a luggage strap that was worn thin from the slappy sticks. The first and only broken strap on my bike!!

    Five minutes later we came across two blokes on DR650's heading north (unsupported also). We yarned for about 30 minutes. From memory one of their names was Woody. One was from....Darwin(?) and the other from Melbourne. For this trip they left from Melbourne and came through....Anne Beadell Highway (I think), and then up the Canning. They had two small saddlebags containing jerry cans, with a giant loop Coyote in front of those. On top of it all they had a 20L fuel bladder and a swag. Their total fuel volume was approx 70L each. I'd be very interested in hearing how they got on as one of the blokes had already badly ripped his small fuel carrying saddlebags, holding them together with ratchet straps (and they'd come through the easiest section of the CSR)! I sincerely hope they made it to the top!

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    After we left the DR's we poured on the throttle, trying to get as far as possible before dark. We ended up rolling into Well 12 just as the sun set. Approx 360km left!!!

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    I also took some photos of Steves rear brake and gear shifter "problems". As the bashplate/jerry mounts have bent upwards the jerries have also shuffled inwards, blocking access to his rear brake. He's been riding like that for days. His gear shifterhas slightly better access, but he has to jam his boot in when he needs to change gear!

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    The mounts were horizontal at the start!!

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    Inaccessable rear brake lever

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    Inaccessable rear brake lever

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    Gear shifter lever - tight fit!!
    #22
  3. sh4kes

    sh4kes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    553
    Location: Well 12 to Wiluna
    Distance traveled today: Approx 355km
    Total distance traveled (of 1800km): 1807km

    It was a cold night and I didnt sleep well. I woke with really sore shoulder muscles from sleeping on my side. I need more warm clothes (I culled my clothes for this trip) as I'm still waking from the cold in a 0 degree sleeping bag wearing all my thermals! My goal today was no offs (didn't quite happen, I had 4 slow speed offs - just not paying enough attention). Anyhow, with approx 360km left we headed off at 8:30am after another morning fire. Before heading off we always warm the bike up and check the oil. During my morning check my bike started blowing (white) smoke really badly - not a good sign at all!! I had a mini heart attack when I saw it before I thought it through, by which time it had stopped smoking. Turns out my bike was on the low mark and needed 100mL of oil despite topping it up yesterday! I will keep a close eye on my oil temps today as a first indication my oil level is low. (I have a Vapor speedo installed.) I obviously have a (hopefully) minor problem internally on the engine!!

    The riding from Well 12 started off sandy, with a few nice dunes (did I just say that I found sand riding nice?!?!) and soggy lake beds to skirt around. As we continued it progressively became rockier and opened up a bit wider, allowing us to pick up the pace. By Well 9 / Well 10 region it was predominately hard rocky ground, and stayed that way all day. By lunch time we'd reached Well 6, possibly the nicest place to camp on the CSR (IMO). We dropped the bucket into the well and hauled up some water, stripping off and having a quick wash as well as giving a few stinky items of clothing a bit of a scrub.

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    Well 6 - Pierre Springs (lots of shade, big gum trees)

    Over a quick lunch of nuts and bars we decided we stood a good chance of finishing the CSR today if we pulled finger!! (The last time I was through here I did Well 6 to Well 1 at night, and it took about 7 hours...we were fanging it in the ute, it but with daylight on bikes we should be significantly faster.)

    This section was pretty easy, open and rocky. I had to be careful of larger bumps or dips as my shock is blown. Too often I bounced into one and ended up with the rear tyre smashing into the subframe! If I didnt see the dip in time I often just stamped on the front brake to take the weight off the rear....it worked, but was hard on my front forks!

    There's not much else to tell other than we emerged out the other end at 5:30 just as the sun was sliding over the horizon! We were pretty stoked at our effort! My next stop was Karinjini National Park, so I headed north, while Steve had his ute parked at the Wiluna hotel (which was south), so we parted ways. Steve was planning on loading up and to straight away start drive home (1100km!!). I turned around and headed back in to Well 2 to camp as it's just off the road I'll take to Newman tomorrow.

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    FINISHED!!

    I have no accurate figures for fuel consumption for this "half" of track as I used some of Steve's fuel when his jerries were leaking. (I ended up with 35L when I popped out at Wiluna.) However I can say that 70L of fuel would have been enough to comfortably get me from Wiluna to Kunawarritji.
    #23
    FLICKIT, KarenB and nealo like this.
  4. Fabnut

    Fabnut Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2012
    Oddometer:
    808
    Location:
    Perth, Western Australia
    Great report & photos Evan, well done mate. It was great riding with you & Steve as far as I did & I thanks so much for all the assistance as well along the way, it was much appreciated.
    #24
  5. 59DEN

    59DEN Long timer

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2010
    Oddometer:
    1,576
    Location:
    Albany, Western Australia
    Not too long for me, great RR.
    #25
  6. KIZ

    KIZ Marty

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2011
    Oddometer:
    1,059
    Location:
    Gawler South Australia
    3 of us (on XR650, XT600 & DR650) Heard about the trailer top exit when we got to Kunnawaritji on the way to the OCR. Good to hear all made it safe. We were about a week behind the Daryl Beaty crew entering at well33 . Had a late offer from a riders brother to follow us in a Hilux so we offloaded luggage and extra fuel. Sounds like it was a good idea as didn't have offs like you (one rider had one fall). Was able to get on outside rut a lot of the time going around bends. 3 days to ride from from our first camp just north of Kunnawaritji to Halls Creek. (1st day only 140 k, as you posted, a lot of soft and windyparts in that section). Don't think I've stood on the pegs for so long before. Never had so much fun. (I only started off road rideing 5 years ago at 58).:nortonSaw a lot of tracks heading bush after bends. I guess it was the guys on 450's fanging it. They must have had a ball on light enduro bikes. Thanks a lot for all the photos , Marty.
    #26
  7. darren70

    darren70 Loud pipes matter

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Oddometer:
    3,791
    Location:
    Hunter Valley
    Great report mate and thanks for sharing
    #27
  8. Sean-0

    Sean-0 straya carnt

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2010
    Oddometer:
    4,940
    Location:
    Mumblebum Northern NSW
    Great read :clap , thanks for taking us along
    #28
  9. BergDonk

    BergDonk Old Enough to Know Better

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2010
    Oddometer:
    15,624
    Location:
    Snowy Mountains Oz
    Top RR, thanks :thumb
    #29
  10. micko01

    micko01 another DR650 rider

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Oddometer:
    565
    Location:
    Back to reality.... WestOz
    Sh4kes, well done! Top stuff:thumb

    Cheers, mick.
    #30
  11. DazRSV

    DazRSV Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2008
    Oddometer:
    252
    Location:
    South Sydney
    Mate that was a wicked ride report great pictures and well written , I love a good old warts and all RR.
    The outback guys must be on the Christmas card list for Jack.

    Dam I know those XR,s are tough and it's one huge mission to ride the CSR but to try and plow it as well on a bike not even Chuck Norris would try that shit.

    The lights on your DR are they the baja squadron ? How did they go?
    How did the conversation go with the bike shop who swapped out your tubes.

    Looking forward to some more Sh4kes ride reports.
    #31
  12. sh4kes

    sh4kes Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Oddometer:
    553
    Yeah Baja Design Squadron lights. They were better than my HID's (IMO). More light, less weight, less parts, easy to change the beam pattern, easy to aim, compact, no heat issues, and no issues turning lights on and off quickly (which you shouldn't do with HID's)

    Ah I was fairly fuming about the tube at the time, but never got around to calling them! I guess I knew I wasnt going to be back up that was for a while so a phone call was pretty pointless. Next time I'll change my tyres myself!
    #32
  13. TonyRDR

    TonyRDR Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2004
    Oddometer:
    340
    Location:
    South Australia
    Top report great of you to take the time to get so many pics.:clap:clap:clap We had just as much fun and drama when we had a go a few years back. Not sure about you coment on the Simpson as the CSR is 5 x harder.
    So what did you tink of the deserts, I am surprised whith the number of punctures(were most of them related to the patch not taking?) as they seem to be heavy ply.
    Cheers Tony
    #33
  14. Wilmo

    Wilmo Orange Fever

    Joined:
    Dec 26, 2007
    Oddometer:
    1,447
    Location:
    North Perth
    Nice one! That hand pump at cotton creek has been broken for over three years now.....:1drink
    #34
  15. Sroz

    Sroz Adventurer

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2012
    Oddometer:
    64
    Location:
    South Oztralia
    Great report! Thanks for putting it up:clap
    #35
  16. RedDogAlberta

    RedDogAlberta High Plains Drifter

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2009
    Oddometer:
    21,826
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta
    Excellent! :clap
    #36
  17. RussellM

    RussellM Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2011
    Oddometer:
    409
    Location:
    Brisbane(ish), QLD, Australia
    Good report mate, thanks for taking the time to write it up
    #37
  18. AussieRocket

    AussieRocket Been here awhile

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2013
    Oddometer:
    187
    Location:
    Mt Barker SA
    This trip is the Holy Grail for me.
    Great report

    Rod
    #38
  19. maxgmoore

    maxgmoore n00b

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2015
    Oddometer:
    1
    Location:
    Broome
    Great report mate, a mutual friend of ours Kent put me onto your report. I live up in Broome. Sounds like an awesome trip!
    #39
  20. tomhislop

    tomhislop Mud Mauler

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2011
    Oddometer:
    49
    Location:
    perth western australia
    Great RR, looking at doing CSR in july 17 all going well
    #40