Late Sunday Matinee - A desert Adventure - Exploring Thomas Bluff

Submitted: Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 21:47
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As I was a good boy and painted the gutters and barge boards around home today, I was allowed to play on Movie Maker this evening. Here's the end result, another piece of our 2013 desert adventure.

2nd August - The quad group had been out in the desert for three days and we were due to rendezvous with the support crew in the vicinity of Thomas Bluff. This meant that the vehicles had to beat a path cross-country for some 40 kilometres to meet us. Our day began in the dunes some 40 kilometres to the north east of the RV point and we had to cross many a high dune until we reached the laterite ranges around Thomas Bluff. These weathered lateritic bluffs form caverns as they erode and we spent quite a few hours searching the many gullies for water and caves before gathering to enjoy the sunset on the bluff above our campsite.





Cheers Mick





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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: mikehzz - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 23:08

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 23:08
Well how do you expect me to go to work tomorrow morning after seeing another one of your fine videos? Cheers. :-)
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:09

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:09
How do you think I coped heading back to the desk after 8 weeks out there Mike. It was very hard indeed. I console myself with the fact that I'm earning money so that I can get back out there next year.

;-)
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 23:25

Sunday, Sep 22, 2013 at 23:25
I had the feeling you stood me up today in favor of painting the house.
Funny bloke you are, what a choice! paint the house or play with and get high on the smell of a nice new 78 series, you choose the bloody house!!

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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:10

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:10
You've met my wife....need I say more!
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Follow Up By: Member - Leigh (Vic) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:45

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 15:45
Hey Johnno, when will the reveal of the new wheels be taking place?
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:14

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 16:14
Hi Leigh
New bar work etc starts arriving later this week, already had the Lovells GVM upgrade done so it's already started.
I intend to do a blog on here on the build this time so pictures etc will be forthcoming :)
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Reply By: Phil B (WA) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 03:56

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 03:56
Thanks Mick for another fabulous armchair ride through some majestic country.

And what a back drop for a camp!

cheers
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‘Human Being’ and ‘Being Human’.





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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:15

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 08:15
Certainly made a nice change from the 70 odd sand dunes we crossed that day Phil. We came into the area from the east so rode up the backs of what appeared to be a laterite rise and whacko, next thing we knew we were perched on the rim of these bluffs. We are actually about 7 km south east of Thomas Bluff. Found an amazing waterhole inside a grotto in this range but as watering places are particularly sacred to the traditional owners, we cannot take or share images of them. I’ll have to try and paint a suitable detailed verbal picture in the blog. It was a very special place indeed.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Reply By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 10:17

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 10:17
Mick,

Many of us enjoy your desert wanderings and likewise your chronicles of vehicle set up (& failures).

May I respectfully ask that you share the ATV/quad bike scenarios with us, too??

I'm thinking of why you use a quad bike, how you came to select your brand & what you've done in terms of mods for that country?

(Gotta be better than painting the house, surely???)

While you're at the 'puter, how about a report on your Toyota now it's done a few trips? Your blogs & articles on construction of the vehicle are stimulating, but I was thinking more of what worked, what failed, what you'd change for the next build.

Cheers,

Rick
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:39

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 12:39
Rick, only too happy too but I get so little time on the computer these days that I’m forced to prioritise (my wife wouldn't say that though lol). Normally when I get back from a trip it takes me a month or two to sort out the photos, videos and of course the Journal. This year, because I was travelling on the quad, I used my digital voice recorder to keep the journal. Yep, it was easier and quicker but it means that I have a lot of transcribing to do now that I’m home. Given that 7-9 minutes of talking is better than 1.5 hours of typing on the computer (and these are rough notes only), Three weeks of audio journal takes a bit of time. That only gives me a raw product often resulting in points of interest from the day that I then have to go back and compare against photos/videos and recollections of my travel companions. God help me if I have to research and add some historical context (as I do in this year’s effort because of the Carnegie perspective).

Every video has to be converted to a useable format for Movie Maker which is time consuming as well. The movie clip above is only 2:45 in length. I trimmed that down from over 40 clips and 30 minutes worth of Video from two sources (bless you Suzette). Photos also take a fair bit of collation and resizing ready for uploading. It’s a time consuming hobby but the end results are worth it.

I actually keep a list of blogs and updates that I wish to either write or update and the vehicle is at the top of that at the present simply because of the rear diff extension I had done back in July. The quad, now there’s one I hadn’t thought about but it’s on the list and I’ll get to it one day soon. Number 1 reason for a diesel quad;

They don’t catch fire in spinifex country (well not as readily as a petrol model does)!!

Other reasons; Commonality and volatility of fuel (it’s a lot less volatile than ULP), workhorse, certified and engineered for two persons (Can carry heavy loads like me); 4x4 with diff locks and low range make it virtually unstoppable; low impact on environment, known engine (Lombardini diesel), ease of service and reliability. Plus we have four of them in our travel group now so there is a commonality of purpose as far as mods and needs go.


In answer to your post, yep, great idea, I'll get onto it.


Cheers Mick
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: Rick (S.A.) - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 13:05

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 13:05
On Ya!
All in good time, of course.
Understood about the time & editing situation.

Does your digital voice recorder file covert into a word.doc. type file? I understand some do. That would be a good feature. (although I gotta tell you the one we use in the John McDouall Stuart Society does not
; we purchased on the assumption it did but like yours it's the 'hard-way-Jones' version)

Best feature of the quads could be commonality.........are the tyres OK or are you gunna run 'em out & get tougher ones?

Cheers
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 13:56

Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 13:56
No unfortunately I only thought about Voice Recognition when I got back. Best way around it these days is with a smart phone and a freebie VR program which I’m currently trying out on the Ipad. Unfortunately too late for the stuff that I’ve recorded so I’ll have to let the fingers do the talking on that one.

I’m on my third set of tyres at present. This year we imported a set of radial tyres for the quad. Very different from your standard party balloon type tyres and while they can be a tough mother to fit, they coped with the conditions a lot better than the 4 ply standard or 6 ply tyres I had previously. Al had standard 4 plys on his new quad and they lasted about three days in the rough stuff. We ended up putting our spare tyres on his front wheels lest his expedition be over in a relatively short time.

They are also a larger diameter which has affected power but I’m looking at ways of tweaking that at the present. The guards Jaydub developed to protect the front arms and the CV boots in particular have worked a treat. Only one boot destroyed this year and that was from a major league branch that did some weird stuff to eventually kung-fu a front top boot on Jaydub’s quad. A temporary fix using plastic bags, a tea towel and some cable ties got us back to the vehicles without destroying the CV and hubs which was great.


Mick
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Reply By: Echucan Bob - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 17:05

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 17:05
Mick

The trip looks great.

Just out of interest, what brand of quad bike is it? Approx cost? Will it fit on a 6X4 trailer? Will it take you significantly further off road than a capable off road tourer?

Bob
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Follow Up By: Mick O - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 20:00

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 20:00
Bob,

the unit is an Arctic Cat 700cc Super duty Diesel - Price in Oz...no idea as I imported mine from the USA 5 years ago. Will it fit in a 4' trailer width...JUST! (Width is 47.5 inches with standard tyres, length no worries).

Arctic Cat Australia - Super Duty

Where you go depends on conditions. A well set up tourer with plenty of spares and a knowledgeable and experienced driver will get you a lot of places. There are also a lot of places you simply wouldn't want to take a car and in those situations, the quad provides a great alternative. You may well have got a car along a significant portion of our route but it would have been at a significant cost.

Cheers Mick
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trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
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Follow Up By: equinox - Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 20:07

Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 20:07
Hi Bob,

I can answer some of those queries.

They are Arctic Cat Super Duty Diesel 700's.
Web and specs here: http://arcticcat.com/atv/model/Diesel700#green

I moved it to the area and back on the back of the ute, though it made tray real estate quite rare. A trailer may be a better option, however that causes other issues/ problems.



The question of whether it will take you further off-road is a tricky one. We crossed some very high sand ridges at times which may have been difficult in a conventional vehicle, though not perhaps impossible. I know if I were in my ute at the time I would have given the ridges a good crack - however did not - so the question remains unanswered.

Some areas of quite undulating terrain, for example mountain ranges that would be next to impossible in a conventional 4WD could be accessed on the ATV. So in this aspect you could say you could go further off-road. However if you like hiking this is really academic.

The ATV's can also travel across terrain much quicker than a conventional 4WD, so if you are time poor, which we were - the ATV's are a good option. They also have a very good range - however there's only so far you go into a remote area before you start to come out again.

Cheers
Alan

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.
"Outback Yonder"


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