Rig Road Trip-October, 2015

Submitted: Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 16:35
ThreadID: 130828 Views:1852 Replies:5 FollowUps:11
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The chance to go on a Simpson Desert trip presented itself when Les PK Ranger expressed an interest in doing a crossing, on his return from Brisbane, back to Adelaide, at the end of October.(Thread 130342) Numerous emails were exchanged, dates were set, planning completed and vehicle preparations were accomplished. Everything went to plan, except for one small hiccup, at Innamincka.

Les and his long-time mate, Gunther, departed Brisbane on 24th, heading for an overnight stop at Bollon. I spent that day loading the ute, hurriedly ticking off all items required. By dark, I could relax with a coldie, everything was on board. Sunday saw Les & Gunther making tracks through Cunnamulla, Eulo & Thargomindah, to the corner country, with a planned camp at Gidgealpa waterhole that night. With the promise of a 40deg day, I got away from Winton early, and made good time to Boulia, where I filled with fuel, for the run down to Birdsville.

The run to Birdsville was uneventful, though i did run into some Winton locals at the Cuttaburra, doing a bit of pig hunting. Fuelled up at the Shell Roadhouse in Birdsville, then headed for the caravan park to get a site. Plenty of choice, it was virtually empty, so $30 later I picked a shady spot, close to the amenities. And good timing too, as Les rang from the phone box in Innamincka, with the hiccup. The Trading Post was back to off-season hours, they'd missed the closing time by 5 minutes, and would have to wait till 9am tomorrow to top up.



After a relaxed brekkie, I packed up and headed for the Walker's Track turnoff, where we had arranged to meet. Had a look at the gibber plain to the east of the junction, and found a tree back near the junction, and parked in its small amount of shade. Close to 1pm, a bit of chatter on the UHF, and Les & Gunther are only a few K's away. Introductions all round, and we head down the Birdsville Track to the Warburton turnoff. It's now about 41deg, so it's good to be travelling again. We pull up early, just over the Warburton, and make camp. Once the sun has gone it cools down quickly, and we're buffeted by strong winds during the night.



We're on the way soon after 7, and get to the Rig Road junction about smoko time. 2 vehicles we'd seen yesterday arvo must have gone up the K1, as there were no fresh tracks across the Rig Road, until Erebana Junction. The track was in very good order, and we made good time, until lunch. It was hot enough to need Les' awning to be unrolled, and we knocked up a good feed. Less than an hour later, we were heading west again, and got to Lone Gum about mid afternoon. Kept going and Les found a good campsite not much further, with plenty of room for the 2 vehicles.....and a dozen more too, if necessary.





Away early again, and we're planning lunch at Purnie Bore. We have a few stops along the way, and the track isn't quite as good now that we've passed the bore site, further back. At the French Line junction, we meet the motorcyclists of "Trek the Trak", who make a trip doco each year, and proceeds are donated to the RFDS. A good bunch of blokes. We make Purnie Bore for a late lunch, and it's pretty warm. Just before arriving there, I switch off the sub tank on the Landcruiser, 603kms from Birdsville. Really pleased with that!





A swim at Dalhousie, and onto 3 O'clock Ck for the night. Not a great camp, and no fires allowed. Managed to cook our jaffles on 2 charcoal burners that Les picked up @ Bunnings. The apple-in-pastry ones weren't half bad either! Morning saw quite a bit of cloud about, and the odd light shower........definitely a change in the weather. Checked out Dalhousie ruins, and made Oodnadatta by midday, for an Oodna burger with the lot, and a farmers Union iced coffee.



We parted company here, Les & Gunther heading for Coober Pedy for the night, before making the trip back home to Adelaide. Les is a meticulous planner, and the trip went off perfectly. Couple of top blokes to go travelling with. I was off down the Oodnadatta Track, heading for Lyndhurst, then up the Strezelecki track past Moomba, Innamincka towards Winton. I've started a blog, in more detail, that will be open over the next week.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Reply By: Les - PK Ranger - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 17:02

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 17:02
Awesome trip Bob, Gunther and I had a great time with you, as you are an extrememly interesting fellow, some great stories, very generous (I think I must owe you a Gold or two), and one day I hope to catch up again when travelling through or maybe even another trip together.

I put my trip report over here on 4x4 Earth, the Bollen to Inna section starts here, Les's Oct Brissy road trip and Simmo . . . prior to this is the report on the drive up, Stradbroke Island weekender, and the first days drive ex Brissy.

Looking forward to your blog Bob, should be a good read.

Oh yeah . . .

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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 23:24

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 23:24
Ha ha, like YOUR photo, Les.

Think we'd be square on the shout too.

Thanks for adding the link to your report as well. Was going to add it myself, but finished the above in hurry, in case we had an internet crash, and I lost the lot. Yeah, the blog is a work in progress, still have a bit to add.

Hooroo,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 00:51

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 00:51
Ha ha, no worries mate, that gibber plain around Walkers is pretty remarkable, not sure it kicks up that much dust though :)

Yes, the only problem with Earth now or anyone visiting (anyone can read reports there, but) the annoying popup for non members !!
Aaarrrgh, if a member is not logged in for whatever reason it is ther etoo on the new platform tehy changed to a while ago.

Ah well, not a bad site to sign up to, very active and good bunch in general.

Maybe post a link up here to the blog when done, be good to see more pics.

Cheers mate, catch ya later.
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Reply By: Member - Odog - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 18:27

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 18:27
Great read and photos guys, thanks so much for sharing, our trip is in planning, so great to read anything Simpson.. Cheers Odog n Sue
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 20:18

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 20:18
Thought I'd add some fuel figures that might help someone's future planning........especially if they're running Landcruiser V8's.

My ute had about 700kms on the speedo when I left for the desert. I'd driven a few examples of this model previously, and they don't repay you if you "feed the fat" to them. So I was very interested to see how it went. Carried 4 jerry cans so left Birdsville with 260L of diesel.

Winton-Boulia 62.1L - 358.3kms = 17.33L/100 (1.599c/L)

Boulia-Birdsville 52.12L - 375.4kms = 13.8L-100 (1.70c/L)

Beresford Siding Added 3 x 20L jerrycans to front tank.

Birdsville-Lyndhurst 116.49L(plus 60L) - 1389kms = 12.7L/100 (1.529c/L)

Lyndhurst-Innamincka 53.65L - 466kms = 11.5L/100 (1.80c/L)

Innamincka-Winton 136.4L - 897.5kms = 15.4L/100 (1.329c/L) (strong headwind from Cooper Ck on & heavy going in a storm @ Diamantina Lakes)

As noted in thread, B'ville-Purnie Bore, achieved 603kms from rear tank, and this took 77L @ Lyndhurst = 12.7L/100. :-)

Most of time I cruised along at 80-85kph, except Winton-Boulia-B'ville, on black top.

Carried about 80L of water, and brought home about half that amount. Same with food, still eating some of sliced corn meat that I took away. Didn't run out of beer either. :-)

Ran 20psi F&R over the Rig Road, and went up to 25F & 28R, on Oodnadatta Track and up the Strezelecki, Arrabury & Diamantina River Roads.

Think that's about,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Slow one - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 20:48

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 20:48
Bob,
If you give her a little time to bed in, I am sure your figures will improve. They really don't like 100k plus as you know.

My newish vehicle didn't start to get good consumption until over 50,000k and I am sure you will reap the benefits as the K's mount.

Loved the post.
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 21:10

Saturday, Nov 07, 2015 at 21:10
No worries, Slow, it's already as good as my old 79 series, :-)

Thanks,
Bob

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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 00:34

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 00:34
Most diesels seem to like sitting on 90km/hr or so, for sure mine uses far less doing that than sitting on 110 or 100 posted limits.
Unless you're doing very long days where a days driving might gain you at least an hour or so further on, and the extra $20 or so fuel isn't an issue, then I like sticking to around the 95 mark.

Funny, lots of people are similar now, even coming home down the Stuart last July in the 130 zone, I wasn't overtaken by anyone, and just sitting on 100.
Seems cameras might be changing peoples driving habits a bit, and possibly the economy / savings driving slower can bring.

Great to see a V8 diesel getting such a good run / figures Bob, it will probably get better as it settles in, but what a great run to break in the new rig.
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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 09:19

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 09:19
Nice work guys.
Bet you were spewing at Inna Les. But there are worse hiccups.
As for juice use, apparently drag increases exponentially with speed so you really pay for a lead foot.
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Follow Up By: Les - PK Ranger - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 14:23

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 14:23
Well, there wasn't much we could do I guess, and without any phone reception (expected), the phone box sufficed to call Bob and let him know.

Funny thing at the Inna pumps was they don't lock them, so I pull up at 1605 and lift the nozzle, place in filler neck and wait for it to fire up . . . after 30 secs nothing, wriggle the stop switch on the pump a little, nothing.
Hang it up, remove again, wait 15 secs, nothing.

After a total of maybe 5 minutes trying things and thinking they were indisposed inside with something else, I wander up to the door and it's locked, sign visible with out of season notice and hours, it was the 1610, so really close.

Ah well, it gave us a nice camp there near town and worked out ok.
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Reply By: The Landy - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 07:31

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 07:31
Great write up and trip Bob, and Les!.

Makes me want to go and pack up right now and head off...

cheers, Baz
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:13

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:13
Ha ha, Been like that too, Baz, since I got home. Can't settle into any sort of routine.

Not much fun there now I'd suspect, with temps continuing to climb. :-( Always next year, eh!

Bob

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Follow Up By: Sigmund - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 15:13

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 15:13
I reckon there must be something addictive in the red dust.

Sure is in those wide horizons as per your first pic Bob.
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Reply By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:09

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:09
Hi Bob

Sounds like you had a great time with Les. We have been out in the Simpson went temperate X are over 40 and that makes the sand real nice and sold, but prefer the cooler winter months out there.

Looking forward to your blog when it comes out.

Just off topic, how is the work going on the Watzing Matilda Centre.


Cheers



Stephen
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:28

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:28
Thanks Stephen.

Been busy with these threads recently, but planned to put up a short thread about the WMC, for those who are interested, such as yourself. Demolition commenced early this week, and all the gallery, cafe, admin and display areas are no more. Not sure what's happening to the reading/records room at this stage, Stephen. Maybe they're just doing it in 2 sections?

Locals Grant's Transport won the contract, and they enlisted the services of a licensed demolisher, and his 30 tonne excavator. They have salvaged much of the good material, but the remaining roofing iron etc is just landfill now.

Anyone that's interested could go to Facebook, and look up "Experience Winton". Recall that they have a series of photos too, of the progress.

From what I heard, the museum will be open again next season, along with the current info centre in the main street. The new building is supposed to be open Sept 2017, though I am unsure of that date. Seems a long way in future, but there's a lot of planning & construction involved before they open the doors.

Bob

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Can't remember most of it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Stephen L (Clare SA) - Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:54

Sunday, Nov 08, 2015 at 10:54
Hi Bob

Thanks for that update, greatly appreciated. Lets hope it is a big national opening and gets people involved from all over Australia.


Cheers


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