Rolf the Sandman13 wanted to walk the CSR in 2009 - what happened?

Submitted: Wednesday, Feb 28, 2018 at 20:27
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Reply By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 13:50

Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 13:50
G'day Gaynor

I have just contacted Sandman 13 after reading your post, I'm not sure how quickly he can or even if he will respond to regarding your query, suffice to say it really is his story to tell.
I was quite surprised at the raft of negative but typical dumb arse responses fired back at Sandman's request for information on the Canning, but that's what you get from a bunch of lounge chair drivers and computer web site navigators who believe they are adventurers.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
AnswerID: 617274

Follow Up By: Gaynor - Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 14:55

Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 14:55
Thank you so much Joe Fury.

I was sad, but not surprised by the responses. Having done the Canning six times (five in unconventional ways including walking) I have seen it before. I too asked the Forum Members for information in preparation and I too am from overseas. But in my case I was prepared to and able to answer in a way that pacified most Members.

Maybe you could forward my email and he might contact me privately to avoid the unpleasantness?

I am also on Facebook. Hope I am allowed to put the link? I really do want to get in touch with Rolf (Sandman13) Here goes:

Many thanks for taking the time to attempt to get us in contact.

FollowupID: 888849

Reply By: Joe Fury - Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 15:20

Thursday, Mar 01, 2018 at 15:20
G'day Gaynor

Thank you for the response, I've not heard from Rolf since I posted last, the time difference between the USA and Australia might have some thing to do with it, or he might just be up in the Rocky Mountains somewhere doing something most would see as difficult and dangerous, Rolf only see's challenges and solutions.

I am sure if he reads the ExplorOz forum post regarding his Canning Adventure he will most likely contact you directly, I am purely the conduit connecting you two True Adventurers.

Safe travels : Joe Fury
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Reply By: Sandman13 - Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 09:55

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 09:55
Hello! One of the finest gents I’ve ever met from AU became my guiding light and sponsor for my preparation of the CSR. I prepped for a year and was sent multiple pieces of information, from well gps coordinates, search and rescue data, survival for AU, bushh tucker, etc. My main concern was to find out what my max distance would be between wells, that actually had water, time of year and heat also affecting this.Then of course there was the issue of personal transportation along my path. How would I carry the necessary gear. Various forms were personally thought up and many were suggested. I knew this was a do or high probability die event. Sadly, this event never took place. The reason, apparently a fair portion of the wells were deliberately contaminated with kerosene by some of the locals in an attempt to slow down the 4x4 traffic in their areas. Without being there, as I was planning this from the US, I couldn’t be sure if it was a ruse or other. If I was serious and lived in AU, a definite 4x4 trip would be necessary to both see my track and dip a bucket in a well and see if in fact any foul play had happened. But, the risk was too high to not believe this had happened. I can imagine being out there at well 27, realizing this was the case and knowing I had another 40+ miles to go while already being dry as dirt, and hoping those wells were safe ahead. To this day it is one of my biggest regrets as the deserts of Southern California, New Mexico and Arizona and I have been deep friends for many years here in the states. But, my partner in crime offered a divine tour of the Outback and many other parts of beautiful AU. Passed through Daintree, spent several weeks on a island like castaway. Tremendous time. Hope this helps.
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Follow Up By: Gaynor - Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 16:11

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 16:11
Thank you so much for replying Rolf....

Yes, to walk the CSR in survival mode, unaided, I too believe is a do-or-high-probability-die event. It is the nature of such a task.

Not doing it, is also one of my biggest regrets.

I walked it with a 30kg backpack in 2013, but I had dug in food and water every 21kms or so, so it was a bit like walking to the grocery store on the corner every day. But it was still hard enough.

In 2015 I bought a 25 year old Australian army Land Rover, the model with the reliable Isuzu engine, and spent 2 months on the track, alone, researching the bush tucker and water availability.

Interestingly enough, I believe I solved the water issue.

It was not going to be easy, but I did manage to break the distances between water down to a max of 100km on a number of sections by digging down to 3m in two areas, and closer to the surface in others. A rainy season would obviously change everything and provide surface water, but this was a bonus, not something to rely on.

Many of the wells in the centre were saline and in others, straining out camel and bird contamination, boiling and or treating to drink, was something I had to teach myself to do. Surprisingly difficult to drink water that is not clear and has camel poo and dead lizards floating in it.

Anyway, I do have a website with a Water page should you ever like to revisit this challenge. As I am now in my early 50's, 51 or 52, not sure, I find my body is beginning to creak and groan and the effort likely beyond me.

Food, not water, is the real problem out there. I have done a lot of research, spent time with the community Aborigines in Wiluna, Parrngurr, Mulan and Blliluna, learning directly, and also through experience during my two months alone with the 4x4. There is no doubt in my mind that lizards, camels and snakes would need to be on the menu, but with a 4x4 on hand with easy rations, I could not bring myself to kill. In a real survival situation, yes, I would focus on the reptiles, but the situation would be dire and my skills are poor through lack of experience. Months out there in this manner, moving across 1600km was just not a viable option at my level.

In the third month of my 2015 journey, I had a passenger and tasked myself to not eat, only drink water, from the vehicle. For 9 days I went without food other than what I could find in the bush. I lost 7kg. And surprisingly, considering I had plenty of water available in the vehicle, I never drank enough to flush my body of the toxins (ketone) that were building up as my body ate itself. My thirst and hunger cravings had switched off.

I know without doubt that I could have gone longer, by just increasing my water intake to take care of the flushing, but I had already proved to myself, that I did not have what it takes for such an undertaking. And so I resumed eating slowly.

One of my greatest regrets is not doing a crossing drinking and feeding from the land. I look forward to the day when that special person succeeds. But in my case, my commitment levels means I would likely die before I gave up. And I am not ready to die just yet.

May adventure continue to be your life Rolf.
Blessings from South Africa.
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Follow Up By: Phil B (WA) - Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 09:56

Sunday, Mar 04, 2018 at 09:56
Hi Sandman
Sorry to hear that you didn't get to tackle to CSR as you were planning.

In your coments you said
"Sadly, this event never took place. The reason, apparently a fair portion of the wells were deliberately contaminated with kerosene by some of the locals in an attempt to slow down the 4x4 traffic in their areas."

I had not heard of this before - I'm staggered to hear that people would deliberately contaminate a water source with kerosene. That’s potentially life threatening and in my opinion a criminal act.
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Reply By: Sandman13 - Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 09:57

Friday, Mar 02, 2018 at 09:57
By the way, Joe Fury was that man of action I spoke of. I didn’t see his replies until after mine and didn’t want to intrude on his life. He knows the finer details and is one of my favorite people on this grand ball.
AnswerID: 617296

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