Desert swimmers time is past - hoping

Submitted: Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 18:52
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Tuesday, Silver City Highway in 2by no trouble but with predicted rain we don’t know what to expect in the next day or so. Has been muddy this way with White Cliffs getting 2” of rain last week. Camped by Gairdner creek was beautiful spot but Army helicopters heading south just before sundown. Had been to Packsaddle for a hamburger ordered at Tibooburra. Was a very mild night actually had door up on box over night but friendly moths precluded reading for long

Diesel at Packsaddle at $1.28. Very little traffic but a few RFDS Bash vehicles getting repairs for suspensions limping down to Broken Hill. Some of the roads are only recently reopened after the rains a week or so back. Some clay surfaces are still a little wet but the surface is hard being the main thing I guess. 80-90 kmh is easy with blacktop better of course.

Dear friend Baz, we knew you thought highly of us but didn’t think you needed to send your state Police Commissioner to meet us, to arrest or otherwise! Met Mrs Moroney and Chief Commissioner on the veranda of the Tibooburra Hotel. Very nice to us (inter)state visitors they were too….

The road across to Cameron Corner was very quick too with a lot of dust and bull dust settled with the recent rains. Some of the road was diverted away from the normal and swamps in the way of normal progress. Heather really loved the high speed roller coaster over the dunes. ;-)

Around one of the diversions a quick Nissan caught us and went on its way. We caught it again through the gate about 3.30pm, and it was late for the rally progress across to Leigh Creek. Left Sydney 2 am and expecting to get to destination in another 5 hours 470 kms plus to go. Hope they missed the rain. They were in the veteran/vintage rally but car broke down so they returned to Sydney to change vehicles we heard

We camped off the main road just before dusk and little more traffic went past. Great nights sleep and a green Paj we had seen the night before, as we were stowing the OzTent before departure, went past waving to them as they went.

Across on to the Strzelecki Track from Merty Merty where we had camped and had seen some storm activity the night before. The road was terrific actually 90-100 kmh easily til we got to the damp section. We slowed accordingly to accommodate the conditions. Not sorry about our last minute decision to put on a new set of tyres before leaving home tho’- chunkier than BFG ATs, shedding the clay fairly well. Yes Truckie, went with that other brand. Terra Trac A/Ws. A little rumblier than in the past. Ready for a snow trip.

The storm had been a good one but we were to hear later that Moomba township had just 1mm. Obviously a-typical as we came across the green Paj we had seen earlier beside the road with distressed occupants beside it. All well but shaken and in shock from three inversions! It was back on its wheels. Honeymooners actually. We helped them get sorted and get some air in tyres where they had lost two. It was drivable enough to get them the 10ks to Moomba.

It set us back 4 or so hours so we camped Thursday night at Innimicka at Cullyamurra Waterhole on the Cooper. Talked to Mrs Al to give them a road report from the pub. Lovely camping spot, really second to Burke’s Waterhole indeed. What a lovely place to die - for Burke that was…...

Had been to Burke’s Grave and all. Friday, off to the Dig Tree then on to the Arrabury Station – little used road indeed, before heading across to the Cordillo Downs Road and to Birdsville. The CDR was pretty stony and wet in places but presented few problems. Only saw two other vehicles for the day after leaving the Dig Tree, one towing a CT. The country all expectedly arid but greening and some sheets of water too.

A lovely Birdsville welcome from Ruth, (what a chick, lucky Ian) and talking to us about swimming the Simpson Desert, as others are, beginning Saturday…or Sunday. Where are you Muddy Girl when we need you? Evidently the desert more resembles a carpark than a desert since the recent rain, naah we exaggerate. Believe some have been stranded for two weeks??? I haven’t seen a recent road conditions report. We will look at our best options from here as our time is limited. Next morning – Saturday; walked into group we knew been through the Simpson in 4 days, worst part was the road to/from Big Red. Best part was the breakfast from Ruth and Ian. Actually there are a few coming through now, another 4 just a few minutes back – “The Desert Dwellers”

Eric, I must show you the laptop mounting too when I get it home. It is a bit low over the armrest but that gives it a fantastic suspension float. Used the Ram mount you suggested and bolted to the floor behind the armrest. Bounces/floats nicely Truckster, and stands upright between the seats if not being used. Swivels to the driver if is needed too. Typing on it now and can do as a passenger as you travel.

Take care friends, Ruth is taking care of us for now and advising us to go swimming????? Looking forward to Mount Dare

Thanks to Ruth and Ian for a great Birdsville time. The museum is fantastic too.
Cheers,
Who?
John

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Reply By: Baz (NSW) - Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:11

Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:11
Sounds like your having a ball John, make sure ya got ya cossies on.

Baz.
AnswerID: 62912

Reply By: Allan Mac (VIC) - Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:14

Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:14
Great report John . Lucky buggers
take it easy in the bog hole
AnswerID: 62913

Reply By: Member - Bernie. (Vic) - Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:31

Saturday, Jun 12, 2004 at 19:31
Interesting read JohnR only wish I was there,
so now we get the latest news with pic's !!

Cheers
AnswerID: 62914

Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 02:08

Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 02:08
what tires did you go for then? Hercules?
AnswerID: 62949

Reply By: Cina Troopy - Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 07:57

Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 07:57
Interesting reading JohnR. Ummmm didnt I see an earlier photo of you having a shower, somehow I dont think having a cossie would worry you LOL. Great to see the photos.

Cina
AnswerID: 62955

Reply By: Member - Ivan (ACT) - Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 09:16

Sunday, Jun 13, 2004 at 09:16
John,

We will be that way in early July - great reading.

Also very interested in your laptop mount.. Look forward to some pics of it when you return
Cheers,

Ivan
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AnswerID: 62961

Reply By: Tony & Karen - Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 13:08

Monday, Jun 14, 2004 at 13:08
John,
Sounds like you are having a good time and the road conditions are allowing you through. Surpose Nick has let you know how wet and cold it is here at home.
Wouldn,t mind if we were up there with you.
Tony & Karen
AnswerID: 63077

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