Simpson Desert - a View!

Submitted: Monday, May 02, 2005 at 15:19
ThreadID: 22570 Views:2486 Replies:7 FollowUps:17
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Here are some observations from the latest "unofficial" statistics regarding the Simpson Desert.
80% of people crossing the SD are NOT carrying flags of any kind.
85% of people crossing the SD are NOT using/or listening to Ch.10 (the Desert channel) or even scanning Ch. 10.
The highest percentage of vehicles towing trailers are from South Australia.
So far this year 3 large JAYCO Caravans have crossed the SD - please note, that the width of the caravans on the top of the crest of the dunes has caused gouges in the sides of the dunes (as reported by vehicles forced to follow along).
There is no much information available I am astounded that the stats are this high.
The flags and UHF are a HIGH PRIORITY SAFETY FEATURE.
Sadly, this year in 2005 the most amazing statistic is - ATTITUDE. Worse than any other year - and this one of the driest years ever in the SD, when all care should be taken.
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Reply By: Footloose - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 16:30

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 16:30
Ruth, totally agree on the safety measures. I can't believe that people can still adopt an attitude that it can't happen to them. It can and it does. If they don't care for their own and their passengers, they should care about the poor buggars that have to pick up the bits and inform their loved ones.
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Reply By: Gossy - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 17:05

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 17:05
Flags are a big issue. I was around the aread for two weeks (Birdsville, Camerson Corner, Cordillo Downs etc etc) and I never saw another vehicle with a sand flag. Very slack I thought. Even doing the Coorong you do not see them.
Hate to sound 'nasty' but if I had a head on with another veh on a dune and they did not have a flag on I would fight it through insurance to make sure that they paid for everything and I was not out of pocket. Maybe that would be a wake up call for everyone to carry flags.
AnswerID: 109249

Follow Up By: Sand Man (SA) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 07:27

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 07:27
Err! Gossy,

Using flags while crossing the dunes is a bit different that driving the roads around Birdsville, Cameron Corner, Cordillo Downs, etc etc)
Bill


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Reply By: Glenn (VIC) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 19:39

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 19:39
Let's hope that in 2006, the Year of the Deserts, that there is a major educational camapign run by the govt on what we have, and how to behave when visiting our great desert areas.

Sad news Ruth, start adding a "desert tax" to occupiers at the CP who do not follow the correct guidelines...lol

Cheers
AnswerID: 109279

Reply By: Member - Dr Jim (Syd) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 20:33

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 20:33
At a time when 4WD use comes in for a hammering for any blunder, can you believe that people will go to all the trouble to cross the SD without flags and correct radio protocol on Ch. 10. Flags saved us more than once as you may know somebody is coming, via Ch. 10, but you are never quite sure exactly when they are on the other side of that sandhill you are climbing.
Sadly some people use channel ten as a major personal chit-chat line and we have found times in the past when we simply cannot get on the air to let them know we are coming.
Won't see you this year Ruth, as we are going across the Great Victoria Desert and yes Dexter is coming as well.
Jim
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 12:32

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 12:32
Jim
which part of the GVD are you seeing?
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:55

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:55
Thanks for your good comments, Dr Jim - sorry we won't be seeing you (and especially Dexter!!). Good travelling.
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Follow Up By: Member - Dr Jim (Syd) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 19:32

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 19:32
Bob,

We are doing the Anne Beadell Hwy leaving Laverton on Sunday the 3rd of July and hope to be in Coober Pedy around the 10th. Doing side excursion to the Neale Breakaway as well.

Jim
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 06:45

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 06:45
Jim
have a great trip. I've only been as far west as Vokes Cnr then sth to the Bight, but have turned NW at Annes Cnr and gone to Pip on one occasion. Biggest dunes in Oz.
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Reply By: Member Eric - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:05

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:05
I did have a flag Ruth , but it got eaten by a tree
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Follow Up By: Peter - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:59

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:59
Thats coz the Wog pole you were using wasn't suitable Eric. Should use a proper flexible dune flag. Maybe could be sold thru EO shop. The two piece one would be okay to send by courier.
Cheers Peter
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:48

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:48
wog pole was great , it was the low trees that killed it lol
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Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:56

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:56
Honestly, Eric, are you hopeless, or what? Make sure you get a new one for July - try and make one that trees don't eat will you?
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Follow Up By: Member - Nick K (VIC) - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:11

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 16:11
Eric,

The flag was not eaten by the tree as it was caught by Glen. The Wog pole was fine until Parks Victoria asked you to trim the tree's with it.

Nick
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Follow Up By: Member Eric - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:00

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 17:00
Flag was eaten by a tree in Robe Nick , my secont flag was attemted to be eaten by a tree but Toonie came to the rescue . Glenns flag wasnt so lucky
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Reply By: Brian (SA) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:51

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 21:51
Well the flag thing is an obvious one; but channel 10?

I have been across the Simpson twice but had never heard channel 10 was the channel to be on in the Simpson?

Perhaps this should be included in the Desert Parks Pack?

AnswerID: 109320

Follow Up By: Crackles - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:26

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:26
Sorry to say Brian but it's not only in the Desert Parks Pack but also mentioned on the signs at all main approaches to the desert.
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Follow Up By: Tim HJ61 (WA) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:27

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:27
Hi Brian,

It is. Not exactly a big mention, but on page 9 of the 2005 Desert Parks pack, at the top of the page as an insert to the map it says:

"Suggest all travellers crossing the Simpson Desert scan and use Simplex Channel 10 to communicate with other vehicles crossing the desert. "

There's also several mentions of using flags and no trailers.

See whoever else is going to be there around July 11 - West to East - Rig Road and Warburton Track then south to whereever.

Til then
Tim
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Follow Up By: Brian (SA) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:37

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 22:37
Ok Crackles; I guess I will have to check my Parks Pack!! Only have old ones but will have a look to see what they say. I look forward to seeing the signs next time I am going that way!!

Thanks Tim; I have always used flags in dune country and in the South East

People will continue to take trailers until they are banned from the Simpson.

The problem is the conditions vary so much in the desert depending on the weather conditions.

People who cross the desert in a wet, cool year will swear blind until they are dead that it is ok to take a trailer into the Simpson.And they will influence the poor bugger who decides to cross in a hot, dry year and struggles all the way and chops up the track.

Brian

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Follow Up By: Brian (SA) - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 23:07

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 23:07
Well who would have known; my last visit to the Simpson desert was 2001 . Will have to schedule another visit at some stage; wouldn't have bet money on it being four years ago.

No mention of Channel 10 in the obviously outdated book; but only a few mentions of flags and a recommendation of not taking a trailer.

After re-reading the previous reply from me; I'm not so sure on the banning of trailers; it would probably be the start of continuing restrictions on access.( I'm not sitting on the fence; just having a close look at it!!)

Brian
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Follow Up By: Bob of KAOS - Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 06:50

Wednesday, May 04, 2005 at 06:50
Brian,
I have yet to hear a plausible theory as to how a one tonne trailer can chop up the track when a 3 tonne vehicle can't. Nor have I heard of this phenomenon being reliably observed.
But don't let that stop you propagating the myth.
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Reply By: Crackles - Monday, May 02, 2005 at 23:15

Monday, May 02, 2005 at 23:15
Interesting statistics Ruth. May I ask the source for your post? I'm only interested as my observations over the years particually with the flag example is completely opposite. On cars coming the other way I'd estimate 80% have flags & on lead vehicles probably as high as 90%. The majority of cars without flags I see are following back in a convoy or the Britz rentals.
How was the ATTITUDE statistic measured?? ;-))
Cheers Craig............
AnswerID: 109349

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:54

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 14:54
Hi Crackles - well you will notice I said 'latest' probably should have said - this year is different! Not even game to mention Britz. Various methods in recording stats on attitude.
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Follow Up By: Crackles - Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:56

Tuesday, May 03, 2005 at 21:56
Yes Ruth it seems that 1/2 think they are superior drivers & don't need a flag & the rest are just plain under prepared. As for the attitude issues its amazing how stressed people get when heading into remote country. Anxious heading in and often in a hurry & impatient on the way out. You no doubt would see that alot at the park. Should start putting Valium in their cuppachino's to chill them out a bit ;-))
Cheers Craig.......
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