More trip story dribble

Submitted: Friday, May 30, 2008 at 00:35
ThreadID: 58161 Views:2762 Replies:3 FollowUps:2
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Back in 2005 I was part of a team who spend many hours trying to establish where an old stock route went from about 150kms due south west of Newman down to Meekatharra (no modern maps were included).

After more than 12 months of planning, and a considerable effort in gaining copies of maps dating back to 1910 - 30 we finally met up in Meekatharra.

Before I go any further the names of the properties won't be mentioned in this trip report.

After a good drive north we headed down a station track and turned off to a dry creek bed a couple of kms into the bush. My old drover mate lit a fire to the biggest pile of drift wood you could imagine. Wasn't a cold night...

The other fella went off to his swag early and remarked next morning, that two dills drinking rum don't make much sense to a sober man.

Next morning we headed off through the bush and scrub to have a look at Tunnel Creek, then went on to the homestead and stayed the night. Have to say, good hospitality can wreck a man. LOL

We were all a bunch of bleary fellas next morning, and I don't think I got to thank his missus.

The owner of the property took us up over an escarpment and then departed back to the station. After that we where on our own in country never crossed by a vehicle.

Arangements had been made with another property owner to give us Aerial support starting around 10pm (from memory). The country was difficult and within an hour of travel the outside cosmetic features of the Prado were completely destroyed.

We arrived at a rocky creek bed and it was suggested that we bash up the other side, whilst the another fella tried to do the same further down. We finally got over the rocks and landed in a sandy uphill depression on the other side.

It then became clearly obvious there was no chance of going forward. That's when the mess began.

After a bit of difficulty the car was facing back down hill again with a significant lean to the left in deep dry sand. This meant that I would have to drive to the right to allow for drift.

Unfortunately there was a clump of scub on the right hand side which didn't allow for a wide steering ark.

The fella with me was out the front yelling on out about putting the tyres forward, without giving any thought to the fact that this advice would see the car jammed to the trees on the left hand side.

By this stage I'd had enough of this dill and took to the scub with an axe. Finally got out, then spent a bit of time trying to find the other car in the bush.
The bush was dense and there was know way of telling where he was.

Anyway we came across him about 200ms away.

Once we had the aircraft support it made navigation easier, but only lead to more overgrown creek beds that were starting to take a toll on the cars. In some of the lower Spinifex country we also had a bit of a problem with old stock yard wire wrapping around the diffs. On one occasion it took more than a hour to get rid of the stuff.

The bush also created a few other problems. Because it was a good season, we lost sight of each other within 25m

If your on a track this isn't a problem. However, in this case we spent a fair bit of time trying to find each other through the scub and Spinifex.

By now your probably asking yourself why these pack of dills didn't have a GPS. In fact we had two, plus three compasses.

GPS is the best thing since sliced bread. It'll tell you the direction to go, but won't explain the country up ahead.

After a bit of a talk at the bush landing strip we were on our way again to find a stock tank further south. On the way we came to the steepest river bank crossing I've ever come across. Without a word of lie I thought the car would go turtle. To make matters worse, we did this three times trying to find the extension to the old stock route.

Things started to get a bit unreasonable when I pointed out that we were attempting to go west rather than south. The worst thing you can do is tell a Bushy he's wrong. If it wasn't for the other fella we would have got into a right down blue.

We back tracked and found a roo shooter in the bush who gave us directions down to a mustering camp out of Mulgul Station(?).

After that the relationionship got worse, and we were glad to see the arse end of each other. I won't bore with the detail, other than to say we haven't spoken a word since then.

Bit of a pity in some ways, because we crossed some of the hardest off track country in the Pilbara.

The mate and I come from similar backgrounds, but by cripes we couldn't get on.




Kim McFarland
Phone/fax (03) 97821702
Mobile 0409213403
Bus Phone 97055467
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Reply By: Bonz (Vic) - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 07:14

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 07:14
Time is a great healer Kim. Great adventure though you'd need a holiday when you got back to get over your holiday.
Time is an illusion produced by the passage of history

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Reply By: V8Diesel - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 07:24

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 07:24
Good story Kim, brings back happy memories of when I was a contractor for the Geological Survey of Western Australia program. I traversed a few 1:250,000 map sheets around that area. Used to take a soil sample every 4 lineal km's for the entire sheet. That included breakway country, sand, salt lakes etc.

To traverse that country we used 75 series, well bodied Landcruiser utes with full bar work (including roof and scrub bars, underbody bash plates, 3 layers of radiator protection etc. There was a couple big tanks for additional diesel and water in the tray.

After 6 - 7 weeks of 7 day a week bush bashing we'd limp these things back to Perth with panels dented and covered in a 1-2mm thick coating of scrub goo, broken windows etc but we never had to leave one behind. Incredibly tough trucks.

After about 4 weeks you start to fight with your co-workers. Sharing a cramped cab from dawn to dark in the heat and flies with no air conditioning and living on tinned braised steak and onions and casks of port can get like that. Add changing 4 - 10 flats a day and as well as swinging an axe to cut your way through the scrub and it can get very 'heated' when the inevitable navigation arguments start.

Big variations on what's considered 'off road' here sometimes. To me, if you're on a track, you're still 'on road'.
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Follow Up By: Member - Kim M (VIC) - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:16

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:16
Just a bit of a personality clash I figure. He had a 'bull at a gate' attitude whilst I prefer to think about things a bit, and keep the car running. It was still a good trip.



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Follow Up By: equinox - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:49

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 19:49
haha . "Navigation Arguments" I like that one :))

Looking for adventure.
In whatever comes our way.

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Reply By: Member - Footloose - Friday, May 30, 2008 at 08:15

Friday, May 30, 2008 at 08:15
Kim, another great yarn. But you don't have to go off this forum to find people that you can't get along with !
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