Canning Stock Route Day 16 - Well 41 to Well 45

Friday, Jul 18, 2003 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 16 - Friday 18th July
Start - Well 41
Stop - Well 45
Trip Odometer - (day 15 and 16 combined)
Stopped time - 7 hrs 25min
Moving average - 32.3km
Moving time - 8hr 53min
Max speed - 73.1km/hr

The group lifted camp around 9am and went back down the track to Well 41 for a better look at it had been too late in the afternoon yesterday to investigate properly.

This was yet another Well found underwater in an area densely surround by ti-trees. By this stage, all the kids (Leah included) were finding the novelty of the mud just a little too tempting and the boots had to be taken off before getting back into the car and put into a plastic bag.

We didn't drive to Gunowarba Native Well signed 11.5km as the track appeared to be completely overgrown, in fact we could not find any trace of a track at all.

The track to Helena Spring (also marked) appeared in reasonable condition and showed recent tracks within the last 24hrs. The Toodyay convoy couldn't afford to make any major side trips as their itinerary was rather stretched, and we were happy with the company so didn't care one way or another. We were going with the flow, but Helena Spring is a place we have put on the "must return to" list.

The track between 41 - 42 however was very overgrown in places with yucky scratchy branches scraping down the sides of the car and whacking the windscreen with frightening noises - but its just all part of it and you plough through regardless.

Yet in other places, the terrain between 41 - 42 was fantastic with wide open plains with what you almost believe is green grass in the interdune systems.

Well 42 lies in the middle of a small claypan on the LHS of the track. It is silted up with salty mud and the water is unusable. The track then crosses Guli Lake - hard dry wheel tracks across a totally dry salt bed and pops out at a junction where we TR to Well 43. Here we found 2 lakes (flood) and a dry well site. No signs of previous camps here although there is a campsite symbol on the current Hema NW sheet.

We all enjoyed the track from Well 43 to Well 44 immensely! For almost 30km we had a fantastic run along some excellent dunes which were all crossed at right-angles with straight-on approaches - a very welcome change. Liz took the wheel in the Rodeo and we could tell by the radio comments that everyone was greatly enjoying this part of the trip. The only thing that marred the trip was passing a convoy of 9 vehicles heading south as we headed north. Our little group of 4 was always quite spread out but unfortunately this wasn't ideal for such head-on dune passing but with good use of radios and most vehicles carrying dune flags we all passed one another safely. (Again, we were known to most of the vehicles we passed).

Well 44 was almost a let-down after such an enjoyable jaunt across the dunes. It was just a depression with a sand-filled trough with metal ruins laying about.

Well 45 was also dry - and just a hole in the ground although some troughing, a-frame supports and the rusty old bucket lay nearby. There were a few gums and campsites behind the turning circle where we stayed put for the night.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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