Canning Stock Route Day 18 - Breaden Pool to Billiluna

Sunday, Jul 20, 2003 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 18 - Sunday 20th July
Start - Breaden Pool
Stop - Billiluna
Trip Odometer - 265km
Stopped time - 1 hr 16min
Moving average - 34km/hr
Moving time - 7 hr 48
Max speed - 80.3km/hr

From our camp we were also able to easily walk to Godfrey Tank (15 mins) along a well marked (by stone cairns) trail across the top of the range.

The tank is an open culvert that we found to be totally dry, but high-tide stains on the wall indicated that it obviously collects a significant amount of water at times.

Leah was a bit of handful - always wanting to lean forward over the edge but with 3 "mothers" sitting around her she was as safe as you can be with a 2 ½ yr old at the top of a cliff when all the action is happening below.

The boys (mostly the energetic 14 year old variety) wanted to climb down into the rockhole known as the "tank" to get a better view of the inscriptions on the walls left by drovers and even Canning himself.

We were back at the vehicles by 10.30am and moving on towards Well 48 which is just a burnt out hole filled with sand and spinifex in an area that is totally burnt out also.

It was just 13 km from Well 48 that we came across the burnt out wreckage of the Ford Explorer that we had heard on the CSR grapevine had come to grief just a few days earlier. Our team of "experts" concluded from the evidence that it was caused by a fire in the engine bay, probably from an electrical fault of some kind. The front end of the vehicle had melted and the remains of fibreglass revealed the flimsy body work of the engine bay.

Leah was asleep when we came across the wreckage and so we left the engine running with the airconditioner on as we poked and prodded and investigated the site. We just didn't expect Leah to wake up but when we got back to the car the poor little kid said "I wet my pants". She is toilet trained and we've had no accidents but you can't help it if your parents leave you belted up in the car and don't hear your cries for help! I felt terribly guilty but she was fine about it once we'd cleaned and dried her and the seat.

So it was after midday by the time we reached Well 49 so we all stopped for lunch under the ti-trees, tested the water from the reconstructed well and took a short stroll out behind the well site on a little track that led to the grave of Jack Smith.

6.5km further on we found excellent camping areas under desert oaks. In hindsight, we should've stopped here and celebrated our last day together on the Canning, but I think the pressure to get everyone to Halls Creek quickly was becoming a bit of an issue for Rob who was leading the Toodyay group. They were all well over their expected time-frame for completing the CSR and their were schools, families and work commitments for everyone to return to. So moving on, we came to Well 50 and found more good camps under snappy gums about 150m before reaching the well.

Finally, we came to Well 51, which is just a depression in black soil besides a windmill with a broken shaft that no longer feeds the huge dam beneath it. We had finished the desert leg and had come into open pastoral country but we continued on in the hope of reaching Stretch Lagoon but stopped about 50km short and took a very rough bush camp but found loads of firewood and had a lovely night just out of Billiluna.

David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
Travelling fulltime in 2024
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