Canning Stock Route Day 6 - Well 6 (Pierre Spring) to Just north of Well 12

Tuesday, Jul 08, 2003 at 00:00

ExplorOz - David & Michelle

Day 6 - Tuesday 8th July
Start - Well 6 (Pierre Spring)
Stop - Just north of Well 12
Trip Odometer - 140.6km
Stopped time - 3hrs 59 mins
Moving average - 32.1km
Moving time - 4 hrs 22mins
Max speed - 68.5km/hr

We lifted camp at 8.30am and said our goodbyes to the NT group and the Toodyay group. So far, we have encountered 15 vehicles other than ourselves on the CSR. We have heard a number of stories from other travellers and heard of a Ford Explorer that had exploded on the track near Well 49 a few days ago plus we know that Ronnie & Eric Gard are just one day's drive ahead of us too with a convoy of 7 vehicles on their tag along tour. We certainly didn't come out here to be surrounded by mobs of other people so are trying to find a quiet slot in the pack.

From here on, the track shows the first signs of sand and before Well 7 there is one small dune to cross. When we came across Well 7, it was just a collapsed hole in the ground but water could still be seen at the bottom. Although this well is in ruins, the area is quite lovely and makes for nice, shady camping.

Well 8 is dry but is mostly intact, which from a historical point I view is a pleasant sight. The camping is poor as the ground is unlevel in many areas.

Well 9 lies beside station yards and water tank in use by the Ward family on Glen-Ayle station. The tank was being repaired when we arrived and we stopped to have a chat with the youngest of the Ward family. The wood on Well 9 appears bleached white, possibly lime or calcium. The spring is just a short walk away and is pleasant but the area appears unsuitable to camping. We saw another 3 vehicles at Well 9 who were heading south.

Well 10 lies in a large area suitable for camping but there is not much shade (not really an issue if travelling in winter).

Well 11 lies in a large reed-filled swamp called Goodwin Soak. We found thousands of finches and a pair of camels that came right up to us standing at the well while we were out of the car. The well itself is in ruins with some poor water at the bottom but the A-frame supporting the trough is intact, but the metal trough itself is mostly rusted and fallen away.

We have noticed Leah is starting to run a temperature and today its up to 38.9°C but she is still in full spirits with no other symptoms so it just needs monitoring.

We came across Well 12 at the perfect time for setting up camp but were surprised to find hoards of people and vehicles and all manner of campsites. The count was 10 vehicles, plus 1 OKA, brining our CSR vehicle count to 29 so far. Not very remote these days!

It turned out that the well was being restored by Ken Maidment of Treks Across Australia, who has also led the restoration parties of Wells 15, 18, 26 and 49, with Well 45 planned for restoration in 2004. Amongst their party was Ambrose Canning, grandson of Alfred Canning.

We spent about an hour with the restoration party and found them all to be very enjoyable company, but simply too many people with which to spend a night in the bush. They were happy to have us share their camp (great campsite) but there simply wasn't room for another vehicle. We drove further on and found ourselves a nice quiet camp on the ridge and have marked this as "overflow" camping for when the Well 12 site is full. It was about this time that David felt something buzz into his ear, like a bug or a fly. It bothered him a bit so he used a cotton bud to dig it out but didn't find anything and thought nothing more of it.
David (DM) & Michelle (MM)
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Always working not enough travelling!
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