Into the Simpson - East on the French Line

Wednesday, Jul 30, 2008 at 00:00

Mick O

Wednesday 30th July
Simpson Desert - French Line
26 13 13.37 S 136 25 37.38 E

Drew, in his eagerness to embrace the rugged, manly lifestyle of his first outback adventure, decided to get up first, and early to get the fire going. I felt it important to explain the relevance of sun to the morning activities or rather how the lack of any light what so ever is a general indicator that he should still be in bed!!! He won’t be doing that again for fear of being pounded! He did excel in the fire stakes though and there was a good bed of coals awaiting the jaffle irons. The funny thing was that the corrugations had reduced the contents of the tin of braised steak and onions to the consistancy of gravy.

After a hearty breakfast and several cups of tea, we got the gear squared away opting to load up some firewood from the surrounding area while the going was good. This was securely lashed to the drawbar of Scott's trailer and then it was out onto the heavily corrugated road once again and south through cattle country. Our departure time was 9:30 a.m. and it wasn’t long before we reached Mount Dare where we topped up. The next 70 kilometers to Dalhousie Springs saw an extremely corrugated road surface with sections of large loose rock. The plains were absolutely devoid of vegetation, barren and dusty. We reached the Wiriljta National Park boundary and enjoyed the welcoming sign that informed us that “Chainsaws and pets prohibited”. A very interesting combination really, chainsaws and pets….hmmmm. We reached Dalhousie by 12:30 p.m. and found good crowds of both people coming out of and heading too the Simpson. One groups of 8 or so vehicles was in support of a large group of motorcycles that had already done the trip east to west and were now heading back on a different route. It was getting quite warn so we opted to wash the dust off in the springs. Probably just me but I reckon they are cooler than they were last year. Could have simply been that the external environment was warmer this year. The small fish were still there keen to nip at any loose bit of skin or scab. There was a big mob of corellas roosting in the trees around the lagoon, thankfully resting and therefore quiet. Lunch was had out of the back of the Guppy again before we headed off, the flies encouraging our prompt exit.

We had a quick stop at Purnie bore and then it was onto the French line. The road was still in pretty good condition with the dunes pretty well spaced out on this side of the Simpson. We made it a couple of kilometers east of the Rig Road intersection and decided to call it a day setting up camp in the swale underneath a large dune. While we got camp set up, Scott and Drew unloaded and prepped the quads for tomorrow while I prepared dinner (Chops and Veg). Our load of precious timber stacked on the draw-bar of Scott and Gaby’s trailer provided an excellent camp fire around which we had an enjoyable meal and quite a few refreshing beverages. We were disturbed by a very inquisitive fox who gathered scraps around the camp during the evening showing little fear of humans.
''We knew from the experience of well-known travelers that the
trip would doubtless be attended with much hardship.''
Richard Maurice - 1903
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