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Old 17-08-2017
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Camel pies and camel toes.

It was time for another ride. Last year in August I did a ride from Birdsville out to Poeppel Corner and back and I was quite surprised at how easy it was. I didnít have the fuel capacity to go all the way across the Simpson but it got me thinking so this year I set the plans in motion and started by getting a 28L tank for my trusty DRZ. I also increased my water carrying capacity.
So August it was to be again. Safely in between the Big Red Bash and the Races. I really donít enjoy sharing remote locations with thousands of people full of piss and bad manners.
I uted out to Birdsville and had the obligatory camel pie on arrival. Last year I left my ute for free at the caravan park while I was away. This year they wanted $20 a day to leave it there. **** that. So I parked it in the street outside the gate.
I set out with 36L of petrol, 12L of water and food and swag. The first stop was Little Red where I let a bit of air out of the tyres.






From the top of Little Red




Second stop was the next dune after Little Red. Itís quite a big dune and last year I breezed up it, this year itís chopped up to buggery. There were scalloped out holes from about halfway up all the way to the top where 4WDís towing trailers have been having several goes at getting up it. I got about halfway up and lost all momentum, it was pretty hard to maintain a good speed with all the holes to deal with. I dragged it around and went back and tried again, same.
I unloaded some stuff off the back of the bike and managed to get up.

While was walking my stuff up to the top I saw first hand whatís causing the problems. A clown towing a trailer with a quad bike in it had 3 goes at getting up, not stopping until heíd buried each wheel, then reversing back for another go with more speed and digging holes further up. Just after him someone in a Prado towing a Jayco got stuck half way up. They ended up dragging him backwards out of the way. I didnít see him again so he must have had enough sense to realise he wasnít going to make it and turned around.

I was really amazed at how different it was from last year. Apart from the excessive scalloping the sand was much finer and drier.



Even the flat areas in between the dunes had 50mm of fine sand in the wheel tracks making it a sand ride all the way.





Also once I got to the top of a dune it wasnít a simple matter of riding down the other side because it was dug up from people going the other way and it was easy to lose the front wheel in one of the many holes.




Most of the vehicles I saw were being driven sensibly and handling it easily. I was talking to a bloke later on and he told me he met the clown towing the quad and he was boasting that he didnít have to use his lockers at all.

Anyway I persevered and as I progressed west and burned off a bit of fuel it got a bit easier as I got into a bit of a rhythm. There was a group of 3 OKAís which I followed for a while. They compressed the sand a bit and left a good line to follow. Unfortunately because I was working a lot harder I also used up a lot more water than I had planned for.
At the end of day 1 I had only covered about 80 kís and I was absolutely stuffed. I found a good spot just off the track and set up camp. I really enjoy the serenity of being alone in that environment and it was enhanced by having an almost full moon.

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Last edited by DV8; 28-08-2017 at 11:28 AM.
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Old 17-08-2017
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I slept well that night and didnít want to get out of the swag in the morning until the sun was over the dunes. Even when I got up the Trailtech showed it was 4 deg.

Day 2 and I dropped the bike on the first dune. I made better progress but was still feeling a bit sore from yesterday.
The first time I stopped for a break I noticed that I had lost my jacket. It was too hot to wear it so I thought I tied it on securely. Apparently not. While I was stopped a 4WD came along heading in the direction Iíd come from. As he was the first one Iíd seen that day I asked him to keep an eye out for it and if he found it could he leave it in the back of my ute in Birdsville.
Just after crossing over the NT border is a dry salt lake. I was really excited to see it.






The QAA line goes across it for a couple of kís then down the side for about 10 kís and itís a good hard surface with the opportunity to relax a bit and get up some speed for the first time since approaching Little Red.
From there itís just a few more Kís to Poeppel Corner




It was a bit rude of Mal to scratch his name on the marker.
Which according to my GPS is in the wrong place.




It should be here, about 370 metres South. I guess if Augustus Poeppel had a GPS in 1878 he would have got it in the right place.



It was getting late in the day and I found another spot just off the track to set up camp and consider my options.
All the people that I met whoíd come across the French line told me that it was badly chopped up and probably in worse condition than the QAA Line



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Last edited by DV8; 28-08-2017 at 03:49 PM.
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Old 17-08-2017
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Because Iíd used so much water to get this far I wouldnít have enough to get across the rest of the Simpson so I decided to revert to plan B, abandon crossing the desert and continue on down the K1 Line to Warburton Crossing where I had pre arranged fuel and water waiting for my originally planned return across the rig road.
So down the K1 line it was. This runs generally parallel to the dunes and although sandy in places was so much easier riding although it paid not to get too complacent.

The track runs down a few salt lakes and at one of them I saw some camel tracks in the dry salt.




Then I found a genuine Camel toe, although a bit decomposed. The rest of the skeleton was nearby




A camel toe had provided the inspiration for the design of the larger foot for my sidestand.




I carried on down the K1 line and met 2 vehicles whoíd come across the Rig Rd and were heading up to Poeppel Corner. One of them offered me some water which I gratefully accepted. I wasnít desperate for water but It gave me a better safety margin.




Again I considered going across to Mt Dare on the Rig Rd but they told me it was pretty chopped up too.
I arrived at Warburton Crossing, got my fuel and water and camped for the night.




I was close to the Birdsville Track so the next day I started with about a 100k run up the track to the Walkers crossing turnoff.
Walkers Crossing track starts out in the Sturt Stony Desert and looks rocky and desolate at the start.




After a while it changes to small sand dunes and salt lakes.

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Last edited by DV8; 28-08-2017 at 03:58 PM.
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Old 17-08-2017
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After Walkers Crossing it opens up into fairly flat open country. There are hundreds of tracks going to gas wells so I needed to pay attention to the signs, even they were contradictory and confusing.



Eventually I arrived at Innamincka and checked into a donga at the pub after attending to the first priority with a couple of stubbies in the bar.




This had been a good day, I did 360kís and hadnít dropped it once.
I had a shower and a good meal and a good nightís sleep in a bed for a change.
Next day I planned to head back to Birdsville on the Cordillo Downs Road. This was reasonably easy going but a couple of sandy patches were waiting to catch the unwary again.




It was all fairly open, getting back into the Sturt Stony desert.




Iím used to seeing this sort of thing at Beerburrum but wasnít expecting to find it out here.




Next is the Cordillo Down Station and the famous shearing shed.




From here itís only about another 300kís back to Birdsville. I pressed on and got to the Qld border where the road surface immediately got a lot better. I got to the Birdsville Development road and turned left into the setting sun heading towards Birdsville.
I covered the 300kís from Cordillo Downs to Birdsville without seeing another person or vehicle but Iím sure I could smell beer for the last 100kís.




I got to Birdsville just on dark. My Ute was where Iíd left it and my jacket was in the back. Win.
This had been a big day, about 450kís, time for another beer.

Most rides donít go as planned. This had just been another one of those. Even though I didnít make it right across the Simpson to Mt Dare and that was a slight disappointment I still rode some new country that I hadnít done before and I was happy. What about next year ? I might take up Bowls.

This is my ride. The red bits are what i had planned but didnít do.


https://www.dropbox.com/s/lmva96z0cqbqs61/Map.jpg?raw=1
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Last edited by DV8; 28-08-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 17-08-2017
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Great story, thanks

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Old 17-08-2017
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Inspirational stuff.....thanks for posting
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Old 17-08-2017
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Old 17-08-2017
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Great stuff Don and well done
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Old 17-08-2017
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Thanks for sharing, well done!
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Old 17-08-2017
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Like!
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