Monday, July 2, 2012

Day 25 getting closer

Day 25 CSR It was REALLY cold last night, down to minus 1 degrees. It felt colder, we are not acclimatising at all! We packed up and wrote in the visitors book, checking others who have come through. Track care came through with a new book in April, as well as emptying the toilet, which was appreciated by those of us a little squamish about such things... Off at the crack of 9 am, we left the lovely cover of the white gums, and hit the track, almost immediately we arrived at the stand of grass trees that are nowhere near where they are supposed to be. They are a bit of an enigma, these grass trees, they are not supposed to grow this far north, and not in dry climates. Well 5 was our smoko stop, it has been restored by the Chamberlain tractor club, and they've done a sensational job, along with Granite downs station. The well is the deepest sunk by Canning, 104 feet deep through sheer rock, with a drive 28 feet long at the bottom, because of the poor rate of recovery of the water. It could hold 12,000 gallons. The water is colored, looks like green tea, Kerrin tasted it with a 'yuck' being her verdict! The work the well diggers put in must have been incredible. They blasted the shaft out, and used a windlass to get rid of the rubble. Looking down the well, I can't imagine being lowered down on a rope all that way to start digging and digging and digging.... The country has become far less scenic since we have hit the station country. Mostly mulga and clay flats are it. Very little to see as the trees pack in close to the track, limiting the view. Next stop was lunch at Windich springs. The track has been re-aligned since we were here, so we did not recognize the water hole. We were in a different spot and couldn't see where the old track went, so we just enjoyed the spot we were at. The water is green, but full of life, we even spotted a turtle. No rock pythons though. Apparently they are common here because of the frogs that inhabit the water. We took heaps of photos, but it was too early to camp, so we pressed on. A couple of motor cyclists turned up just as we were leaving, and we caught up with their support crew a few k's down the track. They had just built up a steep rocky creek crossing, so we tested it out for them! Good work! The track veers away from the old alignment, after well 4A and 4B, and we went off into new country, through Snell's pass. This track isn't on either map we are using, so we relied on the sings Cunyu station has placed along the way. The track is made up of nasty rocks, waiting to tear a tyre. Lots of sharp creek crossings, with an occasional salt lake glimpse made up the rest of the day's driving. The mulga pressed in tight and  we seemingly drove forever to reach well 3, arriving about 5 pm. One highlight along the way was spotting some red mulga trees, otherwise known as miniritchie trees, used as fence posts in the early days because the timber is very hard. Well 3 was refurbished in 1998 but the water looks and smells pretty rank, we aren't going to taste test this one!  

just south of well 6

view into well 5

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