Australia – Day 8 (K1 Line to near Lone Gum Tree on the Rig Road)

Day 8 (7/24/15), K1 Line to near Lone Gum Tree on the Rig Road, 129 miles

We began the K1 line yesterday and finished the 87 km length today. It was a desolate, but beautiful, inter-dunal (between the dunes) run that we finished sometime after lunch. We saw no one on the K1. This stretch is what I suspect the Canning Stock Route will be like…

At the end of the K1, we turned west onto the Rig Road. It got its name since it was made for big rig to serve oil wells and at least one water monitoring well. In fact, it is graded for the first 100km since it’s a working road.

We experienced cooler temperatures since it rained on and off today. LeeWhay was nervous about driving due to reading that one should not drive in the rain and should wait until the track dries out before proceeding.  As we entered onto the Rig Road, we met a big rig driver said not to worry about it, that he was tearing up the road way more than we ever could!

Here is the video of us meeting the guy. I’m glad we coordinated over the UHF radio his exit off and our entrance onto the road. I would have been scared sh!tless meeting him at the top of a dune at speed!

 

For all but the end of the day, we saw only the two people in the two big rigs. In fact, they were the only two souls we saw since about 3pm yesterday.

A cute Dingo chased behind us as we drove. We suspect it thought we had a baby… 🙂

Dingo chasing us

We saw two dead camels along the side of the road. We suspect they may have been shot for population control. Since they are non-native, this culling is done to lessen their impact on the fragile desert environment.

Many flowers were blooming:

Flower, Simpson

Ryan wants to eat these melons:

Melon, Simpson

But, we were told they are semi-poisonous.

Near the end of the day, we reached a landmark called the Lone Gum Tree.   It is a eucalyptus species that is normally found in clay soils near rivers. It remains a mystery why it is here.

Lone Gum Tree

Here, we met three retired Australian couples wandering the Outback for four months. We are jealous! They had already made camp and there was still a bit of light, so we pushed on a bit.

We made camp near a wash on the side of the road. Finally, there were no flies tonight! Sitting under the stars by the fire, we heard the first airplane in days, not at all like the continental US.

Ryan didn’t believe that spider eyes reflect headlamp light at night but now he is a believer. If only he hiked at night, he would have known…

P.S. Toot and tank need a bath due to lots of sand and clay from the bit of rain we had!

Dirty Toot in Simpson

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