Australia – Day 9 (Lone Gum Tree to near George’s Corner on Rig Road)

Day 9 (7/25/15), near the Lone Gum Tree to near Georges Corner (both on Rig Road), 58 miles

We got a late start in the morning. We were trying to dry out our camping gear since we left most things out overnight.

This is the downside of having no data services for simple things like weather reports. Yesterday, we did get a long-range (hundreds of miles) AM station that included a regional weather report. It did us little good since it covered about a quarter of the continent in 30 seconds. On top of the lack of granularity, we didn’t know where most of the places were they reported on.

(Is there an InReach-based weather service that can be texted to you daily? It already knows where you are. It could be as simple as “Today: partly cloudy, 15% chance or rain. Tomorrow: blah, blah, blah.” I’d pay $5 a month for that…)

There was a transition from sand to sandy clay on the track around Georges Corner. At some point around the Walkandi Junction, there was a transition from tan-ish to orange-reddish sand color. It was a gradual shift in color. It wasn’t really noticeable from dune to dune. It took hours before the color change seeped into our consciousness. Looking at the “sand mud” on the trailer when we pulled into camp confirmed that our minds were not playing tricks on us.

Simpson Mud on Bumper

We noticed a lot more of melons growing around the track. They still look tasty and Ryan still wants to eat some. Luca and Marquita said they were poisonous and that Luca almost ate one once.

We chatted with the same group of six people we met yesterday. They gave us an overview of the fauna and flora of Australia. Except for a few mice, rats, and bats, any non-marsupial mammal is not native to Australia (who knew?). Some of these we knew already, like camels, rabbits, and what used to be house cats that are now feral cats. But, we did not realize that even Dingos and foxes were brought over by humans. They also told us about Australia’s past megafauna that only died out a few thousand years ago.

This group is the only people we’ve seen for the last day and a half.

The rain came back to us this evening. We deployed the awning to hide from it for a bit before dinner. For the second day now we have missed the classic sunrise/sunset views of the Simpson due to the heavy, almost constant clouds and rain. 🙁 I hope we will get at least one day with clear skies before we end our crossing…

Overcast Simpson

The rain has been welcome in one respect; the dune’s deep sand gets noticeably firmer when wet. The driving has been relatively easy due to that. But, it also firms up the washboard areas as well – not fun!

We are both longing for a shower. The solar shower is useless in these conditions. We should hit Purni Bore tomorrow afternoon. This is a natural hot spring that has been piped into showers. So, we’ll survive…

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