Distance today 50km
It’s 818pm on Monday the 24 May 2021
What a nuts day with up and down moments that I imagine are going to be pretty common given the challenge and the insane amount of unplanned events that will happen. Today was an introduction to all those twists and turns that lay ahead
This is what we woke up to. Oh dear flat tyre mate!!!!
So While I packed up camp, I processed what had happened and what next to do. My best guess was that we got a puncture on the way into camp last night. There are a lot of those prickly ground bushes on the side of the road generally and we had to scoot around them (I thought) to get our spot behind the dune.
These bushes are unforgiving. Their prickle has a thorn about 1cm long. I checked the tyre for the puncture point and found one imbedded. This is expected and won’t be the last puncture we get which is why the boys at The Mountain Biker put silicone in his tubes. When the tyre rotates the silicone moves round and is drawn to the escaping air and seals it. However the tyre needs to be moving to activate and that didn’t happen obviously as we made camp for the night. Hence the flat this morning
Once I figured out what happened, I then pumped his tyre up intending to ride it around a bit until it sealed. I have a pump that screws onto the thread of the valve. I must have been a bit zealous and tightened it right up. Then when I went to undo the pump I removed the core valve and all the air . Oh dear!!! With no valve tools or shifter I couldn’t tighten the core valve up so that it wouldn’t undo with the pump. It was a super easy job to do but tightening by hand wasn’t enough and without the tools I was in a spot of trouble. What to do next. All I could think of was get a lift back into Birdsville and access to services. It was a long anxious wait
Soon two brother-in Laws drove past, Peter and Nigel from Canberra. Peter in particular was savvy with mechanics and understood what happened and what needed to be done. He grabbed a shifter that did the job and a valve extension tool that let him use the compressor. They even waited back a while and let us get down the road a bit to make sure the silicone did it’s job and we were all safe and underway again. Beautiful men!!! Me and my family thank you with all our hearts.
Of course we were fine as we are well prepared for punctures. It was 50km to Clifton Hills. Suddenly the bumpy road and head wind and sore bum and shoulders took a back seat to the appreciation of being back on track.
I did 38km to the next rest area and had a short break to reset for the last 12km. A bloke in a camper gave me a can of lemon soft drink. That and the packet of pineapple peaces and muslei bar from Nigel earlier, we were all caloried up and ready to tackle the headwind and bumps again for the last 12km.
Around 4.00pm we arrived at Clifton Hills.
Peter and Nigel had popped into the station to let Peter Nunn know I’ll be later than expected. By that stage I was pretty done for the day and keen to ask Pete for a place to pitch my tent.
Peter and Fiona offered me a bed in the workers demountable oh yay and a bed to boot!!!!
They have 22 staff working on the station in total. A mustering team of men and woman also arrived today and they were amongst the table of guests for dinner tonight. Mustering season is during the winter months where they use horses and bikes to move the cattle where needed. Everyone eats together around a huge table. There’s also a cook and a nanny. Everyone is open and outgoing and come together with a real sense of family and common purpose. Outback folk share a commonality that’s generous, fun and down to earth. They’re hands on and baked with common sense. Everyone shares a knack for what works and a tool belt of practical skills to get the job done right. Some have moved from the Cities but most are born and bread on farms and now do contract work doing what they know best. It was really interesting enjoying the chaos of good cheer and curiosity around the table this evening. No picks to share sorry
So it’s 9pm and I’m going to get myself off to bed for a rise and shine start with breakfast at 6am. One of the ladies wants to make a donation but didn’t want to make a scene around the table tonight- bless her so I’m on a promise to find her before we head off in the morning. Night and talk soon xx