Distance today 83km at 22km/hr average
TOTALS: Distance 5246km. Donations $7460.09. Days remaining 65. Deserts: Sturt Stony, Strzelecki, Tirari, Gibson, Great Victorian. Tracks: Birdsville Development Road, Birdsville Track, Oodnadatta Track, Red Centre Way, Great Central Road, Goldfields Highway, Wiluna North Road, Marble Bar Road.
Note to new readers: I am travelling with my bike who’s name is Banjo. I often refer to ‘we’ meaning Banjo and I. ‘We’ have an amazing support team of family, friends, sponsors and folk we meet each day. But it’s still up to ‘us’ to face the challenge and tackle each day one peddle at a time.
It’s 715pm on Wednesday the 14 July 2021.
I have 1 bar of service here at Fortescue River and spent the last hour talking with Dawn and sharing our day. Connection!!!!
What a beautiful way to end what’s been a thumbs up day. I was talking with my Mum and Dad this morning. Dad’s an ‘atlas man’ and loves finding geographical locations of significance on our route. This morning he was telling me about Fortescue River as one of the main waterways in this area. I stopped about 20kms out to see where we were on Wiki Camps and saw that Marble Bar Road crossed the river here at our campsite tonight. Thanks for the inspiration mate. Connection!!!!
The riverside is a great spot for our 1st camp on Marble Bar Road. The water isn’t running but there is abundant bird life and large eucalyptus lining the bank and surrounding floodway. The ground is red desert dirt with new seedlings of natives growing.
The crescent moon is sitting handsome on his side and hanging out with the array of stars dotted through the overhung branches. You couldn’t sculpt a more breathtaking site and it was special to share with my partner over a few cuppas into the early evening. Connection!!!!
I was expecting there to be bugs by the numbers but surprisingly no. There’s crickets and night birds and the occasional cow moo for company. What a way to savour the last of the day while I post. Connection!!!!
We packed up slowly this morning and enjoyed a brewed coffee with Ted and Anna. Yum!!! They headed off just before us. We waved them off and they’re going to keep an eye out on our progress to see if we can cross paths again. I’ve met some amazing people on this trip and these folk are up there with favourite time shared. They have been helpful and fun and it’s super special to click with people from the get go. Connection!!!
I was keen to relax into the ride today and manage whatever distance we could until we had had enough. The 5 hours in the saddle went quickly. It was easy time spent enjoying the many highlights of the day. There’s a lot more desert vegetation which meant ‘beep beeps’ by the numbers and I shared the days treats with them. Connection!!!!
Soon out of town we passed areas of red rock bluffs and outcrops and the colours were appreciated against the blue sky day.
A railway line runs through this area taking mined iron ore to Port Headland for export. We stopped at the railhead where there was a double engine all ready to depart towing carriages that snaked into the distance. We couldn’t get close enough to count them but it was a very long haul. It pulled out slowly as we headed off.
We had our first break at 50km. One of the campers at Newman was telling me about his stay at Wolf Creek. He said they counted a dozen varieties of flowering natives after recent rains. I was inspired and found 10 different flowering species in the area off the road. During the stop a baby stick insect landed on my arm and said his ‘hellos.’ Connection!!!!
There were fields of spinifex which meant very happy termites. Their mounds were sculpted like mini mountain peaks and varied from 6-12 feet. They were a real feature in the change of landscape heading north.
The warmer conditions must have been just right for grasshoppers to take to the wind with their back legs swinging. They were airborne in numbers travelling with the wind. I noticed a wedge tail soaring in the field. It looked like he was feasting on the grasshoppers and would of had a belly full of the lunchtime appetisers. Connection!!!!
Into the afternoon we were stopped by Barry and Lia from Perth. They were 3 days into a 3 month trip around Australia and very excited about their adventure. They were super curious about our trip and commitment to beyondblue. I really appreciated their encouragement and roadside chats we shared about our travels. They filled up my water bottle before heading off and made a donation of $40. They’re keen to follow our challenge and maybe meet up again down the track depending where their adventure takes them. Thank you for taking the time to stop fine folk. Connection!!!!
It was wonderful to find this spot early enough to enjoy some time here in the afternoon light.
After we set up camp , I made a cuppa and hung out with the budgies, goshawks, and a party of other birds by the river. I truly love birds and bird o’clock was special to share with the feathered locals. Connection!!!
On that note it’s time for dinner. I’ve so enjoyed posting about a day that’s been special to experience and share with you and my family. Dad planted the seed and it grew into a day of connection and the energy that resonates when my heart is open. Positivity takes an effort sometimes but I realise more and more that the gains far out way the effort. I know I need to spend energy to make energy. It’s all about caring and practicing habits that keep me connected to what matters. It’s a gift I can give myself and others that’s priceless and precious. Night and talk soon xxxx