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ISSUE 21

NOVEMBER 2012


Issue 21

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Trail Track 4x4 Magazine

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Trail Track 4x4 Inc. Committee 2012/2013 President Dan Muller Vice President Brendan Jones Secretary Glenn Webb

President’s Report

Treasurer David Van Zanten Editor Shirley Leeder

General Committee Members

Michelle Muller Fiona Van Zanten Glenn Bailey Tina Crixti

Financial Report As of the 30th of September the club balance is $10,267.84 Cash on hand $680 Total $10,867.84 In the coming week $2000 will be coming out (hospital money) And web site hosting $101.49

Presidents report November 2012 I am hoping that each member will collect a raffle book and will start to sell them to family and friends. If you know of a business that may be happy to have them on their counters to sell, please let me know and I will drop them off. We have some awesome prizes and we will be donating 25% of the proceeds to Country Hope. Once you have sold a book, and we’ll arrange for the money to be banked. We have had plenty of books printed, and we’d be grateful if each club member sold 2 or 3 books each. Each year we have a family Christmas party, in December , where we all meet at Sir Isaac Isaac Park in Yackandandah for a shared lunch. The club purchases enough meat for everyone, and we ask that those attending contribute with a salad, dessert or nibbles to share. You’ll need to bring you own eating equipment – cutlery, plates etc., as well as chairs. The park has a lovely shading area and play equipment for the kids. It is always a lovely, relaxed day catching up with everyone. We have been able to book Santa in again this year as well. The weather is starting to warm up and when you are out on the tracks keep in mind the risk that fires have on our surrounds. Ensure that if you do have a fire, make sure it is fully extinguished before you go to bed and/or before leaving camp. I hope to see you all at the Christmas Party on 9th December!

Cheers, Dan Muller www.trailtrack4x4.com

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Trail Track 4X4 General Meeting 18th January 2012 General Meeting, 17/10/12 at the SS&A Club. Meeting opened 7.35pm.

General business

Apologies, Glenn. Michelle , Gavin, Sonya,.

Fiona suggested we need to promote more use of the web site.

Motion to accept minutes from previous meeting read and received. Moved: Dave Seconded: Jen Carried.

Dave & Fiona are going up to the high country, their trip is on the forum, 3 more vehicles spaces remain for their trip.

Business Arising from previous meeting.

Jen asked how the magazine was going.

Geoff Boulton has agreed to be Santa at the Christmas party on the 9th Dec at Yackandandah. rd

Sonya is presenting cheques on Tuesday 23 to Wodonga and Albury at 2pm (in conjunction with the border mail )& 10.30 Wednesday 24th at Yackandandah (yackity Yak ) trying to organise an on air broadcast with the river on the Wednesday or Thursday. 4wd show is confirmed at Albury on 15/16/17 of February . Incoming Correspondence: A letter from rural scene about the 4wd show.

OzRock reunion will not be happening this year. Club raffle donators/supporters are as follows ARB Dp Chip, Snap on tools, Totally exhausted, Bob Jane, Aussie Disposals, (Jacob Toyota or Blacklocks maybe). The sponsors from last year’s raffle should be approached and given the opportunity as sponsors first. Dan has approached the printers about the tickets. Marion would like to show on the tickets who the money will be donated to for Easter raffle.i,e

Invoice from 4wd NSW and Act.

Angel care

Financial report.

Camp quality

th

As of the 30 of September the club balance is $10,267.84 Cash on hand $680

Circus quircus

In the coming week $2000 will be coming out ( hospital money )

Moved: Dan Seconded: Steve Motion carried.

Special needs Christmas party RDA

Total $10,867.84

And web site hosting $101,49

Head space (depression)

Interchange Etcetera. Committee to meet on Tuesday to decide on a charity. Meeting closed 8.54 pm. Glenn Webb

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Future Trips The Club Christmas party will be on Sunday the 9th of December at Isaac Isaac park in Yackandandah stating at 10.30am in the morning. We will also have a visit from a very special man. More details HERE

Saturday 8th of December ARB Open Day

Mystery High Country Trip 14th 16th December 2012

Cape York 2013

More details HERE

Post your interest HERE More details HERE

Thinking about running a club trip? Just speak with one of the committee members about how easy it really is!

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From all of us at Trail Track 4x4!

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Please support our local businesses that support us!

You must show your current club membership card to receive any discounts offered.

Fuel Tanks • Rear Steps & Rear Wheel Carriers Protection Equipment • Air Lockers & Accessories Air Compressors • Lights & Accessories Canopies & Accessories • Sport Lids Roof Racks and Roof Bars • Recovery Equipment Warn Winches • Safari Snorkels • Fridge Freezers Tow Bars • Dual Battery Systems Touring & Camping Accessories General Accessories

ARB Albury 476 Hume St Albury (02) 6021 2477 www.arb.com.au

Bob Jane T-Marts Albury Cnr Hume Hwy & Townsend St Albury (02) 6021 3700 www.bobjane.com.au

Aussie Disposals 546 Olive Street Albury Phone: (02) 6021 3944 www.aussiedisposals.com.au

TJM 4WD Megastores 319 Townsend Street Albury Phone: (02) 6021 5544 www.tjm.com.au

MEGAS Music Store 131 High Street Wodonga Phone: (02) 6026 1044 www.megasmusic.com.au

Opposite Lock 87 Thomas Mitchell Dr Wodonga Phone: (02) 6056 4414 www.oppositelock.com.au

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Corporate rates for trailtrack4x4 club members‌

www.paintballalburywodonga.com.au

A huge thank you to the SS&A Club, Albury for their support! 570-580 Olive Street Albury, NSW, 2640 Phone: 02 6041 2222 Fax: 02 6041 2015 Web: www.ssaclub.com.au Show your support, by using the wide range of facilities available at the SS&A Club, Albury.

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Our trip started on Friday 13th. Pretty ominous date if you believe in that sort of thing but for us it was all good. We left home around 6:45am and met up with fellow trip leaders Marion and Jen at Henty, roughly 45min from home. From there we travelled via Wagga on our way to Dubbo. We had a quick stop at Parkes for a photo opportunity, then stopped again shortly after for a look at The Dish and a couple more pics.

We arrived at Dubbo mid-afternoon and did a quick trip to Officeworks as we realised we left an essential camping item at home... our camp table. Picked up a new fold up blown plastic style for $44 and then were all set so headed to the Big 4 to meet up with the group we were to lead to Birdsville. There was a bit of a fire which we all gathered around and introduced ourselves. There were 14 vehicles at Dubbo and they were split into two groups for our three day trek to Birdsville. We followed the same route but travelled about a half hour apart to make sure there were no issues with large lengthy convoys on the roads. Wherever Fiona goes she checks out the local bakery. This one had a slightly different menu to the usual bakery we come across. Rabbit, Curried camel and Lamb Shank were all included in their list of pies. The owner was a bit of a character but a down to earth bloke who was good to chat with. The pies were fantastic, absolutely loved the lamb shank pie! Just before the Qld border we stopped for one last drink in NSW.

A group pic at the border

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Issue 21 November 2012 Then the plan was to head straight through to the Cunamulla Caravan Park but time was getting on and the sunset look amazing so we stopped to take the advantage of the photo opportunity.

Day three was an early start for our group as we took it in turns between the groups being early / late starters each day. We left Cunamulla at 8am and headed through Charleville, (morning tea stop) to Quilpie (lunch stop) and on to Windorah for the night. The caravan park there was full as another group of 14 vehicles taking part in the Nissan celebrations were already there so we ended up camping at the local sports oval. The night sky was clear so early the next morning I tried a couple of slow pics while it was still dark. Some worked all right, can still see the moon and the last two planets left in the sky with the line up of vehicles and camps. We left Windorah on day four with another 100Km or so of bitumen in front of us before hitting the first unsealed roads of our trip. My advice to everyone was to lower tyre pressures to around the 22-26 mark.

When we left on the Friday there were concerns regarding the condition of the unsealed road as there had been quite a deal of rain in the area and some roads were closed. Before leaving Dubbo I checked the Qld Gov't roads website and none of the roads we were travelling were closed to us, some were open only to 4wd vehicles however and weather forecasts were for clear skies. The first 100Km or so of this road was fine and in good condition. The last portion prior to Birdsville however had some sections where earlier vehicles had obviously had troubles. We found a few areas where there was water over the road though nothing too deep and the road base beneath was firm. After quite a few of these we got a little ahead of the group and took some pics of the others coming through. Some of the mudsprays were spectacular and most vehicles changed colour... We arrived in Birdsville, registered with the Nissan organisers and set up camp at the Birdsville Caravan Park.

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That afternoon we went for a bit of a drive to see a few of the local sights

Day four finished with welcoming drinks at the Birdsville Hotel put on by Nissan. Got to meet a few more people and just missed the best part of an awesome looking sunset. The car outside the pub was interesting though. Day five was our first full day in Birdsville. We had no trips to lead and there were a couple of activities we wanted to do and I wanted to go to Big Red. Early in the morning we headed out to Dingo Caves which is only a little north of Birdsville to see the sun rise. The sky was completely clear so no clouds to get any colour from. Geoff led the trip and being a photographer was telling people a bit about the best way to capture sunrise pics so I snuck off and took a couple of my own pics trying some silhouette shots.

We headed back to camp after sunrise, had a quick breakfast and headed to what we thought was a navigation / GPS lecture but had been given some wrong info and ended up at a photography thing instead, again delivered by our friend. This is the third or fourth time I have been involved with photography courses delivered by Geoff and although it was only a couple of hours I still picked up a couple of little things. Our fellow trip leaders and a couple of the people who we led to Birdsville also wanted to go play on Big Red so mid morning we headed out. After driving from Birdsville the road brings you out to the first main sand dune which is little red (actually the same dune as Big Red but just a bit further south). Because of the water around the area you can't drive straight to the dune, there is a detour of about 16Km I think. We drove down to the edge of the water and took a few pics. Lots of eagles in the trees, and swans on the water. www.trailtrack4x4.com

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In this pic you can see the easy and hard track in the background with the left track being the hard one.

From here we headed around the detour road to get to the other side of the water. We aired down the tyres to 12 psi and there were two tracks to choose from. Someone said that the easu one was little red and the hard one was big red. I neglected to correct this at the time and everyone believed that to be the case. We played there for a couple of hours as the hard track actually was very hard and none of us had actually driven a lot of sand before. The left hand track went up the dune then had a sharp right turn in it and then the vehicle was on a quite interesting angle. Marion was first to drive it, I used the hand held UHF to walk the track and describe where the track went while he watched from down below. After a couple of attempts he brought the Patrol up and around. I was up the top watching at the time and could see his car sliding sideways after turning onto the dune. I went down and was probably the fourth to drive it. Second attempt got me up and around. Even stopped the car seemed to be moving sideways down the dune, was a horrible feeling. I put it in first and just slowly edged forward until I

was on less of an angle before I felt comfortable again.

This pic shows how high the cars get before turning then heading across the dune

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and this is our car on top of the dune to the other side od the easy track. Water as far as you can see to the north on the eastern side of the dune.

After everyone had experienced the "Big Red" dune I told them that to get back to Birdsville we would drive across the other side of the dune, head north and then back to Birdsville that way. Like lambs to the slaughter.... As we came into sight of Big Red I broke the news. "For those of you have driven Big Red, well that was the practice run and was actually Little Red, Big Red is coming up on the right" There were a few interesting comments received back over the UHF but once everyone was parked at the bottom of Big Red they just wanted to play more. Part of the highlight for Fiona was going up in the chopper to take pics / video.

We left Big Red a couple of hours later and headed back to camp. A roast dinner cooked in the Cobb was on the menu that night.

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Day six, seven and eight... Being trip leaders we were asked to lead a group of 14 other vehicles up to Bedourie which is not far north of Birdsville, about 190Km or so. We were given a list of participants, a list of grid references for places to see along the way, etc and at 8am Wednesday morning we set off. Most of the road was bitumen and that which wasn't sealed was in good nick. We took it slow and had one of the guys in the middle of the convoy relaying messages to out Tail End Charlie as we were spread out a fair distance and not always in contact.

First stop on our trip notes was the 100 foot tree. Given most trees out there, and trees are pretty sparse anyway, are only 20 to 30 feet high I started looking on the horizon for a big tall tree. OziExplorer was telling me that we were right near the waypoint but I couldn't see a tall tree anywhere. We reached a road intersection and found the 100 foot tree.... not a tree at all. Quite a few other stops along the way saw as stopping at ruins, dams, springs, etc. We arrived at Bedourie mid afternoon so set up camp and went to check out the local sights. Nearly the whole group ended up at the hot spring. We expected this to be a bit like Dalhousie springs with a spring in a natural environment setting however the spring had been piped into a pool / spa type thing at the local swimming pool complex so not what we were expecting but quite warm and nice to sit in for a while.

That night we had dinner at the local pub and a camp oven demo from a guy using Bedourie Ovens. The feed from the hotel was great, their plates were too small for the amount of food loaded onto them. Both food and drinks were well priced. A few guys thought they were as they let me know they were going to have a bit of a session that night and would be in no state to drive the next morning when we were going to be leaving. With not a big drive on the Thursday we had a late departure ad spent a little time wandering around town. A lady from the hotel who we had been talking to the previous day gave us a CD of photos which she had taken during the recent floods. She flew from Bedourie to Birdsville and it was water all the way. On the way home we drove a different way back for a fair bit of the trip before returning to the main road. We stopped at a hot spring again. We were told that the water was fine to drink and some people in one of the otherPage Bedourie just added coffee, milk, etc... 22 trips actually used that water, Trail Track 4x4 Magazine www.trailtrack4x4.com


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We returned back to the caravan park at Birdsville to find it nearly deserted. Nearly all particiapants were out on trips. Marion and Jen were down at Innamincka for the night with a group they led there and there were three groups out in the desert as well as a group down at the Cooper Crossing on the Birdsville track. We set up camp again and had a relaxing evening. Friday we had nothing planned except a trip to Big Red later in the day so we walked around Birdsville checking out more of the local sights and history.

One of the original Birdsville Mail Trucks, think it was a Blitz...

The Bourke and Wills tree. Very weathered now but if you get the light on the right angle you can still vaguely make out the initials carved in the tree but very hardto photograph without sitting there all day waiting for the right moment.

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The Cairn built 50 years ago by Reg and Griselda Sprigg... Wherever Fiona goes she checks out the local bakery. This one had a slightly different menu to the usual bakery we come across. Rabbit, Curried camel and Lamb Shank were all included in their list of pies. The owner was a bit of a character but a down to earth bloke who was good to chat with. The pies were fantastic, absolutely loved the lamb shank pie!

so after lunch at the bakery we headed out to Big Red mid arvo with the guys from Nissan and the new Y62. I have a couple of videos, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQW04Mtl6iM&feature=plcp when I get time I will add another video here, it still needs some work. When we got to Big Red the Re-enactment group were on the west side just preparing to film the ascent of Big Red. We met Doug and Marg Sprigg (Reg and Griseldas children) as well as Doug’s son Mark and his mate who had come up to Birdsville for a few days. Also met Pat Callinan and had a brief chat. Shortly after filming started and it was interesting to watch the process. The old G60 with Doug at the wheel made a few trips up and down the second easiest track.

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Amongst the filming we got a bit of a surprise when over the top of the dune came.. As I said, hell of a surprise but the dune from the eastern side is very easy. Turns out the bug has some pretty large tyres fitted and is being prepped for the owner, a girl who is writing something for 4wd action, is planning on taking it over the desert after a bit more prep work. Hope all goes well as it will be a bit of a challenge! Eventually all the filming was complete, the re-enactment crew were all up on top of Big Red and preparing to set up camp just on the eastern side in readiness for their final leg into Birdsville on the Saturday.

The Y62 needed to stay out on top of Big Red for a bit of filming so Geoff and Gary were catching the helicopter back to Birdsville. There was a spare seat available and Fiona jumped aboard for the flight. I headed back to town and stopped along the way to grab a couple of sunset pics as the sun set over Big Red with the water in the foreground. Dinner that night was at the Birdsville Hotel and a good chance to catch up with everyone who had been away on different trips. Everyone seemed to have a great time. Day 9... Well day nine for us was Sat 21st July, the official celebration day that the whole event was planned around. The actual anniversary is in September but the event was held now to document the re-enactment which I believe will be a TV story on the actual anniversary date. Rather than have trips running out and about this day there was a Gymkhana. I got to lay out the track used for two of the activities. There were 5 activities all up and all were to do with driving skill, control of your vehicle and knowing exactly where parts of your vehicle are as you drive it.

One course contained ten conduits sticking up in the air with a golf ball balanced on top. The object was to touch the conduit or the cone in which the conduit was standing without knocking4x4 the Magazine golf ball off. www.trailtrack4x4.com Trail Track Page 25


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Another course had 5 white plates and 5 orange plates that had to be driven over. White was for left wheels and each front and rear had to touch the plate. Same for the orange plates which were for the drivers side wheels. A handy skill to have if you drive very rocky tracks... Another course involved driving through a very tight channel made of barrier tape. The passenger was allowed out of the car to provide direction but if the tape touched either the vehicle or the person that was the end. The final two activities were on the track that I set out. First time through the course there was a frisby tacked upside down onto the bonnet of the vehicle and a tennis ball was placed in the "saucer" it created. The object was to drive through each gate without having the tennis ball leave the frisby. It was hard but a few people managed it.

Second trip through this course the driver had to wear a bucket on their head. The passenger had to direct the driver. It was fun for the people watching but the course I set out was tight, required multiple reversing to align the car for certain gates, etc and was difficult when you could see it let along just following directions. I believe two people made it to the end... The guy who won the event was a guy from Melbourne who drove the red GU in one of those pics. He blitzed it with a score of 49 /50. Later that day we boarded buses and headed off to the Birdsville Race Course. This was the official celebration event.

The re-enactment team were there along with a whole lot of locals from Birdsville and Surrounds. A few very short speeches, etc and then James Reyne took the stage and did a long accoustic set. I quite like his music and it was great to hear it in the Pageformat. 26 Track 4x4 "unplugged" He did a wide variety of hisTrail stuff including a fewMagazine of the Aussie Crawl songs.www.trailtrack4x4.com


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Darryl Braithwait was next, he was a bit louder and did a good set as well including a couple of Sherbet songs. Fiona gave me her camera and jumped up on the stage for a few min... During the course of the night we caught up with Marg and Doug Sprigg. We had a couple of copies of the book their Mum had written and they were kind enough to sign each for us. If anyone wants a great read, the book is called Dune is a four letter word.

We ended up chatting with Marg for ages, she told us a lot about Arkaroola and what they are doing there, she encouraged us to come and visit. I had heard a bit about the place, knew roughly where it was and knew they were trying to set it up as a sanctuary but to learn more was great. Mr 4wd was there as well, had a couple of chats with him then later on got a pic with him and Doug.

At the end of the night a number of prizes were drawn and a couple of people from the groups we led won things. One was a lunch with Pat Callinan, another was a couple of Century Batteries and I can't remember what the other prize was.... After a fantastic night with heaps of food, drinks, great music and great people we headed home to camp on the buses. The Sunday after was a pretty quiet one. Lots of people were leaving Birdsville and heading home that day. There was an unveiling of a plaque at the entrance into town commemorating the 50th anniversary of the first crossing but the unveiling time got brought forward and we had not heard so missed it We did go out and have a look at the time we thought it was due to be unveiled...

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A bit later that morning Nissan had arranged a photoshoot of vehicles in front of the pub. Prior to the official shoot the G60, Pat Callinan's Patrol and the new Y62 were parked on the main road.

The idea was to get participant and trip leader vehicles along with the official vehicles all lined up around the pub and get some great pics. The official photographer took pics on the ground then a helicopter went up and took more from a better vantage point. Nissan are going to send us those pics at some stage, I look froward to seeing them Later that day we went for a drive and rounded up some fire wood. We had a fire that night at the campground with pop corn and marshmallows and a few drinks to farewell those people that were not heading across the desert with us. Goodbye to Birdsville.. We attended a breakfast at the Birdsville Hotel put on by Nissan and a flag was presented to the pub which they hung up on the ceiling in one of the bars amongst a collection of other flags. So, after breakfast at the pub it was a leisurely pack up of our camp and a lot of farewells happening as well. Out of the 90+ vehicles at the event only 32 were going to cross the desert. A few had left on the Sunday but the majority of people were leaving on the Monday. Vehicles heading across the Simpson were divided into three groups, each with a leader and a tail end Charlie. We were Charlie for our group led by Garry who is a Nissan Manager. Groups left 30 min apart with ours being last and getting away from the Birdsville information Centre around 12:30. First stop was the top of Big Red which we approached from the east which was an easy drive. We made a quick stop for one last photo with all vehicles lined up on top of the dune.

It was only a short drive until we reached the start of the first of the Simpson Desert Parks. The Simpson Desert is made up of a number of different parks, as per the sign this is the National Park After a late start stopping to 4x4 set up camp for our first night inwww.trailtrack4x4.com the desert. There were lots of Page 28we only drove a short time before Trail Track Magazine stories about rats in the desert and as a precaution we all opened the bonnets of our vehicles to allow engines to cool so as not


to attract rats to the warmth over night. We didn't have issues with rats, most had apparently died in the past couple of weeks 2012 Issue 21 from the November cold however we did hear rats outside the tent most nights while in the desert. After camp was set up a number of us made our way up one of the nearby sand dunes to take a few pics as the sun set.

The next morning we continued westward along the QAA Line and left the National Park.

The QAA line heads into the Northern Territory. This is where we came across our first salt pan.

At the junction with the Hay River Rd, on the western edge of the salt pan the QAA Line turns south, heads back into Qld again and continues on into SA. A turn to the west took us to Poeppel Corner where we had lunch. This is the junction of SA, Qld and the NT. There is a replica of the original post installed by Augustus Peoppel near the current corner marker but the original was actually installed in an incorrect location as after the survey was completed it was found that the survey chains used had stretched.

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The afternoon saw us travel west along the French Line. In some respects there is a lot of nothing out there but it is wonderful "nothing". There are different plants, birds, flowers and scenery. There is also the challenge of some of the dunes. Travelling east to west is supposed to be a harder drive as the dunes on the eastern side are much steeper than the western side. The biggest problem we encountered on dunes was generally caused by those who choose not to follow desert recommendations not to take trailers through there and people who don't lower their tyre pressures. Both these cause people to get stuck more often and when this happens cars "dig in". Generally they then reverse back and try a bit harder / faster. Some of the scallops caused by this are really big and very rough. As planned we found a suitable area around 4pm and set up camp. That night Garry set up a screen, got out a laptop and projector and we had a "Cinema in the Desert" night watching "The Back of Beyond". For anyone who has not seen the movie and you are planning on driving the Birdsville Track it is about Tom Kruse who was the first mailman on the Birdsville Track in a motor vehicle. I read the 'Tom Kruse Mailman of the Birdsville Track' book before we went on this trip and some of the book covers the making of the movie. Tom Kruse actually played himself in the movie...

Next day, Wednesday, we changed the order of our convoy and we became the leaders. We continued along the French Line for only another few hundred metres before turning south down Knolls Tk. This track basically runs between sand dunes and over a few limestone outcrops. We followed this track past a couple of salt lakes and at the junction of where the WAA Line would meet the Knolls Tk if the lake wasn't full we could see the place we camped on the other side of the lake last year. We had a couple of stops along this road as one of the guys in the group was having a couple of issues with his engine going into limp mode. (later this was found to be caused by something to do with the blown brake light bulb in the ARB rear bar and the computer sensing a brake problem or something along those lines). We turned right onto the Rig Rd

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we then headed east for a bit and followed the track as it turned south. It was only a few Km down there that we stopped for lunch at The Lone Gum Tree. After lunch we backtracked a few Km until we reached the Colson Tk. We turned onto this Tk and headed north up to the WAA Line junction and turned left again so we were now heading west. Last year when we drove this track was incredibly overgrown and we only averaged 10Km/h. While this track is not used anywhere near as much as the French Line, the track this year was quite obvious.

After travelling along here for a while we found a place to camp for what was to be our last night in the desert. Well our last day in the desert. It was our turn to be first group to leave camp and we got away on time. it wasn't long until we came to an intersection. We kept heading west until we came to the west end of the Rig Rd where it turns to the north. We stopped here for morning tea. At this location there is an airstrip and a memorial to another person (Mr Peck) who helped open the desert up to the likes of us who enjoy experiencing the place.

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We left there following the road to the north until it met the French Line. Issue 21 November 2012 This was the point where the first bit of serious car trouble started. One guy had a backfire so stopped to inspect. A hose had blown off so that was quickly fixed but then the car would not re-start. The battery was flat. After roughly half an hour a wire which had something to do with the dual battery isolator was found hanging off and that was rectified and the car jump started. We were off on our way again but only for a very short time. The battery was flat and the car stopped. The alternator was tested and found to have no output. The group behind us caught up so we all had lunch while the battery was put on a charger running off a generator. Our aim that day was to get to Dalhousie Springs and with such a large group there was a risk that there may not be space if we didn't get there early enough. It was decided that we would lead the group into Dalhousie and a couple of knowledgeable people (a Nissan tech, an electronics guru and one of the Nissan managers) would stay with the broken down car and get him back to Dalhousie. It was an uneventful trip from there. We left the desert and hit the plains between the desert and Dalhousie which had some shocking corrugations and the worst dust we had encountered for the whole trip to date.

We all knew what awaited at Dalhousie Springs so we were all focused on that and a bit of bad road didn't bother us. We made it into camp and made sure we had enough space for those coming behind us. Once camp was set up it was down to the spring... We had a great relax in the warm water. We swam to the deep end where the water enters the spring and it was so much warmer there. After the prune effect was well and truly taking over we headed back to camp for dinner and a final communal campfire with everyone that came across the desert. All three groups in one place, on last time...

Next morning was departure day for most. We had finished our official duties with Nissan and had decided, along with Marion and Jen, to stay at Dalhousie Springs for another night. We started the day before sunup with another swim in the spring. We had been told that it was a great time to be in the water and how true that was. Seeing the sun rise with mist coming off the water, birds coming to life around us, etc was fantastic. I would go there again just for that. After many farewells the campground was nearly empty. We had two other couples that had asked if they could tag along with us heading down the Oodnadatta Tk. We decided to do a day trip to Mt Dare Hotel. Last year the most direct Rd was closed and we had to go the long way around. This year the road was open but the corrugations were endless... Apparently it has been many years since a grader was put across any of the roads up that way. We arrived at Mt Dare and bought a little fuel and a feed.

The Hotel has a way of raising funds for the Flying Doctor. $10 allows you to add a stubby cooler or cap to their collection. Looking at all the things hanging around ceiling theMagazine flying doctor must be doing reasonably well... Page 32 Trailtheir Track 4x4 www.trailtrack4x4.com While at Mt Dare we checked out the site of the old hotel and a couple of the wrecks around the place.


November 2012

Issue 21

We decided to head into the Northern Territory and look at some of the ruins there. Charlotte Waters was once a thriving station, now just a few piles of rocks, etc but worth visiting. The remains of a few fences / yards still exist also.

From there we headed south to Abminga Siding, another set of ruins left from the Old Ghan Line.

The track leading back to Dalhousie took a bit of finding. There was the road which we had taken to get to Abminga which continued on further south then intersected with another road but one of our maps showed a track leading south east direct from Abminga. We eventually found the track. Rarely used and as we travelled along it disappeared in places... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oMjNvXjiIq8 We saw a few good sites along the way and took heaps of pics. www.trailtrack4x4.com

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One of the ladies with us was interested in windmills. We saw this one on the way so stopped to add some images to the Issue 21 November 2012 memory card.

Arrival back at Dalhousie was a little after dark and after a great dinner we all headed to bed looking forward to commencing our trek down the Oodnadatta Tk the next day. The Oodnadatta Track Well the time arrived to leave Dalhousie Springs. First stop along the way was Dalhousie Ruins. I got out of the car and decided to lower tyre pressures a little more only to find the front RH tyre going down of it's own accord. I couldn't locate the leak with the wheel on the car so off it came. The cause was a splinter of wood which had penetrated right on the edge of the tread / sidewall. We pulled it out, plugged the hole and fitted the wheel back on and were ready to leave by the time everyone had wandered around the ruins. As we had travelled this way last year there was lots we had seen but also lots still to see. We stopped at Oodnadatta and grabbed one of their burgers we had heard so much about. We wont be doing that again... We had a quick look around town and saw an interesting way of jacking up a car using a forklift. It is one of those sort of things that WorkSafe would like to use as their "Shocker of the Week" pics. We continued south and stopped in at Dutton Ruins. We had a look around thereat the siding area as well as a grave a little way from the railway building ruin.

Later that day we arrived at Algebuckina bridge. The whole sky was covered in hazy cloud and photos just looked very bland so we had a look around and headed a little further south to the Algebuckina Ruins where we set up camp for the night and had a fire. Marion went fishing in the waterhole where last year we had seen millions of little fish and returned only a short time 34 fish which he cleaned up readyTrail Trackthe 4x4 Magazine www.trailtrack4x4.com later withPage a huge for breakfast next day. For the fish oriented people I don't know how


heavy it was but it was around 400mm long and I think it was a golden perch. That evening I had a play with the camera taking November 2012 Issue 21 lots of experimental long exposure pics, some of which I really like with firelight off the old stone work. Next day we went across the road from the bridge and checked out some more ruins as well as the waterhole where Marion had caught the fish before going to the bridge for a few photos. We saw a few birds sitting in the trees and none seemed too scared of people nearby.

We took the turn off to Peake historic Site thinking it would be another ruin similar to what we had seen previously but this was by far the best set of ruins we visited on either of our trips along the track. The history of this place is amazing and it has been used as a station, a telegraph station and a mine.

More time there would have been great but unfortunately we did have a bit of a schedule to keep to. We had lunch further down the track beside another Old Ghan Bridge which stretched over a really sandy river bed.

After a stop at the William Creek Pub we continued south to Beresford Siding and camped in the old railway building there with a fire in the fireplace! Beresford was different this yearTrack to our last the large lake was all dried up with onlyPage a bit35 of water www.trailtrack4x4.com Trail 4x4visit, Magazine in the dam section.


The next day we called in at Coward Springs to show the others with us the campgrounds and facilities as well as giving us a November chance toIssue look21 at the museum again. A stop at Curdimurka for a few pics of the bridge there before heading on to2012 the Lake Eyre South viewing area and we were then saying farewell to one of the couples who had accompanied us down the track.

We turned right toward Roxby Downs and they continued on to Maree. We bought fuel at Olympic Dam then headed into Roxby Downs for lunch at the bakery and a stock up on a couple of supplies we were running low on. Leaving Roxby Downs we headed east to Andamooka which is an opal mining town. What a different looking place but we called in at the post office and met a great guy who was incredibly helpful and happy to impart knowledge and a few stories. Different maps indicated that the track we had planned to take was either a private road, a public track, a track we had to pay to use or a closed track. The post office guy clarified things for us, provided the details and number for the guy who owned the station the track ran through and said that if he gave us permission we would be fine so long as we had well equipped vehicles and were experienced 4wders. After stocking up on a few souvenirs, plenty of local advice and a phone number for the owner of Mungeranie Station we headed out of town to find a camp site. We found a good site not far from town on the side of the track with a few opal diggings just nearby. The diggings were not much, just holes which were only around 2.5 - 3m deep but it was interesting to wander around them. With no clouds in the sky sunset photos were not on the agenda but I took a few of the Patrol parked on the "nothingness" which there is so much of out there.

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Trail Track 4x4 Inc Issue 21, Nov 2012