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Old 06-11-2009, 09:36 PM   #1
Hill Billy OP
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Carnegie Desert Raid. Western Australia

When I first heard about the Carnegie Desert Raid, I thought it would be a great opportunity to go and see a little more of this great brown land of ours.
I hatched a bit of a plan then called Colin. Heís not one to knock back the chance to get out for a bit of a ride so it was all systems go.
You can read more about the desert raid here
http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=470168
This report is more about our trip to and from Carnegie.

The pig and the piglet loaded and ready for departure from my place, Thursday 9.00am.

Colin also owns a pig but rather sensibly opted for the DR for this trip.

We headed for Cleary where we would have lunch with friends. This is where we left the bitumen and headed for Paynes Find. At Paynes Find we were greeted with a sign announcing that the servo had no fuel. A few questions and we learnt that there would be no fuel until 10.00am the next day.
This was a problem because we had arranged to meet Belly, who was coming up from Albany, about 150km up the road toward Sandstone where we would camp the night. Colin had enough fuel to reach the meeting point but I didnít so it was decided that he would carry on and I would stay and attempt to scrounge some from a passing motorist. Meanwhile Sam had turned up on her little Yamaha and she also needed fuel to continue on. Eventually we found a passer-by who was happy to help us out and soon Sam was on her way to Mount Magnet and I had Just enough daylight left to make our rendezvous before dark, so I wound the 1150 up and headed for Sandstone.
I only got about 40kís before I came across this old 75/6. This picture was shamelessly stolen from another RR.


They were in need of a patch and some glue as they had had several failed attempts to repair the original tube and their spare tube. By the time I had mended the flat and helped them refit the wheel there wasnít much daylight left but it was a very wide road so I could still make some good progress until darkness fell then it was continue with extreme caution until I came across Colin standing on the road waiting to guide me in to where they had set up camp. Colin and Belly had arrived there within minutes of each other and Kenny had tagged along with Belly from the Evanston road so there were 4 in the camp that night.

Day 2
We got going reasonably early and stopped at Sandstone for fuel, then on to Wiluna. There was already plenty of bikes in Wiluna, most riders were checking out the cafe but Colin, Belly, and I still had plenty or riding to do so we filled the tanks, and a bit extra, for the 500ish kís to Carnegie and headed north. After about 40km of good gravel road we found what we came for.

This is the southern end of the Canning Stock Route along which we would be travelling to Well 9 where we would turn off and head to Carnegie. This end of the stock route was quite rough and windy, probably not much fun in a 4WD but excellent for motorcycles.
The terrain was quite varied and soon opened up a bit and we came to our first sand dune. Not very big but still a sand dune.
Then we found some bulldust.

The stock route has over 50 wells along it. Some have been restored, some have not.
This is Well 3.

We continued on to well 4A where we camped for the night.

Day 3
We got going fairly early again and soon we were at Well 5


Itís a fair way down to the water.



Well 6 has a nice camping area which was well patronised with a 4WD tagalong tour. The pig generated a bit of interest here. Colin and Belly hadnít arrived yet because I was going on ahead a bit so as not to hold them up too much, and the piglet had just had a little rest on the ground as well, apparently.

Thereís a fine looking young man in front of the restored well.


The 4WD party was just about to depart in the same direction that we were headed so we carried straight on so we didnít get stuck behind them.
Some of the ever changing track. It would be a nightmare if it was wet.


Well 8 ruins


Colin at Well 9.


This is where we left the stock route and headed through Glenayle Station to Carnegie.
All our Carnegie pics look just like all the others so I wonít bore you with those. We had a great time catching up with other adventurers and had a beverage or two or three.

More soon.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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Day 4
This is where Belly left us and headed for home. Colin and I pointed our machines east along the Gunbarrel Hwy for 150km to the David Carnegie Road. The Gunbarrel was a reasonably high speed blat except for a few sandy corners. The David Carnegie Road was not.


We hit the worst of the sand early. Here it was easier to bounce through the Spinifex than paddle through the sand. It was also just before here that the fat pig wallowed and fell.
It was a low speed fall (about 5 km/h) so no damage, just a bit of grunting to right the fallen pig and we were on our way again.
This is a little used track and fairly over grown.

Also fairly rough in places.


And a little washed out.


A lot of it was like this, Just soft enough to require my full time attention. Lucky the scenery wasnít terribly stimulating. Colin and the piglet made much easier work of this road than I did.


By mid afternoon we had made it to Empress Springs which is a cave with a large cavern which has several small tunnels running from it. Apparently if you go far enough down one of these you will find water. We didnít bother because we didnít have enough light.
This is looking up from inside main cavern.

From here the road improved somewhat for the last 60kís to the Great Central Road, then a short run to the Tjukayirla Roadhouse. We stocked up with some more food and 44litres of fuel each for the 600 km to our next fuel stop. Another 40 kís up the GCR saw us at our next overnight camp. Colinís the man when it comes to finding a decent camping spot. Havenít had a bad one yet.

Day 5

Another 40 kís up the GCR and we were at the turn off to the Parallel #2 Road. This was a bit of a mystery bag as I had not been able to find any info at all on this track, but it turned out not too bad.
A bit rocky in places.


Time to redistribute some weight.


Some of the locals. There are camels everywhere in this country.


Another local.


It wasnít long before we hit the Connie Sue Hwy. Not the busiest intersection you will ever see.


Down the Connie Sue a few kís we came to this



The view from the bottom



An interesting tree growing up and down from itís roots



The view from the top.



The Connie Sue Hwy



Back into sand dune country. A beautiful part of the country and superb riding



There had been some rain through here a few days earlier, and some 4WDís had been over it when it was wet which had compacted the sand a bit and it was an absolute pleasure to ride on. The pig and I were loving it.

We eventually arrived at Neale Junction, where the Connie Sue crosses the Anne Beadell Hwy, So named after the wife of Len Beadell who made both of these roads and many more across central Australia.



At this point you are a long way from anywhere. This, I presume would be a replica of the original sign that Len Beadell put here when the intersection was first established in 1962. I guess the original one would have been souvenired long ago.


Another 30 kís down the Connie Sue and it was time to set up camp again.

More Later.
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Old 06-11-2009, 10:20 PM   #3
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Thanks
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Old 06-12-2009, 01:23 AM   #4
Eaglebeak
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These pictures are fantastic, thanks for the effort, keep them coming !

Andrew.
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Old 06-12-2009, 02:23 AM   #5
euskalherria
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nice RR and pictures

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Old 06-12-2009, 03:59 AM   #6
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Day 6
It can get bloody cold out here in the desert. Things were a little icy when we arose in the morning.



Another few km of sand dune country then the road opened up into one of the best roads around. 150 or so kís of this with only about 5 bends.



This is where the Connie Sue intersects with the road to Tjuntjuntjarra aboriginal community. We restocked our water supply from the tank.



And took this car for a quick test drive



Then we were on our way south again. The road looked very good to start with but it soon deteriorated to some nasty patches of bulldust, like this one.


The piglet had a little rest here but we were soon on our way again with Colin sporting some bruised ribs.
A bit further down the road we met some vehicles coming the other way. These were the first vehicles we had seen on the road, apart from bikes leaving Carnegie, since Well 6 some 1250 km back.
40 km from the tank we turned right onto the track to the Plumridge Lakes Reserve.
Now our original plan was to turn left back at Neale Junction and go out to Ilkurlka Roadhouse where a friend works, but unfortunately he had to go to Melbourne for a conference at the time we would be visiting. So instead we organised for him to leave some fuel at this location for us, which he could do on his way to Kalgoorlie to catch his plane. Fortunately this plan worked and after about 5 minutes of riding around in the scrub the fuel supply was located, garnished with a packet of Minties, and we were soon on our way again.



The track to Plumridge lakes was my favourite part of the trip. It was just a twin track, good traction, not too sandy, and the longest straight section was about 100 metres. What a hoot. It was fairly overgrown so I was riding in the centre a fair bit which resulted in a staked rear tyre But that was a small price to pay for the fun I was having. It was only a slow leak and I didnít realise I had done it till that evening, so it didnít hinder our progress.



After about 85 kís of this we turned north toward Lake Rason. Here we stopped for lunch, Baked beans and cheese Jaffles. We always stopped for a decent lunch.



The sky was overcast and it was looking very much like rain was not far away. We were hoping to reach the western end of Lake Rason today so we pressed on. More great tracks through here until we arrived at a large fence beside the track. This puzzled me a bit, (easily done) until the reason became obvious. There was an aircraft on the ground and the fence was to keep the numerous animals off the runway, which was there to service a nearby mine. From here the track became more of a road.



We still had around 150 kís to go to where we wanted to camp and the track was quite good, but there were hundreds of roos in this area so we had to take it fairly easy. Eventually we arrived at our camp site to find it already occupied by 2 couples and their 4WDís. They invited us to stay and they cooked us dinner. They also helped repair my punctured tyre which was looking fairly flat by now. These people were very interesting and well travelled, with some great stories to tell, and it turned out that one of the couples lives just down the road from me.
This is the view across Lake Rason from the camp



Day 7


After a few very light overnight showers we arose in the morning and our hosts cooked us breakfast and told us about some places of interest along our way. I also borrowed another 5 litres of fuel because I was beginning to doubt if I would have enough to get to Laverton. I should have had plenty for this leg but the fun factor for the first couple of hundred km since refuelling yesterday seemed to soak up a few more litres.
The bush around these parts is looking pretty healthy and the track was mostly good.



There were a few sandy patches and a few rocky patches and the odd bog hole. Good thing it didnít rain too much last night.



Soon we hit a more civilised road which would take us to Laverton, about 60 kís away. Along the way we came across an abandoned mine. These guys didnít bother to clean up too much when they left. It looks like they took anything of value and left everything else right where it was. What a mess.


At Laverton we fueled up, had lunch and a couple of beers and headed for Kookynie.
Kookynie was once a thriving goldfields town but now only has a few houses and a pub, which is where we settled in for the night.


Stay tuned for the last bit.

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Old 06-12-2009, 04:11 AM   #7
Hill Billy OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eaglebeak
These pictures are fantastic, thanks for the effort, keep them coming !

Andrew.
Thanks Andrew.
The pictures are both mine and Colin's.
Unfortunately we got a lot of crap ones as well.
I didn't take as many photos as I would have liked because I thought 1 battery would be adequate, but it started telling me it was low on about the 5th day so I had to be a bit stingy with the pics after that.

Cheers
Howard.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:16 AM   #8
Hill Billy OP
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Originally Posted by ozimick
Hi Howard,
Good to see you out and about on the pig mate, they make for an excellent adventure in that type of terrain eh?
Excellent pics and reporting by the way
Mick
Hi Mick
Yes, I reckon the pig is a fantastic bike, but I think this trip is about as adventurous as I need to get on it. It's bloody hard work in the soft sand.

Cheers
Howard.
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Old 06-12-2009, 04:53 AM   #9
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great effort and pics...thanks for taking the time to post
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:14 AM   #10
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Beautiful wide open country you have. I'd sell my sister to get a chance to ride there.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:24 AM   #11
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Bloody brilliant, have you got a GPX file or a scan of the route?
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:03 AM   #12
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Day 8

After a big cooked breakfast we wandered out of town a few kís to some fairly impressive rocks



Then it was off towards Menzies to Niagra Dam. The Government built this dam in the late 1800ís for the railway and the booming mining industry. It ended up costing nearly twice what it was supposed to and shortly after it was completed a good underground water supply was discovered just up the road at Kookynie so it was virtually obsolete as soon as it was built. I guess the government hasnít changed much over the last century or so.



From here it was off to Menzies for fuel.

If I can just digress a bit here, because Iím too tight to spring for a suspension upgrade for the pig, I often bottom it out, particularly the rear. Even when it is unloaded this is a common occurrence for me, and usually I can feel and hear it hit the bump stop. Over the last day we had been on some good high speed gravel roads with the occasional dip here and there. But instead of just bottoming on the bump stop, the tyre was rubbing on the inner guard. This led me to think that the rubber bump stop had finally shat itself or some similar problem. But whilst refuelling at Menzies, the real problem became more obvious. A gap had appeared between the tank and the seat, so a quick inspection revealed that the upper frame tubes had broken on both sides. No big deal. Weíll just get someone to weld it up and we will be on our way again.
It turns out that the only bloke in town with appropriate skills is out of town for the day, so we cruised around till we came across the shire depot and with the lure of beer, we were in their workshop and on the job in no time.





An hour and a half later we were cruising toward Lake Ballard.
This is where an artist with a difference has installed 51 life sized sculptures, loosely based on the residents of Menzies.


Colin managed to befriend one of them.


From here we aimed our machines toward Perth. Another 150 kís of good gravel road saw us at our final campsite for the trip on the Bullfinch Ė Evanston Road. Time to relax and reflect for it is back to reality tomorrow.



Day 9 was an easy run back to the city. 150kís of dirt and 350 of bitumen through the wheatbelt.

And so ends our 4000km desert adventure.

Thanks Colin and Belly for sharing it with me.


Cheers
Howard.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:04 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Snuffy
Beautiful wide open country you have. I'd sell my sister to get a chance to ride there.
How much?
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:07 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by rosscoact
Bloody brilliant, have you got a GPX file or a scan of the route?
Probably. I'm a bit technologically impaired so it might take me a while to get it out of the Zumo and onto here.
Any advice would be appreciated.
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Old 06-12-2009, 07:23 AM   #15
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Jealous. My brother used to live in Woomera; I always wanted to make the trip but never could afford it at the time. I'll make it one day, though.
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