Today was a long day in the saddle and my butt knows it!
As expected there was quite the Dawn Chorus and almost at the same time a truck left the Station, then motorbikes and finally the helicopter lifted off. It was time for more mustering.
We thought we remembered the road but the “good section” refused to appear. The Bulldust was terrible and we felt very sorry for the cyclists who had to endure the dust with every passing vehicle regardless of direction. I didn’t know it was possible for tarmac to appear as a mirage but it did!
We took a mini-break at Arthur Creek, the Ghost Gums are majestic. Arthur Creek is very close to Jervois Station where we stayed some weeks ago. Often the only way you know that you’ve moved from one station to another is the small sign at a cattle grid.
I hoped we’d be able to camp at the base of Harts Range but the tracks to the camping area we expected to find led us only to “NO ENTRY” signs so we had to drive back out to the “highway” and continue for another 70 kms or so to Gemtree.
Like the other places we’ve returned to, Gemtree is much quieter this time around.
Last night we enjoyed talking with fellow Pioneers ie a couple who have a Pioneer, Mitchell Camper-trailer like ours. Theirs is almost new and it was interesting comparing notes, we’re all happy with our Pioneers despite the little issues we’ve had at times. Talk was also about the border closures and the possibility of going home, they were from Newcastle and NSW is in lockdown at the moment.
We were on our way to Tobermorey by 9:00 and did discuss taking the “shortcut” to Laverton in WA but decided we’d wait at least until the road had been sealed all the way. At times the countryside was billiard table flat and bare to the horizon at other times there were some trees. It’s easy to believe there was once a big inland sea.
We stopped for a break and were passed by a semi which was in Boulia last night.
It’s hard to comprehend how drastically the numbers of campers has changed since we were here about 6 weeks ago. Tonight there are only two lots of us plus a couple staying in a cabin, no one is over at the Bar now though there were 3 or 4 cars from a road working outfit in there earlier. The Bar was opened especially for them but now they’ve gone back to their camp. My Solo can is still up in the “rafters”. I’m sure the managers here are happy tonight to have fewer visitors because it’s Census Night and they have to give out the forms and explain what they can.
One of the pieces of old farm equipment about the place brings back a teenage memory to Alex. He was at the bottom of a steep hill using a normal scythe when he heard “Old Geordie” shouting from the top of the hill. He looked up to see Old Geordie on his backside and the motorised Allen Scythe hurtling down the hill towards him. He obviously managed to dodge it!
While we were sitting enjoying a refreshing drink we heard a helicopter coming in, we presume it was part of a mustering crew because several utes also came back here, one with several motorbikes in the back. There are some cattle in the yards.
As I expected the Corellas and Galahs are in the trees around us causing quite a cacophony.