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Archive for November 23rd, 2008

Day 97 – 23rd November

Posted by TravellingStrom on November 23, 2008

The word from last night was sleep in at least until about 9, my brain ignored it and woke me at 6 as usual, but I managed to snooze for a while. I had been asked to stay for longer if I wanted, but after thinking about it, I felt compelled to make tracks. I only had a few weeks left, so I needed to cover as many roads as possible in that time πŸ™‚

So, I had this problem with my SPOT device not sending tracks correctly, it seemed to be losing too much satellite lock down at this latitude. If I headed north, I noticed better response, so it must be reception. Now this unit is in my left hand jacket pocket or pants pocket, so to make it better Greg and I devised a bracket and lanyard system, with the SPOT device held on by velcro I got with my Autocom system. Greg gave me some velcro spots as well, just in case it failed. After that it was pack up, say good bye to my lovely hosts and hit the road again. I must say here, thanks a bunch to Greg and Sandy, top people and I had a great time, my liver and kidneys will recover I assure you πŸ™‚

The run down the coast was just a repeat of yesterday but I went further south to Macksville, here I turned inland and headed for a place called Taylors Arms. The road started out sealed but soon turned to dirt, crap stuff too, loose gravel all over the place. There were some steep sections and the bits around the small towns were sealed.

This is the place where the song was written called a Pub with No Beer and made famous by Slim Dusty. It had beer! And some it was specially brewed, I could try none as I had a lot of dirt to cover.

I left without having a beer and soon was riding the dirt again. I had stopped for a photo which is lucky cos the idiot in the 4wd came around that corner sideways, you can see him in the rear view mirror.

A few switchbacks and sharp bends involved here as I headed east to Kempsey.

And the wind was as strong as yesterday, crap everywhere and also the road was rutted from runoff.

Another one for my collection

It was now around 3pm and I had just finished that last of the sealed section for this stage, as I had re done a small portion from Kempsey where I fuelled up and backtracked to the Taylors Arms turnoff. From here at Bellbrook to Wollomombi it was all dirt for about 90km and this included some steep grades and very narrow sections.

There were open bits and very narrow tight bits following the river with rock falls to contend with as well.

Steep grades start here, watch out for beef on the hoof!

I did not see this tree until too late as it was an open section so I had my speed up, that was another concern during the ride today, getting clocked by a gum tree branch, a distinct possibility.

This section was clay, I had felt a few spits of rain but I hoped it would stay away as clay and water is a death trap.

More debris and of course rocks as well.

It was starting to cool down and I was getting hungry, so I stopped for a quick snack, but kept my light gloves on for better control, I probably should have put my liner in, but figured I would be out in the sun soon πŸ™‚ Maybe!

Big debris, there was a lot of loose stuff to get over under the leaves, one of the only cars I saw waited until I got through, so if I had of dropped it, I may have had some help πŸ™‚

I continued on, it was nearly freezing now, down to around 6C, but after about half an hour I finally made the main highway called the Waterfall Way. Here I added some layers to get warm.

I got into Armidale about 6pm and stopped at the first camp site. It was cold and windy, but I had the enclosed camp kitchen to stay in for a while, a hot shower helped, so did my thermal underwear, I had nearly retired that for the trip πŸ™‚

An early night for me as it is too cold to do anything else anyway. I was happy with the day though as I had done some serious dirt and did it comfortably, although there was no sand and no bad corrugations, but I am happy about that πŸ™‚ I also did it with the cold and wild wind so it was a good test. It also tested out the SPOT receiver’s new location on the dash. Well, the velcro I had put on lasted two corners from Greg’s place, it was crap, so I stopped and used 3 dots and it lasted everything thrown at it, until I reefed it off manually which is what was intended. The tracks worked fine all day, the only issue I have now is the lanyard is too light and blows around in front of my face. But I will look into that later, maybe a steel wire or something.

Day – 350km
Trip – 30,478km
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