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Big baby birds-Expedition Dust day 18

I decided when I woke up at 0630 I would just get cracking and start my day earlier than usual. I had a hot chicken coconut and lime meal for breakfast which was a nice change.

I wasn’t sure what was ahead, especially after the conversation I had with the farm manager late yesterday afternoon. He said the road that used to go through hadn’t been maintained in years. That sounded perfect to me, if I wanted to use the roads I wouldn’t be out here!

The disused track passed two wells, the first was broken but the second was pumping away. They all have names and this one was called Jindie Jindie well, I filled up one of my bottles here.

The wind was the strongest it has been so far, so strong it dictates the way my bike moves. If I get a gust from the front left I get blown left same with the right. The rest of the time it’s making me feel like I’m riding up a steep hill! The wind has started picking up the dust and blowing it into my eyes. I was prepared for this to happen so I pulled out my goggles and face scarf and wrapped myself up, officialy safe from the wind. Not long after filling my bottle I reached a dodgey old gate being held up by some NO.8 wire. This marked the boundary of the Mileura station and I was entering Mount Hale station. I do my best to let the land owners/managers know I’m passing through but the Mt Hale Homestead was way out of my way.

From this point onwards the track didn’t really exist and where it did the sand was too deep to ride through. The ground is way more solid weaving between the trees. I reached the Yallagibbie creek which was dry, the bottom of the creek was very sandy and I had to push the bike across. On the other side were two dead dingos, it seems such a shame that they have become a pest over here. There are signs up at the entrance to most stations warning that there are 1080 baits set.

25 minutes later I was coming up to the Coopers Bore, I felt like something was watching me. I stopped, got off my bike and started scanning the scrub for movement. One emu head popped up then two,three and four followed! It was 4 young emu that were very courious about what I was and where I was going. I sat down next to my bike, they came closer and closer to get the best view possible. They came about 5 meters from me! Up close I could see they still had young bird feathers on them. The interaction with the baby Emus was so special and kept me on a high well into the afternoon.

My bike had started making a terrible crunching sound that felt like it was coming from in the bearings. I stoped to take a look as I couldn’t deal with the sound anymore. As I started pulling the bike apart a big black eagle flew low overhead, they are such spectacular birds. Turns out I had a tiny little rock that had somehow got itself wedged somewhere it shouldn’t have. I flicked it out with the end of my knife, put some more air in the bloody tyre that keeps going flat and the bike was good to go again.

The trail got bumpy in the afternoon because there was huge amounts of quarts covering everything. The ground was almost completely white. In the distance I spotted a windmill and at the bottom of it I could see a watertank with a overflow pipe running out and pouring onto the ground. I started riding over because it was about time I had a shower. I stripped down and let the water run all over me, It was so glorious.

I decided after my refreshing shower that I didn’t want to sweat too hard before I stopped for the day, I peddled another 5km to my camp site for the evening. I felt so clean but my body is tired. Every time I pedal my right knee feels like it’s going to explode and my back is getting sores on it where my backpack sits, my bum is pretty bad... no sores but very sore!

I know over the next week or two my skin will thicken, my joints and the surrounding tendons and ligaments will become stronger and my body will adjust to the new demands that are being put on it. Amazing really

As I set up my tent a band of cloud began to roll in, stealing the light much faster than I expected. I lit a slightly bigger fire than normal and used the light to finish seting up camp! Today I did 54km bringing my total distance traveled to 672.2km. I am roughly a day and a bit from Meekatharra now and I’m so excited to have myself a few days rest when I get there.

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