My First salt lake- Expedition Dust day 33
I set my alarm so I didn’t miss breakfast. At 0630 Dylan and I cruised over to the Prenti downs homestead. Breakfast on the station today was weetbix and canned pears with a home made yogurt (The yogurt was fantastic). While I was eating my bowl full of breakfast I was talking to Tim Carmody. He asked what time we wanted to leave and if we had time there was a chance to get in the sky for a flight over the outback! I pretty much said we can leave at any time and that I would love to see the land from the sky! Dylan went first, he took off from the homestead airstrip and tracked south east. I jumped in the truck with the Carmodys daughter and we started heading out to the Jump up bore. Their daughter is a really lovely woman, as we were driving along I looked into the side mirror and realised the plane was about to buzz over us, I popped my head out just as it flew over! I was getting so excited to go up!
They had landed by the time we arrived and were already pulling out the pump to repair the Bore. It was my turn! I mounted my Gopro 360 fusion, clambered in and off we went. It was a bit bumpy at first but in the best way. Seeing the outback from the sky first hand really made me realize how big this country is. We flew for 14 beautiful minutes before touching down at Sweetwatwater bore.
Yesterday on the way back from dropping the water tanks off at the miners camp we left a vehicle to pick up today. As we touched down I realized I was going to have to drive it back to the homestead and pick Dylan up on the way. I wasn’t sure about that, I know how to drive on gravel roads but I definitely wasn’t expecting to be driving a truck when I woke up today, but then again I definitely didn’t think I was going to be flying.
The truck had a flat tire on it when Tim and I arrived so we worked together and had the spare on within 15 minutes. I have decided that my bike is definitely more my pace of transportation, the 45 minute drive with a 10min stop to pick up Dylan made me so sleepy and honestly enclosed in a steel box moving at 80kmh took a lot more focus than just slowly spinning on my bike. I was quite relieved that I wasn’t driving across Australia and would soon be on the bike again. Back at the homestead Dylan and I packed up our things in our bike bags and said fairwell to our amazing hosts (and the dogs). I feel so lucky to have met such a cool forward thinking family.
It was 1300 hours when we rode out the gate and off down a private road towards the heart of Prenti Downs station. I was excited to be back on the bike and pretty much didn’t stop talking shit to Dylan until he said “ I just felt rain” We stopped and put on our jackets and trailer covers. Rain out here is one of the worst things. The track was great at first but at the 12km mark we hit the edge of lake Carnegie. I was up ahead at this point and when I made it to the other side of the salt lake I looked back to make a joke with Dylan about how slippery it was and realized he was still on the other side... he was off and pushing! I kicked my stand up and ran back across to give him a hand. Oh my gosh, I have never seen so much sticky mud. Dylan was swearing and carrying on because he had hit a soft spot and sunk about 4 inches into the mud, it was on everything and was so thick the wheels wouldn’t even spin! As we dragged Dylan’s bike and trailer across the salt lake I looked up and saw a family of cows crossing the lake way in the distance.
Once we were across together, the sand got really deep. We were doing our best to Ride our bikes but spent most of the late afternoon pushing! By 1600 the sky had gone completely black and I could hear thunder rumbling. The temperature had heated up and had become very humid. It was really going to rain...whole Dylan cleaned the mud off the moving parts of the bike I rode ahead alone to see what was coming up next, it was lots and lots of soft sand. We made it out to a spot that looked like it was perfect for a good nights rest. We traveled 30km and still have another 6km to get off the lake!
As I was making the fire the rain started falling and 4 hours later it still hadn’t stopped. I don’t even want to think about how muddy the last part of the lake is going to be tomorrow!