Mid WA

Living on the Edge-Aerosmith

We had a grown up day yesterday, doing paperwork, jobs on the car, restocking the supplies and enjoying hanging with Stikki, Marty and their fur kid.
After a brief and encouraging chat over the phone with the ranger this morning, we decided to make the trek to the westernmost point of Australia - Steep Point.
It is a place we had always wanted to visit and what better time to visit that on Another Beautiful Lap. There is potential for the lap to visit the most Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern points of the Australian mainland.
It's was about 450km from Geraldton to Steep Point. Lots of long straights heavily patrolled by roaming police cars. The cruise control limited us to 109km/h so we were safe law abiding citizens. Doing 120 out here in the middle of nowhere would of course lead to death and destruction!
The road out to steep point is a relatively good dirt road until the last 40km or so. At this point the road narrows, the sand is softer, the corrugations are more frequent and you get to use the stubby stick. There were only 2 hills that were of any consequence and we climbed over both without the need for low range. We had been told horror stories about the road so we were expecting the worst. Fortunately the road wasn't as bad as we had anticipated and a few hours later we arrived at the ranger's station. From here it is a further 10km to the edge of Oz.
The point was very speccy with the rocky cliff tops, whales spouting, the sun setting and not a breath of wind (something unusual for this part of the coast).
We had the obligatory photos, signed the visitors book and Bryce was given his remote Bundy (that's a story for another day).
There are several campsites along the beach but not as many as we had thought. We have to leave tomorrow because another group is coming in. It gets very popular here!
We returned to our camp which is right on the beach, had a swim, cooked some dinner and watched the moon and stars rise.
Tomorrow we are heading back down the road to False Entrance to camp for the night. This place was recommended to us by one of Stikki's fish cop mates. Might be able to catch some big (legal size and bag limit of course) ones.

Learn to Fly

Another beautiful and windy day in Geraldton, so we headed up the Ridge to watch Marty McFly soar with the McEagles.
It only takes 10 minutes to rig a hang glider and he was away. Like most sports it relies on the goodwill of others so after watching him grace the skies we took a 4WD track through some paddocks to pick him up at the bottom.
It was here that Bryce had his lesson. After zipping into the cocoon and discovering the hand gliders are in fact extremely heavy he achieved Wright Brothers status with his first flight (approximately 4 meters).
Unfortunately Marty had to work this afternoon although we were able to use his work facilities to wash all the mud off the cars.
We watched the sunset with a couple of cold beers at the HMAS Sydney Memorial.
We will depart for the north in the next couple of days. Still deciding about Steep Point. Anyone have thoughts?

The River

After pumping the tyres back up we hit the blacktop and motored north. We have been to Kalbarri several times and it's a great place. A quick lunch stop at Blue Holes saw us aiming east towards Murchison 4x4 park. It was 52 km down a great dirt road and a hundred meters of rough stuff till we arrived at the homestead. Bev gave us the lowdown on where to camp and the tracks in the area.
We meandered along the river and found our spot at Eagles Bay.
Our campsite was next to the river and had some flat spots to camp on. Enjoying one of lifes little joys, a campfire was lit and we enjoyed a dinner of wood fired pizza cooked on the Biji Barbi.
A beautiful sunrise greeted us as we prepared for a day of hard tracks.
Our first challenge was called Dingos track and started easily enough. But before long massive drops and big climbs put a halt to our forwards movement. We retreated to try another road and found more competition tracks.
Most of the tracks we looked at were either to hard or the chance of breaking something was too high this early in the trip. We found an easier run alongside the river, which was appropriately called River Road. We followed this for a good way along the banks, weaving in and out of the river gums. A soft sandy section led us to the water crossing. At a foot deep it did not provide much of a challenge. It was a nice spot to stop for a beer and the traditional Jaks and Stikki photo shoot.
The return road had a few climbs to keep our attention and before long we had beers in hand at the homestead pub.

I should be so lucky

After a morning of grown up stuff we left Geraldton in good spirits. New chairs were purchased, and lots of good info was gleaned from Brad at the four wheel drive shop. We were after info about tracks in the region and he told us about the Murchison 4x4 park. More on that later.
Marty finished work at lunch time and after a quick stop at the bottle shop for us and the petrol station for the cars,we headed north out of Dodge.
We arrived at Lucky Bay (just south of Kalbarri) via Port Gregory. There was a sandy run up the beach which we attempted before letting the tyres down. We found a spot inside some dunes and hit the water for a great swim just as the sun was setting. There was a strong wind warning posted but there wasn't a whisper at a our camp. The evening was spent having a nice swim, cold beers, chatting with great friends and trying our bums out on the new chairs.
We were awoken by the famous west coast wind which was slowly filling our tent with sand. We packed up and headed up the beach to sheltered waters for breakfast and a swim. Marty missed most of this, and due to his late rising it was almost lunch time before we got away. In his defence he was up at 4.00 am the morning before to get some stuff done so we could go away, so we will forgive him.
We had a run in with a Freddy (Toyota Kruger) on the way back up the beach which saw us stuck in soft sand. His front wheels were aimed at us as he powered up the beach. In a mild state of concern I backed off and we sank into the soft sand. Some digging, snatch strap work (thanks Mr Cruiser) and thinking of using the Maxtraxs saw us on our way again.
Our destination for the evening was a property east of Kalbarri that has a 4wd adventure park. Murchison Offroad Adventures here we come!