4th June 2015
We continued our journey from Buck Hills. Of course this is still the Gary Junction Road and we haven’t seen any sealed roads for days now. Still we made good progress on these dirt roads – as you can see we don’t follow too closely one another to avoid driving in the dust stirred up by the van driving in front of us.
Our next re-fuel was at the Kiwirrkurra roadhouse. We arrived just after opening and the shop was very busy. The guy in charge of the bowser promised he would be out very soon. Eventually we filled up with diesel at $3.00 a liter. When we asked which road we should take out of the community, he said there were many tracks and if we just kept driving in the direction of the water tower we would get back to the Gary Junction Road. We followed his advice and to our surprise saw Len Beadell’s truck. Of course we stopped for that. (Lesley’s photo)
I know this is hard to read – here is a transcript of the text:
RATION TRUCK STORY
‘HOT WATER LAID ON’
In 1960 the Gunbarrel Road Construction Party were working westward on the Gary Junction road. When the Grader gearbox blew up “the longest towing operation” returned to Giles. On 12th November…
“Quinny stopped my Rover and bellowed “this is absolutely terrible”, the great caravan he was pulling had disappeared! Suddenly we observed a black cloud of smoke about 6km away and a plume of dust from a vehicle coming towards us. We thought here comes Scotty to tell us a stray caravan was lying dormant back up the road. However Scotty yelled from somewhere in the miniature dust storm ‘the ration truck’s gorn!’ The black smoke was coming from our harmless truck full of food supplies! We drove back to the exploding tins of stew and tomato sauce. The big tyres were spouting globules of molten rubber and a tin of pea soup splattered me. Doug and Rex could only save one tyre. The 1400lt water tank behind the cabin was boiling so I shot a hole through the tank side and with tea leaves from the wreck made a cup of tea.”
Len Beadell – Outback Highways
July 2004 – Toyota Landcruiser Club of Victoria
More about Len Beadell on Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Len_Beadell
The advice to head towards the water tower was great in so far as it lead us to these sites, but when we arrived at the water tower, it was a dead end with the turnaround circle blocked by a ute. We had to reverse out of there to continue on. I seem to be doing a lot better with reversing than previously. Perhaps it is because I have more practice now – or it could be that the slightly longer draw bar makes it easier.
Occasionally we did see some interesting scenery. (Lesley’s photo)
We arrived at Jupiter Well early afternoon. We set up to stay there for a couple of nights as there was water here – we ended up staying longer. More of that in the next post.