Saturday, October 17, 2009

Day 262 – 31 Aug 09

I took off from De Grey River this morning and decided to take a side trip to try to find Red Hill which I visited many, many years ago when I was in the army and I thought it would be nice to visit some of the places I had been to previously. Turned left off the bitumen and tried to find Pippingarra Road. Interesting structures just off bitumen. Appeared to be some sort of revetment but no clues as to origins. Obviously known to locals, appears to be a rubbish tip for area.

I missed the turn-off and followed a truck which I presumed was going to Pippingarra Minesite, but after 30 kms I worked out something was wrong. Checked on NATMAP and found I was on Port Hedland-Wittenoom Road. Quite a good gravel road actually. Back-tracked using NATMAP (should have done that in the first place) and found the turn-off. Got about 1 km in and came to what was obviously the bed of Beebingarra Creek. Surface looked OK so in I went and BOOM! Down to the axles in soft, dry sand. Tried letting down the tyres, but too far down already. Jacked up each corner and back-filled to get the belly off the sand, unhitched and drove out to some firm ground and turned around. Drove back past the van and used the snatch-strap around the rear bumper of the van to pull the van out backwards. Re-hitched and finally got out after 4 hours. NOT FUN! After that, decided to take a couple of days in CP to recover.

Limited vacancies, but got into Black Rock in South Hedland. Plenty of vacant sites, but all full of branches from recent tree-pruning. Ended up on the far side of the site on crushed blue-metal with power, but no water to sites. Had to fill 4 jerry cans and lug them back to the van.

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