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Out in the outback - Days 9 & 10

Commuting bush style

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Day 9
A travelling day today going from one bush camp to another via the Kumarina roadhouse. We were up and off in time and were able to pass our regular supermarket of junk without stopping so that we could to stop for morning tea near the remains of an old town site Peak Hill. We did make one last call to check out the old pit and the sites where the further processing of the ore took place. Amongst large dried out areas surrounded by earth walls and the huge pit area where machinery stood aside a large pond of cobalt blue water, all that remains are broken down fences and signs blowing about in the wind. This is obviously not the current mine, but it sure leaves a sour taste to think that mining companies can just up and leave this mess behind.22651ee0-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg20180703_122501.jpg20180703_121946.jpg
We didn't get to see the old ghost site of Peak Hill, but ended up instead at the remains of an old mine site which we think was named Jubilee. The old office was a caravan, resplendent with the shopfront sign of some more well known mine alongside the remains of the house and outside toilet. A shed nearby with assorted mining remains made up the remainder of the site. Again fossicking became the prominent sport as we all fanned out to find treasures amongst the remnants of the home, vegie garden and sheds. All treasures were sorted and secreted into small spaces in the car.750316b0-9d3e-11e8-ba58-1f814cba09fa.jpg74cfaaa0-9d3e-11e8-bd9d-35b0cb5b1324.jpg73d8ee90-9d3e-11e8-8446-85e01b8bb259.jpg738f3b60-9d3e-11e8-8446-85e01b8bb259.jpg7341deb0-9d3e-11e8-8446-85e01b8bb259.jpgWalls.jpg
We left on time to head to Kumarina roadhouse to have a much needed shower, connect to the world and stock up on essentials. Forgot washing hair in bore water results in tar textured mayhem but it was piping hot so small price to pay. Feeling human we braved the shop and succumbed to a chicko roll for Mark and the special of the day for me - chicken n chips. Mark very happy with his choice but mine was diabolical; the chicken was covered in something like paprika to mask the age of the greasy, reheated, offending mess and the chips were from a previous period in time - floppy and disinterested in presentation! Yukl While parked at the roadhouse we had the pleasure of the Pee Wees (magpie-lark) who manage to mangle our mirrors in an attempt to savage the corresponding offender, and even they passed up on the chips! I guess we could have been done by the RSPCA for attempting to kill the wild life! Still the roadhouse provided us with a break from the bush and a shower that worked!
Formalities over and we set off to camp on Weelarrana station where we had permission to camp on their property for a couple of days. By the time we got there the sun had set and we were putting up camp in the dark on a stony plain. The wind was howling, the night sky was clear and the temp was dropping .

Day 10
Next day was down time as we made ourselves at home ; the dunny went up discretely under some trees a and we bravely faced the howling winds and put up our annex and shower.
One of the Nat Club's duties was to set up some machines with which to capture the possible sounds of the rare ground parrot. At two different sites we duly set out to place a recorder in a tree and a camera to capture movement. We did see evidence of camels but nothing else to report. While the station does not permit the shooting of their camels, they were still touchy when we pulled up and the the male quickly herded his harem away from us. We were to pick up the machines when we left.b29ae930-9d3e-11e8-ba58-1f814cba09fa.jpg
In pursuit of bird life we then set out to the station out-station where there was a bore with small waterhole. On arrival, not a bird to be seen - the earlier rains have provided them with many waterholes to visit. We spent time wandering the out - station, although it had a current campsite, provided us with an old but profitable tip. I was able to collect some old 1920 cigarette tins and match boxes and, for a change, rocks weren't on the menu. there was also a run down caravan obviously not in use, but it did provide us with memories and memorabilia of the 1960s n 70s. da891ec0-9d3f-11e8-af7b-130593ea5abd.jpgc5d6a880-9d3f-11e8-af7b-130593ea5abd.jpgc447f230-9d3f-11e8-af7b-130593ea5abd.jpg
Back at base we then wandered around the campsite climbing several hills and break-aways. One rather bare hill was capped by a black rock cap which resembled stromatolites, giving one the impression that this may have once been an inland sea where these primitive organisms grew. We duly photographed flora, fauna, old mud birds' nests and golden-bottomed ants and, of course, brought back more rocks..10dac280-9d40-11e8-af7b-130593ea5abd.jpgec60fdc0-9d3f-11e8-af7b-130593ea5abd.jpg
That night was again star lit, clear and cold. We both tried again for a warm shower, and while I was rewarded with a couple of warm bursts the rest was icy cold. I'm having cat washes for the rest of the trip. We did also do some scientific investigations with the collected rocks and popped a couple in the fire to get the most beautiful bluish-green flame, probably from the assorted minerals they contained. We also shone UV light on several to check out their fluorescence and were delighted to find many "glowing in the light". Suitably educated we hit the sack at about 8!

Posted by Toot'speak 01:49 Archived in Australia Tagged station mine roadhouse jubliee kumarina weelarranna Comments (0)

Manganese, Gold and the odd Snake - Day 8

More time at Honeymoon Pool

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Today we spent wandering around a disused manganese mine. We have got into the pattern or packing up morning tea/lunch and off fossicking. Anytime a car stops for a look, all are out with g-picks and cameras and we all congregate around a find whether it be plant, mineral or animal. One fellow camper has the expertise of macro-photography and is duly called when a cricket, snake or flower needs her extra photographic attention. As a result going 10ks can take a while. Aside from checking out the mine we had an appointment with the supermarket to pick up some articles that had been sprayed for easier removal.37674650-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg0bc90ba0-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg0b2aa8c0-9bae-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg
We went through serious geology country and plenty of time was spent gathering the right specimens with some of us resisting the bulging pockets and discarding as we found better ones. Others just filled up the back of cars with promises to cull back at camp. We spent time checking out the flora and serious photography meant that we all were able to get "that" magic photo of some plant which had grabbed our attention. We were also very fortunate to come across a beautiful, well fed, around 2 metres long, black headed python. While yours truly admired the colouring and agility of the snake from the safety of 20 metres, remaining admirers produced cameras and got 'in your face' shots, allowing said animal to wander at large over their shoes or between their legs. One could only hope that their recognition skills were spot on. 24e97fd0-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg24509b30-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpgffee07f0-9bac-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg
Morning tea was spent alongside what could best be described as a mesa -something out of the Mexican desert - sparse flora and fauna but plenty of rocks. 52419f80-9bad-11e8-86b8-27846ee271f0.jpg
We finally arrived at the old, currently mothballed manganese mine where the owners had rehabilitated the surrounding site far more successfully than the previous Horseshoe Light gold mine. However the remaining buildings contained much machinery and the like, obviously too expensive to remove, and those interested in this specialty wandered over it checking out the cogs and like. Not being an expert in the processing of manganese, I know that the soil is sorted, with the first process removing the larger rocks which are deposited onto a very large hill at the back of the plant. This hill was rich in many different type of rocks and minerals which meant that the climb over it took at least an hour. We all oogh and ahhed as we selected assorted specimens and only halted our endeavors because we had no more pockets, bags or hands to carry the load. This provided the machinery crowd with the extra time they needed to further investigate the machinery around the site. 53f62d50-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg52995c70-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg524485b0-9bad-11e8-94dc-010d63744186.jpg
Our next stop was another mine site along the same range but not developed to the same extent. We were able to see where they had been dynamiting the hillside to provide the ore and the rock hunters were rewarded with specific specimens that were pocketed or carted back to the cars. More weight!
On our return back to camp we stopped off one more time at the supermarket of all things rusty, to pick up some old wheels which Mark had WD40. Gawd bless this stuff as Mark was able to remove the wheels that had been sitting out here in the elements for at least 30 years. We take recycling seriously!20180703_102547.jpg
Back to camp for the evening ritual and our first bath for a few days. Shower time and Mark tried his hand at the creek crossing and bravely bucketed the freezing water. I decided to try out the camper shower and between turning on hot and cold taps with Mark igniting the gas and the water pump waking up the ancestral spirits, I too ended up with a freezing shower! More work to be done to that machine.
That night we had the pleasure of the company of a couple of pensioners who come over from Victoria every year for around 5 months to go and revisit their various gold sites for more gold. They generously showed us their spoils and we learnt about tiddlers, screamers, howlers and sunbakers. They had the honour of finding many years before, a very large specimen which they had sold on and is currently in America. Like all good gold hunters they kept locations and sites etc close to their chests, but did leave us armed with information as to the best detectors that we have to buy. As they have been "living off their finds" for over many years, they inspired several of the group to reassess the idea of gold prospecting as an alternative occupation.

Posted by Toot'speak 01:30 Archived in Australia Tagged black mine python headed magnese Comments (0)

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