The road is steep and the bulldust on the road’s surface is as slippery as ice. It doesn’t take long before the inevitable happens and I’m lying on the ground covered in a fine dusting of the offending yellow road surface. I was traveling slowly when the bike slid out of control into a wheel rut and the weight of my gear helped it fall over.
I was unhurt and my pride is still in tact. Mum helped me lift the bike and remove my gear to reduce the weight. Then I was back on the road, thankful that I have the experience to handle those situations and the correct safety gear to protect myself.
We stopped at a lookout to enjoy the view of the range. It was pretty amazing to see the cliffs rise out of the surrounding plains.
From here we continued ever westward on the Capricorn Hwy. We’re really in the Outback now, where townships can be upwards of 100km apart, with some being little more than a single shop.
The grasses are yellow out here, not green like along the coast. They’ve sprung up after the recent floods that filled the rivers and dams. It’s impressive to see the grasses because this country is often too dry to be more than a dust bowl.
Blackwater and Emerald have their mining prowess on display today. Loaded coal trains about a kilometre long glide by, their two pairs of locomotives placed at both the front and middle of the load. All are loaded with high mounds of black gold. Dongas prevail as the accommodation of choice in both towns.
Just after Emerald we drive to Fairburn Dam for lunch. It’s massive due to the recent wall of water that has so affected the country here. The brown water stretches as far as my eyes can see.
We continue our journey west, passing cattle grazing in the golden fields. Eventually we climb up the Drummond Range. It seems out of place here so far from the coast. At the top is a lookout where we rest from the road.
We’ve driven on to Alpha; a tiny town with a petrol station, shop, post office and caravan park. We decided to camp here because it is pretty. There’s grass and trees. It’s quiet and feels like a chilled bush camp.
I am loving the ride. My heart is still singing. Good thing because we still have 11 days to go.