Dawn over the Outback plains was stunning this morning. I set up a table and chair to act as a desk before the sun rose and worked ny headtorch light until the sky changed colours. It was the best office location I’ve had to date (and I’ve set up office in some fabulous locations).
We took it easy this morning because we only had 120km to Julia Creek. It was a nice change from our usual morning rush.
The Kyuna-Julia Creek road was long, straight and flat. It was narrower than the highways we’ve been following here. It ran straight north, following the bright hot sun’s path towards the centre of the sky. Fields of grass stretched to the horizon, cut only by the long straight ribbon of road.
There were two short unsealed sections of road. It was on one of these that the first of three road trains came hurtling towards us. We pulled over as the triple trailer and it’s cloud of dust approached. The cloud engulfed us as the truck thundered by, shaking my bike as it did. I had to wait about 2 minutes for the cloud to blow off the road, leaving me cake in red dust.
We saw lots of birds again today. While yesterday we saw emus, today we saw brolgas at a water hole. We also saw more hawks and falcons hunting mice and other small animals. It is magnificent to see them glide, swoop and dive through the air.
Once in Julia Creek we set about setting up camp. We’re here for the Dirt n Dust Triathlon, which I am racing tomorrow. It’s the excuse behind our 4,000km return road trip.
The atmosphere here is AMAZING! Today I volunteered as a technical official for the kids’ race. It was fantastic to see so many country kids giving the sport a go. They really got into it, and both their parents and the town got behind them.
Tonight we went to the free music concert. They had some good country musicians playing. Being a country music fan I enjoyed it a lot.
Tomorrow’s race doesn’t start until 9:30am so it’s going to be seriously tough because it gets HOT here during the day. A cattle truck will take our bikes to T1 at 8:30am then we will be taken there in buses. The 800m swim will take place in a muddy creek after which we will cycle the 25km back to Julia Creek along the hot exposed Outback Highway. The race will finish with a 3-lap, 5km run through the centre of town. The atmosphere on the run should be great.
I am looking forward to the event. I expect the field will be small and social. Yes there will be serious competitors but there will also probably be many more who, like me, are here for the experience more than the racing.