We attempted to get away from Mt Isa at 8am, and succeeded by 8:15am (recurring theme) The road out towards Cloncurry was much better than the straight roads into Mt Isa (much better scenery and the road is a little more challenging!) At Cloncurry, chaos set in as half of us decided to stop for fuel, whilst Raz, Darrell & myself continued on towards McKinley.
If we’ve not said it before; Road trains are both awesome and frightening! They are up to 53.5 metres in length and seem to take forever to overtake. We passed quite a few of them on this leg of the journey, and found out that one of the main loading areas for them is on this road. Our first fuel stop was the small town of McKinley, notable (in my motorcycle atlas) for the Walkabout Creek Hotel, as used in the Crocodile Dundee movie. Here you can see a short clip made by Raz outside the Walkabout Creek hotel:
Once the others arrived, we decided on lunch and had a good chat with the locals – yet another story emerged of an 18yr old boy who recently committed suicide as a way out of depression. The fellow who shared this story with us was his uncle, and was comforted to know that our ride is to help people (like him & his nephew) openly discuss depression and what it means, and what can be done about it.
I rode off to the next stop to catch-up with Rob & Darrell with a quick splash’n'dash at Kynuna – another small town with not much more than the roadhouse (usually a petrol station + small restaurant attached for meals). We then headed off for Winton, another 170km of straight, boring road (boring in the way that there’s little to see or to challenge the rider, and is the type of road that usually reaults in fatigue and a lack of concentration. Riding these roads late in the afternoon is best avoided!
Rob & I arrived in Winton at 3pm, and proceeded to find out about the (3) Dinosaur attractions as well as their tour times. The local Dinosaur museum was my best bet, as Lark Quarry Dinosaur Trackways was 110km away, and the last tour at the Australian Age of Dinosaurs had already begun. I vowed to retun in the future with the family and make a trip of it! I visited the local museum that had a full-sized dinosaur display:
We could not all be accommodated in the same place so the 3 campers setup in the Matilda caravan park, whilst the other 4 of us made use of the family room at the Matilda Motel. This trip saw the rear end of James’ bike sitting in the back of the car as the sub-frame of his bike had worked itself loose and caused a number of problems. We managed to get a replacement bolt from the local bike shop, which had already closed for the day – The owner was more than happy to help out – Country hospitality is wonderful!
Even though it was a short day distance-wise, the heat of the day (32C) as well as the problems with James’ bike + the accommodation puzzle all took their toll – it was an early night for most!
Pictures from Day 11