The mining town of Newman was my departure point for my planned trip into the Gibson Desert. I had arrived there in the morning and spent a few hours looking around some of the local sights including Radio Hill. It was 11 June 2007 and I headed up the Marble Bar Road and Balfour Downs/ Jigalong Road to take me to the start of the Talawana Track.This would be my first big trip in the Ute, a Landcruiser trayback which was about a year old now. My plan was to head alone, east along the Talawana, via Rudall River National Park before getting to Windy Corner. I would then look for Carnegies Patience Well before attempting to visit Nipper Pinnacle and the Alfred and Marie Range to the south before coming out on the Gary Highway somewhere near the Young Range. Then I would pick my brother up from Wiluna to take his place in the passenger seat and explore some of the area in the vicinity of Prenti Downs Station before heading home. That was the plan!!!!The roads were in good condition, as expected and I soon reached the terminus of the Talawana Track just short of Balfour Downs Station. From the junction there were sandy patches frequently. Just beyond the Talawana Creek I stopped to have a look at Len Beadell’s plaque not far south of the track. Heading east again the track was fairly corrugated however the pleasant views of the surrounding sand sandridges made up for it.There is a short cut track to Rudall River so took this 28 kilometre option. It was a rough, rocky, and rarely used track – though I saw there was some fresh vehicle track marks. The track went down an embankment and nice views of the countryside were afforded. Nearer to the river many detached breakaways, conical hills were to be seen, and the track lay on a flat plain making the hills quite striking. I made camp near Tjingkulatjatjarra Pool after crossing the dry river though darkness soon overtook the camp so a visit to the pool would have to wait until morning.I watched, from the inside of the tent to determine just how long I had to wait until sunrise and then arose and took a walk down to the pool. I came across a small pool in the mainly dry river which had melons growing adjacent. After walking about 100 metres I came to the much larger main pool. The northern bank and the surrounding granite slope presented a nice view and the mood for the day was set.After packing up camp I recrossed the river and headed along the track that runs parallel to the river, to the east. The entire length of the 30 kilometres or so of track that runs by the river was scenic, with rugged breakaways and hills. Many dry tributaries of the river were crossed though I saw at least two pools that would have contained many millions of litres. I passed a sign stating that I was entering a Aboriginal Living Area which I had anticipated, though it didn’t worry me as I had checked with them prior to the trip and they had confirmed it was ok to come through.From the sign the track deteriorated somewhat and the seeds of spinifex easily penetrated the three layers of flywire I had earlier today attached to the front of the vehicle. I swung to the south and passed Mount Eva before arriving at Cotton Creek just after midday. I was told that already two parties had been through to pick up fuel today and I did the same the price being $2.65 per litre.The main access road headed southerly and I made progress down it until I reached the Talawana Track again and headed east. Shortly, I noticed quite a few smokes of fires – probably the locals going hunting. One fire was seen a great distance to the east. The track now was very much corrugated and I pitied the traveler who had a poor choice of suspension as harm would surely result going down this track. Georgia Bore was reached; this was at the junction of the Talawana Track and the Canning Stock Route which will continue merged for a while. There was three vehicles here, organising their camping requirements for the night. After a quick chat I headed off again to make camp at Curara Soak (Well 24), not far east of here, which I reached before dark. I was happy that I had no tyre problems so far, the new set of tyres I had bought were doing their job. There was nobody else here.Peace was shattered in the morning and my “sleep in” was cancelled when a pack of dingoes started howling from what seemed a position not far from the tent. When I got out of the tent not long after, they were gone. Looking at the well it was full, though I didn’t need any water at the moment. I continued on my journey eastward and before too long came to the junction where the Canning Stock Route heads north and the Talawana Track veers east to Windy Corner. Here I continued to follow the Talawana Track. If the track was not deteriorated before it certainly was now with the track overgrown in spots and spinifex lining the way forward. Fire had been through the area in the recent past and vast areas of the landscape were clearly visible as a result.Stopping to clear some of the spinifex debris from the underside of the vehicle I thought to myself just how remote an area I was actually in. I pondered this thought as I was driving along alone and wondered what it would be like when I reached the seriously isolated and remote country to the east which I had planned to soon traverse. What if I broke down, or had a medical emergency? Help would be many days away and would be a serious embarrassment if I had to call on it. After much soul searching I decided to cancel my planned traverse from Nipper Pinnacle to the Alfred and Marie Range, and visit the pinnacle only now, and perhaps visit the range after I had picked up my brother at Wiluna in twelve days time.That decision made, I was much happier and confident and went along the track until the turnoff the Connolly Basin, an ancient weathered meteorite crater. The centre of the crater was only a few kilometers south down the track – There was a wooden pole supported by rocks to mark the centre – the crater rim was hard to discern due to the sheer size and age of the crater.Windy Corner at the junction of the Gary Highway was soon reached and I stopped for a look at the plaque there. In this area I would have to keep an eye out for some “Stoney Banks” that explorer David Carnegie mentioned before he went on to find Patience Well. If I could find these banks then the search for the well should be made easier. North from the corner I stopped to have a look at a survey mark off to the west of the track before camping in a rare clearing, free of spinifex, about twenty kilometers north.After an early night and my desired “sleep in”, I once again started my day’s journey, north along the Gary Highway until shortly coming to a track heading roughly south east. On my map there was some rocky outcrops marked and I headed down this track for a few kilometers until I reached them. I briefly had a look around, certainly they were not the “Stoney Banks” that Carnegie mentions, as they didn’t fit the description, were too far north, and there was no “view” to the east.Back to the Gary Highway I went, and then drove north until quite a good track which terminates at Patience No. 2 Oil Well. Travelling along this track I stopped for a deviation. Carnegie in this area found two dry wells and I had calculated that some breakaways just 1500 metres north of this track were where they were located – Time to head off the track for the first time – The Landcruiser and tyres performed faultlessly, and my confidence grew in them, in this short test of travelling through virgin bush. Upon reaching the breakaways I had some lunch. The breakaways are comprised of two it seems, at an angle of about 60° to each other. I drove along the lower section of each breakaway looking for any signs of the no doubt, long unvisited wells. I found nothing, however it was a good experience to visit somewhere that had no signs of visitation of modern man and more likely than not, was visited by Carnegie.I drove through the bush back onto the main track to the Oil Well and reached the well in less than an hour later. This well was decommissioned now and the whole site was abandoned, yet the discarded items around more than told of a history of a once busy and active camp. From here I would go south – away from any tracks for a long while; this next section would be a good test for both the vehicle and for me, I hopefully will be able to maintain a good presence of mind and composure when by myself, so very far from any others or help.South from here somewhere is Patience Well, visited by David Carnegie in 1896 and hasn’t been seen since by civilized man. I had had a look for it in 2003 on my quad bike, with back up 4WD support and was unable to find it. I will give it another go though. Dr William Peasley had given me his best predicated position for it, which was about fifteen kilometers south west of here – so to that location I first travelled towards, deviating and stopping at a small dry creek to have a look around before reaching his position. The country was spinifex ridden and the travel was slow going. There was nothing around that looked like a well here so then made for the popular “approximate position” of Patience Well, which was nothing more than a small sinkhole in the ground and in no way fitted Carnegie’s description.There was a jar attached to a tree here, with names of others who had made it out this far. I added my name to the list – and then proceed to the north west. I had seen a prominent white mark nearby on aerial pictures of the area and thought it was worth investigating. Reaching the place of the white mark I found it to be a small patch of conglomerate; brittle white marble like rock measuring fifteen by fifteen metres; I have collected some samples. There were no signs of anyone else being there, and I camped there, between two belts of Mulga in a cleared area.Now, in the morning I set out to see if I could find the well again – I tried to cover as much ground as possible in the vicinity, covering an area of about fifteen kilometres by ten kilometres. I wasn’t checking on possible points from aerial pictures; as I traversed the land I would stop and have a look at any locations where the vegetation seemed different and there may have been a possibility of a well.There were plenty of birds around and I saw a couple of kangaroos. I got my first puncture today and spent some time trying to find it and repair it, as I was unpracticed. Towards the end of the day I started to position myself for a south easterly run in the morning, the well remaining unfound. I drove 66 kilometres today, all offroad, at a speed of just over ten kilometers per hour.As the nemesis of spinifex had once again shown its face I spent time in the morning clearing most of it out under the ute. From here I would try to reach Nipper Pinnacle, a feature I have been eyeing off on the maps for some years now, and just before that the confluence of 24° Latitude and 126° Longitude. The confluence was about 71 kilometres from where I was camped. I started to head SSE towards it. The country was fairly open, gravelly, featureless and covered in spinifex. Vast, slightly undulating plains lay before me and I could see for great distances when I crossed over the apexes of the rises. Most of my travelling was done in second gear, in high range.Occasionally there were small anthills to avoid and importantly large dry creeks in which extremely thick vegetation grew in the low points. These patches of vegetation could be seen from many kilometers away so I had plenty of time and distance to divert my course around them. Eight kilometers from the confluence a nice breakaway presented itself to the immediate west. Arriving at the confluence I wasted no time in taking a few photographs before I headed west to reach the Pinnacle, less than ten kilometres away.Reaching the pinnacle I noticed that it was a three tiered monument, and made of sandstone. I climbed the short distance to the top; McPhersons Pillar was the only feature I could identify over to the south west, however there are not that many features in this area anyway. There were some small caves on the pinnacle and in the adjacent breakaways, and I shortly made camp 40 metres east of the feature. This was a fairly isolated spot in the Gibson Desert, the Gary Highway now 70 kilometres due west – Hopefully I don’t get bitten by a snake or a scorpion. The days travel was 81 kilometres distant averaging ten kilometres per hour again, slow going across the desert.Awaking to find the front left tyre flat I started the day repairing the puncture. I hauled some stones from the base of the pinnacle and made them into a small cairn at the summit. I left a note in a container within the stones saying that I had passed by. Now I started to drive around to the breakaways on the eastern side, the side of the cliff faces. There were a considerable amount of animal tracks around the rocky terrain. I looked in a few caves; I found no water anywhere. As the breakaways merged with the northern rise I drove a long anticlockwise arc to take me around to the top side. There were similar animal tracks on top and I drove more or less parallel to the edge of the breakaways until I reached the pinnacle again.Now it was back to the Gary Highway, and I would try and get there before dark. I will aim for McDougall Knoll, a small rise next to the highway about 70 kilometres distant. The route was almost directly west so I head off again. An hour and a half later I arrived at an unnamed group of hills, marked on my map as a cliff or breakaway. The terrain here was tough due to the vegetation and it was slow going. I passed a creek presenting a dangerous two metre drop off and I thought how lucky I was to be paying attention.Only 500 metres from the hills and I got the vehicle stuck on a sandridge, or should I say part of an extended sequence of ill-defined sandridges. The vehicle was “coat-hangered” and I was unable to get traction. Luckily I had three planks of wood with me and I had to jack up the three wheels with no traction twice, before I then freed myself and made my way onward some 45 minutes later. Time was against me now with still over 29 kilometres to go and the sun was getting lower on the horizon. There was a very thick section of bush a few kilometres from the knoll and this was fairly annoying as it was dusk – I arrived at McDougall Knoll fifteen minutes after sunset.I spent some time working out my plans for the rest of the trip that night and had hoped I could get a bed at Wiluna in a few days time. The days were long and hard, and I slept in the cab that night, not having the energy to set up the tent.The Stoney Banks I were seeking a few days ago should be 30 kilometres or so to the north. I thought it would be good to “give it another crack” whilst I was in the vicinity, as I do not know when I will be back in the area. So I travelled up the Gary Highway until my search area was to the east. This was about ten kilometres south of Windy Corner. I cleared all the spinifex out again before I left the track. I veered east and drove for a while the plan being to head north after a few kilometres. When I reached my planned location to head north there was a huge area of thick vegetation in the way so I decided to keep going east, to the south of the vegetation. On the other side I noticed a very wide and distant view to the east, meaning I was in an elevated position even though the country was relatively flat. Carnegie said there was a good view to the east from the banks. To the north I could just make out what appeared to be a low rise of stone, though it was hard to tell – I drove there immediately to have a look and the stoney rise could be described as a Stoney Bank, and the view to the east was magnificent. The area conformed to how Carnegie described his camp of 5th September 1896. Interestingly, there were some reasonably new wheel tracks passing the banks and actually crossed over the bank as well – Perhaps I am not the only one interested in the banks!!I departed the area and continued on a bearing of NNE for a while before deviating to cut the Gary Highway, which I did, right at Windy Corner. The discovery of these banks should make it easier to locate Patience Well, as Carnegie gave directions to the well from them; however I had decided to leave the area, so any further attempt to find the well would have to be at another time.Now though I made my way south along the Gary Highway. My plan was to now visit Ngarinarri Claypan and Karrarinarri Rockhole, or soak. My brother was to fly in to meet me at Wiluna in seven days time. I camped near the junction of the highway and the eastern most section of the Eagle Highway. I would endeavor to travel this track to the soak in the morning.This section of the Eagle Highway is very rarely used. It ran westerly in a straight line for 66 kilometres. There were many bushes growing in the middle of the track, so sometimes I would deviate off the track a bit. I saw five bush turkeys together in this section. These birds mate for life so I did wonder who was the unlucky one as they all flew off. It took me 2 hours and 10 minutes to get to the turnoff, where the Eagle Highway continues southward towards the Gunbarrel Highway and another track continues north to the Talawana Track running past the Traeger Hills, and through Connolly Basin.Once again I needed to clear the underside of vehicle, before I turned to the south, then south west to visit the Warri Site and Ngarinarri Claypan. The track went across part of the claypan to the soak. Some of the last nomadic people, Warri and Yatungka were brought from here to Wiluna in 1977. There was a plaque here commemorating the event. No soak was visible however the plaque stated there was water at twelve feet.Leaving the claypan I rejoined the Eagle Highway, my plan to head south to cut the Gunbarrel Highway. This stretch of the Eagle Highway was good as I would imagine most visitors would either come from the Gunbarrel Highway and then return along the same path, or use the northern track as an alternative entry or exit from the Talawana Track. I saw two cats in different locations on this track, and an Emu and Camels as well.I deviated to have a look at Mungilli Claypan and then arrived at the Gunbarrel Highway at about 4:30pm. Camp was just off the track about five kilometres west. It has now been a full week since I have seen another human being – Tomorrow I should arrive in Wiluna.It was Wednesday 20th June and I arose at daybreak and set off to the west. I passed two groups of people before I got to Carnegie Station where I stopped to make a phone call. Although Wiluna was my goal for today - and a nice hot shower, I decided that as I had already driven the Wongawol Road (Wiluna to Carnegie Road) ten years previously, I would take the Carnegie Glenayle Road and Sydney Heads Road for something different.The Carnegie Glenayle Road was in excellent condition and passed Mount Moore and Kalijahr Pinnacle. At the turnoff there was a sign stating that access to the Canning Stock Route was available for a fee. The Sydney Head and the Wiluna Granite Peak Roads were in good condition. I stopped at the lookout at Sydney Heads Pass before arriving at Wiluna about 1:30pm.