Accommodation   was   found   just   out   of   town   at   Gunbarrel   Laarger, however   I   opted   for   roast   pork   and   vegetables   at   the   Tavern   for dinner.      I   will   stay   in   Wiluna   for   two   nights,   tomorrow   doing   repairs and   a   bit   of   sightseeing   around   town.      I   had   now   then   planned   for two   nights   away   in   the   bush   again,   heading   up   the   Canning   Stock Route   for   access   to   the   Carnarvon   Range   before   picking   my   brother Gary from the Wiluna airport on Monday morning. Friday   22nd   June   I   repacked   the   vehicle,   a   necessary   task   as   many of    my    goods    had    had    a    good    shakedown    over    two    weeks,    and needed   to   be   put   back   into   their   correct   places.      Then   I   went   into town    and    had    one    of    my    tyres    looked    at,    which    had    not    been properly   repaired   the   day   before   heading   out   of   town   on   the   north road. Half   an   hour   later   I   reached   the   turnoff   for   the   Canning   Stock   Route –   I   actually   missed   the   sign   and   passed   the   turnoff   before   quickly realising   and   turned   around.      It   seemed   like   a   fairly   ordinary   track, not fitting of a famous iconic track that eventually reaches Bililuna. I   soon   reached   Well   2   where   there   was   another   vehicle   parked.      The couple   from   the   vehicle   were   planning   to   travel   up   to   Well   23   however   now   that   plan   was   cancelled   as   the   woman   was   suffering   from panic   attacks.      The   windmill   of   the   well   was   operational   and   the   tank   was   full   and   overflowing   onto   the   surrounding   bushland.      I   didn’t   stay too long and bid the couple goodbye as I headed up the track. The   track   ran   in   a   northern   direction   and   I   followed   it   past   Wells   2A and   3.      I   passed   Lake   Nabberu   which   is   compromised   of   a   few   lakes, some   with   quite   a   lot   of   water   in   them   and   much   birdlife.      The   track then   ran   parallel   to   the   Frere   Range   before   heading   north   easterly and    I    arrived    at    Windich    Spring    on    the    Kennedy    Creek    about 3:30pm. There   were   two   men   camped   by   the   spring   and   it   looked   like   the camp   was   well   set-up.      The   guys,   one   of   which   I   had   met   two   days ago   in   Wiluna   were   waiting   for   some   new   springs   to   arrive.      Their friends   who   I   had   talked   to   in   town   this   morning   had   had   the   wrong springs   shipped   and   were   waiting   for   the   right   ones.      It   was   quite   a pleasant place to be stuck in really. I   camped   further   up   the   track   about   ten   kilometres   at   Well   4B.      The well   had   water   in   it   however   it   was   abandoned   and   unused.      After dinner   I   settled   down   to   listen   to   the   AFL   Football   game   on   the   radio between   Melbourne   and   Richmond.      A   calling   sound   of   an   animal was   heard   in   the   distance.      I   didn’t   think   much   of   it   however   heard   it again, and then again. It   was   a   donkey,   or   donkeys,   as   I   could   now   clearly   hear   the   “EE-ORE”.      I   grabbed   the   torch   and   walked   toward   the   sounds,   about   10   metres from   the   vehicle   and   could   see   in   the   distance   three   pairs   of   eyes   reflecting   in   the   torchlight.      I   stopped   to   ponder   the   sight   for   about twenty   seconds   when   I   heard   a   slight   rumbling   sound.      Very   quickly   the   rumbling   sound   increased   in   intensity   and   the   ground   started   to vibrate.  It was a stampede.  A DONKEY STAMPEDE !!!!!! I   ran   quickly   to   the   ute   to   use   it   for   cover   in   case   they   were   headed   in my   direction.      I   had   visions   of   donkeys   jumping   over   the   ute   and running   through   the   tent   and   fire.      This   did   not   happen.      They   were moving   across   from   the   camp   at   a   tangent.      They   probably   did   not get   closer   than   50   metres   though   there   must   have   been   quite   a   few of them to make so much noise and vibration. I   awoke   earlier   than   I   would   have   like.      Today   is   the   halfway   mark,   in terms   of   days   away   from   home,   of   the   trip   and   I   had   hoped   the second   half   would   be   as   eventful   as   the   first.      I   left   the   well   just   after 9:00am   and   headed   up   the   stock   route.      My   first   stop   was   at   Well   5 which   has   been   fully   restored.      Then   on   to   Well   6,   or   Pierre   Spring.     On   the   way   I   got   good   views   of   Mount   Salvador   and   also   Mount Davis.      These   hills,   and   the   spring   were   named   by   John   Forrest   on   his 1874 expedition. Well    6    was    a    popular    place    with    two    parties    having    camped overnight   and   another   two   stopping   for   a   look   when   I   was   there.      I now   backtracked   about   fifteen   kilometres   to   a   turn   off   which   should   take   me   west   to   the   Carnarvon   Range   incidentally   also   being   named by   Forrest,   but   not   visited   by   him.      This   western   track,   although   it   would   seem   not   frequently   used,   was   good,   and   the   first   portion   of   it granted nice views as it ran along the summit of a high stony ridge. As   I   approached   the   range   I   noticed   there   were   a   number   of   side tracks   heading   inward.      I   drove   on   some   of   these.      One,   leading towards   a   gorge   had   an   old   and   rusty   sign   adjacent   to   the   end   of the   track   which   said   there   were   significant   aboriginal   sites   in   the area.      This   gorge,   which   I   did   not   explore   had   pools   of   water   lying   in its   creek.      Another   was   a   reasonably   new   track   which   led   to   another gorge which I also did not explore. The   range   is   very   beautiful.      There   does   not   seem   to   be   many   signs of    activity    in    the    area.        Another    track    went    into    the    range    to Goodcamp   Rockhole.      I   had   a   look   and   found   the   rockhole   with   its water   coming   from   the   cracks   of   rock   in   the   mountain.      A   very scenic    area,    with    the    redness    of    the    many    faces    of    the    range contrasting with the ghost gums that inhabit the creeks. The    range    is    split    into    southern    and    northern    sections.        I    now headed   towards   the   northern   part   and   the   first   section   just   after the    hills    was    very    rocky    and    careful    driving    techniques    were required. I saw a dingo however it ran away before I could take a photograph.  Talbot Rockhole was located at the south western portion of the   upcoming   range   and   I   followed   the   track   in   until   it   terminated   near   the   rockhole.      What   a   great   rockhole   this   was;   about   10x8   metres wide,   large,   and   of   reasonable   depth.      Talbot’s   mark   from   1908   was etched into the adjacent walls. The   water   appeared   clear   and   the   rockhole   was   full,   though   the   was no   flowing   water   that   I   could   see   running   into   it.      I   walked   above   the rockhole   and   a   bit   beyond,   before   once   again   hitting   the   trail   to reach Virgin Springs, on the other side of the range. There   were   many   large   ghost   gums   and   the   faces   of   the   rock   above the   oasis   were   dark   red   in   colour.      The   oasis   itself   was   a   pool   of water   at   the   base   of   the   range,   with   crystal   clear   water   draining   from the   mountain   into   it.      I   made   my   way   up   the   adjacent   crack   in   the mountain.      There   were   areas   on   the   way   up   where   water   would   ooze from   the   cracks   in   the   rock   and   flow   downwards   towards   the   springs.     This    water    tasted    quite    fresh.        Pools    and    small    rockholes    were abundant   most   of   the   way   up   the   mountain.      The   highest   pool   of water I found was stagnant and green with algae. As   I   was   more   than   halfway   up   the   mountain   I   thought   I   might   as well   go   all   the   way   to   the   peak   of   this   section   of   the   range.      At   the summit    I    was    provided    with    great    views    of    the    nearby    Mount Methwin   and   Lake   Kerrylyn,   and   I   could   even   see   Mount   Salvador.      This   area   around   the   Virgin   Springs   are   an   oasis   in   the   desert   and   am happy and pleased that I have had the opportunity to visit them. As it was getting late in the day I went back to my vehicle and drove for around four kilometres south east of Mount Methwin and camped. In    the    morning    I    knew    had    to    get    back    to    Wiluna    today    as    my brother   would   be   flying   in   tomorrow   morning.      It   was   Sunday   24th June   2007.      I   left   camp   and   went   back   to   the   southern   section   of   the range   and   found   the   track   to   the   west.      The   track   was   very   good, and    eventually    the    station    country    of    Neds    Creek    Station    was reached.      The   station   tracks   would   be   quite   hazardous   in   the   wet however   I   made   it   through   with   no   dramas.      There   were   a   couple   of minor creek crossings holding water – these were easily traversed. Near     Neds     Creek     Station     I     climbed     Johnson     Cairn,     an     early navigation   marker   before   visiting   the   homestead   to   have   a   chat   with the   Station   Owner.      The   homestead   was   only   a   few   kilometres   from the   Wiluna   North   Road   which   was   reached   before   an   easy   drive along   the   frequently   graded   road   back   into   Wiluna.      I   camped   back at   Gunbarrel   Laarger,   and   was   quite   tired   and   got   a   restful   nights sleep   ready   for   another   big   day   tomorrow   where   I   will   pick   up   my brother   Gary   from   Wiluna   Airport   and   then   head   out   to   the   start   of the   Gunbarrel   Highway   at   Carnegie   Station,   and   attempt   to   make our way to the Alfred and Marie Range.
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