Thinking about Routes

I originally set out for Coonabarabran in 1976, shortly after Christmas. I left on a 106 degree day and rode from Gladstone to Morgan, and on across the Hay Plain.  I ran out of water on the Hay day and learned some valuable and very painful lessons about dehydration. By Parkes I pinched a nerve in my back and had to give up. With the wisdom of more experience I think if I had waited a few days I probably could have continued. But not knowing this, I put my bike on a train and hitched a ride with a semi for the remainder of the trip.

I never got to ride home either, because a 2 year old steer ripped open my calf when it smashed its way out of a calf crush. For once the Ag Student was right! That thing was too big for your calf crusher, Peter! So I put my bike back on a train, and hitched my way back to Adelaide.

So as I enjoy a day or two at Neville and Dorothy’s, I have achieved Goal No. 1. Will I now go on to Queensland? I have not enjoyed the Newall Highway at all. I think it can be survived, but the noise of the traffic is horrible, and it is really tiring managing truck avoidance.

Current strategy is to ride up through the Piliga to Narrabri and on to Bellata, which is about 160km.  After Moree, I will turn off the Newall about 25km out and take a minor road up through Croppa Creek and North Star, which  joins to the Bruxner Highway (NSW State 44) and will take me to Boggabilla. I then do the last 10km or so on the Newall into Goondiwindi. This is about 180km. For readers who are not clear, the Newall Highway is essentially the main street between Melbourne and Brisbane, and has a semi count in the thousands per day, and who knows how many caravans.

To return, I will come back through North Star and join State Highway 95 at Ironbank Dam Camp, travelling south through Warialda, Bingara, Barraba, Manilla and Gunnedah. That will direct me back to Coonabarabran on the Oxley Highway. I’ll then head back home via Broken Hill.

There will be enough time for this route. Going the south route, and also staying off the Newall Highway, will  take too long, or at least require an average trip day that is too long and tiring to be sustainable.

This is the current plan, anyway.  I’d also like to go South, so Queensland may not happen yet. In the meantime I have spent a relaxing day  rebuilding Neville's computer, and disussing everything under the sun with him. I have washed some really  toxic clothes, and am about to visit some other relatives. Life is quite relaxed!

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