Day 41: Augathella

Day 41 Saturday August 22nd.
Tambo to Augathella 116 kilometres.
I was expecting a bad day with the wind, but things were pretty good. I'm nonetheless appreciating  the BP motel, which is so big I just rolled the whole 9 foot rig in and leaned it on the table. The room is not crowded at all, and I currently have tea bubbling and clothes drying. (Also only $99!)

I pulled into a roadside stop today and was buzzed with a dive worthy of a stuka bomber. Next pass after that first snap was a solid blow to the helmet. I dropped the bike against a tree to refill the water bottles, and then started on some afternoon tea. My assailant immediately walked up to me and demanded his share. He agreeably consumed peanuts, and I think probably would have taken them from my hand. As I left he flew up to the dead branches at the top of a huge gum, 80 feet high or so, but apparently I have paid enough tribute for him to let me go without further chastisement.

Earlier, 20 kilometres or so from Tambo, I crossed from the Lake Eyre Basin into the Darling Catchment.

The last 30 to 40 kilometres of this road is quite heavily timbered. The Queensland Government has just been rolled in a bid to limit land clearing. I saw thousands acres of relatively newly cleared land today, much of it also deep ploughed. Other areas have had much of the lighter timber thinned out. I'm not sure where these folks think the big trees come from.

I spoke briefly to a woman who needed me to pull the bike off her gate-- I was pulled up for lunch-- so she could take in a gooseneck trailer and horse, and roust out some cattle she had missed. Girls can do anything.

Here in Augathella, pig shooting is the go. There were 3 or 4 four wheel drive utes pulled up, with multiple dogs in heavy duty vests so they can run through the scrub without injury. Big pig dogs; some not looking very friendly, either.

The plan for tomorrow is to watch the wind. There is a small $5 campsite at Morven, 92 kilometres out, which is highly regarded, but it is only another 90km to Mitchell. I may be tempted if I make Morven in good time.

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