The Southern Track - Tennant Creek to Alice Springs


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Oceania » Australia » Northern Territory » Alice Springs
September 26th 2018
Published: September 26th 2018
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Southbound to Telegraph station - Alice Springs




Started my first day heading South around 9:00 A.M. (since I left Townsville for my Westward Ho 3 days ago). My first goal for the day was to find a suitable place to dress up an Ant Hill with my Rideabout Oz 2018 official tee shirt. Because the road is so narrow I had to find a spot where I could safely pull over off the road. Another car had pulled over at one spot so I decided to go for it. I pulled up next to an Ant hill with enough girth to display my logo. One of the occupants of the car next to me came over and introduced himself. His name was Marcus, Marcus was from Stuttgart Germany. He saw what I was doing and asked why people did this dressing up of the Ant Hills thing?? I said: I’m American and I thought it was funny and gave people something to laugh about on these long rides in the outback. Marcus offered to help as both shirt fitter and photographer. I gave him my card and told him I’d send him a copy of the picture if he emailed me. So the “Rideabout Oz 2018” lives on about 60 miles or so South of Tennant Creek in route to Alice Springs. Oh and BTW we managed to do the task with out any Ant 🐜 bites and no snake encounters.

Four years ago on the Last Corner ride from WI to New Orleans to San Diego, I stopped in Roswell NM to see where the Aliens had landed. Never would have guessed that 4 years later I'd see where those same aliens landed on the opposite end of the Earth- Wycliffe Australia!!! (See the pics) 😂. My Hypothesis on the Alien landings is that Aliens like dry desert like conditions in the middle of nowhere. It is for this reason they chose to land in Roswell and Wycliffe- OR the people that live in these areas are actually the Aliens long lost cousins- twice removed on the Earth side of the family!

Most of the outback where I’ve been riding for the last week was once a great inland sea- part of my route has been on the Dinosaur 🦕 trail. The most common dinosaur found are of the ocean/sea variety. Along my route I passed the Devils Marbles. Hundreds of round boulders stacked on top of one another over a very large area. Some of the boulders were the size of a large house. (See pic’s). I didn't go climb the boulders but there is supposedly a lot of fossilized sea creatures in and about the boulders. It reminded me of Rock City outside of Minneapolis Kansas just on a much grander scale.

At my last gas stop was 125 miles from Alice Springs- literally in the “middle of Nowhere” a police officer pulls everyone to the exit for a Breathalyzer. Every driver had to blow into a tube then they were good to go. At 11:00 in the morning- yeowzer !!

One officer administered the check and the other checked license plates. As I drove away I had a sense that the officer checking the registration was scratching his head trying to figure out what part of Australia had plates called “Wisconsin”?

After filling up I ran into a couple of fellas also on bikes Tom and David (see pic). Tom was riding the 2014 version of my BMW and David was riding an Indian Chief. They started in Melbourne and went past Cairns’s until there was no more paved road then headed over toward Darwin. After Darwin then they were doing the Stuart Highway All the way from Darwin to Melbourne. Side note: They told me you can do this 3,000 mile trip and only make like 3 small turns, otherwise pretty much a straight shot. Their total trip will be in excess of 6,500 miles. David looked really familiar but I just couldn’t place him. They said they were heading to Alice Springs and I said perhaps I’d see them there. I arrived in Alice Springs around 2:00 P.M. and checked into the Mercure hotel. Have a nice view (see pic). Went to the pool and zonked out for a bit. The temp was 88 but the water must have been 65 burrrr! I was the youngest person at the pool and I’m sure the others decided I was insane for going in the water.

I scoped out a couple places to go for food and drink and after talking with the hotel reception decided on “Uncles” for dinner which was only a short walk away. The place was hopping and definitely the place to eat and drink. I ordered the American Ribs plate. As I was finishing I looked over and saw a gentleman with a white beard who looked like the spitting image of Kris Kringle in the 1947 version of Miracle on 34th street (I think the actor was Edmund Gwen). Upon further review it was my old friends (from way back 8 hours ago), Tom and David from the last gas stop! With helmets and gear off I quickly realized that It was Edmund Gwen that David reminded me of when I first met him at the gas stop. I watch that movie every Christmas three of four times because it is shown so much. Stars a 9 year old Natalie Wood,

I yelled over and said “hey this must be the bikers hang out”. David had no idea who I was at first (again no helmet and sunglasses). But, Tom recognized me right away. We ended up spending the next two hours trading riding stories and getting suggestions on things to do and not to do. They said when Karen and I go to Darwin be mindful of Salty’s when swimming at beach. Salty’s are Estuary Crocodiles and are much bigger and aggressive then regular crocks and they actually go into open ocean from time to time. Tom showed me a picture of the world record caught in July of 1957 named Krys (hmmm this is also my sister-in-laws name😎 and she can be a little salty at times as well- at least that's what my brother tells me!) this Salty was purportedly 28 feet long. We may connect up when Karen and I are in Melbourne in a few weeks.

I wished the Fellas a safe ride home to Melbourne and tracked back to the Mercure. Tomorrow I’m going to go to the reptile center in Alice Springs and perhaps to the Telegraph office. Alice Springs was originally the telegraphy station that connected Darwin and Melbourne. The 27th I will head down to Uluru (Ayers Rock)- Uluru is the Aboriginal name and Ayers the Aussie name. More and more Aussies are calling it Uluru in respect for the Aboriginals. Again a parallel can be found in the states- Mt. McKinley and Denali in Alaska. This will be a 277 mile ride the shortest in a week. I would like to do the more scenic route which is shorter but I can't confirm that the roads are paved the entire way so likely I will stay on the hard stuff and do the back way with Karen on four wheels.

G'Day

Jim


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Tot: 2.658s; Tpl: 0.053s; cc: 12; qc: 50; dbt: 0.0432s; 2; m:saturn w:www (104.131.125.221); sld: 3; ; mem: 1.4mb