The Mysterious Tennant Creek Run !

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September 24th 2018
Published: September 24th 2018
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The mysterious Homestead to Tennant Creek Run !

After a hotel Breakfast, I gassed up and was on my way by 8:00 from Mt. Isa (pronounced Eye za ). The way out for the first 100 Miles was the road kill Kangaroo Highway. For the readers from WI imagine being on a road that every morning would have a doe to a fawn size white tail deer road kill every 2 miles or so for a hundred straight miles. Some are probably a day or so old but the crow cleanup crews are pretty efficient and there aren’t many left overs. My horn was buzzing every couple miles. Once the temp climbed above 80 there were less and less dinner guests joining me on the road - the topography was the open range format most of the way out to my first fuel stop at 100 miles. I can get nearly 265 miles to a tank if I run at slower speeds. So I didn’t need to fuel up then but my rule in the outback is “don’t pass on a chance to fill up” if they have premium fuel.

{ Side note: there were some questions about my fuel comments from earlier - to clarify Hi performance engines like my BMW run better on higher octane fuel. Regular unleaded is typically 91 octane or less, the premium fuels are 95-100 octane. My bike will run on regular unleaded but won’t perform as well. Because Premium is more expensive not all stations have it. } (yes Howie that was for you😊

The Outback people have a great sense of humor. The thousands of ant 🐜 hills cones that are along the road are occasionally dressed up as ghosts, dancing girls, construction workers, bra and panties, men’s grunders and tee shirt, etc... tomorrow I have a shorter ride (312) down to Alice Springs so I’ve decided to stop and dress up an ant hill with one of my JIm's Rideabout Oz 2018" shirts. I’ll be to sure to photograph the unveiling😎 and I hope the ants have a sense of humor as well.

At my second and final gas stop before getting to Tennant Creek (Homestead exchange). A highway police officer who had passed me stopped me at the gas station to ask how it was going. He has at CVO series Harley (top of the line series for Harley). He said one of his buddies has a smaller version of my bike and he just goes and goes. I told him the Sturgis story about “these bikes are fun but that’s the bike you want for distance”. I gave him one of my cards and told him what I’m doing visa vie the ride. Very nice guy.

A magical thing happened after that gas stop - I had another 125 miles to go and there were zero roo corpses on the road yet there were many roo crossing warning signs. The only two road kills were a horse and a cow together ? What ever hit those two I’m betting is out of commission ! Here’s my theory(s) as to why there was no roo road kills over 125 miles when there were kills every couple miles earlier.

Hypothesis 1,2,3: There are so many Roos on this part of the road at night that nobody drives this portion at night-thus no roadkill’s. This stretch also had bushes right up to the road for the most part so it is also possible that the Roo’s stay off the road because they are close enough already. Finally, maybe there's lots of Dingo's (wild dogs) in this area and they carry off the road kills right away. Where guess is good as mine..... Aliens maybe ?

This last stretch was at 95 degrees but not nearly as windy as my last 90+ day. There were also stretches of road that I’d see only one or two vehicles in a 20 mile section. There is something spiritual and relaxing about being that far out in nature and feeling alone. I’m guessing bicyclists, hikers, and solo pilots all experience this at times when in remote areas or alone in the skies ! In any event I was definitely feeling the moment.

I arrived in Tennant Creek (TC) at 1:45 thanks to the unanticipated 130 kph speed limit (81 MOH) for the last 3 hours of the trip. I checked in at the Blue Stone Motor Inn, unpacked and walked down to the only place in town open for alcohol -the Memorial Hall Club. I had to sign in as a guest. Kari and Kim were serving I grabbed a water and a beer and started working this blog, but had to stop and people watch many times. As far as I can tell TC is kind of like an reservation in the US but where the natives (Aboriginals ) and People of European decent (Aussies) are thrown together. The liquor laws are very regulated here and from my observations-this is for good reason 😊. The hall has a courtesy bus going out every half hour. The Hall has a casino and also serves as the liquor store. I think on a good day this place would be a good candidate for a couple episodes of “Reality T.V.” 😜.

Tomorrow I’ll head down to Alice Springs and will have a day off riding with a two night stay. I will find out if the back road down to Uluru is paved all the way. This looks like a great ride. If it isn’t paved, I’ll wait to do it with Karen when we fly up to Alice Springs later- we are renting a 4 wheel vehicle to go down to Uluru. Most people think Uluru is just outside of Alice Springs the rock is actually 270 miles away. So I'm staying two days in Alice Springs then two days in Uluru. After Uluru I have my longest ride of this trip 519 miles to Coober Pedy.

G'Day Mate.



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