Chicken Tracks

Published: December 29th 2014
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Picture Windwo
Boxing Day 26thDecember 2014

(Chicken Tracks)

Boxing Day arrived and we awoke to a beautiful morning, if only a little on the windy side. Our plans for the day were to pack some lunch and head out to Israelites Bay, it is a 4 wheel drive track taking us further into the Cape Arid National Park, more remote and so far across Western Australia that it sits just below and beyond Balladonia on the Nullarbor.

We left camp at about 10.00am with Andy, Karen and Naomi in their 100 Series and Caroline and I in ours, even though using two vehicles was not the most economical way of travelling we figured if one vehicle became bogged then the other vehicle could tow it out if required.

The first 30 k’s were just gravel roads, to the start of the track head, we parked the vehicles and aired down our tyres to 20 psi from the usual running pressure of 50-psi.

Three other vehicles came in behind us, that were all towing trailers, two with camper trailers on and the other with a Polaris ATV, the guys asked us if we were going
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The Israelites Bay Track
to Mount Malcolm or to ISSY and we said, ISSY (Israelites Bay)

They too deflated their tyres and proceeded down the track, I had a personal matter to attend to so wandered off in to the bush with my shovel and some loo paper.

When we had got ourselves together and were ready we hit the track, we had installed our new GoPro mini camera on to the bonnet of Jack in the hope we will be able to upload some decent off road footage, either directly to Kangaroojack’s blog or may be U tube, anyhow, the GoPro looked like it could be a hole heap of fun.

The start of the track was really sandy with some really deep stuff, I’m glad I dropped the tyres down so low as it makes the contact foot print of the tyre to the ground so much larger and stops you sinking in the soft stuff.

The vegetation started out as a thick corridor of green tree’s then evened out to be just scrubb

We were making good progress when Andy called over the UHF (Short range radio) that he had just driven over something in the
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Our Track Log 238 kilometres and a drive time of 6.18 minutes.
road and we should be cautious, we slowed down and came to the object in question which was a Jockey wheel.

I threw in in to the back of the Landcruiser as we would try to reunite it with its rightful owner (If Possible) and wondered if it was from one of the vehicle that went before us.

Moving on again, the track went from sandy, to corrugated, to slushy then back to sandy and where it had become slushy a new side track had been made, we call them “Chicken Tracks”, but this is where you need to use your noggin, for example If Caroline and I took the chicken track and Andy and Karen took the tough track and we both got bogged how would we be able to execute a recovery, so it’s a case of follow the leader especially when there is only two vehicles

The vegetation changed again, and the scenery opened out we came upon the vehicles that had gone on before us who had stopped for whatever reason, but as the track was only one vehicle wide we could not get moving until they did.

Once they got moving
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Wet even in sand
again, we gave them a few minutes head start then got back on the track, and again we came upon these guys, who pulled off in to the scrub to let us past which was decent of them and not forgetting the “Jockey Wheel in the back of our truck we knew we would meet them further on down the track.

As we were progressing down the track Andy (B) radioed me again saying there was a log on the track, which we drove around then later a piece of wood with some nails sticking out and this went on for quite a while and it was obvious that someone was losing their load.

We had done around 70’s K’s on this off road track and taken us around 3 hours and it was excellent driving really good fun.

The track dissipated and we came to an open expanse of beach, I radioed Andy as I was going to stop for these blokes behind me to see who if any had lost the jockey wheel.

It was only a minute or two until these guys arrived I flagged them down and explained to the first vehicle what the go was, the driver and his mate got out and looked at their trailer it was all intact, I looked at the passage from this truck and he had the most amazing beard, silver in colour and down to the middle of his chest and very well kept, I so wanted to get a photo of it, but I thought better of this request as he may of thought I was some kind of weirdo, it was similar to the guys out of the rock band ZZ Top.

I went to the second vehicle and asked if they were missing a jockey wheel, again the driver jumped out and said that it wasn’t, the third vehicle which was pulling the Polaris ATV was asked the same question, this young lad jumped out and sure enough it was this guy who had lost it, he was full of thanks and happy to be reunited with it and then realised that his tailgate had come open and he had lost nearly all of his firewood.

We are in a total fire ban season now (Summer Time) so he should not have had a fire any way, but I
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The Old Telegraph Station Ruin
guess he was going to some far-flung destination and who am I to rain on his fun, (Providing he did act responsibly).

Anyway, this young fella must have felt a bit of a goose and not only did he loose his fire word because he couldn’t do his tail gate up properly but he also nearly lot his jockey wheel, we did notice that his young lady was sitting in the passenger sea and even though all the fella’s got out to help him she never even got out of the vehicle, she defiantly would not be the type of person to have with you if you got in to difficulty, too much like princess.

So off we went, following the waterline of lake Daringdella until we came to the old telegraph station, a beautiful old building that provided telecommunication the turn of the century.

The original building was constructed of timber, and in 1896 was replaced by a stone building. There are ruins of a cottage built in 1884 and two graveyards where telegraph operators and others who lived in the area are buried.

You could walk completely through this roofless building, but the authorities advise to be cautious as it has a high snake population, but sadly we didn’t see even one, we did see some bee’s busy as work in one of the old chimneys they were building a hive and the honey comb was quite impressive.

We walked around and took the obligatory photo’s it is amazing that this structure is so far away from anywhere and not only did the inhabitants have to survive out here but they had to get the materials out here to build it in the first place.

We have been to the old Eucla telegraph station, just off the Nullarbor some six years ago, which is the same type of building, that structure is slowly being swallowed up by the desert and will eventually be totally consumed, I think that these telegraph stations were all linked together at some time in history.

Once we were done with the telegraph station we moved on to Israelites bay where we found a pleasant spot to park on the beach and have our lunch, which we had taken with us, it was a gorgeous afternoon about 24 degree’s so how could you not dip your toe in the water and have a bit of a cool down, the water was just gorgeous, and well worth a dip.

It was time to leave this most beautiful part of W.A as we had at least a 3 hour journey back to camp as it was about 3.45 and we didn’t want to be out when it was dark, so we set off heading towards Mount Malcom but had to shorten this leg but cutting up to intersect with Fisheries road which was the way we came.

One the way here we didn’t pass any vehicles at all but heading home we came nose to nose with a couple of vehicles and as the track was only one vehicle wide with scrub each side the etiquette is the vehicles who are not towing anything (Us) has to get out of the way to let the other vehicles through, who are towing, so Andy (B) managed to pull of in to the scrub and we had to reverse back about a kilometre to the last chicken track, Caroline was driving and she reversed back and let these vehicles through, she had her window down and the guys she
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Busy as a Bee
had made room for said “thanks mate” until they saw it was a female who was driving.

We did meet two other guys coming back again,one towing quite large boat and they were very sporting and pulled in to the scrub for us and let us past

We arrived back at the track head about 5.55pm and parked up and re inflated our tyres, it was just time to tune our HF sets in to the 6.00pm sked when we call in to inform the base station where we are and if we are all OK.

Once this was done we only had a 40minutes punch home and got back to camp at about 6.40 tired out.

I had been delegated to do the spring onion mash potatoe this evening, as Andy B had flashed the BBQ up and done some steak and sausages, we sat under the gazeebo and had a couple of drinks with our dinner but it had been a big day so we headed for our beds early

Additional photos below
Photos: 19, Displayed: 19


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Dead but not forgotten
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Chicken Track

Time for a Paddle
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Lunch Time at Israelites Bay

31st December 2014

Gorgeous area
Thanks for these interesting blogs about a beautiful and not-widely-known part of the world. Also, while I am not a camper, you do make camping look so very fun!
1st January 2015

Chicken Tracks
Hi Anne, Firstly a very Happy New Year to you and we hope your year is full of Fun, Good Health and prosperity. Secondly I don't think we are hard-core, we believe in simple pleasures like a beautiful night sky or great wildlife, good camping is easy and very much fun, we always eat and sleep well which are the two main ingredients. Our best regards Andy & Caroline

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