Drysdale Station (Miner’s Pool), WA

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July 25th 2019
Published: July 25th 2019
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We have hit the camp spots that we were hoping to! Water, fish, camp fires, sand (or dirt, maybe). Happy as a pig in poo!

We left Home Hill bright and early to beat the grey nomad traffic, which worked out pretty well as we had the road to ourselves for a couple of hours after 7am. Still a heap of corrugations in the road but if you take the right speed and have the right tyre pressure they aren’t too bad - quite a few of the people we meet do not agree. I have NFI what they expect but I suspect it is something along the lines of bitumen or daily graded roads.

Related to the above we found two vehicles with punctures during the morning. THe first bloke, and his wife and kid, had a 200 series Cruiser with some monsterous camper on the back with two rear flats. Apparently he had problems with both (numerous repairs in them) and they had finally let go. Nice fella but did not want any help. We ended up leaving, him after a chat, with directions to a couple of different stations that offered tyre repairs. We saw him later that morning coming into Ellenbrae Station, so he obviously made it out alive!

The second vehicle (a hired Thrifty 79 series) held an older couple from Germany. They had a couple of other vehicles stopped with them but flagged us down regardless. They were after a high lift jack as the fella had pulled over into a ditch meaning his bottle jacks were not high enough. We sorted that with a few well placed rocks put his spare on only to find that he was running 37 psi in his tyres!!! We suggested he let them down a bit and he said that the hire manual suggested 26 psi was the lowest they should go. Um, Thrifty? You are mad. We set these people on their way and caught up with them at the next spot.

Tyre pressure. FFS people, it is a pretty simple system. Let them down when you are driving on dirt/gravel/sand/rock and slow-the-hell-down! As an example, Phil and Tony were running around 20 psi and I was down to 15psi, as the tyres in this new truck of mine aren’t quite what my last ones were. Letting them down makes the journey more comfortable, minimises the risk of breakages and protects the road surface as vheicles aren’t bouncing up and down so hard.

The only scheduled stop for the day was at Ellenbrae Station, famous along the Gibb for their scones, jame and cream. Di (Phil’s Mum, Tony’s wife and Jen’s Nan) was determined to stop in and shout us all scones. Which were flipping awesome!!! A nice little station with camping available and nice artwork on the walls - mostly landscapes of the Kimberley with some other bits and pieces thrown in. Sitting in the well-watered garden with beautiful grass and trees was a nice change from the dust. And, again, the people running the show were great. Took the piss out of Tony mercilessly, which he throughly deserves - all in good nature, of course!

We pulled into Drysdale Station in the early afternoon, filled up with diesel ($2.15 per litre!) and paid the small fee to camp away from the homestead, at Miner’s Pool. Well, if we had been a little disappointed with the dryness of the desert spoiling our dreams of waterfalls and swimming holes we had finally broken our duck. This place was awesome! We had a few acres to ourselves, a decent footy kick from the Drysdale River that had a nice sandy bottom. Winner, winner.

This is what we had been hoping for from our plans for up here. A bit of solitude and nature at its best. A swift camp setup and then the rest of the afternoon was spent lazing in the river with a couple of beers and the kids spashing about, a few dozen metres clear of the freshwater croc that inhabiited this part of the river.

We decided that night to hang around another night as this joint was great. THe following morning saw us attempting to walk around what was suspected to be a cut-off part of the river, taking the cameras and a few litres of water as it is getting hot quite early at the moment. We never did find the end of the river (later found out that it was 200km away!) but saw some magnificent bird life, bats, more crocs and fish.

In the afternoon we whipped back the few KM to the station to pay the nights dues and to have a beer and a chat to the locals, then headed back with some advice on fishing the river to have a crack. We started slow but as the afternoon wore on we had a little more luck. Nath and I both caught a Golden Grunter each and a couple of other little things e.g. little Black Bream, but there were no Barramundi in sight. Not to be unexpected but one can only hope.

With each passing person telling us that Mitchell Falls are currently prettyt much dry and the drive in/out taking roughly four hours each way we are now determined to head further North to Kalumburu for a few days before trekking back South West.


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