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"I would rather attempt something great and fail. Than to do nothing at all and succeed"

Monday, June 6, 2011

THE TANAMI DESERT CHALLENGE - 2nd, 3rd, 4th & 5th JUNE 2011 - DAY 11, 12, 13 & 14 - 94km

Hey All, sorry for the break in blogs but here is a bit of a catch up.

Thursday - Day 11 - 36km
A typical day involves getting up in the morning and after completing my morning routine, Lorette and Jake have my chair charged and ready. Then we saddle up and hit the road. Luke and I keep each other going on the road, Sare keeps the food up to us and Rette and Jake as well as keeping us hydrated clear the way for us with the support vehicles.

"A Quick Cuppa, chair change and then back on the road"

Pretty eventful finish to the day today. We were poking along and the Sun was going down, just Luke and I and then the battery started to go flat on the chair, so we decided to pull up and wait for the road crew to play catchup, pretty damn cold too, Luke tried to get a fire going by rubbing 2 sticks together, got a bit of heat but not enough to catch the kindling.  Then out from the scrub came this mickey bull with its chest all puffed up blowing smoke (it was that cold). It was getting pretty close too and really putting the breeze up us. I've had my fair share of dealing with bulls but I usually leave the clowning up to my old mate Framey. I had a mental image of a rodeo arena with me being the barrel, don't know if all of you have been to a rodeo but things don't always end up so well for the barrel...  Anyway we tried to bluff our way out and Luke threw a rock at him , good shot too, hit him in the nose, not that it deterred him much. Well we though enoughs enough, we had better get the hell out of dodge and luckily the chair had just enough power, to start up and get further away. Unfortunately, our little friend seemed to be attracted to the little whirring sound coming from my chair and kept following us, was really worried at one point that it was going to have a go at us. And well the calvary arrived just in time and saved the day. I can't even show you a picture of him, will have to be the case of the one that got away, must say I wasn't really thinking about grabbing the camera in all the excitement though.

"Didn't get the Mickey Bull, but got this moth - Bugs are pretty big ot here in the Tanami"

Friday - Day 12 - 16km
After lunch we went into the Yuendumu and I had a talk with the school children. Funny little fellows. Had them totally baffled as to why we would want the tanami Track - I think they thought we were crazy.
We talked about agriculture and where food comes from and also about lifes challenges and how you can adapt to the changes people are faced with and how they can overcome them and still live a fullfilling life.
It is so amazing how supportive the tourists have been. We have had literally dozens of tourists, having heard of our challenge, who are pulling up for a caht and making donations. Thank you all very much for making the effort of pulling over, especially on this rough and corrugated road which as we all know the stopping and starting is the hardest - can shake your car apart.

Pulled up for the day around 30km away from the Vaughn Springs turnoff - midpoint for our halfway Dinner!! Mt Doreen/Vaughn Springs Station is about 330-340km from Alice Springs and Mat and Debbie Braitling have kindly donated an area where we can hold our Halfway Beef and Beer - Thank you Deb and Mat for all your hard work in prepping the site.

Saturday - Day 13 - 30km
Finished the day smack bam at our halfway mark, the turnoff to Vaughn Springs and our Halfway Beef and Beer Dinner.  Thank you again to my ol' mate Norma, who walked the entire 30km with us today. Hey Norma - your a legend!

The Dinner was fantastic and a great night was had by all. I have so many thankyou's!  Thank you to my niece Telia for singing one of the most heartfelt songs I have heard in a long, long time.

Thank you to Mat and Deb Braitling for hosting the night. A week before the site was a gravel pit and using rollers and graders they turned it into an ampitheatre.
Thank you Scotty Dann for coming out and and singing up a storm so that we could dance the night away.
The Auction was unbelievable and blew my mind. Thank you to Elders' Herbie, Scott and Brittney for doing the auctioneering. Thank to all who donated items and bidded on items, without you it wouldn't have been the success it was.

Thank you Brady and Luke for the horns - you guys rock!

Thank you Satin and Spurs - Tiani Loretta and Tania, for entertaining us and to Tian and her many helpers and sponsors who orchestrated the whole night and made it the success it was. Hey Tania and Simone the desserts rock!

Dad and Uncle Steve spent days making roast cookers out of forty-fours. Mum and Dad, Steve and Jude, thank you. 
Thank you to all who made it out for the night and all the efforts everyone put in to be there to celebrate with me.

We really should call the challenge - One Man - One Aim and a hell of a lot of Family and Friends...

Sunday - Day 14 - 12km
Pretty late in starting and after cleanup we walked out a few kms and called it a day.

I was talking to my sister today and she was telling how my Nephew Bohdi entered a vegetable sculpture in the local show over in Gin Gin. The Sculpture was of a bloke on a horse and he called it "Rob Cook, riding Thunder Pants the horse". it never ceases to amaze me what the innocent eyes of how my nephews and nieces see me. They still see me as the guy I was before my accident not as a guy in a wheelchair.
People often talk about the bright lights of the city. But we can tell you now, there aint no competing with the bright lights of the Tanami. Whether it be the shine of the coals and flames of our nightly fire, the sun rising and setting or the stars in the sky. Theres not a star int the Southern Hemisphere that we haven't enjoyed.
Ten more days to go and we will be rolling our way into the Red Centre. Luke and I are determined to be reaching Alice lunchtime, come hell or high water!

Good night to you all and where ever you are I hope you too are enjoying our awesome night skies.

Cheers Rob

1 comment:

  1. Well done Rob and Co. (hey! a bit slow, just realised the connection with Cobb and Co. overland coach company). Thought you guy's had been abducted by aliens for a few days there. Looked like the halfway beer n beef was a blast.
    But, it's back on the track again. Take it easy...you guy's are doin' great............Steve