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

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

THE TANAMI DESERT CHALLENGE - 6th, 7th & 8th JUNE 2011 - DAY 15, 16 & 17

Hello to all from a not so sunny Tanami!!

Day 15

The days are fairly ticking along, not long now until I get to Tilmouth Well, smooth sailing from there.  The road from Tilmouth to Alice Springs is all bitumen and all who have travelled the Tanami would understand the absolute feeling of delight once you hit this stretch of road and know that it is all bitumen from here on out.  We finished today and camped at Boundary Bore.
"Day 15"
Had the absolute pleasure of having Mum and Dad travelling with us ever since we left our halfway point.  If ever you are looking for a couple of inspirational people you just won't go past my parents.  They have been a part of my road to recovery from the very first day and I am privileged to be travelling another road with them.
"My Mum and Dad - Bill and Letty"
Another amazing person in my life, is my wife Sarah, she never left my side throughout my entire recovery. The day Sare and I got married, when I said 'I do', I mean't 'I do love you and I do marry you'.  When Sare said 'I do' she was really saying, 'I will do everything' and this has been more evident since my accident.  Most husbands when they upset their wives get sent to the dog house for a night, Sare parks me in a corner and turns my machine off... I am nowhere as cheeky to her now as I use to be!  And I have said it before and I will say it again.  Most people go through life praying for an angel.  I married mine 8 years ago. 
"Proudest man alive"
I have been asked what doing this trip means to me as a father and what I hope to give to my boys through this journey.  I want my boys to have a stable family life. When I talk about One Man, One Wheelchair, One Aim, the aim is  to get back to work.  Everything I am doing is to reach that goal.  Each day I work towards my aim - through study, technology and challenges.  When my boys are eighteen and they are asked what they think of their Dad, I want them to hold their heads up high and say, "even though our Dad had his ability to move taken from him, Dad got out there and worked!  Even now throughout this challenge, my oldest son Braxton says to me at the end of the day, "What are we doing tomorrow Dad?" I say "back on the road again mate" and he replies, "oh your going back to work Dad". 

"Braxton and Lawson playing cubby houses"

Day 16

We headed off from Boundary Bore ready for a big day, with plenty of road moving beneath our feet.  Mum and Dad have headed back home today and we are back to our regular crew!  Not before Dad had Sare work her magic on his aching back.   Hey wheres my massage??...
"Old fella, showing his age!"
"Luke, Bracko in the back, Sare, Law Law, Chase the Dog and Me"
Mannee and Isaac swapped out with Rette and Jake as my carers and support crew on the Friday, they will continue the trip with us into Alice Springs.  We thought we would introduce the them to the Tanami - as seen like never before.
"Manee and Isaac on the job!"
We finished the day off just over 40km from Tilmouth well and camped out with Gary and Tracey King and the rest of the Suffron roadworks crew.  Such a small world... ...we first met Gary and Tracey when they were working on the road near Suplejack about 14 years ago (I was about 16).  Gary and Tracey came up to the homestead one night for a BBQ - geeze we had a great night. Anyway, even though our paths haven't crossed again we have never forgotten them and to us they have remained friends.  So skip to 14 years later and Gary and Tracey came to the Halfway Beef n Beer and tell us that they are working on a 4km strip of bitumen about 40km Yuendumu side of Tilmouth and invite us to camp the night with them on our way through.  Well working parallel to this story I get a message through my website from a lady called Anne who is the wife of Rob Suffron, who owns the roadworks plant, also inviting us to call in on the crew and well it doesn't stop there, it turns out Annes', Mum and Dad are old friends of the Cook Family - well you just never know who you might meet on the Tanami!!!!

And as another day closes, the clouds roll in and it looks like Mother Nature has one more challenge for me, I am to do my last 40 or so kilometres on a wet Tanami Track.
"Boundary Bore"

Day 17

I have been invited to be the first set of wheels to cross the new section of bitumen on the Tanami, which we had intended to do today but not all plans are set in concrete, especially when mother nature is involved.  After a very wet night and morning we have put back our road opening plans and decided to continue on through to Tilmouth. 
Thank you Kingy, Trace, Anne and Rob for your hospitality and a great night.

Tilmouth Well Roadhouse is 195km north west of Alice Springs and located on the edge of Napperby Station.  It is the 17th pitstop on our race along the Tanami...

Have a great week everyone and I will catch you from the bitumen!!!  Goodbye to the gravel roads of the Tanami Track...

I am arriving in Alice Springs on the 15th of June about lunchtime.  The Alice Springs Rotary Club are putting on a welcome BBQ in the Alice Springs Mall.  Feel free to walk into town with us and we look forward to a catchup on the 15th.

Cheers Rob

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