Theaussiechallenge Post # 75 Sterling Ranges

Day 96 45 days to go. Distance today 76km total 7461km. It’s 7pm Thursday 11/10/2012 Moing Up Springs camp area, Stirling Ranges National Park. What a treat it’s been this afternoon cycling towards the Stirling Ranges with the small but sheer range sticking his chest out on the horizon. Mt Bluff is bold and handsome to the right of the Range and tempts many hikers to climb his peak. The landscape has changed dramatically again since entering the National Park with native low lying shrubs,white sandy ground and wild flowers abundant and blooming bold. There’s a park ranger hut next to the camp area and the ranger, Peter has been showing me some of the wildflowers including a ‘spider’ orchard. It’s white and shaped like its name suggests and so delicate. There’s also heaps of dark colored wallabies with white flashes around it’s eye and tail. I’m not sure what type it is and forgot to ask Peter but they’re new to this area and cute as. Peter said there’s a creak crossing about 10km further along that’s worth a stop to check out the wildflowers along the banks so that’ll be a definite 2nd cuppa tomorrow morning. It time for some early starts to try beat the sea breezes that build in the morning and blow ugly and head on unmercifully into the afternoon. That should change when we turn northwards from Esperance which is still a couple of days away. It’s light at 5am so the plan is to be on the road not much after. I have my new tent purchased in Albany this morning. It’s called ‘Buddy’ as it’s brand is Companion, and hopefully he’ll be ours for the weeks ahead. Grasshopper is in the post going back to Anaconda after his inglorious end with a pole snapping last night. ‘That’s not good’ came out of my mouth as I was setting him up. We managed to use a couple of pegs and zip ties to brace the pole for the night but it’s back to the maker for the grasshopper. He’s seen us comfy safe through WA for the most part so thankyou. Buddy is very much alike in color and shape being a 2 person free-stander and light at 2.5kg. He’s easier to assemble and looks smick moo with his christening tonight – welcome onboard Theassuieadventure mate, may your poles be sturdy and your green outer weatherproof. I also lashed out and bought another 3/4 mat as my repair attempt on the air mat was unsuccessful bugga. So it was a late start this morning leaving the Albany campgrounds at lunchtime. I spoke to the manager Sue at the Big4 campgrounds as she had left before we arrived the day prior. She let us camp for a freebie totally generous because it was $28 otherwise so bigtime yayayayayaya. That was a bonus end to a hard day Wednesday. On Wednesday we had our break at Denmark a small dot town in the hills and arrived tidy wides and a bit deflated. What’s deflating is that it takes so long to cover any distance so the bottom lip was out a bit when I pulled up in front of the IGA for a supply top up. This couple said, “how’s it all going’ and I replied, ‘hard!!’ ‘I’ll say’ they agreed and headed off. When I came out there was a box of Lindt chockies on Rubes seat which brought a smile to the face and were tasty treats for the next 60km to Albany. Despite the hard conditions the weather is currently blue skies which is suppose to hold up until Monday when showers are forecasted. We spoke to a lady at the roadhouse 15km back and she said that 7 days ago it was 7 degrees max and wanting to snow and rain. Nuts!!!!!! Needless to say we’re on a mission to be north of Esperance before Monday where the weather patterns are different to the coast. It’s hard ti imagine with it so clear now and perfect weather for the Ranges and Mt Bluff to show off their good sides. We’ll do a sunrise to sunset day of it tomorrow and see how far we can get to chip away the kms to Esperance. It’ll mean probably a bush camp but there’s a couple of very small dot town we can ask to fill up our water bottles for overnight. The roadhouse lady obliged today but said that they’re not suppose to as it’s tank water and not guaranteed purified but it tastes pretty good to me. Peter said the tank water here is fine despite it having a ‘not suitable for drinking sign.’ He is a lovely chap and after chatting and showing me about said on the quiet that he’ll waver the National Park fee to help the cause sweet man. He came over before to say goodnight and make sure we had everything. It’s nice to be looked out for!!! There’s another couple camped here and I was talking to them about bikes. They have a couple of mountain bikes and tomorrow are doing the 40km offroad circuit around the Bottom of the Ranges, sounds awesome!!! Their BBQ dinner smelt so good cooking up a storm on the hotplate so it’s time to fill the tum. Rubes crank is cluncking a bit from the huge hilly effort over the last 6 days. I’ve given her a good waxy oil up and hopefully she’ll come good tomorrow. She’s already passed out and snoring!!! It’s been a bit of an enigma this part of WA. In one respect it’s stunning countryside but in another the cycling’s been on the wrong side of hard. I thought today that we haven’t had some easy kms bar the 5km descent to Walpole. With an early start tomorrow we may be able to chip off some descent kms before the wind blows up. The roadhouse lady called it a ‘sea breeze.’ Sea Breeze my ar$e, way too nice but I’m a biased cyclist heading into it 🙂 I’m sure it’s very delightful from a car seat. I’ve got back into the truckee wave swing of it today leaving Albany with the roadtrains back on highway 1. They take the direct inland road from Perth to Albany and it was cool to say hi again today to my big brothers with cool tonkers 🙂 I met a NZ couple this morning at reception who were all smiles and chatty and donated $5 thankyou Mr and Mrs C. They’re on their way back home now to start teaching again Tuesday morning. Good luck getting back into the working swing with the year 6’s. In closing I hope all you fellow chickadees out there savored our first International day of the Girl Child. Us chicks really can do anything we put our minds too. Cash donations $2125. Talk soon x

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About shecyclesolo

If you could dream up the most wildest adventure imaginable what would it be? Between jobs and craving new experience, I decided to indulge the challenge. This is what I conjoured with a promise to come home safe and smiling. I hope you enjoy the 1080 days of stories as much as I will sharing them. "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you've imagined.' H D Thoreau

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