The day it all turns pear shaped. In my diary I have written one word. Nightmare.
So I am coming out from Mt Franklin towards Rehola heading towards Kooyoora and the start of the ride is lovely. At some point I pass the welcome stranger. The story is some fellows in a cart ran over a chunk of gold in the road and it broke the wheel of the wagon.
Anyway I will just refer to it as the home of the unwelcome stranger. Something in the road through Rehola tears open the wheel on the cart like a tin opener.
At first I am in no stress. Plenty of spare tubes. Pull over. Blazing hot day. Take off wheel. Take tire off. Getting ready to put tube in. Fellow pulls over on a motorcycle.
We have a chat about farming and water. Then I see the deep gash in the tire. Perhaps a cats-eye has done it. The edges on them rise up out of ground and sharpen up over time.
Even then I am thinking no problems. Out with some zip ties. Guy is still talking. Bit distracting. Cutting zip ties after pulling them through tire manage to cut finger open.
Combination of distraction and heat. A lot of blood and excited flies. No problem. Patch that up since I now have a gash in myself and in wheel.
Guy on bike leaves wishing me well. Put tire back on. Tube back in.
I can fix anything . . .
About 100 meters down the road . . . BANG!
I see that the zip ties have just torn out. Okay time to attack this with insulation tape and more zip ties and string.
This does a bit better. I get maybe 16-17k out of it before the next tube goes. Not going to put another tube in.
Now what. Hay of course. Trick as old as the first wheel. But not generally for a torn open tire. I cut the tube open and lay it inside the tire.
Why didn’t I bring spare tires? Because I didn’t think about it!
So now I am -close- or I think I am close to the camp ground. On the Kooyoora main road. If I turn left I will go to the lovely Mellville caves campsite if I turn right I will go to . . .
Well it turns out to -nothing- . . .
After another 2 hours of nursing this mess ( stopping every 10 minutes or so to repack it / tie it coax it / pray to wheel gods ) I reach what should be campsite. This is on a gravel road in the forest with extensive climbs.
I get to a gate , ‘Kooyoora Retreat – No Tresspassers’ . . .
Local council sold the campsite!
At this point I have had enough. Push bike in to forest side track. Exhausted. Stealth camp.