Day 12

Whike drifting off to sleep I form a new plan. I have looked at map and I think I see another campsite. This one is close to the Calder Hwy and Wedderburn. But I will need to get the wheel coaxed one last section. I have an idea of just how this will go. I will stuff a tube with knots of fabric from a t-shirt and stitch it and the remains of the tire in to a super tire. All this would be fine if Kooyoora was actually still a campsite.

Wake up with dawn. Didn’t bring any needles. No problem I make one from a fish hook. The eye on one end makes it a bit of a pain to pull through rubber of tube but it will get by.

No thread ( actually it turns out later I did put a needle and thread in my medical kit ) but I do have floss.

I spend the next hour with the leatherman making a stack of tiny knotted balls. I cut up an old thermal shirt which has seen better days but the material is super tough.

I take one of my blown tubes ( 16×2.125 ) and cut a small hole in the backside. I then begin to pack it with the cloth. This takes patience and a long time to stop it all bunching up. I make a small tool out of a bit of tubing I magpied at Mt Franklin to do this.

In the end I have a tube which is really quite impressive. It is a bit like one of those no puncture tubes which are really just a solid core.

Next up I put the remains of the tire back on the rim and push the tube in. The tire is really jsut gone. It has just destroyed itself. To fill it in I then I begin to stitch and wrap with insulation tape. I basically just bind the whole lot together around the rim.

In the end I have a wheel. It will roll. This is the last stage. If I don’t locate a campsite before it comes apart this will not be pretty.

Leave the cart good go and go off to find a campsite. No point dragging it around until I have somewhere to go. All the signs here are either missing pointing in the wrong direction or incorrect. The sign which says , ‘Kooyoora Camping Ground’ which I follow for 20 minutes with a sense of elation ultimately just leads me back to where I started.

I then hear a train. Even in the national parks you often do. A train can be 30-40km away and you will still hear them. Especially the horns. I remember on the map before my phone ran out of power that I had seen campsite close to a train station. So that is where I head. After about 40 minutes come to another national park.

Gabalyn. I am about to give up when I see a broken sign laying in bushes.

“Gabyln Campsite”

Great. No water or anything but a place to put up tent.

Back for my gear I go . . .

Another hour spent nursing this mess to camp. Holds together really well. Could actually get the heck out of here on it but decide not to risk it.

Tomorrow I will head out to the Calder Hwy which I am pretty sure is not to far away.

As I go to sleep I can hear the trains now loud and clear.