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Stuart Jackson 2004

Gibson Desert 1997 - Day Eight

Day Eight: Friday 26th September 1997
Mount Worsnop to Pikul Rockholes

Camping at Mount Worsnop was the coolest night we had experienced so far. At 4am myself, Greg and Jamie woke up to observe Comet Hale-Bopp with binoculars from the comforts of our swags. Greg and myself both commented we could see the comet naked-eye. Fiorenzo and Cleve also awoke to enjoy the views.

By 7am we had ate breakfast and headed off. Just before 9am we stopped by Murray Creek which was a campsite used by oil companies whilst they surveyed the land many years ago. We were in creek bed country which caused some slowdowns but we eventually got onto some tracks that allowed us to pick up some speed (80k/hr). At 10:45 we turned west onto the "Grand Central Road" a large gravel road running between Warburton and Laverton. A while later we passed our first vehicle (and first human) since Carnegie some five days earlier.

By lunchtime we had reached the Tjukayirla Roadhouse a welcome sight after many days in the desert. We stopped for two hours for lunch and a hot shower... glorious!

After lunch we made a detour for the David Carnegie Road to goto Empress Spring some 60kms away. The discovery of these springs kept Carnegie alive and was named after him in 1896, "as a humble tribute to the world-wide rejoicings over the long reign of our gracious majesty Queen Victoria". A kangaroo had fallen into the spring and its rotting carcass was creating quite a stench. Tub and Terry performed a community service by removing it from the spring (not easy or pleasant) then we all climbed down to take a look.

We were on the road again by 4pm and the sky was getting cloudy.. thick and dark clouds. We were back on the Grand Central Road by 5pm and we decided to continue on and camp at the Pikul Rockholes. It was getting dark and we stopped by the side of the road so Terry could repair the alternator... the thunder and lightning against a dark red sunset made for an excellent photo opportunity. When we got to the rockholes we found the caves were occupied by some truckies so we camped around the back. Some light rain fell through the night.

For photos of this trip see the Gibson Desert 97 Photo Gallery (opens in a new window)

you are at: Astronomy Gibson Desert 1997 Day Eight
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