Another great workshop at Dillmans Bay Resort. A fantastic group of people, beautiful surroundings, lots of painting in a big well lit studio and wining and dining in the surrounding towns. What a lot of fun.
From Brisbane, Australia to Flagstaff, Arizona via LA and Phoenix is a long haul. We were jet lagged and weary when we collected our hire car and drove into town to a motel.
Next morning, bright and fresh, we headed down Route 66 and peeled off north to the Utah/Arizona border and the spectacular landscape of Monument Valley National Park.
Blue Watercolor – information on the best blues to add to your palette
Leaving Arkaroola we headed north along the Strzelecki track. It skirts the Strzelecki, Simpson and Sturt’s Stony Deserts. Most of the track was in good condition, but very dusty, which didn’t bother us much, since there was no traffic.
In 2010 this rig and all the others in the lower Strzelecki sat in 2 meters of water for the best part of 12 months. It’s hard to imagine that volume of water spread out over this incredibly flat land.
These cattle must live on dirt and rocks – there doesn’t seem to be anything else to eat.
We spent a night at Innaminka on Coopers Creek, then wound our way over a slow track full of bad corrugations, washouts and bull dust. This took us to Coongie Lakes – a strange sight after winding over desert sandhills. The lake is massive and supports all sorts of birdlife
Serious looking Willy Wagtail
These are some of the best examples of bush architecture we encountered along the way.
From Maree we headed south into the Flinders Ranges via the ruins of Farina and the soon to be abandoned town of Leigh Creek.
The Flinders Ranges contain some of Australia’s most spectacular landscape. We zig zagged our way from the south, back and forth up through the ranges until we reached Arkaroola in the north.
The Arkaroola Ridgetop Tour is something not to be missed. Almost 5 hours exploring some of the wildest four wheel drive tracks and gazing over the most spectacular views I have ever seen. These landcruisers get just 2000 kilometers from a set of tyres!
The Yellow Footed Rock Wallaby makes it’s home in some of the remote parts of Arkaroola.
Lake Eyre rarely contains water, so hearing of rising levels and heavy flow in from the north, we decided to drive out and have a look. We plodded our way slowly out to Birdsville then headed south along the Birdsville track
Early settlers along the Birdsville Track lived a hard life. This is the grave of the two youngest Scobie children who died of pneumonia in the 1890’s.
We called in to Etadunna Station and picked up a key and directions to one of the large lakes, already full of water, to the North of lake Eyre.
A slow trip through the sand dunes finally brought us out at a huge lake filled with water and surrounded by a crust of white salt. A strange sight in the middle of a desert.
There are some interesting old relics scattered along the Birdsville Track. I’d love to know the stories behind them.
We continued South to Maree – a sleepy little town with a Pub, “Yacht Club” and remnants of the old Ghan Railway Line. Maree marks the southern end of the Birdsville Track and is the best access point to Lake Eyre. We obtained maps and information from the Yacht Club and headed out to see the Lake.
We camped on a waterhole at Muloorina Station and drove out to Lake Eyre South, across the Goyder Channel and on to, a still dry, Lake Eyre North. It’s an amazing sight to see a brilliant white salt pan disappear over the horizon. As you walk out into the lake the sand dunes begin to disappear and all you can see is blue sky and white salt.
A couple of days at Muloorina waterhole gave us a chance to catch up on some washing and photograph some of the birdlife.
Muloorina waterhole is fed by an artesian bore. Boiling hot water bubbles up and creates a steamy mist early in the morning. By the time it reaches the waterhole it has cooled enough to support fish and yabbies.
Looking forward to some great workshops coming up – Australia, Canada, USA and Italy…