This Adventurous Age

Adventures travelling and working around Australia.

2003 Travels August 5

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After breakfast, drove out to the other place that we had permission to visit – Murray Springs – following another mud map. This one featured “wire gate”, “gap”, an arrow pointing on a track to the NT border, and a rough estimate of 15kms distance from camp.

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Seen from a Musselbrook track

We missed a turn and drove almost to the NT border. Only realized from the distance travelled and the persistent westwards trend on the GPS that we had gone astray. We backtracked and corrected, finding the gap in the fence, that marked our turning point, that I’d missed before. The “mistake” was a scenic drive, anyway, through quite rugged country.

The tracks to these sites were quite good. The whole area is an absolute maze of tracks – presumably, some date from the days when it was all station property but most from the mining exploration period. Some would be maintained these days, by National Parks, for access to research sites.

The Murray Springs, on Murray Creek, were quite pleasant, but not in the class of yesterday’s gorge. Murray Creek eventually flows into Musselbrook Creek, near the mining camp.

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Murray Springs water hole

There was much ironstone around the area where we drove today.

Back at the mining camp, we walked and explored about the camp area.

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Looking back to the mining camp from the nearby ridge

We went to where an original old homestead had been, on a slight ridge, with a great outlook. There was a memorial cairn there, to George Doherty – who I guessed was maybe  of the pioneering family  who established the original Highland Plains  property.

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Memorial cairn on ridge site of original homestead

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Outlook to west from original homestead site

John took his time inspecting the mining camp plant – the solar array with its battery storage unit, fuel storage tank, satellite dish. He found some very termite riddled lengths of timber on the ground.

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Main building at the old mining camp

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Solar panel array at mining camp

After lunch, we packed up our camp and left Musselbrook about 2pm, to head back to Adels.

We felt very grateful to have been allowed to go out to Musselbrook. Even the bosses at Adels had not yet been there.

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Stopped on the drive out to gather a couple of pieces of the gutta percha timber.

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Cluster of gutta percha trees by Musselbrook track

We got back about 6pm, with thick layers of dust over everything, and my hair feeling like steel wool. Just proved that Truck had not somehow miraculously become dust proof! The shower was very welcome – that was something we hadn’t had whilst away.

I thought the break away had done us good, although I couldn’t feel very enthusiastic at the prospect of work tomorrow.

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