14-Jul-2010 -- Joint Australia/Canada ATV Mission to claim confluence.
Having spent the best part of a week slowly moving south through the Great Sandy, We had negotiated our way to the amazing Dragon Tree Soak conservation area and the two oasis of Dragon Tree and Elizabeth Soaks. We had to cross a further 80 km of dunes to reach the remnants of the Anna Plains Track, an access road for the original mineral exploration in the Great Sandy in the 1970's. It is no more than a green thicket of shrubs these days but by the 13th we had pushed our way to within 60km of the confluence and were camping in a low rocky range preparing for our quad journey the next day.
The 14th saw us packed and away at 0830 having 20 km to complete to our jumping off point for the confluence chase. The track was again over grown in may places, the flora ripping down the side of the vehicle. At the 20 km mark, the track took a turn to the north so we ducked off into the bush and parked behind the first dune preparing the quads for the arduous trip south west..
On heading off, we stumbled across an unmarked cut line almost immediately. It was heading to the south west, the same direction as our destination so an unexpected bonus. It was very overgrown in places, particularly in the flat soak areas between many of the dunes. These were thick with growth making progress difficult at times. Thankfully, it was usually possible to pick up the cut through the dune top on the distant dune and thus aim for that. We found some water in soaks and claypans and more than a few camels haunting the area. It was apparent that the camels have used the old cut line as a thoroughfare. After the first 6 or so kilometres the soaks disappeared to be replaced by normal dunes and swales. The blow outs and bowls on the dune tops were very impressive.
At 15 km we lost the cut line and headed the last 8km cross country and rough country it was too. Spinifex central and very rough. Some of the drop offs the dune tops were precipitous causing a bit of thigh squeezing from the quad passengers. We reached the confluence just on 12 noon. It was situated mid way in a swale between two dunes. Of course there was the obligatory photo shoot but the confluence shuffle was very light on this year as a week in the saddle had taken its toll on us all. The comfort was that 20-122 was ours.
Coordinator's Note: These lands are unassigned crown lands and as such there is no permission needed to access the area in which the confluence sits. The land is not subject to lease or native title or form part of any Aboriginal Land Trust (including Part III Reserved Lands). The access route though is on private property, please don't attempt a visit without getting permission first.