1990 Terry Bolland

The Long Way Home by Terry BollandGoal: To walk/run the main track of the 1600km Canning Stock Route, from Wiluna to Billiluna, as part of my 'Around Australia 24 000km walk, run, cycle and kayak'.

'WHY the Canning Stock Route?'

'Because I wanted to visit the places not many people had been to.

It took a year to complete my 'Around Australia' expedition. Leading up to the Canning Stock Route walk/run, I paddled 800km from Augusta to Geraldton and cycled 750km from Geraldton to Wiluna, but the Canning Stock Route walk was probably going to be more difficult due to a leg/knee injury I had for several months. This would be the first time I was putting it under any real strain.

I cycled into Wiluna just before 3.00pm. It wasn’t the cleanest town; in fact it was a sad and sorry sight to see the Aboriginals drinking by the roadside. We topped up the vehicle with diesel as it was going to be the last time we could fill it before reaching our fuel drum 800km along the Canning Stock Route.

Before moving to the deserted campsite, I rang the ABC radio and informed them of my plans and then visited the police station to do likewise.

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Canning Stock Route Wells and Water

Well 41 - Photo Dot CookA walk of the Canning Stock Route can be done from a water availability point of view, IF you are capable of crossing several 100km dry sections. Walking on the tail end of a wet season will improve your chances of success.

Between Wiluna and Durba Springs/Well 17, there is more frequent access to water. This is the easy section with regards to water, terrain and cooler temperatures.

Most of the Canning Stock Route wells are neglected and in disrepair. You need to be willing and capable of treating and drinking water contaminated with dead animals and faeces, as well as drinking surface muddy water, using a variety of treatment methods. This is especially applicable north of Durba where water is scarce due to fewer wells maintained.

A small portable desalinator would be an advantage, but not a necessity. Be wary of relying on filter pumps. They often fail due to the fine clay particles in the water. Well 41 has rendered at least 4 MSR MicroWorks pumps useless. It is wise to employ a number of methods to treat drinking water. Boiling water might sound like the solution, but it requires energy and time to boil water in the typical 1L pots hikers and cyclists carry and then cool it before pouring into plastic water containers, all the while keeping the fire going in order to boil as much as 5 litres. Most days you are just too tired. Unless it is a rest day.

There are SIX super difficult dry sectors between RELIABLE water.

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Where to find recently published articles

The following links will take you to pages that are being updated in 2018:

A Timeline of Canning Stock Route Adventurers - A list of adventurers and a summary of their achievement. The drop down menu with categories and links to detailed articles is limited at present. These are their stories.

Diary of a Canning Walker - My account of my solo walk in 2013, day by day.

Canning Stock Route Wells and Water - This is useful research to those planning a foot powered traverse of the Canning Stock Route.

Please also make use of the SEARCH facility (top left) as it is very useful in tracking topics of special interest.

Enjoy!

P.S. Most of what you read here, has never before been published. It is my passion. I am thorough. If you would like to contribute to the research and writing of these articles, follow this link and make my day - I would like to Contribute.

The Canning Walker's Challenge for 2013

End of the CSR for Gaynor Schoeman Canning Walker

Starting from Billiluna in the north near Halls Creek on 31 May 2013, Gaynor Schoeman walked 1657km solo for 66 days, carrying a backpack of 30kg, finishing on the 05 August 2013 in the tiny outback goldfields town of Wiluna.

Gaynor was raising money for quadriplegic wheelchair rugby players under the banner Walk 4 Wheels and Walk 4 Wings in memory of hangglider pilot and friend, Bruce McClunan, who broke his neck on 1st April 2011.

Many class this walk as unsupported, done in a similar way as the first successful walkers lead by Murray Rankin in 1976.

Whilst I did not walk with vehicle support, or with another person, without the help of Andy Sutcliffe in establishing my supply route before the walk, and my food sponsors, this walk would not have been possible.  For this reason I class my 2013 desert walk only as SOLO .... by my own standards. Media interviews - TV, Radio, Newspapers and Magazines.

 

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