Kidston is a lonely little place. Once a teeming mining camp, now all that is left is the Oaks Rush Pub which is housed in the old mine mess hall. The pub had no beer when we turn up, only offering two cans of soft drink and a bottle of rum. These items were placed on the bar for us to pour our own. The publican is really a parsturalist. He runs the cattle station there and maintains some of the mine rehabilitation infrastructure.
The Kidston mine closed in 2002 apparently. There are the remains of one of those enormous dump trucks in the main street.
During our mid morning stop Raman suggested I check my air filter. I put a fresh one in when I rebuilt the engine at Donnie’s. So this air filter had seen only a few hours dirt yesterday and a few more this morning. When I opened the filter door I found my self looking at a familiar sight, a filter totally covered in dust. What was worse was the inside of the filter was also dusty! Deja vu. I felt sick. Dust is getting into my new motor and I haven’t even done 1000km yet. And yes, I know for a fact that I oiled the filter. So, after all that we now see that the dust out here actually strips the oil out of my filter. Many questions have been asked and many ideas have been thrown around. Maybe the oil is bad, maybe the filters are stuffed, maybe its getting in else where…and on and on. Most of which we have ruled out by thinking things through. One thing is for certain, my bike draws air from over the rear wheel which is a dusty area so my filter is under more load than the filters in the other bikes.
I put a fresh filter in and we continued on our way toward Cobald Gorge.
Part way along Barry bailed out, telling me he would meet us at the Mt Surprise pub. I don’t quite understand Barry. He tells me he raced in the Finke and Donnie tells me he can ride and yet he doesn’t like anything slow at all. “Third gear and above!” was his comment and he rides a KTM 950 Super Enduro so third is not low. Anyway, he turned around at the first sight of winding dirt roads.
For me thats where it just began to get good. I must admit the wide open high speed stuff isn’t all that inspiring for me from a riding perspective. I prefer to do 80-90km/h on the open stuff and just take in the scenery.
It is hot and oh so very dry out here. Rolling rocky hills covered in trees and a very dusty road
Gee the ground looks tough. It amazes me what some trees can survive in.
Thats why we don’t ride behind each other. I am either a good distance ahead or behind to allow the dust to settle.
Arriving at Cobold Gorge at around mid day allowed us to see the gorge.
Checking my air filter again tonight revealed it was again in need of a change although this time the dust had not yet penetrated the filter. Ok, so that was only a few hours of riding and it was done. Yikes, this is looking unworkable.