Cape York Day 13

Another early morning for me, so I grab a coffee and go for a wander to examine our first creek crossing today, which is canal creek. It’s all rock in the creek, with various entry’s and exits.  Some people are camp blocking some exits but it’s not an issue here.
I wander back up to camp and start packing up. Lyndall is up, dogs are up, and we are ready to hit the road in no time.  Today we finish the old Tele track.  Obviously our first crossing today is canal creek.  While we are packing up, the people we meet and travelled with for a short time on the first day, (3 campers and solo ute). Drove past us. Later found out that they stayed at elloit falls for a few days.
Oh for those that are curious, no we didn’t see Elliot, twin falls or fruit bat falls, due to them being national park and us having the dogs with us.

IMG_5019

Anyway, back to the Tele!  We head off from camp, head down to the creek, and I get out to walk my line.  Good idea as there are some big deep holes in the rock, that make a great little spa bath, but you don’t want to drive into them,  line walked and I head back to the car, where next thing you know, I slip, and go arse up..  No damage apart from pride. Lucky no pics, although I think there is some go pro footage somewhere..
In the car now we head over, all very easy really, and we pick a line out that was no problems.  The next crossing is Sam creek. It is a straight forward to cross, with a good campsite also. The water in these creeks is unbelievably clear.IMG_5022
We come to an intersection and discover that this is the turn off to the left that takes you back to the main bypass road if you wish to not to nolans brook which is notorious for drowning cars in the Deep water and soft sand. As we have this group in front of us we decide to push on with them. At worse we can come back if we don’t want to cross nolans.
The next crossing is mistake creek, and by this stage we have caught up to the group in front.  We wait for them to go through, and I did a quick look at the crossing and we head through.  In between all these creeks is some really good slow technical 4wdriving also and I am really enjoying the drive.
It turns out that we end up joining onto the back of he group and we all help each other through. Apperently Charlie intently watches me everytime I get out to walk a creek, curious no doubt why I get to go for a swim and not take him.
Cannibal creek is next. This has 2 different lines on entry and 1 exit. Both entry’s are steep, one is a sort of gully, so bank each side and the other is    to the right of this and has a side angle on it. So i figure that the safest is to go into the gully although it has a few holes it in also at least we can’t slide off a hill. The other challenge here if you drop off a rock ledge into the water which is about top of wheel depth and you have to make a tight 90* turn in the water to get to the exit. After watching the others it is my turn. I was guided in by one of the other blokes while Lyndall filmed. We get down and I drop the car into the water. Having the trailer means a wide line to make the turn, I really don’t want to have to do a 3 point turn. As I start the turn I here a bang as the trailer drops of the rock step into the water. I get to the exit and go and inspect the trailer, yep it must off hit the rock step on the back corner. Nothing major, just a few scratches.
On to cypress creek now. This is probably up there with being as nerve racking as gunshot creek. No water to cross at cypress creek as it is a log bridge, and it is just that. Logs cut and layed down over a same gully, where the creek runs. The logs are just wide enough to fit the car so very care and precise wheel placement is needed. It is definitely a crossing to use a spotter. 4 cars and trailers over and it’s my turn. I ease my way on to the bridge and follow the spotters direction. When you get on the bridge all you can here is the creaking and cracking of the logs and you have to try not to just floor it to get off there, as you get off the bridge there is a tight right hand turn and a bank on the left. With the trailer you have to drive up the bank a bit before turning so your trailer doesn’t go side ways off the log bridge. Car off, trailer off, can breathe again!!
After this we continue on to another crossing which is Logan’s creek. We some how missed the entry where the Deep section of this is and it was a pretty easy uneventful crossing.  Not far from here and we arrive at nolans brook.
Nolans Brook.
A quick search on you tube will show you disaster on disaster at this crossing. Like I said previously, it has a soft sandy bottom and is generally very deep. Which makes for a car killer when you get bogged. Watching videos before coming I have realized that a lot of the people that come unstuck here, is normally from a few bad decisions or driving, but there is a  few just plain unlucky.
We all get out and walk this crossing. Finding all deep spots and soft spot. Examining every entry. It also make for a pleasant swim and the water here is the clearest I have seen so far.
Deciding that we will get the non towing ute across first we prepare his winch and have it ready to go. Winch is not the best but as he is the first there is no one to pull him out on the other side. He gets through ok which is a relief for everyone. The bottom here is not as soft as I thought it would be and the water level is done a little also. Next car and trailer mint he group Ickes his entry. We get 2 snatch straps and join them together and connect the 2 cars. That way if he gets stuck their is no mucking around with straps. All god 2 cars though, 3 to go. 3rd car and trailer line up and we hook snatch straps on to the front and off they go. After seeing both these cars go through the 4th car, the driver decides not to worry about the straps. He comes down and hits the water and keeps on going through. My turn. So after seeing everyone go through I though I won’t worry abut the strap, but then last minute I changed my mind. You know Murphy law says that if you could have used it, you should have, and as I was the last car I didn’t know how soft the bottom was really going to be. So I played it safe and hooked on to the tow car. We moved off and I am driving into nolans brooks. Drop down into the homes and water comes up over the windscreen and pop up the other side. I had plenty of drive and wheels didn’t slip at all. But I’m still glad we played it safe.  Long way from home up here!
Woo hoo. Old Telegraph track tackled and mastered. Here is our stop for the night so we find a place and reverse the trailer into this little spot with a perfect swimming hole at the back door. The other guys keep going, so we say our goodbyes and thanks for the help and off they go. They are going on to loyalty beach from here and as it’s lunchtime they have heaps of time.
For us though we have setup and are now kicking back taking it all in. What an absolute cracker spot. Best sit of the trip and to cam here makes the whole OTT worth every single corrugation.
Not much else to do today but swim and have a few beers. There is another family camp over from us and we have a chin wag throughout the arvo. A few bike riders come through in the arvo and right where we are camped is a small log bridge that they use to cross. Watching one and he almost lost it over the edge into the water. Couldn’t help but laugh.
Charlie is absolutely loving having the water right at the back door, Sophie is sound asleep inside the trailer.

So that is the end of day 13 and the end of the old tele track.

A Vid of todays adventure

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