Day 16 Sat 31st March
Wilcannia to Cobar - distance 261 km
Our expedition family were all aware of the massive water moving fast moving from the north and flooding the Darling River at Wilcannia and beyond. We were happy to make the crossing over the river today. Trees were under water as was much of the local grazing areas.
So different when Syd Ferguson, Francis Birtles and dog Rex drove through on Easter Monday 08 April 1912 "in a hurricane of dust" only 32 mls or 141 points of rain had fallen until their arrival that year.
As you may have seen on this website we have descendants of Syd Ferguson and Francis Birtles travelling with us. They come to our staring point and also the finish to flag us off and exchange greetings and messages. This is a special part of every day of our expedition. Thank you to them all for travelling with us and sharing their amazing history.
We have more motor cycles in our Expedition than cars. This evening Catrina Sargent, entrant 26 - 1913 Royal Enfield and Graeme Hammond, entrant 44 - 1918 Indian PP have kindly shared their journey with us all.
Judie Stephens OAM - Expedition Director
"It's a great privilege to be riding with my father, Colin Sargent, and have my mother, Merralyn as our back up and support. It is also great to be riding with my cousin Daniel Sargent on his Triumph, along with uncle Ian and aunty Jenny and special family friends Greg and Deidre Coone. Greg is lucky enough to be riding Neil Bromilow's Rover.
Dad and I have ridden our veteran and vintage motorcycles extensively around Australia and the south island of New Zealand. Along with entrant David Flentje, we have ridden our veteran bikes Sydney to Melbourne and on another occasion Adelaide to Melbourne.
We are enjoying our across Australia expedition immensely as dad and I have ridden each day and the fleeting conversations we have with various entrants, who we don't see for hours on end, makes the ride most worth while. It's a credit to Bob Lamond for having the vision to organise the event and I really enjoy seeing the many and varied entrants and their drivers/riders/occupants. It is also a great treat for me to sit down and talk to the descendants of Sid Ferguson and Francis Birtles, who know their family history very well.
What a great event to be part of. Catrina Sargent."
Graeme Hammond, entrant 44 - 1918 Indian PP
"Our - my trip across Australia has been an incredible experience. This morning we woke up to the singing of mosquitoes. The mosquitoes are the worst we have ever seen. We organised our van and filled the Indian up with fuel and made our way up the main street of Wilcannia for our Start. It was good to see the nice crowd to send us on our way.
The old Indian ran well since leaving Perth. Leaving Wilcannia and seeing all the flooded areas around. Just shows how much rain they have had.
Before I knew it we were all pulled up by the Emmdale Road House and Judie Stephens had her photo taken alongside the Mouse and Rat toilets. We had our good coffee and headed for Cobar. Cobar was a good steady run and arrived 1pm at the one and only caravan park.
Thank you everybody - Graeme Hammond "