> 17 July 1963
Take-off for Meekatharra via Cunderdin. Weather bad; low ceiling Cunderdin 1500 feet, Carnarvon closed so having to take inland route. Cunderdin, turned due north, reached Lake Moore raining like nobodies business water everywhere Singleton Hills. Meekatharra closed. Pilot decided he must turn back ghost town. On the deck at ?Leonora, weather clearing, decide to continue. Take-off, selected route direct for Depuch. Over Murchison River, (a northern branch) 2 photos taken. Over Gascoyne watershed and Robinson Ranges, Migun Station Homestead, Mount Vernon.
Ashburton River, conical hills with quite coloured breakaways, could be like Oakover Beds. Cine shots of edge of Hamersley country. [Photographic numbers seem to refer to Bolex footage, few records of 35mm shots]. At this point there are notes: shots with all cameras Mount Bruce, northern end of Hamersley country [shots] past over Tambrey and down off the tableland. Black rock piles. Sherlock River and coastal plain, Depuch ahead, flew over Balla Balla and stooged over the island looking at landmarks etc.[fascinating to fly over Depuch and see the old sites and localities we worked in.] Took much film and photos.
Yule River seconds what it took a whole day to cover on foot. Hunters pool full of water, muddy brown in colour. Ken had a good look at it all. Photographed Balla Balla. Landed at Port Hedland and took photo of coastal plain as we came in and a lot of the town.
Various people in town: John R. of Papingara, Athol Loseley(?) of MMR.
> 18th July 1963.
Breakfast at 8, then to Main Roads offices. Telegram for Helen. "K.T.Richards, Kununnurra, E.F. Maxwell Derby. Map sent to Eric. Went out to Ted Roberts who took me out to the 2 mile camp and I had a look at the small reserve for native carvings - very disappointing in both quality and "presentation", Nothing nearly as spectacular or exciting as Depuch. Went out to the 12 mile & met Maury Tom and other old men then out to the sacred boards.
Time for takeoff, photos of town. Steady flight bearing at 60*, 80* over land, steady at 9000ft, 75* over DeGrey River, Wallal homestead & strip(?).
The roads of Quaternary sands at Wallal are striking. It looks very much as though the sands are an infill in an older topography possibly to the ?5 metre line. The large"lake" extends well inland and seems to be an old river flowing between DeGrey and Fitzroy Rivers.
Anna Plains, Talgano strip. Peninsula of Jurassic emerges out to the sea - could be exposures at its tip. Quaternary Bay just north on it again. Beyond the second peninsula there is another which goes inland and Frazier Downs Homestead is in its southern edge 4 or 5 miles from the sea. There is timber here and I suspect that this is the beginning of the Pindan. Patches of red show through here. Over La Grange, bearing changed to 70*. Flying in a straight line for Derby - abreast of Roebuck Bay. Ground beneath covered with a tree savannah (classified as a shrub savannah), presumably Pindar, very patchy, generally good cover but throughout the area are scattered islands of greater density of trees. Can see no sign of the G. S. Desert! Here the islands appear to be areas of lower density not higher i.e. general density here much higher.
Commencing descent Fitzroy in sight. Edgar Range visible to the east of us. Might be a good place to send Harry Butler.
As we lose height the p o called trees are seen to be shrubs with bigger trees scattered among them, presumably boabs and acacia. Mt Anderson and Grant Range visible on horizon, white gums along river beds. Landed at Derby. Met Bernie, Jim Coleman who lent us a Hammer (?) for Alex for tomorrow.
> 19th July.
Drove out to Erskine Range with Alex and driver Arthur... in Bedford 30cwt, very comfortable ride, nice in the sun at the range with the wind blowing. Spent morning searching the Brachyopid location in the Blina Shale, no success at all. Afternoon v. hot with clied (?) searched Ken McKenzie's skull loc. & found a number of good plates of Labyrinthodont sutures, bones etc.
Filmed view from range & of Range, returned to Derby, tried to get into a/o so that Bernie & wife could have a flight but keys with window repair people - no luck. Had long session with Maxwell about Albert. Albert keen to go with Crawford (remembers his father) will find us our replacement but needs reassureance that his job will not suffer. - I gave Maxwell this and told him that he should tell the Dept. this, he agrees. Met Ridge Shire Clerk, he is keen on museum project & I must write to him giving him the statement (?) that we will lend but can do nothing else under our present Act. He will take this up with Court - Minister for North West - a good man keen and efficient & has promises of much material for locals. Wants to know what happened to rifle which killed pigeons (?), supposedly a police weapon.
Wrote to Margaret.
> 20th July (Continued in separate notebook - Part 2)