Full Record

David Ride : [field notebook] : Gullewa-Murchison Sept 1966
Record no:
Call no:
1 - 7 Sept. 1966
[14] p. : ill. ; 64 cm.
Travel with family members.
No WR nos collected.
> 1st Sept 1966 (Thursday)
Flowers all the way to New Norcia excellent. Heard our first Pallid Cookoo of  the trip, white necked heron - first since the 87-8 lot. Morawa, Mellenbye, new acl Leonard invited us to stay. Weird noises from bearings and something in the engine on the way will check in morning.

> Friday 2 Sept.
Mellenbye to Morawa to check on the  water pump which had lost a waterbag full of water since we left Perth. Morawa - went to the former Rover agents - they have given up the agency, then to Bevans. Water pump by now running like a tap, obviously u.s., considerable play, scared of putting the fan through the radiator. Rang Faulls. They promised to send up a complete new pump assembled.  Rang Grant Inglis to tell him of the pump and also that I was worried about gearbox bearings and tail shaft, told him if he was agreeable, I would use the vehicle on these but watch oil level to Perth. He said to go ahead. Rang Nan, she advised contacting Don & Diana Reid of Western Mining re a vehicle. They lent us a Nissan Patrol as flawed as mine in Koolanooka, camp at Ederga.

> Saturday 3 Sept.
Drove to Morawa to return Nissan, fill up tank, I .... gearbox, new water pump repair kit  sent up from Faulls, they sent up the wrong kit for the vehicle, phoned Faulls to ask for advice and told them I could have misread the [numbers]. They advised me to try to remove the kit from the pump and fit it into the old casting. Bevan's mechanic did this - a hell of a job. Fitted new fan belt, radiator hose then found the sheet of paper on which I had written the no. I had given to Faulls and I was correct after all & John Julian must have made an error. Drove back to the Ederga after leaving a note for Don and Diana them for offering to lend us a horse (house?). Camped at Ederga, walked out the exposures near the camp, no new finds although quite some change to the exposure due to the 1963 floods. Quite a warm night. A large centipede and small walked across the campsite, wolf spiders walking, collected the centipede.

> Sunday 4 Sept
Camp at Ederga R. Barnong Stn, picked up end of the Murchison. Mellenbye homestead to let them know that we are off. They have told Ken and Olive White at Billabalong that we are on the way. Dropped in on Neil & Judy Mitchell at Barnong, they have bought a house in Chester Rd. Claremont.

Mullewa. Bad journey up from Mullewa, engine ok but gearbox badly overloading with constant loss of oil.  Stopped at intervals to cool off, began to wonder if we would arrive ok. Crossed Murchison soon after dark, tried to find John Kelsall's old camp but quite impossible in the dark with a lot of surface water lying around on the soft clay.

Decided to go up to the New Forest turn off. Camped about 1/2 mile along it & to south[?] of road. Fair place but exposed, wind, cold but no insects and not too unpleasant at night. large centipede, striped, walked across campsite. Preserved in formalin.

> Monday 5 Sept
Drove down to river and then made way along to a prominent bluff on N bank where the river takes its first really major bend west of the White's loc.90*. Made camp and turn left M. and the children while Jim and I went back to the New Forest turnoff camp and collected gear and moved to the bluff. Made camp. Collected small Demansia in litter in small creek bed. Went for walk downstream from camp, found a small piece of zygomatic in too fragments in soft red ? plastic immediately above the level of the green grit at the entrance of a little creek at the eastern end of the Nototherium[?] seepul[?] & cliffs, obvious float, but unable to trace origin. Collected it, found a small section of bone protruding from shelf at top of green grit about 1ft above water level, excavated ? tibia of macropod. [Sketch of section of tibia location] soon after his location (ie west of it) the sequence peters out. Back to camp, had some target practice with boys. A cold and windy night, 1 blanket + sleeping bag not enough.

> Tuesday 6 Sept
Spent morning walking down to the bridge from camp.c 800* to reexamine the Whites' loc., no further fossils exposed. Several very good workaling[?] sites with numerous flakes, hammer stones etc. eroding out of the red earth in the top of he north bank, best is about 100-300 w.of the road. Mudlark nest not complete, birds still at it. Find implements[?] in a gravel on top of the green grit at the same level as Whites Nototherium[?] but (was later) convinced that it is a plaster. Collected dec ? tibia of macropod and other fragments (ie metacarpal and zygomatic). [sketch of site with distance from tibia]

Seds [Edwin] had made a fish trap - own design - and caught some Atherines, preserved these together with a small spangled perch caught by Seds after leaving his rod propped up in a forked stick. Drove out to Billabalong homestead, surprised to find that Olive & Ken White were not there but the Robinsons (owner) came up from Denmark where they have bought a 7000 acre cattle property between Denmark and Walpole Inlet on the flats. Robinson's first wife (the one that was killed in the Nullarbor crash about 4 years ago) was Nan Broad's (nee Butcher) cousin. Ken White & his brother were on a property near Northampton and Robinson persuaded them to take over Billabalong. The place is vastly improved since I was last up. It is carrying 20,000 head instead of Campbell's 11,000 and they certainly look good - although seasons have been good. He has built a nice manager's house for the Whites and they plan to put in a swimming pool. Will be a place well worth a visit. Robinson's very kind: gathers that No 2 wife was a nurse at RPH, 4 daughters of first marriage, 1 of second, hopeful again. Robinson very interested in work on fossils and in meteorites. planned to have details of Woolgorong meteorite & of White's Nototherium. Says that there are even better exposures of Murchison cement up in Beringarra, his other property. Robinson has asked me whether I had seen the black cylindrical objects "some kind of meteorite" with "rounded ends" about 2" long from the Salt Bush Plain near the Northern Boundary of Hill Springs Stn (Jack Maslen the present owner will be able to direct) between 10 & 5 miles NNE of the homestead towards Widdalya Stn (Hill Sp end of Boolagaroo). Back to camp, put up tent against wind.

> Wed 7th Sept.
Tent a success, a very reasonable night, packed up camp. Seds went fishing without success. Left campsite at 12.30 for the bridge where we will have lunch. Had lunch at bridge, parked vehicle immediately to E. of bridge on N. bank. Extensive exposures of eroding surface which means artifacts, most common recognizable kind is a backed blade.

Successful fishing, quite big Spangled Perch, will strike at moving bait. All caught some and Seds now happier. His rod's useless but he used mine after I cast for him. Next time must make sure that we have floats, timber not desirable. Preserved 3 good specs in formalin.

[reports of fuel use].Passengers' names : Seds, Sue, Pete, Cath, M [wife] & self.

Last page at Back : Duncan Merrilees list of petrol stops and distances and directions from Billabalong to Coolarburloo Pool (spring).
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