That's a 10: Roscoe and Tony score the vehicles coming through Sam Creek.
As long as they don’t break their vehicles too much, they are all having fun coming up the Old Telegraph Track on the way to the Jardine River near the top of Cape York.
Dan and Fay Flickweert from Gladstone reckoned they were having a ball in their new home-built camper and young Kai Buckley from Canberra proudly showed off gaps in his gums where he lost two teeth.
We made a few inquiries about the OTT when we were hanging around Bamaga and learned it is easier to do it coming north than going south.
Ah so. We were already north. We decided to toddle into part of the track and see how we went. More to the point, we were interested in how others went.
We pushed through a track turning east off the northern bypass and set up camp for the night at Sam Crossing. Tony and Ross found a small sheet of corrugated iron and a piece of charcoal to give rating scores on vehicle crossings. Only three scores were available: 10 on one side and 9 on the other which could be made a 6 when held upside down.
As it turned out, the crossing was pretty easy and most made it with a 10, although one did almost run over the chap standing in the middle of the creek guiding him.
After the crossing traffic slowed in the afternoon, we had with clear pools and carnivorous plants to explore. We waited vainly for a tubular flower to eat a fly had to settle for a stunning sunset over our campfire.
Dan and Fay were among the first to come through the next morning. They have a small cattle farm outside Gladstone and Dan, an exuberant Aussie bush Santa Claus with flowing grey locks and beard, does contract work. They had come up the Telegraph Track last year with a slide-on camper on their Mitsubishi Canter. They had so much fun they upgraded to a bit more space in a tough new slide-on built by Dan. It had all the iron bells and steel whistles befitting a bloke who goes under the name of Aussie Iron on the Expedition Portal web site.
They were tackling everything there was to tackle. Dan had a video mounted beside his window: watch the space on the web site. He’s planning to do a little fishing up north. Good luck with that mate.
From Canberra came the Buckley family, laughing after easing down the rocks and negotiating Sam’s hidden washout. They declared Sam pretty easy.
Steve and Kim said their three children – Cameron, 9, Kai, 8, and Gabby, 5 – were having a ball on a three-month campervan trip to the Cape and over through central Australia. Kai had lost two of his teeth on the Telegraph Track. The tooth fairy had visited the night before when they were camped at Elliot Falls. They were on a mission. Sam’s birthday was the next day and they wanted him to celebrate it at the Tip.
With a gappy grin from Kai they were on their way.