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Three Rivers Run – Day 6 – Wentworth to Broken Hill

We had a lovely night around the fire, the temperature wasn’t as cool as the past few nights so we roasted a few marshmallows and enjoyed the peace and quiet of our surroundings and our few and far between neighbours.

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Thegoa Lagoon
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The rain has sprouted pretty flowers in the forests

Tash woke up for sunrise and wandered to the river edge and reported back grey clouds so I rolled over and went back to sleep as I haven’t been sleeping all that well. I think its safe to say that she isn’t going to last much longer as my weather/light reporter.

We were starting to get the hang of this holiday thing, so we had a lovely cooked birthday breakfast (cooked by myself!) before packing up and heading off.

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It’s pretty hard this camping thing!

As we headed out of town we couldn’t help but stop at the Lock again.

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Perry Sandhills

Just out of the town of Wentworth is Perry Sandhills. The sandhills cover an area of approximately 160 hectares, and have been formed over the past 40,000 years by wind erosion and are continually shifting due to the wind.

As turned off the main road to head to the dunes i noticed an Roads vehicle sitting on the edge of the road, I’m not sure why but i as we went past them i took a few looks in the mirror, thinking oh boy they probably haven’t seen our camper before and i wondered if they might try to do a ‘once over’ on us. We pulled into the carpark and as i got out of the car i saw the roads vehicle pull up beside us with their lights on and i all i could think was “i don’t have time for this!” … turns out the two guys were keen campers and hadn’t seen our camper before but weren’t quick enough to catch the name, so came after us figuring the dunes were a pretty good guess as to where we headed. It was quite funny in the end and we ended up chatting to them for about 20 minutes and showing them all over the camper.

We explored the dunes for a little while enjoying the beautiful sunshine but knowing it was time to move on.

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As the dunes have shifted and grown they have engulfed the trees.
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It’s quite a sight from the top looking out over the farms and back to the town.
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The weather watching being King of the Dunes
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The boys are also enjoying the trip.

We had a quick lunch stop down by the river.

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Being self-sufficient makes life on the road a little easier.
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Bunne Rungee Rest Area, Great Darling Anabranch Bridge

Broken Hill

We were headed for Broken Hill and by the looks of it straight into a decent storm. Thankfully we managed to skirt round the edge of it.

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The storm we skirted around the edges of.
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Silver City Highway heading into Broken Hill.

We headed out to the racecourse once we arrived in the Hill to set up camp. We headed back to town and up the hill to the The Line of Lode Minerโ€™s Memorial. It is also a symbolic and spiritual representation of the human tragedy of more than 800 deaths since mining commenced in Broken Hill in 1883. The Line of Lode is the ore body that bisects the town.

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Memorial with the town behind.
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Line of Lode Memorial
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The memorial to the 800 or more miners who lost their lives working along the Line of Lode.

The views from the memorial are pretty spectacular.

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Broken Hill
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It’s a little strange seeing green and not a big red dust bowl.

Silverton

With sunset closing in on us, we decided to take a very quick trip out to Silverton. With only a week of holidays and lots of closed roads, we have had to take the long way around and we were now working out our priorities and unfortunately Silverton this trip drew a short straw.

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Silverton Municipal Chambers
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The famous Silverton pub
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An old church at Silverton
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One of the old Silverton relics

I was hoping for a sunset but it wasn’t to be. ย The clouds off Mundi Mundi lookout looking out across the plains were pretty sweet.

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Mundi Mundi Plains.
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Colorado Bends

We left our little RV park tucked away next to the lovely hot springs and headed up and into the mountains bound for somewhere north.

we hit the mountain bends and curves pretty much straight away and they kept going for about 50 miles. we climbed, we went around bends, S bends, through avalanche areas, snow slip areas and then we finally reached the lofty heights of Red Mountain Pass elevation 11,018ft and Molas Pass in the San Juan Mountains at an elevation of 10,910ft both on the Million Dollar Hwy US550, so named for the valuabe metals in the pavement .. discarded gravel from nearby gold m silver mines .. doh!!!!

It was of course then time to go down and do it in reverse, snow slip, avalanche, s bends, u bends, and then up we went again. finally we descended into the quaint little town of Silverton, where the Durango to Silverton Steam Train would normally, but with the tracks under a few foot of snow we figured this was probably a pretty good reason as to why they weren’t running that trip just yet!

The snow that is still around is just amazing, some of the lakes are still fully frozen, one little village still had the chair lift for the ‘play’ area open, snowmobiles were everywhere, a lot of cross country skiers also making the most of the lovely Saturday weather.

From silverton we climbed and descended some more until we reached Ouray another quaint little alpine village where we pulled up to check out the ‘famous’ box canyon falls .. we hadn’t heard of them but clearly we should have so of course in we went and boy were they worth it !!!

the crystallised waterfalls as we headed towards the canyon were mind blowing. so cool literally that the water as it starts to descend over the canyon as the snow melts, freezes and creates pillar and column like stalactites in caves, except these mothers are massive !!! from the frozen water we headed down a still very snowy path trying out best to look like we had snow feet and failing dismally, slip sliding our way down and then finding our feet a foot below the surface ๐Ÿ™‚

it was then into the cave, it was the pounding thunder of the water that you heard first then in the dimmest of lights in a reasonably small crack there was the water pounding through and into the amazingly shallow pond considering how much water was coming through and then rushing through the canyon out into the river .. well worth the slip sliding around i’d say.

we pulled into town and chowed down our RV standard sandwich and then it was back on the road, through Montrose – an absolute gold mine if shopping was what you were craving :-). then we joined the lovely two lane divided highway and starting aiming the rig for somewhere around Grand Junction. we slipped east before Grand after making some pretty good time at 75 miles an hour ๐Ÿ™‚ and moved on through to Glenwood Springs, putting that little bit closer to Denver for tomorrow.

cant say i am normally one to talk about toilet humor, but classic today, stopping at the local park in Ouray for our gourmet lunch we headed to the loo’s to find a tiny very low sitting toilet bowl and wait for it, a shower curtain for a door. omg how much did we laugh !!!

our campsite tonight is along the Colorado river, however we did opt for non river frontage as the temp is predicted to be about 5 deg tonight so we wanted to take advantage of the warmth and not have the cool breeze from the river detract from that ๐Ÿ™‚ .. they also didnt have water connection so that kinda made the decision easier, but pretty cool to be right on the Colorado, and the train line ๐Ÿ™‚

Mileage: 247 miles (approx 397km)

Steps: 7,289 (approx 5.32km)