Today started out OK with us bidding farewell to Frank and Helen as we left Birdsville and headed down the Birdsville Track.
Given the amount of traffic that had been up and down the Track for the Big Red Bash, the first 200 kilometres was pretty good. Most of the time I was sitting on 80kph having to slow down to around 20kph in spots particularly in the creek crossings.
With 100 kilometres to go to the Mungerannie Hotel, I got a call on the CB from a car parked at a road junction. He told us that we probably had a flat tyre on the caravan. We pulled up to check it out. We were at Blood Creek.
Sure enough, we had shredded a tyre but due to the road noise on the deteriorating Track, never heard it blow.
It didnt take long to change the wheel with the assistance of our CB mate, grab a geocache at the location then head on our way.
To check if the tyres were going down, I would do a wiggle every 10 kilometres and check the tyres in the mirrors.
30 kilometres out from Mungerannie Hotel, on one of the wiggles, I only counted 3 wheels on the caravan. On no, I have lost a wheel. And it was the spare one we had put on 70 kilometres back.
We dropped the caravan and headed back to see if we could find the wheel. Luckily I spotted it in the low bush about 2 kilometres back. We managed to find 2 wheel nuts as well.
Back at the van and 2 of the studs were broken off as well. After putting the wheel back on and grabbing a couple of nuts off the other wheels, we were back on the road with 4 out of the 6 nuts on.
I stopped every kilometre initially to check the tightness and each time the nuts were loose again. It was about 20 kilometres before the nuts remained tight.
Finally we made it to Mungerannie Hotel to find that we now only had 2 studs holding the wheel on.
After setting up, we had a meal and a few beers with Mungerannie Phil. There was not a lot he could do for us as he didnt have a tyre to suit our wheel or any studs either.
I decided to sleep on it and work out a plan in the morning.