Flowers, sun and stubble.

OZDUCK

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As I mentioned in my post in the 'Office' view thread I mentioned that we had made a short, 3 day, visit to a farm about 300 km east of here. We went about 20 km east of the town of Merriden and then another 30 km north of the highway on a mixture of bitumen and gravel roads. My brother in law rents one of the old farm houses so he can live his preferred very quiet lifestyle.

On our way

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Two Icons of W.A - the Mundaring - Kalgoorlie Pipeline and the Rabbit Proof Fence

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The freight trains are still running - just as long as always. I can't help but also display the fabulous plastic wood trim of a 2005 Statesman.

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One of the silos on the Painted Silo Trail

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Some sunset shots from that evening

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The same views at morning

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The reverse view

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OZDUCK

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As you can see in the last photo of the previous post there is a very old CASE tractor slowly rusting away.

My attempt at an artistic view of it at sunset

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Even the old seat is a bit of history. Complete with a sadly futile plea to 'Buy Australian'

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The old farm houses. Two identical Double Brick and Tile ones which appear to date from the 1950's and the older tinned roof one probably form the late 1920's. There are only 2 people living there. My B-I-L and the farmer who leases the farm plus his dog.

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The house we stayed in with the compulsory wide verandahs

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Another Icon at sunrise

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They are anticipating bumper grain crops this season

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Major

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The patterns on the grain silos remind me of similar artwork on the Etihad logo
 

OZDUCK

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Now for a look around the nearest 'big' town Merredin (just under 3,000 pop.)

The main street along the railway line looks like a hundred other Australian country towns. Complete with a country pub.

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There are some nice bits of W.A history there. This water tower was built in 1893 to service the steam trains on the way to Kalgoorlie. Kalgoorlie Bitter itself was another victim of that thief and con-man Alan Bond.

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But if you turn off the main street and go a few hundred metres you come across some nice 1920's buildings.

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Once a corner Service Station and now a Chinese Restaurant

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The tower has clock faces on 3 sides - and all were working.

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OZDUCK

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To give you an idea where we were. The farm we stopped out was just 'above' the white dot for Westonia

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The old signal box, built in 1916 and closed in 1970 is now part of a railway museum . The levers to operate the points are still there.

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During WW2 Merredin "hosted an Army Field Hospital and many RAAF installations".


The remnants of RAAF Aviation fuel tanks for the nearby Cunderdin airstrip. There was a capacity of 6 million litres.

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A High Frequency Direction Finding Installation was built just outside town.

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A little further out are 46 ammunition bunkers scattered across the fields.

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OZDUCK

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Thanks for taking the time to post your trip. So many things to learn about Aust. I like that the 3 clock faces are working- bit of a rarity
Yes, I felt the same. It was nice to see them all working. I walked around the back of the hall to check if there was a fourth face.
 

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We then headed out to have a look around and hopefully see some wildflowers.

Our transport - my brother-in-law's FJ Cruiser

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This area was once the main organising hub for building the Rabbit Proof Fence.

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We headed off into the Lake Campion Nature Reserve. As normal around this way it is a salt lake. Our driver made no attempt to cross over here. This was a wise move as even going a little bit off the road to turn around resulted in an immediate breaking of the salt crust and much spinning of wheels, flinging of mud and use of low range to move the 3 metres back to solid ground.

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We had seen a few roos but they had all bolted through the shrubs before we could take a photo. This one had a bit of a look at us before moving off. He was on the other side of the salt pan.

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Some Pigface by the salty area.

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Our first sighting of some wildflowers. Initially we thought this sort of scattered show was all we would find but luckily local knowledge helped us out.

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We circled around the lake via the 'main' roads. After some recent rain there was a bit of water in it.

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There are the remnants of a Gypsum extraction plant by the lake shore.

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OZDUCK

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If you have a few days to spare.

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A local had said that there were some better shows of wildflowers near a couple of conservation areas.

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Eaglestone Rock itself

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Lake Brown

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The information proved to be correct and more wildflowers started to turn up.

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The track was eventually blocked off with the red 'Coles Hand' proving adaptable for another use.

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.
 

OZDUCK

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Our driver then spotted a track he hadn't been down before so tried it out and luckily it had a very nice display of wildflowers.

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We were then reminded that a lot of the farms around here not only just grow grains

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Some made a break for freedom

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A bit of Australian motoring history re-purposed

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On the driveway into the farm. We saw a number of them sunning themselves on the backroads the next day.

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My wife was up early to get a few dawn photos before we drove home.

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OZDUCK

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After a very short stay we headed back home. However, instead of the direct route we drove further south to see a few towns we have never seen before. It added a couple of hundred K's to the trip - not helped when I missed a turnoff and drove two sides of a triangular route rather than only one.

What had once been the Burracoppin Hotel

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The road south, via Narambeen, was mostly straight and in very good condition with the only interesting traffic being the odd Road Train. I suspect that they were carrying ore from the recently opened Tampia Gold mine.

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We also passed the "Boot Mile" - consisting of hundreds of boots and shoes hung on the roadside fence. News Story - The Boot Mile Intrigues Belgium Tourists » Shire of Narembeen

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The lake near Kondinin has had a big surge of water from the recent rains and has obviously spread out fairly widely.

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Just past Kondinin a local farmer has created a few artworks from welded scrap iron by and in a roadside salt lake. 'Statues' Lake Kondinin | Attraction in Kondinin

These ones depict various farming activities.

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Then - "Freestyling'"

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We stopped off for an unmemorable lunch in Corrigin and then headed home.

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We did make contribution to the agricultural industry by killing thousands of insects.

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And that was the end of our short interlude. Thanks for those who read this.
 
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JohnM

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I think you will find that those road trains are carting grain from the outlying CBH bins no longer serviced by rail. It’s pretty much a year-round exercise.
 

OZDUCK

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I think you will find that those road trains are carting grain from the outlying CBH bins no longer serviced by rail. It’s pretty much a year-round exercise.
I was wondering about that but, showing my ignorance of the wheat industry, I thought they would only be around for a few months after the end of harvesting. Happily I see that there are now 'discussions' about repairing some of those old 'grain' lines.
 

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