Starting from Billiluna in the north near Halls Creek on 31 May 2013, Gaynor Schoeman walked1657km solo for 66 days, carrying a backpack of 30kg, finishing on the 05 August 2013 in the tiny outback goldfields town of Wiluna.
Gaynor was raising money for quadriplegic wheelchair rugby players under the banner Walk 4 Wheels and Walk 4 Wings in memory of hangglider pilot and friend, Bruce McClunan, who broke his neck on 1st April 2011.
Many class this walk as unsupported, done in the same way as the first successful walkers lead by Murray Rankin in 1976.
Timeline for Canning Stock Route Cyclists, Walkers and other Notables.
Whilst I did not walk with vehicle support, or with another person, without the help of Andy Sutcliffe in establishing my supply route before the walk, and my food sponsors, this walk would not have been possible. For this reason I class my 2013 desert walk only as SOLO .... by my own standards. For Media interviews on TV, Radio, in Newspapers and Magazines ~ click on this link
The Canning Stock Route, by foot. Words and Pics by Gaynor Schoeman
Life has been a never-ending adventure since the day I was born. Open water sailor, Rwandan refugee aid worker, kickboxer, paraglider pilot, deep sea diver and film industry consultant are just some of my adventures.
When I broke my back in a paragliding accident near Barraba in NSW in 2012, I came close to realising one of my worst nightmares - a life severely limited in movement, forever.
Spared by the grace of all that connects us, I began to walk. Walking makes me feel good about myself strengthening my body, most importantly my spine, giving my mind focus and discipline. Fourteen months after the accident I walked the 1657km Canning Stock Route, from Billiluna to Wiluna solo and without a support vehicle; 66 days of desert solitude carrying a 30kg backpack.
THE CALL OF THE DESERT
It reminds me how good it is to be alive.
I have always been prone to depression but immersed in nature - whether it be flying, sailing or walking in the desert - I leave behind the pressures of society and get in touch with my core self finding that place within where I am calm and steady and completely self-reliant on the outcome of my day, and my attitude, and that gives me strength.
Desert austerity teaches me that resources are precious, that opportunities are not to be missed and that each gift is to be used carefully and with consideration.
In the desert I experience a deep sense of gratitude every single day. Alone, with no human being to turn to in order to discuss options and seek comfort, it is a matter of survival that I seek out an ally. For some that ally is God. For me it is the desert.Read more...
I have a story to tell. In fact I have several.
Book One: Every Step of the Way
This is my first attempt at publishing a book. There is only one way I can write and that is from the heart. It is not in my nature to provide a glossed over recreation of how I would like things to have been. Nor am I pretending to be anything that I am not. There is no learning, no discovery in that. And my life is all about discovery and personal transformation. Is my story inspiring? Not in the commercial sense, I don't think. But I am not going for commercial. My story is real. Real life. And it swims in darkness from time to time.
Desert Diary is a journal record of my 66 day walk on a daily basis. This is to establish credibility. It is a story I want to tell now rather than later: What was it like for a city woman to walk across a desert alone, the realities and the 'why' of it, something so many people ask?
Once I have written up these days,Read more...
Below is a Timeline focusing primarily on foot powered achievements on the Canning Stock Route:
Some made it. Some didn’t. Some came back for more.
Typical traverse times:
A 4WD will typically take 3 weeks to traverse the Canning Stock Route, a motorbike around 10 days, bicycle 33 days and walking 1-3 months, depending on support or not.
New entry: Update on the fastest cyclist of the Canning Stock Route - Supported, 16 days
Five cyclists made attempts with varying degrees of support.
Only two completed the crossing.
Six walkers had a go, five using support vehicles and one completely unsupported.
All walkers aborted.
One solo motorcyclist set the record for the fasted crossing.