After studying the maps backtracked thirty kilometers to the track to Leigh River. There checked on the road conditions - still soggy in places, but just opened this morning. In Leigh Creek, a little mining village in the middle of nowhere, we stopped to get gas. In the back of the gas station there was... an internet terminal! So I quickly got to check my email.
Set off on the Oonadatta Track. One hundred fifty kilometers in see some serious water across the road - so I pull to the side of the road to lock my hubs into 4WD. As soon as the wheels hit the side of the road I went into a skid and ended up axel deep in mud. Even 4WD low wouldn't budge the car. Wandering around in the mid-calf deep mud was kind of fun, but the situation wasn't - we were absolutely stuck. And no shovel, sand mats, or winch (not that there's anything to winch off anyway).
About twenty minutes later a family in a big 4WD comes to our rescue. A bit of work with the borrowed shovel, and we were towed back on to the road. The car and our feet and legs are a mess. Luckily the scary puddle didn't cause a problem and even cleaned the car up alot.
The rest of the drive to Marree was relatively smooth. Once there checked on the road conditions again then headed off towards Lake Eyre and William Creek. There was no way we could make it all the way before dark, but there was a campground within reach so the plan was to get there and then re-evaluate.
At South Lake Eyre stopped to appreciate the amazing site - a huge lake streaching over the horizon. The lake only has water in it every 25 or 30 years, and this is the fullest it's been since Australia was settled! Waded in some more mud to get to the water (I wasn't going to bring the car anywhere near mud), took some pictures, and watched the sun set.
Drove off with the most incredible fires burning in the sky. The track was mostly pretty good so at the campgound decided to keep going. The drive was quiet but stressful. The desert night was incredibly black, but the stars were amazing! Pulled in to William Creek (population 10 - Australia's smallest town) just before eight. Set up camp at the pub, had a great dinner, then sat up drinking beer and playing with the resident kids.