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Goog's Track

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: South Australiamap
Surname/tag: Denton, Goog, Beattie
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This is a collaborative work-in-progress. Can you contribute information or sources? More work needs to be done on a description of the track itself and it's route.

Goog's Track (or Road) is a track that runs from just north of Ceduna in South Australia, for 200km to Malbooma.

The track was largely built by Stanley Gilbert John Denton (known as Goog) and his family. He originally had the idea that it would be useful for a track to go to the main east-west railway line, which would facilitate the widening of markets for local produce. In this he had the support of other local farmers.

Goog purchased his farmland (Lone Oak Homestead) in the 1960's, and together with his wife, Jenny Beattie (who he married in July 1965), cleared the land for farming. In 1973, he started constructing the track. They finally reached "Drum Camp" in 1976, where Goog's Track met an existing track to the railway. During this time, Goog & Jenny had 3 children - Martin John (Dinger), Debbie and Jeffrey. The whole family helped with the track, including Jenny's brother Denis.

Sadly, Dinger died in an accident in 1993, and Goog not long afterwards in 1996, also in an accident, both on or near the track.

Jenny has written a book, "Memories of Pushing Goog's Track" about their life and the construction of the track, which is available from http://www.googstrack.com/.

There are memorials to both Goog and Dinger, near to Goog's Lakes, part way along the track

There are several web sites giving information about the track and it's history - 3 are referenced below. There is also an interesting 15 minute video on YouTube, made by someone (Len Zell) driving along the track in February 2014. [1] [2] [3]

Sources

  1. Snowy's Blog
    What is Goog’s Track?
    Goog’s Track is the result of the dream of one man, Stanley Gilbert John Denton, born to a west coast family in 1938.
    According to his wife, Jenny, the name Goog was bestowed on him early in life as a result of him selling eggs for his Mum.
    As was often the case at the time, he left school at the age of 12 and worked with his father on the family farm at Denial Bay. After marrying Jenny in 1965, they moved to a property at Kalanbi, north of Ceduna, which they named “Lone Oak”.
    “what’s out there?”
    The property was originally 5800 acres of scrub just north of the dog fence with thick bush and sandhills extending north to the east-west railway line. A family home was built and over the next 5 years Martin (nicknamed Dinger), Debbie and Jeffrey were born.
    Unfortunately a car accident claimed the life of Martin in 1993, aged 27, and Goog died in 1996, aged 58. In the early years whilst making improvements to the property a nagging thought came constantly to Goog’s mind as he gazed northward – “what’s out there?”
    Eventually curiosity got the better of him and a plan was hatched to push a track northward. Goog’s Track had begun.
    From 1973 the track inched forward, old tractors doing the hard work mainly on weekends with the whole family and often a number of friends in tow. Later a grader was purchased and at times a bulldozer was used to get through difficult areas.
    For 3 years the battle against the sandhills and scrub continued until, in August 1976, the rail line was reached.
    Goog’s dream had been realised.
    Goog’s track today is still a narrow, sandy, one-lane track that weaves across the sandhills. It is open to the public and is part of the Yumbarra Conservation Park and Yellabinna Regional Reserve.
    Goog’s wife Jenny has written an excellent account of this amazing feat also documenting in detail the lifestyle the family lived in this isolated area.
    “My Memories of Pushing Goog’s Track” is an excellent read and if planning to travel the track gives a superb background that will enhance your experience. It can be purchased at www.googstrack.com.
    http://www.snowys.com.au/blog/googs-track-south-australias-rugged-west/
  2. Ceduna District Council
    History of Googs Track
    For many years, Goog and Jenny Denton had stood on the back verandah of their Lone Oak farmhouse, looking north and wondering what was out there in the scrub. They decided to find out for themselves and in 1973, they set out to build Googs Road - from Lone Oak farm to Tarcoola. The following is a brief account of the building of that road.
    Goog and Jennv Denton their children (Martin, Debbie and Jeffery) together with Denis Beattie (Jennv's brother and Goog's mate) began the memorable task of building the road in June 1973.Clearing the track began with a Fordson tractor fitted with a front end loader blade, and a Toyota two wheel drive ute. Then the going got tougher and the sandhills bigger and steeper. At this point it was decided that a bulldozer and four wheel drives were needed, so the Allis Chalmers HD14 was employed. Work on the road proceeded for another two years, on weekends only.
    Roughly fifty five kilometres up the road, and eighteen months later, a shack was built, which served as a base camp for the rest of the road through to Mount Finke. At this site the road branches north to Mount Finke. The shack was removed in 1977 at the request of the National Parks & Wildlife Service. Opposite this site, are memorials to Goog Denton and his eldest son, Martin "Dinger" Denton.
    LakeFive kilometres east of the shack site is a salt lake, which is approx fifteen kilometres in length and over a kilometre wide in places. As the edges around the lake are very soft in places, we advise you not to drive around it. In the past many vehicles have had to be pulled out, having been bogged to the axles in the clay.
    The black oaks, at the foot of the lake, make a very good spot for bbqs, camping and relaxing with a cold drink or two. Sit back and admire the view. Contemplate just how long it took to get the road this far and the hard work and effort that went into what you are now enjoying.Further east along this track you come to Lois Rock, Nalara Rockhole and Childara Rockhole, ending at the SA State Dog Fence. East of this area is the privately leased Lake Everard Station. All private roads on Lake Everard station are not accessible to the travelling public.
    Seven kilometres north from the shack, progress on the road came to a halt for about six months due to problems with the dozer and other commitments. All fuel, water and supplies were carted up on the back of three Landrovers. Considerable fuel and supplies were donated by various local people, to assist in the process of making the road to Tarcoola. Without their support, it would not have been possible to complete the road.
    A grader was purchased in about March 1976, to make the road easier and safer to travel. Some weekends the road progressed three to five kilometres and on others, eight to ten kilometres. Some weekends no progress was made at all. The going got tougher; the nights got colder. On many occasions rain prevented work from continuing, and it was on these occasions, over drinks around the campfire, that discussions turned to progress and how to continue with the road, consumed many hours.
    After three long, memorable years, the road to Mount Finke was completed in August 1976. The site where the road ended is known as Drum Camp.Station owners, who had hoped to get their wool through to Thevenard more quickly, cut through the road from Mount Finke to Malbooma with axes in the 1950s. The going got tough and they abandoned the project. Two drums of water were left at this point (Drum Camp). This was the point at which Googs Road ended.
    This was as far as the grader went - the road to Tarcoola was cleared.
    http://www.ceduna.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=503
  3. Trove - Memorials
    Memorials dedicated to John (Goog) and Martin (Dinger) have been placed near the old shack site of the Denton Family. Goog's Track, its original name was Goog's Road, goes back to the mid 1970's when it was built by John (nicknamed Goog) and Jenny Denton. The Dentons lived at the Lone Oak Station at the start of Goog's Track on the southern end. They purchased the leasehold of the undeveloped tract of farm land in the mid 1960's and started the mammoth task of clearing the land for farming as well as building their home, Lone Oak Homestead, on the southern fringes of the Yumbarra Conservation Park, through which the first section of the track passes. Jenny Denton had three children in her early years on the station, Martin (Dinger), Debbie and Jeffery. Goog's aim was to open up a road from Ceduna to meet the east, west railway line junction at Tarcoola, so that there would be better access to being able to sell local produce to wider markets with the aid of the railway. He received no government support or financial assistance and took some three years, working at weekends only, to complete the task using, to start with anyway, some very basic equipment such as an old tractor with a blade attached to the front to act as a bulldozer. He did, however, receive a lot of moral and financial support in the form of fuel and equipment from property owners in the area who could see the potential benefit of such a road. Once the original Goog's Track was completed both Goog and Dinger did a fair amount of track work in the area for mining exploration companies. Both lost their lives in accidents in the vicinity of the track, and at different times, after the track was completed.
    http://trove.nla.gov.au/work/151768737?q=goog%27s+track&c=picture&versionId=165431925




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