From the Flinders mountains in South Australia to Alice Springs, smack dab in the middle of Australia, is 1,500 kilometers of aridity and sand, marked with precious few springs, or trees for shade. It’s sandy riding under big, wide open skies. The Old Ghan railroad runs that length, on its way to Darwin, in the Northern Territories. Mick Turnbull and Danielle O’Hara rode that route last May, carrying camel-sized loads of water, and curiosity.

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