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Desert Rescue: Home On The Range

When I got finally got home from the pub after having a few drinks with Nick and his supervisor Pete it was nearly 10pm. I’m not one for just sitting in a pub drinking, I don’t mind a bit of a social gathering but sitting around a table in a pub is something I can happily avoid. I’d much prefer sitting under the stars, maybe with a little camp fire, a relaxing camp chair and an esky beside me, company or not. Despite that my evening was enjoyable I was just tired and wanted a comfy bed more than I wanted to drink beer.

When I pulled into my driveway, we it’s not really a drive way it’s a well travelled patch of dirt with two defined tyre tracks that runs between two gate posts I was tired and I simply pulled the Beast up close to the door of the house. Once inside I couldn’t even be bothered showering, it had been a long day and given the temperature I’d be sleeping on top of the bed not in it so I figured showering was something that could wait. I think sleep had me
conquered before my head hit the pillow.

When I woke the following morning the day was only just dawning, the sun wasn’t up but it wasn’t far from poking itself over the eastern horizon. As I have told you before I’m not one to lay around in bed so by 6:30am I was showered, dressed and sitting on my front veranda eating some scrambled eggs. The day that was rising was going to be a stinker, pushing up into the mid 40’s from what I’d heard on the radio the previous day and I was actually hoping for a quiet day at home.

There are some days where I actually put off things just in case I get a call, days where I know bad weather has hit some of the out laying areas for instance, but there was also days where I had things that just had to be done no matter what. As I sat there eating my eggs I knew the dawning day was the later of the two because I really needed to give the Beast a once over. Not a full service just an oil and filter change and a once over while parked over the pit to check of all the important bits and make sure she was in good condition.

Have I given you run down of my abode? In case I haven’t I’ll give it to you now. I live about ten minutes out of town on just over an acre of land. Have you seen the movie Red Dog? It’s a bit of a tear jerker about an outback dog and his amazing life in the Western Australian outback. If you haven’t seen it you should because if it can bring this harden outback chick like me to tears, you’ll be a blubbering wreck!

Anyway, if you’ve seen the movie you know Red Dog never had a master but he did have one person he clung to, a guy named John, and in quite a few scenes including one massively emotional scene towards the end Red dog can be seen hanging around John’s house. It’s a house that looks like it’s held together with a bunch of mismatched corrugated iron roofing sheets and panel board, my house isn’t quite that rough and tumble but you could be excused for thinking I modelled my house on that one. It relatively small but it’s mine and it suits me.

I don’t have any grass and I don’t have any trees, I do however have a shed which is about 30 years younger than the house and looks like it was built yesterday with it’s beautiful green colourbond sheeting. The shed is quite large because not only does it house all my tools and goodies it also has a drive over mechanics pit. The pit was dug out and concreted before the shed was built and it allows me to drive the Beast into the shed and without using ramps or jacks I can get under the vehicle and do any work required whilst standing up. That was where I was going to spend the day, under the the Beast and up to my elbows in grease and oil! Seriously could you think of a better way to spend a nice hot day?

Because I didn’t have any immediate neighbours starting the Beast, or power tools, or anything noisy for that matter wasn’t an issue before 7am so when I was finished breakfast there was no waiting around to appease the later sleepers of the world. Dishes done and sunscreen on, yes I even put that stuff on when I’m planning so much time in the shade because you just never know when you might get caught outside in 40+ degree heat, I headed out the back door and towards the shed.

Stepping in through the PA door on the side of the shed I could feel the heat inside, some of it was residual heat from the previous day but some of it had to do with the fact that at 7am in was already 29 degrees outside. Thanks to several well placed skylights I didn’t need lights in the main part of the shed, only over the work bench, and I could make my way to the main roller door without tripping over anything.

Although we’ve never had a crime issue in town I did keep things locked up pretty tight and when it came to the shed I was probably over protected, one of those over protections was that the roller doors locked from the inside and were operated by a chain not a remote control. After unlatching my un-patented but very unique locking system that I will not give you the details of I stepped up to the chain and began pulling down on it. The chain in turn turned the big wheel and the top and noisily pulled the aluminium door up into a roll.

Light flooded into the shed from the opening door, the skylights were good and did their job but they couldn’t match the natural light from an open door. Because they door faced east, in an effort to keep the hotter afternoon sun off the front of the shed the concrete pit that I parked the Beast over was bathed in sunlight. Not that I ever left it dirty or messy I took a quick look around the pit to make sure there was nothing in the way and that I could drive The Beast to the exact point I wanted it.

I turned the lights on in the pit, while the warm streaming sunlight was good for the shed because of shadows and working in my own light the pit had low powered LED lights installed along each wall. They were powerful enough to turn night into day but only drew a small amount of power and could be run off the battery back up for hours without concern.

With everything set up and ready for me to drive straight in I exited the shed, walked around the house and jumped into the Beast. Just like on the road there was no need for me to hurry and once the Beast was running at operating temperature I idled her around to the shed in first gear. Not that I needed the mirror at the end of the pit to guide me in because I could nearly do it with my eyes closed but it was there and I watched my reflection as I came in. When I felt the front tyres gently touch the little triangular pieces of steel screwed to the concrete I knew I was where I wanted to be so I switched off the engine and climbed out of the Beast.

Previous Desert story here.


  1. Very descriptive, so I was right there. Admiring the character as usual. Any chance of meeting her?

  2. Hey! Remember the picture of the machine with gears and we were trying to figure out what it was? I think I just saw it. “Once upon a Time” tv series on tonight, I think it’s on that show. Check it out!

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