Well I’m following the broken lines
Living on my own time
Halls Creek Pub and Nick’s heart all left behind
I swear I couldn’t close my eyes
As I shift into overdrive
I’ve been up and down this road so many times
Like my singing? If not you can get off the ride now! Ok I know I’m not the world’s greatest singer but when the only audience you sing for is yourself who cares if that audience doesn’t like it. In all honesty I have never been told off for my dulcet tones whilst driving myself along the highway so I’ve never really worried about doing it.
Shall I start again? Ok thanks.
Well I’ve thought about settling down
A little diner on the edge of town
But in this world of push and shove
I’ve still got freedom in his blood
Oops I forgot to change the word in the last verse. Still I think Jimmy Barnes would be proud of my efforts at singing his iconic Aussie song, Driving Wheels. He’ll be even happier to know that I’m spreading it through out the world when my millions of followers read my adventures. You’re welcome Jimmy!
So what was I doing other than driving down the road exercising my wonderfully harmonic voice that you are now so in love with? I was on the way to another rescue of course.
I was heading south west out of Halls Creek along Duncan Road, which makes what I was singing a bit of a lie, because there is no broken lines to follow, even us clever Aussies haven’t figured out how to reliably paint white lines down the middle of a dirt road. Anyway I was heading south west out of Halls Creek along Duncan Road, did I already say that? Ok I’ll start again.
I was heading south west out of Halls Creek along Duncan Road, which makes what I was singing…only kidding.
I was far enough out of town that the bitumen had turned to dirt, thick red dirt, the kind that clings to everything. You might remember I’ve spoken about how the red dirt impregnates everything in a vehicle and even washing it doesn’t get rid of it, well this kind of road makes driving on the sand tracks a pleasure. Even on days after rain where the dust levels drop a little bit the red dirt is not a pleasant place because it becomes claggy and lumpy.
We hadn’t seen rain for a few days so Duncan Road was back to it’s dustiest best and my two biggest concerns were road trains, trucks with three trailers or more, and the pot holes in the road that are large enough for one of those road trains to disappear into. As I’ve told you before I don’t drive like a city driver, I drive to the conditions and therefore in parts along Duncan Road I could be driving at speeds as slow as thirty kilometres per hour. Such speeds obviously slowed me down but they also gave me plenty of time to react to things like road trains and pot holes.
In most cases, especially in the dry, the road was wide enough to safely pass a truck, if both drivers were sensible, and pretty much all of the truck drivers up here were. Because of the dust plumes left behind as vehicle, especially a large truck, drove such dry roads on coming vehicles were often easy to spot and be prepared for. The other thing which made passing trucks easier was that most of them relied on their CB radios as much as I did and as soon as they saw a dust plume that meant a vehicle was coming towards them they would get on the radio and make contact. With some of the tourists it was a bit harder to predict how they handled a passing car, some would move over some would expect the other person to do all the moving, but again the slow speeds helped make the right decisions.
So there you have it, I was heading south west along Duncan Road singing my little heart out to Jimmy Barnes and headed out to a rescue. It was mid morning, the morning after the small town of Halls Creek was visited by a Stormtrooper who was walking all the way around Australia for charity. We’d had dinner with the guy when he arrived in town and Gary and Jarrod, the boys I’d rescued after their Pajero got stuck on a rock, remained true to our word and donated the majority of the rescue fee they owed me to the Stormtrooper’s charity. While some of the town and the Stormtrooper might have had a late night I wouldn’t have known because I was home in bed by 10pm.
Like usual I was awake early and doing a few little things around the house, nothing maintenance like, just picking things up, moving things and generally pottering, as some folk might call it. When the call came in, it was a direct call so I’m not sure where they got my number from, I was actually a bit relieved to have a job I could go and do. I was even happier to find out the job was relatively local. The stranded party was only about forty kilometres from town.
I was headed south west…ok ok, I wont do that again!
What I was heading to was another river crossing failure. For such a dry area of the country you might be surprised by how many river crossing failures we have, but don’t be. I’m not one to get an entire history and back story from the parties I rescue whilst on the phone, I much prefer to get the relevant information as quick as possible in case phones or batteries fail mid conversation. Not asking for a life story also means I can get on the road quicker.
Because of how close the rescue was to town I was confident that if I had no problems I would be home by two maybe three o’clock in the afternoon, so once I got the information I needed I was a little bit lax with how much information I allowed the stranded party to offer before I got one the road.
I was heading towards a family of four, mum, and two kids, one of each flavour from what I could make out. They were on holiday from Norway, three weeks into an eight month vacation travelling around the country, half their luck I say! Anyway they were attempting a water crossing of the Elvire River and they’d got stuck. Not just stuck, bogged in the river, a little like Jarrod and Gary only they were bogged not stuck.
Given their location it was going to be an easy rescue and should pose me no real worries at all even without any collaboration. It was one of those rescues that makes this job easy. So I was headed south west…..
Previous Desert Rescue here.