Honestly I couldn’t leave Nick out in the bush by himself and still sleep at night, actually given that I was out off Murphey’s Track rescuing him from a sink hole that statement might be closer to the truth than it sounds. If I was to leave Nick the silly bugger would probably go and get himself stuck again and I’d miss out on sleep rescuing him! Alright I do jest just a little but, Nick is in no way that bad but I’m not going to let him forget the sink hole thing in a hurry unless he does something else equally as silly.
The truth was I could have left him to his own devices out there and the expectation of him getting home that night was pretty darn good. He knew how to handle himself in the bush, knew what to look out for and if something did stop him it would have be an unavoidable accident not something silly or joke worthy.
But that didn’t mean I was going to leave him out there by himself. Had I had another job on I wouldn’t have hung around but while my schedule was clear of course I was going to help my mate out. So serious was I of the safety in numbers theory that if Nick had not specifically asked if I wanted to stay I would have asked him if he wanted me to stay.
Because what Nick was doing was official Police work I would have understood had he not asked me to help or allowed me to come along, I might have police clearance for some jobs but depending on the job it has to be approve before I start. Apparently going yam hunting in the desert didn’t need any special clearance and I was free to tag along.
Although it might seem like a sensible move for us to jump in one vehicle and save a bit of fuel and wear and tear it wasn’t the smartest move. It’s not like leaving one vehicle at the black trees left us with a greater risk of theft, chances of the vehicle being seen by anyone but us for the entire day was so low it was hardly worth counting. The best reason we came up with for not leaving one vehicle behind was that the last site we would be checking out was closer to the main road than we were at the trees and there would be too much back tracking involved.
While Nick was waiting for me to arrive he’d done his re-con of the area around the burnt dead fingers coming out of the ground. Because it took me nearly an hour to get there he probably spent more time searching than he would at either of the other locations. There was no grave sites and no piles of rocks that indicated the presence of one. Despite Nick’s Darwin counterparts warning him that he was more than likely on a wild goose chase and therefore preparing him to find nothing he was still a bit annoyed at the outcome. I’m sure it was a mix of frustration upon finding nothing and the time he’d spent looking but I also couldn’t under estimate how annoyed the silly little sink hole incident had made him.
We set off for the second site, I followed Nick about fifty metres behind and slightly off to the right to keep out of the majority of his dust. We didn’t stick to the track, partly because it would have been further and taken us longer but also because driving across the bush wasn’t a huge issue because there was no real flora or fauna that we were ruining by taking short cuts. We communicated between the two vehicles on the CB radios but the majority of our chatter was nothing more than two mates catching up and talking with each other.
When we arrived at the second location marked on Nick’s map we both got out of our vehicles, stretched and scuffed our feet in the loose dirt at our feet kicking up little puffs of dust. Had anyone actually been watching the two of us they would no doubt have wondered if there was something wrong with us because of the way we almost copied each other seemingly without thought.
The first thing I did when Nick came over to the Beast was offer him a bottle of cold water out of the fridge.
“Where do you want to start?” I asked.
“Right here!” Nick replied.
We spent the next forty minutes walking around the spot we’d stopped. We covered about five hundred metres from the vehicles and were looking for things that shouldn’t be there. Occasionally we’d find some pieces of rubbish, a tin can or chip packet or something that shouldn’t be there, which we picked up, but they weren’t the sorts of things we were looking for.
The sorts of thing we were looking for was piles of rocks, even after ten years if someone had made a ‘grave’ like the crim in Darwin had suggested there would be tell tale signs. The rocks he claimed outlined the grave site may not have lasted ten years in their original locations but they wouldn’t have moved far. Even if someone had disturbed the site deliberately the rocks would still be in the area, scattered but around. It was those sorts of signs we were looking for, signs that a person had been where not to many people had ever been before.
Like the first site that Nick had searched while he waited for me we found nothing, but after forty minutes no one could say we didn’t give it a red hot go.
“I think that’s enough for this spot.” Nick said to me as we walked back towards the vehicles.
“Yeah there is nothing here, at least not in the spots you’ve been told. This place hasn’t seen anyone for ages. If there was a grave site here with a huge booty buried in it we’d have found it by now.”
“Have you got time for the next site?” Nick asked me as I grabbed another couple of cold water bottles from the fridge.
“Well I can’t leave you out here all by yourself now can I?”
Previous Desert Rescue story here.