The road west towards Norseman was indeed a dry weather road and Rigabold was thankful he’d chosen the larger dual cab ute with good ground clearance and bigger tyres that rode the bumps better than a little buzz box would.
At times the water ruts in the road got so bad that Rigabold not only had to choose his path carefully but also slow down to less than forty kilometres per hour. However there was also times where he need to speed up in order to let the big Dodge ride over the top of all the ruts as opposed to falling into them and bouncing. It was a delicate balancing act for much of the time and even with his advanced GPS that could see traffic coming towards him he was continuously on alert and checking and thinking about everything he could to keep himself safe and on the road.
At one point, about eighty five kilometres into his trip, there was a large washout in the road which he needed to stop for because a large triple trailer tip truck was on the opposite side of the washout working out how he was going to get through as well.
Rigabold got out and spoke to the truck driver who told him that his company knew about the washout and sent him, the first truck of the morning, out as a bit of a scout to see if it could be negotiated. Rigabold thought that sending a truck with three trailers on such a trip was a silly idea but he said nothing and chalked it up to another less than forward thinking human thing to do.
Although Rigabold came to the solution in less than four minutes, he actually came up with more than fifteen solutions but it took him nearly four minutes to calculate the best one, it took the truck driver a little over twelve minutes to come to the same solution. It was a simple enough solution, made even easier by the fact that no whinging greenies were around to make a scene and protest on behalf of the trees and bushland. That solution was to push the truck through the small trees and scrub on the northern side of the road, it would of course break down the trees, crush the brush, flatten the scrub and leave visible tracks but so would turning the big rig around.
Once the truck driver was convinced the path he needed to take was solid enough to take the weight of his truck, again it took more to convince him than Rigabold, things went smoothly, slow but smoothly, and both drivers were on their way in opposite directions within half an hour.
A bit over an hour and a half after meeting up with the large road train Rigabold was coming into the town of Norseman. He’d made pretty good time considering his speed and the stop he’d made to help the truck driver. Although it had been a slower trip than driving on the bitumen for the same distance Rigabold felt happy that he’d taken the shorter path and not just because he’d be getting his Chiko Rolls quicker.
In Norseman his GPS told he there was two definite chances of him getting his Chiko Rolls, both were service stations, or as they were called in the outback, roadhouses. One was smaller than the other and not on the main highway but both sold what humans called fast food.
The advantage of a roadhouse in the outback was that they didn’t adhere strictly to the hours of the modern city. The sun rose in the morning and set in the evening like anywhere else in the world but because long haul truck drivers drove to their hours, not to gentleman hours that most of the city did, the roadhouses operated a twenty four hour roster that saw all foodstuffs available for the entire time. Having hot food available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, meant that when Rigabold pulled up at either roadhouse at around 9:30am he’d definitely be able to get the delicacy he desired. The one thing that Rigabold couldn’t guarantee was how many Chiko Rolls he’d be able to get at each roadhouse.
When he pulled up to the Catlex roadhouse his first thought was that he was going to be out of luck because although he could see one large truck and a car pumping fuel it was not a large roadhouse. Size aside Rigabold exited the Dodge and went inside the store to see if his luck was in or out. As it tuned out it was in, but not in the quantity he wanted.
With only two Chiko Rolls Rigabold exited the roadhouse and made his way back to the Dodge. According to the GPS he only had two minutes travel to the BP roadhouse which was not only bigger but located at the T-intersection of two major highways, one of which was would be joining after his stop to head east. Rigabold ate the Chiko Rolls he had on the way to the BP.
The girl at the BP roadhouse was polite and offered to cook some Chiko Rolls fresh for Rigabold when he asked if they had more than the one sitting in the bae marie by itself. Because it would only take a few minutes to cook them Rigbaold happily ordered six and suggested he’d fill his waiting time by refuelling the Dodge.
Rigabold sat in the car park of the service centre and ate his Chiko Rolls, as he ate he read the screen of his GPS unit which was giving him detailed information about the local area. He didn’t need to be stopped to eat and read, especially not with the advanced controls of his Dodge, but he did anyway.