I could have refused Matthew’s kind offer of spending an entire day with him in the confines of a vehicle that wasn’t my own. Even more so when you consider that he was going to be staying with me for a while and there was going to be a lot more up close and personal brother sister time, but of course I didn’t. I’m the good sister who offered him a job, of course I wouldn’t make him do that journey all by himself.
Although truth be told I was also doing it for myself. A chance to get away to the big smoke, well not really the big smoke unless there is bush fires around because even though Broome is a tourist hot spot and our closest major town it still only has a population of 13,000 people. That number does swell to more than 45,000 between June and August because of tourists but it’s not holiday season now.
For me the day trip was a bit of a relaxation time. I know I’ve mentioned before that I don’t really relax in the passenger seat and that was where I would spend most of my time but after the night we had at the airport even I was considering being a passenger to be relaxing.
“Sure I’ll go with you. Sounds like a wonderful road trip. I’ll pack the jelly beans and you pack the sugary drinks!” I replied to Matthew’s invitation with just a hint of silliness and sarcasm.
“Ok, I’ll get the No Doze and the Redbulls!” Matthew replied.
For those of you who don’t know, No Doze is an over the counter, usually over the petrol station counter, tablet full of caffeine and other weird shit that is suppose to keep you awake. They are terrible little pills some people rely on to keep them awake on the road, hence why you find them at petrol stations. Redbull is just liquid shit full of caffeine. It’s amazing just how many people on the road think combinations of these things are the solution to staying awake and driving further. Of course they give you a high and bounce your blood pressure all over the place but a smart person knows there is only one cure for tiredness and that is sleep, anything else is a short time fix at best.
“Cool idea bro, why wait ‘till tomorrow, lets get juiced up and head off now!” I said.
Matthew looked down at his watch, then looked up at me and said. “It’s 3pm, the mechanic will be shut when we get there!”
“Oh, maybe we should wait until morning?”
Matthew was nodding at me, I guess he chose that point to end the silly conversation.
For the next twenty minutes or so we sat at the table discussing plans for the following day, we even did it in a sensible fashion. The decision was made not to rush things but given the number of hours we’d be spending on the road it was also decided that we would be leaving before the sun rose, some time around 5AM. Leaving at such an hour would see us arriving in Broome for a late-ish lunch, by then Matthew’s car would be ready and we’d be able to get back on the road for a return to Halls by about 9pm that night.
The suggestion was made that we could stay the night but after Matthew made it I quickly decided against the idea. I figured that if he was going to be my slave for a while he had to earn his keep. Actually, no that wasn’t the case. Work had nothing to do with the reasoning for not staying, the real reason was simpler than that. The real reason was that I didn’t really like Broome THAT much. I know I said there was only about 13,000 people residing there and I wasn’t going to run into all of those people but at the same time I didn’t want to risk it. Ok, I’m over playing it a little bit but it’s true, I’m not a fan of big towns for long periods, even when that big town is small compared to what some people are used too and the long period is only twenty four hours.
“We’ll have to do a truck shuffle this afternoon.” I said to Matthew after our plans were in place.
He knew exactly what I was talking about. With his rental parked in the shed and the Beast parked outside the shed I wasn’t going to be shuffling the vehicles around as the following day was dawning. For the sake of ten minutes time and effort, once we could summon the effort, we could drag the rental out, park it at the door and give the Beast her own little warm enclosed camp for the day. No point leaving her out in the sun if I didn’t have too.
When I told Matthew I was going to ring Nick to see how he was fairing after his long night and even longer day, and to tell him of our plans Matthew offered to do the vehicle shuffle by himself. I took up his offer and by the time I was dialling Nick’s number Matthew was headed out the door.
Letting Nick know I was headed out of town wasn’t out of any obligation or to ask permission, I was simply letting him know because he was a friend. Sure if someone was looking for a tow, or a rescue, and the call came to Nick he’d do what he could and let them know I was unavailable but it was mostly just because we were friends and letting friends know what your doing is a good thing to do.
Nick himself had his own things to deal with, he’d be making his own journey the following day down to Fitzroy Crossing to do what was needed to finalise the Gibb Airport crap with his fellow officers. I did offer to drive that far in convoy, safety in numbers and all that jazz, but he wasn’t planning on leaving as early as we were.
By the time I’d finished talking to Nick, giving him the usual, “ring me on the Satt phone if you need me”, spiel, Matthew was returning inside after re-parking the vehicles.
Previous Outback Rescue story here.