On the road again,
We got this old girl on the road again
This life I love is driving homeward with my friends
And I can’t wait to be on the road again.
On the road again
Goin’ places that I’ve always been
Seein’ things that I’ll always see again
And I can’t wait to be on the road again.

Do you like my singing? Of course you do.

I sent the new lyrics to Willie Nelson and suggested that if he ever wanted to make an Australian version of On The Road Again he could use those words and base the entire song on me. It was a humble thing which I thought would be a nice gesture but apparently not because the response I got back from him was.

Dean,

Save me some of that stuff you’ve been smoking, it’s obviously better than they stuff I get!

Willie.

Honestly I thought it was a bit harsh, I think the song has number one written all over it, although I suppose I am just a little biased.

Okay I’m a little bit lost in dreamland too because none of that actually happened, but I’m sure you knew that.

I was on the road again though and I was actually on the road with Matthew and Alex, the guy who we rescued from up north of Halls. We were heading back to Halls with Alex’s Toyota on the back of the Beast because apparently we were a better prospect than the friend he found poking its head up between his legs. Honestly I don’t really blame the guy, I don’t need anyone’s head between my legs no matter how friendly he is, well not all the time anyway!

Hmmm, perhaps I should start again.

We’d rescued Alex because after he found the whipsnake in his vehicle he’d driven off the road and punctured a tyre. After we’d cleared the vehicle of the snake and worked out that he only had one spare tyre, which he’d already used on an early puncture, the only choice we had was to give the Toyota a piggy back home.

I suppose we could have let Alex sit in his vehicle and talk to himself for the whole trip home but I think I remember telling you a time or two before that I do let passengers ride up front with me. Sometimes I am selective about that part but with Matthew a semi permanent member of the team I will admit I was little more confident inviting Alex into the cabin.

At one point Alex was apparently considering getting us to take him further north to Kunanurra a town only an hour or north-ish of where we were, when we got to the main road. But I think he was a little annoyed how things had panned out, particularly the bit where he used his only spare tyre, so he decided heading in homeward direction was a better idea. He’d been on the road for a week and a half, had another three day from Halls and I think he was ready to throw the towel in.

“They’ll probably make me come back up here in a few weeks.” Alex said. “You know what these big mining companies are like.” We nodded but Alex continued his story anyway. “It’s all about money, they are never making enough and they are always looking for somewhere to make more.”

“Well they wont get it up here will they?” Matthew asked. “Isn’t too much of this area a no go zone for them.”

Ok, I don’t begrudge Matthew asking question, it’s how you learn things you may never again seek answers for, but I got the impression Alex was a tad pissed off with his employer and rightly or wrongly he was happy to have a bitch about them. I also don’t begrudge a good ole boss bitch either, but I didn’t want to spend the entire trip back to Halls Creek listening to Alex bitch about people we didn’t know.

“It’s all a matter of who you can buy!” Alex said. “For a company with almost untapped wealth that makes millions of dollars a day it’s not as hard as you might think to buy tomorrow was they are told in not available today.”

Matthew and Alex talked for about fifteen minutes discussing topics of bad business, bad practise and how money had a way of opening both good and bad doorways to even more money. I didn’t step into the conversation partly because my interest level wasn’t high enough but also because I’d never worked for a mining company, both Alex and Matthew had.

I guess on the whole I didn’t disagree with what Alex was saying, over the years we had seen all manner of things come through Halls Creek. The promise of shopping centres, the promise of big business and the promise of hotels and motels, all usually promised on the back of some politician approving something like a new mine or a new something else that our town really didn’t need.

I remember once many a year ago there was a promise to turn our little town into a holiday mecca because it’s kind of conveniently located between Perth and Darwin. They promised us we’d become one of the busiest places on the highway, there would be jobs everywhere and we’d all be rich. Of course they didn’t take into account how blisteringly hot it is out here and that most people only want to drive through, they just thought they could bamboozle us with money, projected money, because one of the mining companies wanted to dig up the top end of the Tanami Road and basically close off all the roads and tracks into Halls other than the main highway.

So like I say my interest in why Alex was there wasn’t high, but it had nothing to do with the guy himself.

“So why did they send you with only one spare tyre?” I asked when Matthew and Alex got to the end of their conversation. “Even the povo pack utes get two spares and most of them stay local.”

“Actually there’s a funny story to that!” Alex said.

Previous Outback story here.