A collection of Short Stories of my meandering drive around Australia 1997-2001. Some are straight anecdotal stories while others are embellishments or are complete figments of my imagination.
Excerpt from To the Trucky's Delight:
I’d done about 270 kilometres that day having slept at a designated ‘Rest Area’ the night before that had shot-out 44 gallon drums with heavy duty plastic linings all filled to overflowing with beer bottles. The necessity of tired travellers, the ‘pit stop’ fill up of long haul drivers. Up here in any case so it seemed! A roofed concrete slab protected a ‘picnic’ table and bench set of impressive dimensions. Cyclone proof! Vandal proof! A standpipe and spring loaded tap and a slow turning windmill pumping Artesian water into a nearby bore pool. For stock and ‘hardy’ drinkers. It clanged noisily and monotonously all night. No other travellers to share my digs. But the birds came in at dusk and sunrise by the hundreds to that oasis. The cattle milled around at dusk ambling off into the distance during the night to return also at daybreak. Lowing incessantly at my intrusion. If I hadn’t been awake upon their lowing return, I certainly would have been blasted from sleep by the combined groaning of the herd.
I have this habit of if I feel I’ve done enough miles, I just stop where-ever that may be. It could be only 50 kilometres which normally was the case but on several occasions it was after 200 to 300 kilometres of easy driving on the long ‘hops’ of the northern interior. It didn’t matter whether I had to ‘Bush Camp’ off the side of the road, down a dirt track, at a ’Rest Area’ or at a Van Park, which was the last choice. Or in one case, under the Expressway that ran between the Gold Coast and Brisbane and only 10 kilometres from an old mate’s place or about 40 kilometres from my brother’s joint in an outer southern suburb of Brisbane. I slept with the constant whooshing of traffic speeding above me down the multi-laned expressway. To be greeted the next morning by a huge party of road workers and their heavy equipment having a ‘cuppa’ before starting work. They were upgrading the road from the existing 2 lanes each way to 4. This flyover was their favourite spot for that morning cuppa, out of the dust, noise and sun!
Also by Peter C Byrnes on obooko: