On To Port Hedland and Cue
Continuing on in Western Australia, the vastness of the land really hits you. It reminds me of Eastern Montana Hwy 2. Here you are dealing lots of mining and ranching. It is a lonely life out there and you are completely at the mercy of the weather. Still, there is this incredible beauty, a palette of colours done in rocks and earth and dried bush and grass. You share a space but feel like an ant in significance to the breadth and width of it all.
Derek and I were rogue ants. I was the Queen of course. He does not look that good in a dress.
We did not see many caravans in this portion of the trip. The towns were not big and often miles apart. We seldom saw any of the houses that belonged to the land, or even the animals. We did see plenty of trucks traveling to and from the mines . . . and eagles eating road kill.
Port Hedland was one of the bigger towns we ran across, a port that appears in the middle of nowhere and had all kinds of interesting art. Derek had to drag me out of some of the museum/art/stores.
Caravan parks were few and those that existed were pretty basic – a few designated spots out back of a roadhouse where the owners did their best to make some money with gas, food, showers, a few rooms and some space for a couple of caravans. There was no attempt to make it a park or plant any trees for shade. They knew people would not be hanging round, just pulling in for the night. I have to admit they got creative with what they had – just check out the skill in that table they provided us to “picnic” on. The next morning we were treated to skilled dirt fighting by a group of boys still in their ‘jammies. Their parents were taking a long quiet walk.
It seemed appropriate to just pull off the road and make our own place. You look for the truck stops and then those that have “pathways” behind the stopping space that lead into the bush. You pray that the Wolf Creek Dude picked another path to travel down that night.
I thought the fact both Derek and I were still alive at that point was cause for celebration. Not only had we survived the snakes and spiders, we outran that Wolf Creek Dude. We had been locked in several confined spaces with both each other and others and there were no dead bodies. Zero. (except for the road kill and I am pretty sure none of those were human beings but take that with a grain of salt as I did not study “comparative mashed body parts” in school) But then Derek pointed out we did not have to invent excuses to celebrate and drink wine. I carried a bottle with me at all times after that. Life is a celebration!
We followed one of the “paths” leading from the truck stops into the brush one night and were sure we were braving a new discovery but there, in the middle of nowhere, someone had preceded us and had thoughtfully left a nice pile of chopped wood. We were grateful. We were so cold that night there was frost on the window in the morning. The wind was freezing cold but we still enjoyed the fire and looking up into that beautiful star lit sky. A rental car with a young couple, another young person and an older woman pulled up. They put up tents and climbed in. We felt so bad for them during the night when it was freezing. Not bad enough to invite them into our heated caravan but I did look out at them a couple of times, through the window, and cluck in concern. I was sure they had to have some Canadian blood in them. We were happy to be their “protection” during the night. I am sure, as late as they pulled in, they had no idea where to stay until they saw our lights. (those are paddy melons … they grow everywhere)
The little towns along the way stood as testaments to another time. The buildings were old, but often in good shape, and always interesting. Dry, hard desert began to morph into lush green farmland with more houses . Again the trees were different and these huge giants that appeared out of nowhere stood as silent sentinels over the land. A storm rolled in and it began to pour.
Cue was a pretty town, deserted at that time of year but we were grateful for a safe, clean place to stop and hook up to. We had the town park to ourselves and hunkered in as the storm howled around us. It was such a peaceful, beautiful spot, I would have liked to stay longer. In the morning the storm had passed, the birds were out and off we set again.
The long road meandered out through beautiful green lush farmland and so much history. It was a small road and pretty much deserted making for a nice casual Sunday morning type of drive.