Wednesday, March 03, 2004

I wangle a trip to Hedland

I managed to wangle a trip into Hedland on Tuesday, did me few small chores around the place, checked the car and armed with my purchase order for my provisions, off I set. Nice morning for it, there were grey clouds and white clouds bumping each other across a blue sky and making some interesting shadows on the landscape, the hills were in every shade of green, Red, brown, black and yellow, the birds were whistling as I drove along, for I was going to town, and if nothing else, I would get me photos downloaded and at least a couple of cartons of iced coffee. I drove through the hills and across the plain, until I came to the creek where the road was cut, Miralga creek I found out is was called, it was flowing a wee bit but I got through the stream with no worries and set off for the tarmac. The old telegraph line came looming up reminding me to slow down as the blacktop was nigh, and I was out on a real road. Just a couple of kilometres and I was approaching the Shaw river, the river was still flowing across the concrete spillway , very fast but only maybe six inches deep, as I got near the middle I noticed some, what I took to be kids there, I stopped to take a photograph of them for posterity, and up jumped a young woman, maybe about twenty, she was wringing wet, as she had been laying on the spillway, she came over to me saying, you don’t know what you are missing, it is just like being in a spa bath, you should come in with us, I was pondering this thought, whilst trying to get my camera to work (one of my rechargeable batteries had broken down) when up on the rise came a bloody great road train with four trailers, and he wants to come down and across the river, and I am talking to a wringing wet, scantily clad young woman and blocking his way, I said to her, I gotta go and pulled back onto the correct side of the road and got out of his way, she was calling for Rusty who was her red coloured cattle dog and I was away. I never saw another vehicle all the fifty kilometres to the Tabba Tabba turnoff, talk about being in the right place at the wrong time, but I carried on up the road in a great frame of mind. I had not spoken face to face to a person since Thursday, and who is the first person I speak to? A young woman with a red dog called Rusty, dressed in a thin cotton shirt, and a pair of tiny little shorts that were clinging to her body as though they were sprayed on who had just got out of cold water, I will never forget that shirt she was wearing, but couldn’t remember her face.
I carried on to Hedland, got some replacement batteries for my camera, had an iced coffee in Dixons, then carried on down into Hedland town where I seemed to remember a small area where some group had collected a fair amount of old industrial equipment of significant historical interest. It was right next to where I had to do my shopping, so I spent a few minutes taking some photos of all this equipment (which I have started to put in a new gallery entitled Rescued). I dropped my memory cards off in the Chinese camera shop, checked my lotto (I am not a millionaire yet), did my little bit of shopping, had a flirt and a laugh with the check out chic, picked my photographs up and zoomed back towards the camp. I should mention that it was very cloudy in Hedland, with intermittent showers. I slowed down at the Shaw River but there was no sign of any scantily clad water nymphs around, so I drove up my drive way with a heavy heart, which soon changed to joy as I started looking at my photos.

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