Betsy and I headed off for an adventure. We hit the road heading for Hawker in the Flinders Rangers.
On the way we visited historic sites. Kanyaka Homestead is north of Quorn, a reminder how isolated this country was prior to motorisation. The water hole was lovely and still used for watering stock all these years later. Beyond Goyders line cropping wasn’t successful and many of the settlers moved on as the drought years set in.
It was surprising how large the station had been in it’s hay day.
I stopped and rested in Hawker, grabbing a coffee before heading north. I headed out to find a place to stop the night. Then got sidetracked by wandering off the road to visit another long deserted Siding of Hookina. I followed what I thought might be a track that would lead me back to the main road only to end up in a sandy creek bed.
So there I was 20kms north of Hawker bogged, with no phone reception. I tried digging the tyres out and putting leaves and branches under the wheels, but no success. Fortunately I was within sight of the main road so walked up and flagged down a passing tourist. They were heading into Hawker and I asked them to ask at the petrol station if someone could come out to pull me out.
About half an hour later they were back. They couldn’t find anyone to help and offered to take me in to a Station that was close by. Unfortunately no one was home. So back to Betsy we went. I thanked them for their help and after walking up a hill managed to ring Peter, who would have to come and tow me out. I really did not like confessing to bogging Betsy.
Coming down the hill, I spotted what looked like a station ute, I waved it down and fortunately the shearers were happy to help. It didn’t take long to pull out Betsy and get me back on the road. I asked the boys for their phone number so I could organise a thank you gift and was back on the road. This time I kept to the bitumen. I headed for a spot on top of a hill. The next morning I woke with the sun.
Back on the road the next morning I headed back into Hawker for breakfast before heading to Cradock. I enjoyed my walk around the town, reading the history of the town and area.
I dropped into the Cradock Hotel for a Cool drink. Turns out the landlord was also an ex Territorian and had lived in Tennant Creek and we had friends in common! As we got chatting I was brave enough to admit my stupidity of getting bogged. I mentioned the blokes who had pulled me out. Turns out they frequent the pub often! So I was able to leave some money on the bar for them.
Feeling pretty pleased with myself I headed back onto the road heading for Orroroo. I’m pretty familiar with Orroroo, I had done a few relief teaching days in the school and visited many times when the girls were playing netball. Orroroo is also in the district swimming competition and I’ve swam there many times. They have a 100yd pool which made handicapping times interesting! It was also the first place I ran a 10km. I ran my third Half-marathon there and walked my first half marathon too. But I had never really done any touristy things so for the first of what I hope are many times I went and walked out at the reservoir.
I loved my amazing adventure! Even getting bogged. I met some wonderfully generous people and it reminded me so much of why I love the Outback and its people. There’s no airs and graces. People are down to earth and even if they though I was an idiot were prepared to help me out.
I’ve been asked, aren’t I worried going out on my own? I’m not, I love the peace and quiet. I like my own company and always have. I find being with people draining. After a day at work I need to be quiet. I was the same when I taught. The magic end of day when the kids left the classroom and silence descend on the room, it was like taking a big calming breath of air and letting the tension go.