Friday, January 09, 2009

On the road again

I'm sitting in the passenger seat of our 'long drawn-out sigh' of a car, as the Aged Poet calls it, trying to type accurately as it bumps along the Newell Highway between Gilgandra and Dubbo.

We've just had salad sandwiches in Gilgandra after visiting the Siding Springs observatory in the Warrunbungles, and we're heading for a day at the Western Plains Zoo tomorrow.
Thanks to my country boarding school days, this landscape is threaded with memories of teenage bushwalks, visits to family farms, and Bachelor & Spinster dances. As we enter a town, names I haven't remembered for years leap unbidden into my brain, surprising me, as I have an extremely bad memory for names. BB has stopped asking 'what?' every time I gasp. I've stopped trying to verbalize the mixed emotions I'm feeling.

Two days ago we went up into the Border Ranges and stood at a few vantage points like The Pinnacle to see the remnants of volcanic activity around Mt Warning. Bumblebee was very impressed, especially as we followed through with lunch at the Sphinx Rock Cafe, close to the volcanic centre, and then a swim at a waterhole so deep that local legend tells of a tractor lying unfound at its bottom.

Today we saw better volcanic remnants in the 'Bungles. I love the view from Sidings Spring, over the marvellous rocky outcrops to a landscape that is absolutely flat right out to the horizon. On the way out of the National Park, I pulled my hair out of my face with a scarf, rolled the windows down, put 'Meet Glen Campbell' on the stereo, and enjoyed the flat hot fields and straight roads with top-of-my-lungs gusto.

We take turns driving, and our styles are very different. My turn is full of noisy music I can sing along with; when BB takes the wheel the music comes off and either Radio National or an audiobook goes on. This tends to make me sleepy, and I'm a bad passenger, so I'll nap or play gameboy.

Bumblebee keeps himself amused, playing Gameboy, reading comics or making his Bionicle do spectacular things. Every now and again we'll make him down tools and engage with the landscape so that he actually sees the journey, so to speak.

Wow, here is Dubbo. TTFN.

-- Post From My iPhone


Karen (miscmum) said...

Wow - we were on the Newell for a while last week, between Dubbo and Forbes, and then turned off for Grenfell, Young etc to get to the Hume.

I like road trips - they allow me time to think

Anonymous said...

No one driving the car,
Is it Herbie the VW?

Sarah said...

Great post. I have strong memories of long drives through this landscape as a kid .... its stunning. The Bungles are Beautiful.

nico said...

I was born in Dubbo. It's quite novel thinking of people travelling there for fun (altho it does seem you were on your way somewhere else). Not that it is without its charms etc.

The Warrumbungles are legitmately interesting!

Mrs Slocombe said...

Radio bloody National: I'm with you on that, sister......