We walked 10km a day for five days through the Ngaanyatjarra lands in the Gibson Desert, following the route of an old Dreamtime tale. A 70-year-old woman battling diabetes & wheezing through asthma was setting the pace.
This woman, along with Dorothy & Mrs Bennett, carried four foot crowbars at the ready, sometimes stopping to drive them into the ground to stir up & belt bungarra lizards to cook over the coals later. They were relentless.
At night the kids lit up great swathes of spinifex because, well… why wouldn't ya? We did, too.
There’s a ghost town called Wittenoom at the mouth of a gorge on the edge of Karijini National Park. One of the last people in town, an old lady running the Gem Shop, swore it was all a scam and that the asbestos the town once mined and that still shrouded the ground wasn’t lethal. She had an “official” four-page document to prove it. No letterhead, no page numbering, no attribution to any Department or Institute; just four printed pages. I went back a year later. The Gem Shop was shut. She was gone.
I put my dad’s ute in a ditch once being a dickhead not long after earning my licence. I had nothing on Dan, though. Trebling the speed-limit as he crested the top of the hill in his VN SS, he kept his foot to the floor as Thomo sat alongside with his foot pumping at a non-existant brake pedal, screaming over and over: