It was about 2.00am when the first droplet of rain landed on my forehead, having squeezed its way through the insect proof mesh of my swag, which, only hours before, had perfectly framed the Milky Way as I drifted off to sleep. The clear skies under which we’d enjoyed many a soothing ale while recounting the day’s encounters had made way for brooding rain clouds and, with them, an imminent downpour.
When day broke, the red clay pan that formed the base of our camp resembled a tidal flat, with hundreds of miniature waterfalls cascading down the edges of our canvas abodes, pooling on the ground beneath. Needless to say, pack up that morning, while swift, was melancholic.
With equipment packed back into (and onto) our fleet of now monotone vehicles, it didn’t take long for the mood to improve, chatter over the UHFs signalling optimism and enthusiasm for the day ahead.
As I settled back into the driver’s seat of the 2016 HiLux and watched the quartet of icons disappear over the day’s inaugural dune, I couldn’t help but be amused by the reversal in convention. You’d expect the wise old owls of society to tread cautiously into the unknown, floundering in the wake of an eager and exuberant younger generation. Not so here, with frivolity aplenty in the older vehicles as our guests bobbed and swayed their way towards the horizon in a cloud of smoke, leaving the youngsters to sedately follow in their footsteps.
Today’s journey would see us continue east along the Rig Road, past the intersection with Colson Track and then further along the WAA line in search of the turnoff to our allocated lunch spot next to the Lone Gum. Our ultimate destination for the day was Poeppel Corner, the official junction of Queensland, South Australia and the Northern Territory. Issues with the trailer the day before, though, meant we’d likely be pushing the proverbial uphill to make it before dark.
Read the full story here – Icon Vs. Aircon Part 2