My Road Story...

One of them anyway……..back in 1977 I had returned to Oz after being overseas for awhile. I landed in Perth at the beginning of December and stayed there till the New Year. I was starting to run out of bugs bunney and knew I had to get going, so on the Friday night before I left we all went to an illegal gambling club in Perth and I won some cash there, had a great night, the police even turned up at one point but everything was cool. The Monday after was Perth Cup day and we went to the races and splurged out a bit there, having Champers and rums and winning some more moolah, shit we had a good day. Partied on into the night, as you do, got up in the morning and hit the road……..
Started off pretty good and got to a place about 300ks outside of Perth on the first day, thought that was pretty cool and camped the night beside the garage there, can’t remember the name of the place, getting on a bit you know. Got up in the morning, full of confidence and started thumbing it again, was a very hot day, had to make a shelter out of some old branches and a couple of my sarongs, shit it was hot, I even got blisters on my arms. It got to about 3 in the afternoon and I was getting a bit down about it when this guy who did the maintenance on the water pipeline, stopped and gave me a lift, was a pretty nice bloke and at one point we had to stop and check one of the pumping stations and he showed me around, that was cool, like that sort of stuff. He dropped me off around 6 and I thought I would have to camp on the side of the road again, I stuck my thumb out anyway, just in case.
To my surprise and ever eternal gratitude, two young lasses from Kalgoorlie picked me up. We got chatting and were having a good laugh about things, they lived in a park up Kalgoorlie and offered to take me up there for the night, a bunk and a feed and give me a lift back in the morning. How could I refuse such an offer and they were such nice girls. We spent the night there and I must say, it was memorable but I will leave it at that.
They gave me a lift back to Coolgarlie in the morning and after promising to keep in touch and let them know how I got on, I went on my way, like I said, nice girls. I wandered along the highway to this spot where there a number of people thumbing it, they had signs and little shelters set up, I was checking them out and asking what the go was, being new, I didn’t want to walk on any toes.
They related stories of being there for a number of days, some for nearly 2 weeks., this was a little freaky to me and I knew I didn’t want to be there that long. So, don’t ask me why, it’s just me, I believe that I can do, I set off down the highway, walking. Sort of stupid but I had food and there was the water pipeline running parallel to the road and it could be accessed every couple of Ks to get water, so I just took off.
I had gone about 5ks’ when this car went past, came to a stop, reversed back, asked me what I was doing out there in the middle of nowhere. I told him I was on my way to Brissie and there was no use sitting around, it wasn’t going to get me there. He was blown out by my stupidity/inventiveness or whatever but he gave me a lift all the way to Norseman.
Norseman was a similar situation to Calgoorlie but with less people. There was a couple of really impressive humpies on the side of the road. One lot had been there for 3 weeks, they had carved it into a tree, wow, so, what else to do, do it again and off I started walking again. This ended up getting me a lift with a madman in charge of a Phase 3 GTHO falcon, we covered the next 600 Ks in 4 and a half hours and I was shitting myself the whole way, thought a Kombi was going to come thru the windscreen at one stage, man, he was a maniac. We finally stopped at a garage near Ceduna and I just took off round the back, thanks mate, na, gonna crash here the night. Crashed next to the servo. Got up in the morning, feeling a little crap but went in to the servo for some brekkie.
They told me how I was pretty lucky not to have run into any scorpions or snakes out where I had camped….shit……glad I was so stupid not to realise, or just so tired. I finished brekkie and started thumbing again and eventually, a couple from Adelaide in a HQ Van picked me up, they were cool and we cruised along having a good yard about everything, they produce some pot and we just chilled out, listening to some good tapes and stopped for lunch, they were really nice, cool people, thank you, they ended up dropping me off in Adelaide around 3 in the morning. It was in the city and I was walking along the road when a Cabie pulled up, I told him I couldn’t afford to pay but he was on his way home and out of the kindness of his heart, offered me a lift to the highway out of town, as far as he could, cool again, amazing who you meet at times.
Well, had a couple more lifts, got to around Murray Bridge, when this dude in a mini moke, with a couple of bags and a big black, Labrador cross pulled up. It was a funny looking setup, I thought, but needing to keep going, I jumped in and off I went into another little adventure. As we were cruising along, he told me a little story about stealing the moke from the farm he had been working on and taking the dog along for the ride. I also realised that he was pretty wacked out, speed to be exact as I found out, but I just didn’t care too much. Off we went, careening down the road and he offered me some speed, me being a little up for anything back then joined in, we cruised along, engine screaming, it was another hot day and we came across a pub and stopped for tucker and a couple of drinks……..a few for him. At this stage we met a couple of young blokes trying to get to Melbourne and he offered them to come along on our little journey, they said yes for some crazy reason and we all piled into the moke and took off. It was madness, 4 guys, and big black Lab cross, luggage piled everywhere and we are all off our faces, bound for adventure on the road.
Well, we screamed off down the road, the driving was getting a little erratic, the car started getting pretty hot, inside and under the bonnet, we drank all the supplies we had taken with us and the inevitable happened, the glow overheated and cracked the head.
The farm boy tried to get it as far as possible but it just shit itself in the end. There we were, on the side of the road about 5 ks from Border Town, thinking about walking in when a couple of blokes with a tow truck pull up, turns out they were on there way back to town after doing a job, so the farm boy did a deal with these dudes and we got the moke towed into their garage, he sold the bloody thing for a hundred bucks, don’t know the ethics of that but that wasn’t my problem.
The other 2 young blokes had had enough of this stuff by then and took off into town.
Farm boy and myself and the dog headed off as well and ended up at the local pub, he was shouting with the money, so I was happy to let him, we had T bones for dinner and got on the snakes hiss with the local cricket team, another big night. It got to around midnight and we were pretty tanked by now and decided to get a bottle of rum, head off to the train station, catch the 2am to Melbourne and then I would cruise off from there. Good idea. Being drunk is not a good idea if you want to catch the train. Falling asleep doesn’t get you on the train.
Woke up around 6 in the morning, the worst rum hangover I had had in yonks, man it was not good, looked around, sort of couldn’t work out where I was, was just trying to figure it out when I saw the dog asleep on the ground under me, I was crashed on the seat. I immediately thought, this doesn’t look like Melbourne and also, shit, what am I going to do with the dog.
I finally had a little brainwave and took the dog over to the pub, where the publican had taken a liking to him the night before, he had given him all the leftovers and I remembered he had said what a good dog it was, he was a pretty good looking dog for sure. So, I went and saw him and he quite happily, much to my relief, took him in.
So off I went again, now the rest of the journey was not a strange as this and I eventually walked through the back door of the family home, 8 days after I had left Perth, full of memories of people on the road, strange things happening, funny things happening, memorable things happening. The best thing about getting home of course was the surprise on everyones faces, I had told anyone I was getting back and we just started to party, just like old times, ah, Australia, home, how nice it is.

My Road Story...


Bribie Island, Australia

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