“Screw the plan Horse” I said as I threw a stack of maps on the table. He’d just pushed back after devouring a steak bigger than his head. With a nonchalant “How so?” he reached for a glass of the black stuff and a toothpick.
All day long we’d talked about what would be required to catch up on time lost. We both wanted to get up north east, way beyond the Burra. Where the maps turn from green to rust orange. That had to be the boundary where wild things are.
We were way behind and the elements were testing. Today’s headwind was only a precursor of what we could expect. We sat well into the night. warming in the Blumberg hotel considering our options.
Cool eddy’s spun gum leaves Iike marionettes down Shannon street as we headed out on trail. We’re following the Mawson through back roads and forests to the Barossa.
It was all familiar green, but not. Everywhere mobs of ‘Roo crossed trails as we slowly crawled our way up into the chill blast. Before eventually bursting through the saddle just east of Pewsey Vale Peak, then down down down to the warmth of the valley floor.
After a feed of eclairs from die Barossa wurst haus bakery so large they had their own gravitational pull, we pushed on for remainder to Kapunda.
No seal, all is red, red dirt, red dust and red rain. A rustic blusher that penetrates the very core. Old ground, ground into the very DNA of every Australian. A quintessential genome.
We peered into the high contrast landscape of a setting sun and entered the beautiful Kapunda. Late, loved, but worth it.
Onward to Burra
Burra was still a day away and the wind was worse than previous. Horse hatched a plan. We’d go off trail and direct to our destination. ‘Better to have the wind at our rear shoulder than our front’. He said. Wise words from the road.
We collapsed within the lee of the Marrabel pub mid morning. A wind weather old grey man yelled across the tinder burnt stock yards that ‘the pub don’t open till eleven’. I smirked and yelled back ‘bugger’, knowing full well my next beer wouldn’t be served here.
Seal turned to stone, then red dirt. The wind, it never changed. We made good to Waterloo and rest. Now in old Tom Kruse country we were officially in the ‘back of beyond’ (or so the movie goes).
One more wind weathering push and we made the big B’ and beer. Now for a place to stay. Well that would have to be the Royal exchange in Burra heights. Now there is a story…
Todays top track: Led Zepplin – Black dog
(The Royal exchange really should be ‘Hotel California’)