I awoke to a cold lonely drifter of rain staggering its way up Watt Road, like some lost late night drunk. I rolled over into the dark and slept some more. We procrastinated long that morning. Spending time gwaffing down ‘Cook-O’Burra’ hot dogs and coffee, staring aimlessly out its chill frosted windows.‘Legend.’
It was time to head east.
Take me to the river
East of Burra is nothing. Nothing but eighty odd kilometres of flat dry. The colour of blood iron rubbed raw by wind drawn desert thorn. We were to cross that divide to Morgan and the mighty Murray.
That whipper wind was rising, as we struggled to ride at a list on our narrow shoulder of road. A hideous wrestle as every passing road train threw bad air and forced us to correct and stay within our line. It remained that way until we turned our back to it.
Then we made good speed, crossing that eighty odd kilometre of flat dry in a little over three hours. For the longest stretches of straight, we were powered by nothing more then a good breeze. Like heavy galleons, we sailed with the trade winds, upright to catch the breeze at speeds of well over forty. We grinned in its glory.
While away over. On the horizon massive steels of angular rain continued to plane the landscape smooth. Leaving behind miraged refractions of coloured light shimmering up against ashen grey clouds.
“Look there?” I yelled to Horse as I pointed towards the visceral illusion, “Opals in the sky…let’s do some prospecting!”.
We rode on in silence and we rode on until Morgan. Rolling down the river as the squal continued to plane east. And in the gold of late suns glow the ferryman led us across the still waters into the shallows of the silt bar beyond. We pulled up parched and dusty under the bow of an old ‘widow maker’ or silver gum.
That ferryman just told us they’d only had seventeen mils of rain here since Christmas. Seven of that was this day.
Somewhere behind us a Kookaburra laughed in the dry. We didn’t.
Todays top track: Radiohead – High and dry