Jason’s Out Back Getaway House.
Out in the country, in Aussie referred to as the bush or outback, I see and experience a feeling of boiphilia, an affinity with the natural world. Some would say the outback is desolate and ugly.
If you are not observant, hurrying, wanting to be someplace else you never notice the wonder of nature. Amazing things never experienced in the city. Different to what you can find in the lush green rain forests of the coastal areas and highlands of this vast island continent of Australia.
It is an 800 km/500 miles from the city of Brisbane to the town of Cunnamulla via Toowoomba, Dalby, St George. Then another 80 km to my son’s opal lease at Koroit North West of Cunnamulla.
Pauline and I meandered when we travelled these roads, taking little detours, stopping to investigate everything of interest. We only travelled between two to five hundred kilometers per day. We stayed a day or more in Toowoomba, it is famous for its flower festival, It took us several weeks to do the trip to Cunnamulla. Stopping for photos of sights along the way. For us it is always the journey not the destination.
But Pauline and I have no deadlines and obligations like Jason. We are retired and have time to explore and admire this amazing world. My son Jason was intent in getting to the opals ASAP. So it was only a few necessary fuel and toilet stops. We even ate on the move to cover ground and save time. It is in total about a 12 hr. drive as the last 80 km from Cunnamulla to Koroit is over a rough gravel road.
Australia is a about the same area as USA with a much smaller population so road maintenance is governed by how often they are used. On property boundaries, instead of gates, there are narrow cattle stops, made of railway lines placed with a gap wider than a hoof. They are about a meter wide and only long enough for one vehicle. When the tires run over the rails the sudden loud rippling noise snaps everyone awake.
Cattle and kangaroos randomly roaming the road created a hazard. Jason slowed down to a safer speed. One unlucky kangaroo could not be avoid, if Jason had swerved any harder, towing a trail loaded with two off road motorbikes, he would have lost control.
My seat adjusted like a comfortable airline seat. If I had actually been on a plane the bumps would have been unnerving, like flying through a turbulent storm. In the van the bumps only disturbed a sound sleep.
As it was my son Jason, grandsons Geoff, Michael and myself thought the trip went well and it was a wonderful time together. Times shared in remote places out of the usual familiar surroundings make a family bond. The boys played their guitars under the stars. The stars twinkle like a billion diamonds with no competition from city lights, smog or damp sea air.
It is a hard, tortured land of extremes, long spells of hot and dry with fine red dust that penetrates the smallest crevices. Then the tropical rains bucket down and the roads are a red clay bog. This is out back Aussie beyond the black stump. My photos and words will not convey how this place is, or felt to me. But in keeping with my by-line in the header ‘Try even if you fail but never fail to try.’