Into Queensland

Sunday, June 17, 2018 at 08:02 (UTC+1000)

The Mitchell Highway was running through country more and more bare of trees and while we saw more emus pecking around near the road fence we still saw no kangaroos. But we knew they had to be around because their remains were littered all down the sides of the highway, some rotting to skeletons, some bloated and being worked by crows. We guessed the roos come out at night and get slaughtered by the overnight trucks.

Just short of the Queensland border we came to a dusty roadhouse. Moreno sheep browsed in a pen. The gas pumps said No Fuel but we were after coffee and brekkie. The owner was a fellow in a dirty bush hat and sported one long front tooth. He was busy telling a long story to a pair of Grey Nomads so we waited for him to finish. I understood maybe half of what he said.

As I ate a pastie and Fireman devoured a bacon and egg sando I noticed birds out back in a group. They resembled the Seven Sisters birds in Sri Lanka but were black rather than brown. Our host said they were called Apostle Birds.

Next we crossed into Queensland and while dodging more carcasses the Fireman told a story of using roadkill to go fishing one time, on the advice of some bogan in a camp. Apparently it worked quite well.

The music blared and the stories continued as we cruised on up the road, until a sudden flashing of lights ahead of us: police car. Fireman was pulled over for speeding. Ten kliks over the limit got him a $160 fine. Ouch. We hadn't noticed the speed limit had dropped from 110 in New South Wales to 100 here.

That threw a wet blanket on our rolling party but there was nothing to do but press on. We began to see fat baobab trees. The land opened wider and the sky was immense. We finally could shed all jackets as sun poured in the windshield.

There are numerous road signs warning drivers to take a break now and then as these long straight roads can make one drowsy. We saw a "fatigue zone" where they had actually posted quiz questions, to get you thinking and wake up, with answers coming later. Clever!

At Tambo the sun was nearly setting and we found a nice little caravan park and called it a day. Over six hundred kilometers covered, and one run in with the coppers and Fireman was weary. A vast pink and orange sunset lit the sky, punctuated by a crescent moon next to shining Venus.

We took a stroll just up the road to the Royal Carrangarra Hotel and discovered we'd just missed the daily Chicken Races. But if we made a loud enough chicken call we could get a discount on beer. "Bock bock bock!" shouted Fireman and got us two schooners. We ordered big outback dinners and watched Australia lose to France in the World Cup soccer.