Thursday, 14 August 2014

Memories, Dreams and Skies: Part Two

Something beeped and woke me up. I was getting quite comfy there too but I had a feeling I’d missed out on my biscuits. I looked out the window and below me was the East Kimberleys. River and creek systems wriggled their way everywhere. Tones of grey and brown. I could see a big turkey’s nest near a salt arm with cattle camped up in the corners of fencelines and wondered if we were directly over Legune and what I was looking down on was Salt Paddock and all those green patches were paragrass. Maybe we were over Bullo River, Carlton Hills or Newry. I don’t care, I’m going to keep thinking it was Legune.

As we came in closer to Kununurra old memories came flooding back. Last time I flew in here I was surviving on pain killers from a broken back and I’d just been to see the surgeon in Darwin and have MRI’s.
All the little farms looked like a patchwork quilt. The Ord River Irrigation Scheme stretched its way providing water for the farmers to grow their crops. TFS had taken over with their sandalwood trees. All the rock formations stood proud. The town was built around them. Not them smashed down to make way for a town. It was good to be back there. It had been 5 years since my last visit. I drove from Willeroo to Lake Argyle and checked out the Durack Homestead, watched the rodeo, camped the night and drove all the way back again.

The airport had changed. There was now an industrial estate (or it was way bigger if it had always been there). Weaber Plains Road was full of sandalwood trees. I pointed out to places along the roads and told my workmate “that was where the bus driver kicked us all off because the blokes broke out into a fight. Then the fight continued on the lawn and then the psycho cook pulled a knife and we all hid in BP until the cops came to arrest him. He was a frigging psycho. He got fired a week later”.

After the meeting we went to the Hoochery which I didn’t know existed until a few weeks back. It’s annoying that when I was at Legune our town trips were focussed purely on partying and nothing on site seeing and making the most of the town. Everyone must have thought I was a nut for taking so many photos at the Hoochery and getting so excited about it but it was a gap that needed filling and this would be my only opportunity for a while. Don’t worry peeps, I took a photo of a chia crop as well!

On the way out of Kununurra I felt like we were moving in to the future and I don’t just mean because of the time zone issue. In my mind I was moving from 2004 to 2007 to 2008 to now. I pointed out the Buchanan Highway “that’s where Kidman Springs is, down that road by 80kms” and the western boundary of Willeroo “it starts here and it’s on either side of us”. I pointed out Mt Alice from where it takes two days to walk the cattle to the yards and a gate that leads to another set of yards. I pointed out Augusta’s Crown, the homestead, the hill with the most awful name, Mt Leonard and the eastern boundary. “And my mate owns this place and sometimes I come out here to work or get away from town”. Every boundary change I changed the UHF channel to match, just for the hell of it. Nothing but static. Everyone had knocked off for the day. The station horses were chilling out in the Driveway Paddock.

By 8pm I was home. One whirlwind trip over and done with. Much achieved and learned. Much remembered and learned. Much changed. And for the better.

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