After finishing the photo shoots in the territory and finally lining up a backload my car was loaded up and we started the three-day trip back to Brisbane.
It was on this journey that I really got an appreciation for truck drivers with young families. Reception is crap at the best of times in the west and it was always challenging for Darren to be in range before the kids went to bed so he could speak with them.
We got to Mount Isa and had breakfast and a shower at my new surrogate family home and unloaded a tyre for a shop in town. Here we found out the road was closed south of Cloncurry due to flooding. We arrived at Cloncurry and joined the queue of trucks waiting for the road to open.
Darren introduced me to a few drivers, and one of them turned out to be a driver for the company that was supposed to bring me back originally. A slightly awkward moment but I just laughed out loud!
The two-way blared in the drivers cab and it was an announcement that the road was open. We were on our way. As for the other truck, he had to stay put as he had had a beer with his lunch. KARMA??
We were on the road again. Just east of McKinlay we stopped to help another driver who was having problems and I dashed across the road in the bush for a nature call. We crossed a fair bit of floodwater and I came up with some new ideas for images. In fact I got the image for the back of the book. Of me!
Later in the day I got another driving lesson. I tell you what, when this is all said and done, I am getting my license. It is really something to sit behind the wheel of a triple and drive on the open road! It was an epic end to what was a great day.
That night we pulled up at Barcaldine with another one of Renikes drivers and cooked up a feed. The lights at the truck stop were great and I took the opportunity to get some night shots before we called it a night.
When we got to the hook up pad at Roma the next day we needed to unhook a trailer as by law we couldn’t go any further east with three.
It was here I had the ultimate driving lesson. Yep I unhooked the third trailer, drove forward, did a loop, unhooked the second trailer which was the one we were leaving behind. Then drove around and reversed in to what was the third trailer, but now our second trailer and loaded with my car. And I DID IT RIGHT FIRST CRACK! Feeling pretty chuffed we pulled up in town for me to run a box of books across the road to be taken to Charleville the next day, then made the last stretch home.
It was about 10pm when we unloaded my car in Toowoomba at the yard and I headed around to a friend’s place to stay the night before driving straight to Emerald.