skulking ground

Follow our family of Cunning(ham) Foxes on our turbulent travels around Oz

The Ranger

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The days seem to go so fast and the towns blur like the lines on the road, not that each place isn’t unique. Some quaint and quirky, some with killer views and some with plain old killers. Each day is different, we left the coast for the forest in Byfield National Park, we had a coffee at the General Store, we talked to an old hippy with wild eyes who had a Rosella farm and an excitable fat labrador. We drove down the same road six times, we were looking for a place to stay. The Ranger directed us to a camp ground where we would be more comfortable. He was a slow talker with a cackled laugh and ulterior motives. He told us to drive 10 km down this dog eared and coal truck trodden dirt road, for nothing, for dinner? His dinner maybe. We ran over a snake, a bad omen when Jacob’s totem animal is the snake. We decided to turn back before tea time, bumping all the way out of Byfield and stayed at a rest stop in Yaamba. Nothing like the North coast of NSW, but the bum end of Rockhampton, next to a motel with a cowboy and a council worker drinking Castlemaine. They said something to me but I couldn’t understand what.

I don’t know what the day is. The sun sets on the sugarcane taller than our Toyota, we’re camped out in the parking lot of an old pub, the General Gordon Hotel just out of Mackay. A vagabond version of the Von Trapps pulls up in a beat-up circus truck. Harmonicas, lutes and acoustic guitars blow puffs of magic smoke in the air. The youngest ones play with unicorns in the dust. The moon is about four days from being full and we’re happy to sit in the company of cane toads the size of seagulls and listen to the Pixies play their tune.

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