The seeds were planted over a couple of beers at Phil's place.
Somebody had found the one Phil had his eye on Bugger, but there are plenty more to choose from I said, so choose we did. We both had Sunday off and S 21 00.000, E 119 00.000 was begging to be found. To top it off it was close to home as well. What a perfect way to find your first one.
Sunday morning arrived, well late mid-morning when I fell out of bed. A quick phone call to Phil confirmed that the hunt was on. The insufficient amount of time "45 minutes" was allotted for preparation time with rendezvous point being Coles.
Slightly overshooting the time by five minutes I arrive next to Phil's troopie trayback (Harry) to see nobody home. Waiting in line at the checkout I found Phil, arms bulging with the necessary supplies to ensure outback survival (a packet of salt and vinegar chips and a 600ml of flavoured milk.
We hit the road out of town at a blistering pace proportionate to 16 and 20 year old vehicle. Naturally the power Pajero (scratch box) was in the lead! Communication between the two vehicles was by my, overpriced, underpowered, super slim, useless $130 GME TX650's handheld's. Anyone considering buying these radios need their head read as a $15, 0.5 Watt Digitech seems to do just as good a job and fits in the palm of your hand better.
Ninety minutes later we arrived at the end of the road, figure of speech and from a high vantage point we surveyed the area and began to think like crows. 5.56 km stood between us and ground zero. With two high points burned into memory we set off into the vast unknown. Phil and "Harry" took the lead and for while it seemed like this was going to be easy until we were forced down into Gully country. It was in this area that the ground clearance of old HiLux's reigned supreme. Dragging the rear bumper bar of the "scratch box" a couple of times had me wondering if the old girl had worms. Steadily climbing again we only had one hill to conquer but the crow was flying anything but straight as we zigzagged around rocks and other obstacles. One final water course gave are some resistance and it was decided whilst watching our GPS's we would make the supreme sacrifice and walk at least 10 meters to our objective.
S 21 00.000, E 119 00.000 was reached at 1347hrs along with a sense of achievement. It was around this time we both decided that this was addictive as we could see the cogs of thought operating in each other's head.
Did you order Steak eggs and chips for dinner Phil? I have never seen someone so enthusiastic about a staked side wall! "Oh look", I have a flat, chirped Phil. After demonstrating a procedure to get the necessary Jack clearance, Phil set about his chore. If I had some more notice this morning I would have thrown on a set of bush tyres instead of putting two in the back was a comment that started to make me feel guilty, along with the fact that I had told Phil that it was his turn to lead back when we left the track. Let's stick on the other scrub tyre while we're here I piped up, thinking that Phil's new Wrangler tyres weren't meant for this sort of situation. Nar it will be all right, unless you want to do it was a comment. So did it, I did and just as well, cos the front right hand tyre was going out in sympathy (slowly). The 35° C. temperature prompted a beer to be consumed along with lunch under the shade of a nice nearby tree after, the necessary tyre changing, photographing and shrine erecting activities had been carried out.
It was decided that the scratch box and I would lead on the way out, as it was shod with 8 ply rag tyres. We tried to find our way over the hills, through stake and gully country using the existing tracks, but boy it is amazing how quickly tyre tracks get lost. We arrived back on the man-made track again two hours later and started to plan the additional sightseeing activities to take up the rest of the day whilst we were in the area before heading home under the cover of darkness.
Whoever would have thought that heading to an intersection marked on a map would be so rewarding. Judging by the amount of locations found throughout Australia and around the world I am not alone in my thinking. Now where's the next one!