10 August 2002
It felt good to leave Perth and go bush again. The wheatbelt region of Western Australia presented us with the unusual prospect of rolling green hills; but after travelling east for about 300 km, we found ourselves in the bush again. The first sign of this was the salmon gums with their copper-coloured trunks and limbs. They are stunningly beautiful, and we’ve not seen them in such numbers as out here towards Coolgardie.
We stopped for lunch outside a local museum and ate some pre-prepared sandwiches, and then kept driving until we came to a rest stop 110 km west of Coolgardie. It advertised itself as having a scenic view but, best of all, it was about 1 km off the highway, so it was quiet.
The facilities had been vandalised. Someone had stolen a shed which once housed a solitary dunny. All that remained was a stainless steel bowl sticking up out of the concrete slab. The barbeque facility had also been dismantled and removed so that all that remained was a brick bench with some graffiti relating to the theft. There were, however, a couple of nice picnic tables still intact. Further investigation of the area revealed some lovely spots away from the main camping area. I wanted to set up camp in one of these, as it would almost guarantee our solitude; but Susie wanted to make use of one of the picnic tables, so we set up camp close to one of these, which were located in the main area.
We started a fire as soon as we could. There was plenty of fallen wood around the place, even if it wasn’t the best quality. We cooked jaffles with cheese and baked beans in the coals. After Ruby and Clare went to sleep, Susie stayed up doing her tapestry while I played the guitar.