FRIDAY 18 MARCH CLONCURRY TO ADELS GROVE 370kms
Once again, we set out on the familiar way to Adels.
Topped up the fuel at Burke and Wills Roadhouse – $1.33cpl.
The skies to the north looked really quite threatening. Found out later that there had been heavy rains, last week, up Burketown way. Associated with that cyclone that went across the Gulf I guess. A Ringrose Transport truck got bogged up by the old Tiranna Roadhouse – and stayed bogged for several days. But that was really an exception in what had been a light Wet season.
We stopped to eat lunch beside the road, west of Gregory Downs.
It was not as green through here as I’d expected, but there was some water pooled beside the road in places.
Between Gregory and Adels we saw brolgas, and several bustards.
The unsealed road was not too bad, for this time of year. We travelled pretty cautiously. In some of the little dip gullies, there were water worn gutters to crawl through. The Louie Creek crossing was dry.
We looked out for the drum top signs, on trees, that John had made in 2003. Most had gone, victim of souvenir hunters, but we saw three or four survivors.
We received a great welcome from the old hands and management at Adels Grove.
Took the rig down to park in the usual staff area in the Grove.
A new couple from interstate had been there for a week. They got the idea of working here from a previous staff member they met somewhere. They certainly gave off vibes that they were not happy to see more staff and did not want our van anywhere near theirs! They told us that the friends of the boss’ who were camped down there, were leaving tomorrow, so we should park over near them. Turned out they were not leaving at all……..
The baby of our 2003 time was now two and a half. Very independent, bright and articulate.
Set up for a possibly extended stay. Connected up to power from up in the shed. The other couple had commandeered the water tap, but John put on a two way splitter and connected us too. John knew where to find some old lino that we could put down to be a floor under the awning.
Then we went for a wander, looking at the changes since 2003.
There was a lot of green grass in the DBB tent area – because of it still being the Wet season.
Back in 2003, the boss was experimenting with putting tents onto a permanent, roofed platform. There were now another six tents on platforms. An extra hire tent place had been carved out of the bush over in that area.
There was a new, second, shower block for the DBB tent area – same style as the other one, which was great – spacious. A long drop toilet had been installed down in the grove – needed, because it was a long walk from there to the other amenities.
There were seven brown hens roaming about. I wondered how long they would survive the pythons?
Gardens had been established in front of several of the permanent tent platforms and they, along with the ones in front of the dongas, were looking very groomed.
There was a second bus to do tours.
The water supply for the main building was now being pumped from Louie Creek, which did not have the heavy calcium load of Lawn Hill Creek.
The whole place looked really neat and tidy. Each year sees incremental improvements.
We had tea with the other staff, up on the dining deck. It was only the handful of us – no guests. The boss and her friend cooked tea. Apart from the bosses and their friends L and R, J and J, and the unfriendly couple X and Y, there was a lass, A – some relative – whose main job as the season progressed, would be to mind the toddler.
The establishment now had its alcohol licence – for guests and staff only, no sales to drop ins. Bar duty would be another job for the work roster.
It was so good to be back. Kind of felt like coming home!
We had driven almost 3000 kms in nine days – two of them lay days.