I lay in bed and gazed up at the ceiling. Wish I hadn’t.
[While painting this scene of a group of older men gathering to admire the glowing walls of Stanley Chasm, I was reminded of the T-Team’s trek in 1977 with Mr. B. This wealthy man used to comfort and luxury, took on the challenges of roughing it camping with the T-Team. This stunning chasm is about 50km west of Alice Springs and is one of the first of many beautiful sites to visit in the MacDonnell Ranges.]Read more "Story Behind the Painting: Stanley Chasm — Angkerle Atwatye"
Dad looked at his watch. ‘We have to go. Or we’ll be late.’
I raised my voice. ‘What about breakfast?’
‘Er, um, better not, if you’re flying,’ Dad said.
‘You might chunder,’ Rick laughed.
‘Oh, no!’ Dad cried.
‘What?’ Mr B sat up in his sack. He looked like a red caterpillar with slits for eyes.
‘The Rover’s bogged,’ Dad yelled from behind the Rover.
‘How can you tell?’ Mr B asked.
Dad sighed. ‘Ooh, it doesn’t look good. Told you we shouldn’t’ve camped in a creek bed.’
‘Hey, look at this,’ I yelled to the boys.
They stopped and turned.
‘Careful,’ Richard said.
‘Is that a snake?’ Matt asked. He raised his rifle.
‘Aren’t I clever,’ my brother said.
‘How did you do that?’ I approached the cage. ‘G’day mate.’
The parrot cocked its head.
In a falsetto voice, I said, ‘Hello cocky.’
The bird bobbed its head.
The boys laughed.
Several kangaroos bounded across the sealed road in front of us. We slowed, keeping a wary eye on the wildlife that seem to have an attraction for roads and cars at dusk. Once in the camping ground, we followed the clearly numbered camp sites until we found ours.
Mr K set up the tent with little help from me. I just held the poles while he hammered pegs into the hard ground pitted with stones. He made sure the Ford stood between our tent and the gum tree.