I went away for a few days by myself last week. I’ve written about my “annual solitary road trips” before. I drive on my trips – a lot. When it’s just me and the road and the thoughts in my head, I can stop doing and start being for a while. The journey is the journey.
This year I took myself up to Byron Bay via the other lovely Bs – Brooklyn, Bellingen and Bangalow. It’s amazing how similar these kinds of “quirky and quaint” towns are. It’s always incredible to me how tribal we really are – there is not much out there that is truly unique. If we want to be “alternative”, we seem to do it in a very conventional sort of way.
I drove home via the New England Highway and foolishly took on the long and winding Putty Road for ‘old times sake’ – my dad preferring to take this old bikie road from Windsor to Singleton whenever we went Up North as kids. Putty Road is super-fun for about twenty minutes (I can see why the motorbike gangs love those bends), but then you look at your GPS and it’s telling you that you’ve got another hour and a half of those bends and suddenly you’ve got a headache. It’s a long way around and around and around.
At the top of Putty Road there is the cutest old-school roadhouse. It had ancient petrol pumps and the “best hot dogs on Putty Road” (which means their hot dogs are better than the only other place serving them on Putty Road). I was itching to pull in and take some shots of that gorgeous old place, but there were about thirty hogs parked out the front and I didn’t dare to pause. I keep thinking about that roadhouse and missed moments and confidence.
Every now and then when I’m driving along a deserted road and there is just trees and grass and sky as far as the eye can see, I like to stop for a while. I pull off the road onto a dirt track or a farm driveway and get out of the car and walk a little. The soft tick-tick-tick of the engine is the only sound I can hear until I start to listen. Then the sound of the wind rushing though the grass starts rushing through my head and suddenly I can hear my own blood rushing through my veins. The pulse of my heart, the murmur of my touch, the caress of my memories and the giant roar of tomorrow.