We had come across a bilby flattened on the road after setting out that morning. Bush-raised Tony announced the bilby was only the second he had ever seen. The Cape York bilby looked a lot like the last glimpse of the Fraser Coast one he saw long ago.
It too was flat. He had run over it. “I couldn’t miss it. It just kept hopping up the centre of the road.”
The Cruiser was also a sad sight but not at all gory.
Kim from Clermont had been sitting in the passenger seat when her husband moved to the left side of the road to give an oncoming vehicle a wide berth. The Cruiser just kept hopping left and slid gently down into the steep ditch with its left side against the bank.
She had enough room to scramble out the window and get out her young daughter. No one was hurt but righting the vehicle was going to be tricky.
Kim and Co. were travelling to the tip in five vehicles. She feared a stack of eggs in the vehicle would now be a messy heap. She was a bit of a messy heap too because she had already had an accident on dirt roads and was pretty nervous on them now. “Oh shit!” she exclaimed. “My Iphone was on the bloody eggs.”
Now we were moving to disaster status and, she said, her husband loved his vehicles. He was very fussy with them so the Cruiser would be getting a thorough going over. “If it tips over when they try to pull it out I’m off in the bush.”
After consultations, deliberations and assessment, the trailer was moved. Two winches were needed, it was decided, one to pull it backwards and one out the side to stop the Cruiser falling over, necessitating a flight into the bush by slim Kim.
Isabel’s 15,000lb winch was elected to be the recovery vehicle. With minimum fuss but a fair bit of strain on machinery and faces, the Cruiser came out with barely a scratch.
Everyone continued to head north. The next morning on the road to Weipa we come across old mate with two kids, a dog and a bit of a problem on his camper trailer, which is also carrying quad bike. He’s been south and two hours from home the trailer axle snaps. He is Not A Happy Chappy.
The boys help him unload. He drives to quad into the bush and marks a hiding spot with his GPS while we studiously avert our eyes. His Cruiser wrenches the crippled trailer across to a drain on the other side where it is a little hidden from the road.
He heads off to Weipa, planning to return the next day with a truck. We bless Isabel and Troopy Trailer and move on.