At Archer River Roadhouse we enjoy the famous $11.50 hamburgers and more advice on the state of the OTT. The roadhouse was populated by neatly dressed chaps in tangerine or mustard coloured shirts – the support gang for the Just For Kids escorted 4WD tours, we discover.
Isabel had been a bit of a star, attracting lingering looks from males, but was put in her place when we joined up with Cousin Heather and Ross and Troopy Trailer.
Ross works with heavy machinery and had spent a couple of years cutting back a Troop Carrier into a reinforced camper trailer, belted with chequerboard stainless steel, sporting a bash bar underneath and all sorts of attachments and detachments.
She had been the talk of the CB. Her front end was a man magnet. If Isabel’s upswept arse was the machinery version of Jo-Lo’s rear, then Troopy Trailer was Dolly Parton.
She had been photographed endlessly but at Archer River we were amused to see one of the tangerine shirts on its back photographing Troopy Trailer’s nether regions with a tablet. After Troopy, the tablet was focused on Isabel, especially her interesting arse as usual.
The wearers of the orange and mustard were, we learned, part of the Just for Kids charity group that escorts 4WD enthusiasts on annual trips along the Old Telegraph Track and out to the west. One of the One of the tour guides turns out to be John Rutland from Hervey Bay, a Vietnam veteran who came over for yarn when he noticed Tony’s Vietnam vet sticker on Isabel.
All of the guides are entranced with Troopy Trailer, their admiration making up for the sarcastic comment over the CB a few kilometres back: “Hey mate, which one is pushing and which one is pulling that contraption?”
The boys have just been up and down the Telegraph Track and say Isabel will plough through the crossings but will be squashed on the deep, narrow cuttings. Troopy Trailer is also in doubt as a bit too low slung, even though she is reinforced with a skateboard thing underneath.
We decide we don’t want to scratch and dent Isabel just yet and Ross isn’t too keen to see if he can flip little Troopy. We opt to stick on the bypass roads, where the main interest is the width, depth and prevalence of the corrugations. We will re-assess the temptation of OTT from the north.
Photo above: John Rutland and Tony at the Archer River Roadhouse where the $11.50 hamburgers are huge and so are the occasional floods.