Daily Archives: 21/07/2013

Before this afternoon, dear ones, I was going to keep you up to date with how well the van is going. It’s only little things that have been causing inconvenience since “the incident”.  Let me explain.

Screws for instance. These little things, when combined with road corrugations, may decide to eject themselves from their resting place, leading to big surprises at the end of the day. Cupboards detach from ceilings, stove plates rattle and hinges come off doors.

Dust is also a little thing. When it joins forces with wind, road trains or water, the impacts can also add to the flavour of the day. Beer and dust mixed together make a nice mixture on the floor of the van, for example.

Refrigerant gas is a little thing. When it escapes from the fridge, it is also problematic.

This afternoon, after a short run from Wolfe Creek, we were ready to crank up the roof when the cable (a medium thing) detached again.  Every picture tells a story.

bloody van 1table has many usesbloody van 4bloody van 2bloody van 3All fixed courtesy of the Master of Improvising and Problem Solving and his trusty assistant who is becoming a dab hand with a screw driver and power drill.

Saturday 20 July – written in Halls Creek 21 July

The Djaru people call the crater Kandimalal. They knew of its existence long before this aerial photograph was taken in 1947 from Vacuum Oil Company’s survey plane and reproduced in The Horsham Times on 3 August 1948.

Wolfe Creek Crater - Aug 1948

John Goldsmith is a radio astronomer and talented photographer of night skies.  In June 2011, he wrote this post on the wonderfully rich Australian Indigenous Astronomy blog.  In it he shares the aboriginal dreaming story of the crater where two rainbow snakes formed both Wolfe and Sturt Creeks and one of the snakes emerged from the ground to form the ring of the crater.

Goldsmith continues.

In 1999, I recorded a story about a “star” that fell from the sky and became buried in the ground, forming the crater. According to Djaru Elder Jack Jugarie, one day, the crescent moon and the evening star passed very close to each other. The evening star became so hot that it fell to the ground, causing an enormous explosion, flash, dust cloud and noise. This frightened the people and a long time passed before they ventured near the crater to see what had happened. When they ventured to crater, it was realised that this was the site of where the evening star had fallen to the Earth. The Djaru people then named the place “Kandimalal”…

Over 60 years after the first aerial photos, satellite imagery (via Google Maps) creates art of a majestic kind that can’t be replicated down here on the ground.

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater - Google Map

We camped at the reserve’s camp site mid-afternoon and took a short walk up to the crater site. The road in off the Tanami Track is currently competing for most challenging drive in terms of the corrugations and time taken to drive the 20 kilometres in.

Here are a few late afternoon snaps as the near full moon rose.

Wolfe Creek Meteorite Crater

Wolfe Creek Crater panoramamoon on Wolfe Creek Crater

The Tanami crossing took three days from Alice Springs to Halls Creek via two bush camps and Wolfe Creek Crater.

The first night we camped at a bore site called Smith’s Gift Bore. A rare chance to do a little painting, literally. The Tanami is road trains and UHF conversations. At this time of year, it’s cracked mud and sand and rock surfaces graded so low in some parts that you can’t see the surrounding landscape. Surprisingly it’s also bitumen for long stretches. Who knew?

It’s dust and termite nests, wild horses and wedge-tailed eagles. windmills and dust. It’s dingoes that visit in the night and steal garbage left outside. It’s wildflowers and big skies, animal carcasses at the side of the road and Brahman cattle. It’s roads that keep you on your toes (except when it’s on those bitumen stretches).

beware loose surface - Tanami

road train on the Tanamicampsite night 1 landscapecampsite - Tanamiwheel on tree - Tanamiamud crackle art on the Tanami Trackwindmill - Tanamitermite nests - Tanamiwho knew - bitumen Tanami Track