Tuesday 9th – Kalgoorlie to Fraser Range Station
What an interesting day. At 7am we left the caravan park and drove into Kal, as it is known by the locals, and filmed the Bradfords driving down the main street. After that we travelled back the way we came to Norseman, with the north-easterly sun at our backs, which made for magnificent driving on good straight roads. We stopped at Widgiemooltha (don’t you love that name?) for am tea, then travelled on to Norseman, where we had lunch at the top of the lookout overlooking Lake Cowan, a salt lake that stretches from 6km S of Norseman to 90km N. The roundabout is decorated with life-size cut-out camels made from corrugated iron, and they are fabulous. The Bradfords of course had to do a 360, several times, to have a good look. At Norseman we also visited the local district school, where some of the children came and sat in the Bradfords. This was an impromptu visit, which came about when Lorraine, a school teacher, saw us at the service station on our way through to Kal on Sun.
Just in case you want to know what we do all day in the Bradfords when we are on the road, here is a run down:
Robert (AND) gets real busy when we pull into a service station to re-fuel. He has the job of recording fuel purchases in L and $, recording the odometer readings of each Bradford, and reading off the distances from the electronic navigator. Later in the day he calculates fuel consumption per km per Bradford. He records all this on a paper spreadsheet.
Rosalie has her sketch pad out and sketches on the run. They are an artistic record of the country we are passing through, and the events that happen, and are very good. Rosalie also drives a fair bit (AND)
Barry has a camcorder in his Bradford (WAIT) and when he isn’t driving he is doing some creative filming. He is also using his long lens digital camera. He has been nicknamed Cecil B de Barry. He has introduced the ground shot, with great success.
Ollie also drives the Bradford (WAIT) and doubles up as Keeper of the Cakes. We have finished off Pauline’s fruit cakes under his supervision, and today finished off the last of Billie’s fruit cake, also under his guidance. Because he is the eldest of the group, he is also a good stabilizing influence and has to keep the younger ones in line.
Bill just drives. He drives the Bradford (SEE) and drives the people. He is attempting to keep the program on time, ie leaving the camp site by 7am and arriving at the day’s destination in time to set up camp before dark. So far he is having mixed success. Once we have arrived, Bill then gets busy greasing the Bradfords, checking oil and water, and doing any maintenance that is needed. The evenings for Bill can be pretty hectic if there are repairs to do.
Susan has the second camcorder in the Bradford (SEE), a digital camera, the external sound equipment, and a laptop. She has been nicknamed Cecil B de Sue, and along with Barry, organises the filming with the Bradfords. Susan films/takes drive-by shots, and sets up the microphone gear . Barry and Sue work out the location shots, and generally cause havoc amongst the crew when they come across a “gotta do this one “ spot. At night Susan plays back the tapes and notes down the scenes and the time imprint on the tape (minutes and seconds) for easier editing at the end of the trip. The digital photos are downloaded onto the laptop at the end of each day. The website story is usually done at night, but today I’m attempting to type it up in the Bradford as we drive along. Carrying and using the equipment in the cabin of the Bradford is a juggling act, as you are already sitting shoulder to shoulder, and the glove box is only big enough to carry a 600ml water bottle, small notebook, wallet and cream (we are all getting wind and sun burnt). I have made bags with draw strings for everything that didn’t come in a carry bag, and the equipment has to hang on the hooks set inside the corner panel.
All batteries for the film equipment, laptop and mobile phones are charged at night into the 12V outlets on the Bradfords , by using a 12V DC to 240V AC 300W inverter. If Robert and Rosalie have upgraded to something with power, we use that. Susan also drives any of the Bradfords if other drivers are tied up doing repairs etc.
We are having a fantastic time, and the little Braddies draw comment and smiles everywhere we go.
Cheers for now
The roundabout at Norseman where the cut-out camels stand. They line the perimeter of the roiundabout.