The good old days weren't always all good !

Submitted: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 22:43
ThreadID: 57341 Views:3758 Replies:8 FollowUps:5
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Ahh...getting away from it all. The driving, new places and sometimes new faces. The feeling of anticipation when travelling a new track, wondering what's next. The camping, the cooking, the cleaning up. Packing up in the freezing dark and cold while it's raining. Arguing with the missus and kids. The kids arguing with each other. Missing the turn off. The truck stop food. The other road users.

But most of all, that blasted white line fever.

Getting into Headland and finding a nice place to eat...first time we hadn't had to make our own for a while.
Finding the pub closed at 7.30 at Coral Bay.
Buying a paper and finding out that there'd been a
major earthquake in the States. "Where have you been?"
asks the bloke behind the counter. We shrug.
Seeing black and white TV on our portable TV in the tent in Perth..we didn't care. It kept us riveted for a while.
Ice on our tent in Perth.
Then a huge dust storm all the way across the Nulli bore. So hot that we had to stop and buy drinks at every town. How we longed for air con, especially with the kids. I was soo sick of cleaning out the ice box every night.
Getting home and finding that the temperature didn't drop day or night for a week. We didn't have air con there, either.

And then the "joys" of having to go back to work!

Sometimes I envy those who trip around with nary a thought for the time, nor the price of fuel. For their kids with DVD players, for the poor hard working "other halves" who manage the logistics and probably the moving maps as well. I almost feel envy for the campervans and caravans and new 4wds with everything including the kitchen sink.
I can remember how few ATM's there used to be...and everyone wanted cash in the bush.
I almost envy the mod cons, the showers, the kitchens, and most of all the ability to produce a cuppa, a coldie or a meal seemingly instantly.

And would you believe that at the time we thought that we were pretty cool, doing the full circle? Twice? It didn't strike us that we were only about the millionth mob to have done it. And we believed that we had it easy.

The good old days?? Sometimes I wonder...

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Reply By: Member - Dunworkin (WA) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 23:59

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 23:59
AH yes, "the good old days", I too remember the trips back accross the Nullarbor in the middle of Summer way back in the 50s & 60s in an old Plymouth where when we hit a bull dust hole, and there were many of those, it took ages for the dust to settle in the car, Oh the stories we could tell of those trips.Eucla was always a cup of tea and a chat with the Gurney's who Dad & Mum became friends with, (the Gurneys ran Eucla at the time) Different trip today and gee is Eucla different now.



Simba, our much missed baby.

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Reply By: jdwynn (Adelaide) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 06:28

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 06:28

"good old days?? Sometimes I wonder" - and I wonder about the fascination we have for travelling the outback or crossing the country - reckon it's to do with your other point "feeling of anticipation when travelling a new track, wondering what's next". The highlights along the way are everything.

The term "white line fever" also intrigues me - wikipedia defines it as:

"Highway hypnosis - a mental state in which the person can drive an automobile great distances, responding to external events in the expected manner, with no recollection of having consciously done so. In this state the driver's conscious mind is apparently fully focused elsewhere, with seemingly direct processing of the masses of information needed to drive safely. 'Highway Hypnosis' is just one manifestation of a relatively commonplace experience, theoretically where the conscious and subconscious minds appear to concentrate on different things; workers performing simple and repetitive tasks and people deprived of sleep are likely to experience similar symptoms. Therefore, it is a sort of subconscious "driving mode"."

Thought provoking post, good stuff.

Cheers JD
AnswerID: 302433

Reply By: Member - Oldplodder (QLD) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 08:19

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 08:19
Remember on some trips spending weeks on dirt roads and tracks, then coming across this black stuff. Gee, it was quiet running. Hardly a rattle from the car or bang from the suspension.

Know you are getting near civilisation when you get the white line, and you are supposed to stay on one side. No more using the other side of the road to miss pot holes or corrugations, or just because it looked better. It used to be fun stirring the boys driving down the wrong side of the road, waiting for the "Dad, your on bitumen now, behave yourself".

I must be getting itchy feet too, looking forward to dirt and corrugations. It will last about 2 days I reckon before it is 'blasted corrugations' again.
AnswerID: 302439

Reply By: Kiwi & "Mahindra" - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:43

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 12:43
The good ol' days dont go that far back for me....but my good ol days were pretty good!

We go camping to get away from all the mod cons....Ive put my foot down on the dvd player...we just not getting one! although I aloowed the laptop to come cos we could put the photos on there and every now and then...i think 3 times in 6 weeks...we put a movie on for the kids....Nathan mostly seeing that he loves his telly!

I cannt understand why people go camping and stil have everything the house has....why go away??!! I understand a few things but these swish bang campers now with the works are a joke on wheels!!

ahhh...the life of a that would be me!

Cheers footy!

AnswerID: 302478

Follow Up By: Member - Footloose - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:00

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 14:00
Swaggie ?
The flies, the hunger, the thirst. Always trying to beg a bit of flour and meat.Always asking if anyone knows of any work. Always worrying about the wife and kids you've left at home. Always having to patch your boots with old newspapers. etc.

I think there's a Lawson poem that says it far better than I could. It certainly dispels any romantic myths one could ever have about being a swagman.

And whilst I love the idea of being able to roam at will, I'd like it to be voluntary, not the result of abject poverty.

FollowupID: 568527

Follow Up By: Member -Signman - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:27

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 15:27
Says she- who's just spent the hard-earned on a camper trailer (read- tent on a box trailer) !!
Next it'll be a generator.....

FollowupID: 568551

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:28

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:28

Just another point of view for your consideration. Now I'm not saying it was better or worse in those days but I remember things to be rather simple as well. Starting with cars without those damn computers to confuse the mechanic in me. No seatbelts (OK I know they save lives) but you could put 10 people in an EK and no one cared. I could finish off that poor roo that got in my way with a well placed shot in the head with my 22 that I had in the car - everyone would think to do any less back then was simply not humane.

Can I have option "C" please? You know the one with todays toys and yesteryear's easy going attitudes.

Kind regards

AnswerID: 302512

Reply By: Member - Hairs (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:54

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 16:54
As a kid I remember travelling to the Isa in the back of our station wagon with my younger brother and sister. That's were we slept on long trips from Tamworth to see the grand parents in the Isa.
Lying there watching the flickering of the shadows from the trees was hypnotising. I remember after a lot of rain just outside Mt Isa a long line of trucks bogged. This was before it was bitumen.
I was about 6 years old I think, it would of been about 1972.
My parents travelled all though western QLD. Dad and a few mate built the Cloncurry diesel shed.
I still have the old projector and slides some where.
Plan to do that kinda thing with my crew one day.
AnswerID: 302514

Follow Up By: Gramps (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:27

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:27
"Plan to do that kinda thing with my crew one day"

Set a date and do it, otherwise the years will fly by and it will end up being too damn hard to organize.

FollowupID: 568586

Follow Up By: Member - Hairs (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:39

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:39
Your dead right Gramps.
But Baby steps first, little trips away and slowly build up to it.
We will do it some day. :-)
FollowupID: 568593

Reply By: Member - barry F (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:22

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:22
Howdy Footy, Slim Dusty sang that "these will be the good old days 20 years from now" & that will probabley be the way it will be. Cheers.
AnswerID: 302519

Follow Up By: Member - DAZA (QLD) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:13

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 18:13
Hi All

We travelled from the Gold Coast to WA in 1980, my mate had a
Toyota Dyna Dual Cab, at that time it was 8 years old, he carried no
spares, and not even a spare tyre, in our truck we carried the usual
spares and 2 spare tyres, he had his wife and 4 kids under 12years
old, I had the wife and 2 kids under 10 years old,
Now this bloke did-nt even get the vehicle serviced before he left,
he was not mechanicly minded, his attitude was my mate will help
me out, if we have trouble, I was more worried than he was,
PS he did-nt even carry any drinking water, I found this out when
we were in SA staying at the wifes inlaws farm, if I knew he had
no preparation before we left I would-nt have gone with them.
It was an interesting trip.

FollowupID: 568598

Reply By: Dave B (NSW) - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:50

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 17:50
A lot of people who talk about the 'Good Old Days' are people with bad memories.

'Wouldn't be dead for quids'

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