Our good friends, the Millers, are departing our country today. They managed to inspire, educate and encourage us to do something a little different. We spent around ten days getting ready to follow our friends on an adventure that has been so much fun.
I Will Remember...
... hearing the Millers tell stories of their adventures on Friday nights, that is how it all started. Lounging around our living room after eating a large meal, the boys outside in the dark, playing nerf wars in the paddock. We would sit inside telling and listening (mostly listening) to stories of previous adventures.
... sitting in the sun on a lazy afternoon, chatting to Tony over a very long coffee at the local café.
... the sun setting against the rocks and trees in Alice Springs, the burnt sienna rocks on the hills glowing between the grey gum leaves.
... Hannah playing the mandolin as the sun passes below the horizon and the breeze turns cool, her tunes setting the mood of the evening - relaxed and chilled out.
... watching Gabe with Adeline, walking down paths holding hands.
... the boys jumping around play fighting with Elisha and Ezra. It seems that any stick could be Thor's hammer in the outback. It would seem that a stick fight is more important than putting a roof over our heads for the night.
... the meals. Eating either what was planned, or what was thrown together from the emergency stockpile. It is amazing what you can accomplish with a single pot.
... Zombie Buses.
... Hannah's knee. Outback Australia left a very impressive imprint.
... driving slowly through hot desert plains wondering how the air conditioning was like in the car following us. I love the Millers so much for journeying through the desert with us and our broken car - thanks for not leaving us on the side of the road.
... sitting under the stars in the outback. It is was long hot day of driving and we finished in an arid landscape, over looking an almost-empty lake. We sat under the black veil of the sky, stars twinkling in the Great Beyond and we chatted, and we laughed.
Then They Went Southwards
Saying goodbye the day you drove off felt unfinished. We had spent such a long time traveling throughout red sands and along long roads that saying goodbye so quickly seemed unlike how things had come to be.
In a way it felt like we would meet again soon. I hope that to be the case.
Millers, you have inspired us, encouraged us and showed us that things can be done a little differently. We are a little ways out of Cairns, in a free camp, in our tent and we are not rushing homeward. This is such a long way from where we were three months ago.
Enjoy your journey home for the winter months. While it may not warm you up, you can remember how hot it was driving across Australia. We will remember that drive for a very long time.