A wild and windy drive up the highway to attend Ripley’s service appointment in Sydney.
Ripley is far from aerodynamic & side-on she presents a formidable surface area to any low air pressures sweeping through.
So it was two hands on the steering wheel at all times, and constant course corrections to counter the force of the prevailing wind and the turbulent push & and pull of semitrailers as they buffet past.
Being the beast that she is, Ripley is also far less forgiving if you ‘lose your line’ which is deceptively easy to do with say a snatched sideways glance at the scenery, or a quick focus across to google maps to check my position.
In short, I find it exponentially more fatiguing piloting Ripley than other vehicles. Constantly being awake to her sensual feedback in each moment, (the pull of the wheel, the sound of the road, any new sounds emerging from her usual rattle & hum)and anticipating the movement of traffic around me, means the hypnagogic drone of a smaller car on cruise control never eventuates. Time stretches out like concentrated mozzarella.
So about an hours travelling time away from the final destination for tomorrow’s appointment I decided to call it a day.
Pheasants Nest is simply a service station and overnight rest stop just off the highway. There are some toilets, a 7-eleven, and a clutch of large parking bays for trucks to stop overnight.
I had arrived a couple of hours before dusk, so once I had found a parking spot I made a cup of tea, flopped on the bed with mug in one hand and kindle in the other.
And promptly fell into a deep nap.
It was just getting dark when I woke. I stretched myself awake and decided to go for a snoop around walk before fixing dinner.
There were quite a few semi’s pulled in now. Further down the rest area (and this is a pretty big space) were two halves of a house being relocated on a couple of oversized trucks. The drivers and support crew had arranged themselves on a circle of camp chairs between the two halves. There was much laughter. A small portable BBQ had been produced and the smell of sizzling sausages and steak filled the evening air.
At first I thought the crew must be going to all sleep inside the house, but just behind I noted a set of ute’s with cabins on the back that had all been nicely converted with beds and fridges and whatnot.
The other thing that stood out was the amount of rubbish that had been dumped along the edge of the pullout. I’m not talking the usual detritus of fast food packaging and slurpee cups, no….there was old furniture, building rubble, a pile of broken ceiling fans, display stands, and more.
Some idiots had simply decided that pheasants nest rest stop looks like a perfect spot to dump their load of crap. Easy.
Anyways, back up where I was parked it was fine. There was this nice little park, the toilets were clean and apart from a night interspaced with the occasional air-brake awakenings as a truckers pulled in for a pee, I had a good night there.