[In 2013, the T-Team, next generation embarked on their pilgrimage to Central Australia. Purpose: to scatter Dad’s ashes in his beloved Central Australia, in Ormiston Gorge.
Over the next few weeks, I will take you on a virtual trip to the Centre and memories of that unforgettable holiday in 2013, with my brother and his family; the T-Team Next Generation.
This time, the T-K Team once again return to Alice Springs as they begin their journey back home.]
In Search of Gas
While Anthony packed the Ford, I prepared a “thank you” card for our friends. I found a photo of a rock formation near Mt. Liebig, then I painted a frame around the photo, and finally, sketched Mt. Sonder from memory in the middle of the card.
After placing the card with gift money enclosed, on the kitchen bench, I joined Anthony to pack the last few items of mine in the Ford.
Anthony checked his expert handiwork at packing, and then said, ‘Ready to go?’
‘Yep, let’s go over to the FRM store and say goodbye to our friends.’
We bid our Hermannsburg friends farewell, promising to catch up with them when they returned to Adelaide. After more storytelling by P, and some souvenir shopping by us, we were ready to farewell Hermannsburg.
Following a few more stories from P, then a phone call to my brother who said they were about to leave Alice Springs, we were set for this town.
‘I just want to check out the graveyard,’ I said.
‘Do we have to?’ Anthony sighed. ‘There’s nothing there.’
‘I just want to see who’s buried there.’
‘If we have to.’
Anthony trekked after me as I trudged over to the graveyard that looked more like a neglected paddock of red sand than a cemetery. We gazed at the iron crosses of the early missionaries such as Kempe, and a sad tombstone of a Latz baby of 10 weeks.
‘Vogelsang, who’s he?’ I asked.
Anthony shrugged. ‘Probably a missionary here, since he’s buried here.’
With plans to fill the Ford with fuel both petrol and gas, and then lunch at Emily Gap, we commenced our drive back to Alice Springs.
‘What about we take a slight detour and have a look at Serpentine Gorge,’ I said, with hope in my voice.
Anthony seemed not to hear my suggestion, but pointed, ‘Look! Another cabin car. Must be lots of workmen going out to do roadworks.’
‘So, we’ll leave Serpentine Gorge for another time when there’s not the threat of roadworks.’
1pm, we rolled into Alice Springs making a beeline for the petrol station.
‘We must fill up with gas before we start on the journey back to Adelaide,’ Anthony said.
‘Might be a bit difficult,’ I pointed at the LP Gas bowser, ‘it says “Out of Order”.’
Anthony topped up the Ford’s petrol tank and we steeled ourselves for the hunt for LP Gas. We reckoned in a country town such as Alice, most fuel stations lined the main roads leading into and out of the town. So, down the Stuart Highway we travelled, in search of a service station which offered gas. Prophetic of a future without LP Gas, our search proved elusive.
Anthony gripped the steering wheel. ‘How are we going to get back to Adelaide?’
‘I’m sure there’s a station that sells gas somewhere in Alice.’
‘How far do you want me to go? Adelaide?’
‘Don’t be silly,’ I said. ‘Turn around and let’s go back into the town.’
Anthony grunted in protest at where he could safely do a U-turn, then did a U-turn. Approaching the radio station, I spotted a white van with a trailer.
‘Guess who I’ve found,’ I pointed at the van with the T-Team spilling out of it.
‘Do you want me to turn around?’ Anthony asked.
‘Yep, Rick may know where a service station is that sells LP Gas.’
We spent some twenty minutes touching base with the T-Team. Rick gave directions for a LP Gas-friendly service station within Alice Springs and we were on our way to this fuel stop of promise, and then out to Emily Gap. Meanwhile the T-Team visited their friend who worked at the radio station.
[to be continued…]
© Lee-Anne Marie Kling 2021