AUSTRALIA VIII

6/27/2021   

After an exciting 3 days in Darwin, Dim Deter was about to embark on this long 2500-kilometer leg of his eastbound trip to Townsville. He realized he had left his camera on the tour bus the day before. Spending yesterday traveling with a group of tourists to Kakadu, Dim remembered the part where he and a group of 12 people were aboard a large pontoon boat. They were told to look down. There, under 2′ of water, was a stop sign standing 7′ above the roadway that was used by the tour guides during the dry season. The monsoons had inundated the park with millions of acre feet of water. In time, the water would recede, and the crocodiles would be visible again. With the information radioed to the tour bus driver from their headquarters in Darwin, he responded with a “found it” and would return at 4PM. The day was eroded by another “walkabout” of Darwin. Grabbing his camera and flipping a tip to the driver, Dim hit the road to get in hundreds of kilometers on an isolated highway. His time-robbing misfortune was turning around. As dusk came about, Dim was amazed to see a 1″ deep river flowing across the paved highway as far as he see. With the monsoons now over, all that water that was cascading over the escarpments he observed 2 days ago was now heading for the Timor Sea. Seeing this as a challenge, Dim decided the Ford Wagon was now a schooner and sailed into that limitless river. With the insects hatching and the birds engorged with the bug’s brief life, the scenery was surreal. The sky was scarlet, the road flowed, and the desert was filled with intense life. The driver’s seat was no place to view this story. Dim crawled out of his window and made it to the roof where he took up the helm by reaching through the window to make minor steering corrections. Idling along on a shallow sea that had but 1 human, Dim was in command of the USS ECSTACTIC as he seized the day and watched the sun melt into a strawberry sky. That lone day would never escape his memory. 

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