Nov 2, 2016

146 E going North

For years I've stared out at this ever changing and beautiful view, it's due North from my place; many people have heard me say, "One day I'm going to drive North through that view and on to where the road meets the sea". 

Even though I talk about this adventure quite often I've never actually worked out where my path North would really take me, I didn't really want to know and was quite content to just follow the compass in my car. Well curiosity killed the cat! I just googled my town Cowwarr and discovered it was on 146 E and saw that I'd hit the sea just South of Cairns opposite Fitzroy Island. I then thought I'd go one step further and checked out Cowwarr to Cairns by road and happened on the "walking" option, the only one that genuinely kept as close as possible to due North all the time. No I'm not even contemplating walking anywhere but now I know.

After clicking a few more buttons I managed to depress myself, my dream of this road trip was completely shattered. I'd just realised that I had actually driven on many of the roads several times before. Google earth and street view depressed me even more as now there were no surprises left at all.

I think I've worked out why I find this so saddening; once I knew my destination the chances of discovery along the way was severely diminished, each little dot on the map just became something to go through until I finally arrived at Fitzroy Island.

As a sculptor I rarely know how any work will turn out, it would bore me senseless if I did.

Tracking through my memories for a moment in time when I may have been introduced to the sheer pleasure of not knowing where I, or things, may finish up I remember this wonderful precedent. 

Back in the early 60s my girlfriend and I decided to have a hitch hiking holiday in France, we usually had some idea of where we wanted to go but one day we were picked up by US serviceman on holiday. Yes, perfect, a massive pastel coloured convertible, with roof down. Its driver had set himself up nicely and had squeezed a big box of cigars and a bottle of bourbon between the two front bucket seats. Not really PC these days but from our perspective this was about as cool as things could ever get.

But the coolness continues...........our driver, while occasionally passing us the bottle and offering us cigars explained the concept behind his touring holiday around Europe. He would only travel on minor roads and had no idea at all where he may actually go. This was because as he left a town he'd pick up some hitch hikers and drive them to wherever they wanted to go, in our case it was La Rochelle. Presumably after dropping us off, he'd check the town out, taste the local delicacies and pick up another couple and drive on to any number of new destinations crisscrossing Europe in a wonderfully randomly way. If his new buddies were into art as we were and said that there was supposed to be something worth looking at in a town on the way he'd stop and check it out too.

I suspect if he didn't like his travelling companions he'd invent an excuse to put them out at the next town. So with travelling North along 146 E out of the question its back to the drawing board in search of some lateral thinking for hitch-hikerless random driving around this huge country :-)

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