the final push.

after a few hundred kilometers, a sleepless night in kununurra where i woke up at 2am to ensure a timely social media post for a client, and a quick dip in the closed caravan park pool, we were on our way to broome (green pin labeled M)!

“it’s the final push. well, almost…”

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my chauffeur for this journey was starting to tire after all his kilometers behind the wheel. the standard road trip lull was setting in. it only took us two weeks on the road! wow. we lasted a long time without getting bored or on each others’ nerves. pretty good. but now we still had two days left of driving before reaching our final destination.

all people who work with youth have this part of their brain reserved for situations like this. i learned this from my mom at a young age. whenever i reached the classic child breaking point, out came those three dreaded words: “maaaaaam, i’m boooooored.”

now whereas most parents might brush off the annoying whine of this phrase, my mom instantly switched into that special teacher part of her brain.

“oh! i have an idea! why don’t you take the box from our new refrigerator and build a castle? or maybe you could make up a dance and put on a recital for your dad when he gets home from work! or how’s that new story you were writing last week coming? did you add illustrations yet?”

and so, when i saw that glazed-over, grumpy look creeping across ryan’s face and felt the silence setting in quickly, i instinctively tapped into that precious section of brainwaves reserved for spur-the-moment entertaining activities.

“do you want to put some different music on?”

nothing.

“do you want to listen to an audiobook? shit my dad says is pretty hilarious.”

not so much.

“how about i watch a movie and you can listen in?”

pause. and then…interest.

“you can pick the movie. how about that classic australian film you wanted me to watch. what’s it called again?”

the castle or animal kingdom?”

“um, either one. we can watch both. want to do that?”

i. nailed. it. a lifetime of working with youth, and i am an endless supply of ideas to end boredom. for twenty-eight year old men…

now if you’ve never seen either of the above mentioned movies, please rent them immediately. and if you are headed to spend some time with a fair dinkum aussie family, consider watching the castle as required preparation. just a snippet to wet your whistle:

with only one quick pit stop to go explore a group of boulders and climb a big boab tree…

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…we made it to broome just in time to check into the kimberly klub hostel and catch the opening act of a live band covering popular american tunes (again) at a local restaurant/pub.

i will now take a moment of silence (and you should too) for what happened next.

while eating overpriced french fries (known as chips here), the band set up and started playing. after the first song, this short old man with a fedora atop his head drifted onto the dance floor.

(i didn’t have the heart to pick up my phone and record him, so you will have to try to envision this through my verbal reenactment.)

as the band prepared for their next song, he stuck a pose. think the moonwalker cover:

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then as they began to play colin hay’s “overkill” things got crazy. a base of michael jackson-esque movements. a touch of involuntary jerking. a pinch of complete lack of rhythm. oh and then there was the occasional will farrell old school ribbon dancing tour jete:

oh wow was it priceless! in these type of situations, i am normally the one to go join the lone dancer, but that night, i didn’t have it in me. i just sat and enjoyed the abusive spirit fingers from afar. as they would say down here, good on ya mate.

after a semi-restful night in the hostel, we spent the day taking in what broome is all about. a stroll around the cute and quaint beach town including a stop at the world’s oldest operating picture gardens.

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a stop in a couple pearl shops and museums. (broome area is known for pearling.)

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a four wheel drive adventure down the beautiful white sand of cable beach followed by a dip in the ocean and a picnic lunch.

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you’d think that a country completely surrounded the ocean would have marvelous beaches on absolutely every inch of the coast. but that is just not the case. broome was the first beach i had seen since airlie beach that matched the kind of beach you imagine when you think of australia. and despite it’s beauty, there was not more than ten people there. truly magical.

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and the magic continued as we grabbed some lunch at a hip restaurant with waterfront views. and by magic, i mean that magical moment that everyone following me throughout australia has been waiting for…

i had my first bite of kangaroo.

it was smoked. and it was delicious. yes, i repeat: it was delicious.

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with bellies full of ‘roo, we climbed back into the ute.

“here we go. the final push.”

and this time it really was. only six and a half hours until we arrive in port hedland. only 612km until our two week road trip comes to an end. only 380mi until the next chapter of this adventure begins.

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