West Coast Road Trip Part 4: Big Moon Over the Highway

Before I began road tripping in Australia, I relished the idea of driving on long stretches of highway through the empty outback, the road in front of me like a shimmering oil slick streaking towards the horizon. I couldn’t wait to be in that enormous landscape, a tiny person in a tiny car with nothing but sand as far as the eye could see.

That was until I drove north towards Port Hedland on the North West Coastal Highway. I nearly expired from boredom. Don’t ask me why, because I managed the road from Port Augusta to Coober Pedy without a problem and it was even longer and more monotonous than this one. Perhaps because by the time we were approaching Port Hedland we’d already been on the road for eight days? Maybe one week of red earth and stunted trees is the most I can handle. I was almost hoping a kangaroo would dive nose first in front of the car just to give me something to do.

We were maybe about 30km away from the next rest stop and I couldn’t wait to get off the road and lie down for the night. Behind me in the mirror I could see the sun was setting. Ahead there was nothing but road and red, and a curious, glowing pink mound. Some kind of man-made construction, I thought, for its curved top was far too smooth to be natural. But then it began to rise up from the ground, gradually, like a hot air balloon, and I realised it was the moon, enormous and pink. I have never seen anything like it before in my life, although Dave told me that the moon often appears magnified when it’s low on the horizon.

Moments ago I had been so weary of the landscape, thinking that there was no more pleasure left for me in outback driving. Now, watching the moon rise and deflate and change in hue from pink to yellow, I felt as though I could stay on that road forever. Too soon we reached the rest stop and the moon went back to normal, a hard white disc in the sky.

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7 thoughts on “West Coast Road Trip Part 4: Big Moon Over the Highway

  1. Utterly stunning picture – is it the photo you took? – it’s unreal.
    I think eight days on an unchanging route is a real test – well done for getting through it with your sanity intact!

    I do love your travel writing.

    • Alas it’s not my photo. I got that photo from Morguefile, which is a wonderful resource for bloggers because you can download photos for free. Unfortunately my camera broke a few months ago and I haven’t been able to replace it yet 😦

  2. Sounds wonderful, Helen. I’m a big moon fan, as you know (Yaay the Moon!) and the scene you painted sounds mesmerising – I’m glad it was a straight road.

    • Yes, i’m glad it was a straight road too, and that the moon was in front of us. It would have been really annoying if I had to look at it in the mirror.

  3. Sorry your camera broke – mine did too and I know for me it’s a huge loss to my creativity! Hopefully your memory is better than mine 🙂

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