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Ann Britton Outback Photography

A trip to Mt Isa….

A trip to Mt Isa is a 600km round trip. Dajarra a small town, nearly half way, breaking the journey if need be.
PBR_4182 sunrise Stockport
I get to witness amazing sunrises most mornings but while driving to Isa I get to capture them in a different location.
There is mobile range for a little way outside Boulia, through Dajarra and just before you get into Isa.
BDR_7520 Dajarra railway siting
I have made it a habit to text either Rick or Bev (who is the other half of Bruiser) or both when I get into Dajarra and then again in Isa. It is a safety thing.
MIR_6283 gum tree rocks Dajarra
Around Dajarra there are some amazing rock hills. I have always found it incredible that these gums can seemingly grow out of these rocky hills. I think the combination of red rocks, white gums, green leaves and the blue blue sky makes a contrasting photo.
BRA_1503 magic cloud
The road to Mt Isa is a one lane “beef road”.
First stop, usually, after arriving in Mt Isa, is the Coffee Club. My last visit was the Monday before Christmas.
A feed at Coffee Club and a “good” coffee while I sorted and rewrote, into my note pad, the four lists I had written at home (lists in the kitchen, one on things needed and one on things that needed to be done while in Mt Isa and these same lists are in the office). Lists sorted means I am more organised on how I am to tackle my approach to achieving all that needs to be done and hopefully not forget anything.BDR_7521 stack from look out
Mt Isa’s famous mine and stack seen from the top of the Look Out.
Why would anyone consider heading to Isa, puppy in tow, four days before Christmas?
For a person that avoids Saturday morning shopping, even in Mt Isa, because shopping really isn’t her favourite pastime and because of the crowds, this question screamed at me as I entered the Kmart car park, with it’s bottle neck entry/exist that just happened to be packed, with cars going round and round looking for a park. I don’t mind walking, good exercise, so way up the back I went, found a spare space & parked.
I have been calling Isa my “main” town of shopping for the last 33 years. When they built Isa, and it is still growing, I swear they flew over the area in one of those great Hercules aircraft, saw a space between the hills and the mine, and threw out businesses willy nilly.ABR_1759 cloud IsaCloud to the east of Isa taken from look out.
The good old days of young children and trips to Isa, when hubby thought I was having a day off by doing shopping in Isa with two children in tow. When you would have to visit numerous businesses for various reasons, mainly for the farm, our dual cab tray back was the “family” car……park car, get kids out, if any loose items in tray back, but them in front, lock car, go into shop, ask for required part or bit, hopefully they knew the language you spoke. To some behind the counter, you could be asking for a wigwam for a gooses bridle, when you were asking for a  2in male thread to fit a female thread of a tail pipe for a plunger pump! A miracle if they had part on hand, if so bonus, back to car, put gear loose in front, back in the tray back, with hopefully new purchased bit, buckle kids in car, drive to next business and repeat. I use to, most times, do this trip in a day. Years later, when hubby ventured to come shopping with me on a day trip to Isa, I think he got a reality check.
We learnt quickly, best to ring before leaving home and make sure businesses had required bits.
But in those old days, there was no mobile phone, so hubby couldn’t ring and add to list like he does these days 🙂
I now too, am smarter, rarely do I do a day trip to Mt Isa, most times I stay overnight.
IMG_4086 fridge full
In old days I had eskies for cold goods, today I have car fridges. I can guess pretty well, while shopping, how much cold goods will fit in my car fridge.
In old days I had ropes to tie down purchases or those stretchy rope thingies. For a truckies daughter I am a hopeless at tying knots so those stretchy rope things were an annoying blessing.IMG_4088 full car, cloud
I now own Millie, a Toyota Military wagon, so all enclosed. Yes Millie was full my last trip to Isa, room for #Junior and myself.
In the old days, I would wear high heels and dresses or skirts to “town” today I wear jeans, comfortable shoes, pull on elastic sides or sand shoes.
IMG_4090 blown tyre
This is the very reason for my practical dress these days. I’m well equipped with a trolley jack easy accessible from a draw in the back of the car and the spare tyres are of course carried on swinging racks at the back of Millie.
IMG_4091 track me
ooops left a bit of rubber by the side of the road. I did go back and moved it further off the road.
Having to get off the road when driving, for on coming traffic, rubber left on the edge of the road can become very dangerous.
When the tyre blew, I nearly ended up with Junior on my lap, due to the noise, I think I swore. I did basically stop straight away and moved slowly to a spot which I thought was level & minimal stones to change tyre. (just in case someone is wondering about the tracks)
Yes someone did turn up after I had finished changing the tyre and was just putting this blown tyre in it’s place on the rack.
I must add this is the first flat/blown tyre I have had in Millie and she has 72,000km on the clock.IMG_4089 Junior
I did have a companion with me while travelling this time #Junior, isn’t he just gorgeous?  (“she has that “beep” camera in my face, again”)IMG_3132 Junior last trip to IsaThink he has grown a bit since last time #Junior travelled with me from Mt Isa. #toocute (looking into camera no worries at all, before he realised just how often this would happen he he)ABR_1776 can u see them
On the way home, near Dajarra, I spotted these two on their vantage post, a storm had just passed over, can you see them?ABR_1772 there they are eagles
Two eagles checking out the scenery from their safe look out post.ABR_8872 road that leads me homeWhenever I travel, when I turn down this road, either from a bore run, mustering, holiday, time away, a trip to Mt Isa, I’m forever grateful as I’ve arrived safely “home” and to me that is a blessing.

Footnote: We purchase lots of items from our local, only, store in Boulia but Mt Isa, being a much bigger town, it is actually classed as a city, provides a larger range of items, some we can’t obtain in Boulia. We also use the shops and services that Winton and Longreach have available. Keeping our business running and sourcing local businesses in our area, whenever we can.

  1. Anne@Grit and Giggles 

    Thanks for the tour and the amazing scenery. I’ve never been the Mt Isa. My cities while living out west were Toowoomba/ Brisbane when living a bet west of Longreach and Townsville when living East of Longreach. I love hearing how your travel and apparel has changed. By the way, why does the helping hand always come when you have already changed the tyre? Those eagles have a good look out and I have a feeling you have a bit of an eagle eye too.

  2. annbritton 

    Your comments gave me a chuckle thanks Anne. I was born in Toowoomba, lived in Brisbane most of my school life. Have lived in every direction around Mt Isa, usually by a few hundred kilometres. I’m pleased you enjoyed my blog. I’m not too sure why a helping hand turns up too late, maybe I got the blow out too early 🙂 Thinking about “an eagle eye,” I think we become in-tune with out surroundings, whether in the city or country, and like the eagles it is a case of survival.

  3. John Wood 

    Happy New year Ann. i just loved this story.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in the bush, but never in Central Queensland.

    The things you endure in everyday life, we take for granted. Sops, supermarkets and huge shopping centres abound where I live, just south of Sydney.

    I miss the colour and starkness of the country and even the fragility of the landscape.

    Keep up the great work.


    John Wood

  4. annbritton 

    Happy New Year John, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment, I’m really pleased that you did.
    I would be inclined to say the things you endure in life, re traffic, huge shopping centres, is something I appreciate when I am around but so pleased I don’t have to endure them every day.
    I can understanding the missing of the colours, country and landscape cause when I visit the city, which gives me so much opportunity, I’m yearning for home only after a few days.
    Hoping to do a lot more with my website in 2015, so please revisit.

  5. peter simpson 

    Hi Anne
    Just loved the photo’s of the Isa and your description of journey
    I spend my time travelling the highway’s and relate to the desolation of this brown land. Shut the truck off and sometimes the silence hurts. Never pass a vehicle for many kilometres…this is the life for me. You understand this land of ours and paint very descriptive word pictures to enhance the photos.
    Love it. Sure beats b double troubles in Sydney traffic

  6. annbritton 

    Thanks so much Peter, I can’t tell you how much I can relate to you understanding “this brown land” and how much it means to me that you “see” this in my photos. I truly treasure that you do and I sincerely cherish you taking the time to drop by and write a comment.
    I can also understand b double troubles in Sydney traffic, my Dad was a truckie.
    Bit of a story: One of Dad’s co workers used a pay phone, back in the day, to ring work office in Toowoomba from Brisbane where he was with his semi & trailer full of freight “I need a hand to get the truck out of Fortitude Valley”
    reply “you can’t get a truck in there”
    Truckie “oh yes you can”
    ha ha

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