The Road to Cloncurry

May 29, 2019

Monument to the Aboriginal peoples who once owned this land

The road from Mount Isa to Cloncurry, 120 kilometres east is a busy road. Not with rush hour traffic but with industrial strength traffic. You want to see road trains? Here be road trains. You want to see drilling rigs, construction vehicles, delivery vehicles, vehicles to service all of the above? You can find them here. Toss in a few happy vacationers and their caravans and you may get the picture. The scenery along the way is breathtaking, when you can dare to tear your eye away from the mirror to watch it. After many days of riding the seldom travelled Outback roads, Route A2 to Cloncurry takes some adjustment in your riding habits.

The road passes through the ancestral tribal lands of the Kalkadoon and Mitakoodi peoples. They were dispossessed of these lands by the European settlers who came with the opening of this continent. There is a monument to these people who’s descendants are still part of the Australian culture even though they are a people without a homeland today. It reminds me our some similar circumstances back in Ontario and the impossible task of righting these wrong doings that still live fresh in so many memories. There are no easy answers and no way to turn back the pages of history without creating another wrong in the process. This monument is a reminder of work that still needs to be done. Here is a poem that is part of the monument:

Earth and the sun and sky
Knowing not wherefore nor why
They each saw me roam
Happy to live and to die
The bushland my home

Just what are they feeding these cows?

There were a couple of interesting road signs along the way today. The first involves a cow and a car. It sends a couple of different messages. Should we fear attacks on our vehicles by the cows? Does it warn of some strange milk transport vehicles that may be on the road? Maybe it warns to be on the lookout for hybrid vehicles? Whatever it is saying, I plan to give any cows or cow like objects that I see plenty of room.

I did not get the message.

The other sign was a billboard that advises us to, “Be Deadly, Live Healthy.” I’m not sure just how this works. Sure, I can live healthy but why should someone else have to die because of it? Maybe it is some Australian thing that Canadians or at least I just don’t understand.