Dusty the Caravan
A Story by Steve Francis
A story of how Sassy's Caravan came to be known as "Dusty".. Just like his trusty golden retriever in the 60's and 70's, but that is another story for another day!!!
Sassy had always enjoyed outback travel and in 2016 he decided to travel to Broome with his life-long mate Taffy for a spot of fishing. Sassy called me as he knew we were travelling around Oz at the same time. We arranged to meet up in Karumba, up in the Gulf Country of Far North Queensland for a few days of R & R from our travels. It was a great few days with many laughs as always when Sassy is around. In our time there we managed to extract from both Sassy and Taffy their experiences on the trip back from Broome.
Fortunately we were staying in a different caravan park from "the boys" so we could claim indifference to these two odd looking blokes. The reason I say odd looking was due to their dusty appearance. Every time we caught up with them, they looked like they had been through a dust storm. Eventually, after a beer or two, the truth came out.
Those of you have travelled in the Kimberley or have travelled the Gibb River Road would be aware of it's reputation. It is notorious for being a dusty red track that is unforgiving. That dust, gets everywhere!
Sassy and Taffy had stopped for morning tea on on particular day. They enjoyed a cuppa' on the side of the road. As they were ready to go, Sassy jumped in the F250, and Taffy closed up the van and put the step away. Back on the road, they travelled the Gibb River road for a good couple of hours enjoying the each others company like they had since they were five... It was a good couple of hundred kilometres before they would stop again.
It appears that when they eventually stopped they worked out that the door had never been closed. Being a rear access door caravan, with the speed of the travel, and a good red dust road, the caravan sucked in loads and loads of dust from this 660 km stretch of corrugations and sometimes bull dust, that commences in Derby WA and finishes near Wyndham. Absolutely everything in the van was covered in red dust, light fittings had fallen off their mountings and the microwave oven had flown about six feet across the van.
It managed to take our intrepid travellers many weeks to get the majority of the dust out of the van and its contents. I recall Sassy complaining many months later how he still found pockets of the "bloody red dust" in areas of the van that he could have sworn he had cleaned.
Today, if you watch carefully as Sassy or his boy tow the caravan down the road, when Dusty hits a good bump, there is a cloud of red dust that appears...
The photo below was taken on a sunset cruise out to the Gulf and clearly shows two really good lifetime mates.
P.S. - If anyone is in the market for a great clean caravan, then please contact Sassy directly!