Hold my beer and watch this ….
Hold my beer and watch this ….

Hold my beer and watch this ….

The Cruiser on the Old Tele TrackWe went 4WDing the other day. Or Doc went 4WDing, I went along for the ride.

That’s how it goes in our relationship.

When you meet other people who do a lot of outback travel the subject always gets around to driving. And who does it.

Conversations invariably go something like this:

Them :  Do you share the driving?

Me :       No, he does all the driving

Them :  But you can’t do that. That’s too much for one person. You really should do your share

Me :       No

Them (smug):    We share all the driving

Rock climbingEven my 80something mother shares the driving with my 80something father when they travel.

But Doc not only WANTS to do all the driving, he won’t let me take over. It is his choice. His Cruiser, his baby. And he loves driving. Mostly I’m quite content to just come along for the ride.


I have had the experience of 4WD driving off road. Of looking at an obstacle and feeling the fear. The adrenalin starts pumping as you wonder whether you can take it. You lock the hubs and push the 4WD button, slip the gear stick into low and inch forward. You increase your momentum and almost forget to breathe as you feel yourself losing control and sliding in the mud. But you hang on, until you reach the end and let your breath out with a low moan of satisfaction … Sorry, I went all 50 Shades of Grey there for a minute.

Not happy DocI can count on one hand the times I have driven the Cruiser. It’s three –they were all on our trip to Cape York and none actually required 4WD.

So when we go out and he gets stuck I get strangely excited.

One of Doc’s complaints is that people use 4WD far too often, when they don’t have to. He proves this by leaving the Cruiser in 2WD, sometimes for just that little bit too long. That’s how we got stuck in mud at the farm,  and how we got stuck in mud on the weekend.

We were out with some friends who had a new car they were getting used to. They weren’t difficult tracks, but it had been raining so there was a bit of mud, and some rather large puddles. We’d been through a few when we came up to quite a long stretch of water. It looked very muddy and a quick walk through showed that it was.

DSC_0120“I think you should put it in 4WD now” I said

“Naah. The bottom’s firm.” Said Doc “We’ll be right.”

Don’t you love that saying? “We’ll be right”. It’s a bit like “hold my beer and watch this”. Almost always the harbinger of something going wrong.

And it did.

Doc was right. The bottom was firm enough. But the exit wasn’t, and as we were doing that last few inches one wheel lost traction and dug us into the mud.

DSC_0110I looked at him. “4WD?” You can guess the answer.

He tried going forward once again, then tried to reverse out. No luck, we were just getting deeper into the mud. Only then did he get out and lock the hubs and put the car into 4WD. Too late, we were stuck.

That’s when we had to submit to Doc’s greatest indignity. Being rescued by a Holden.

It was strangely exciting …