I wake up cold at 2am on Sunday, get out of the truck and go to the bathroom, wash my face and grab a bottle of water as I climb back into the bunk. The cab has now cold soaked the chilly Nullarbor clear night air and all the warmth of the day that heated up the earth the day before has radiated out to space.
So I put my work jacket back on, zip it right up, flip up the collar, unfold the extra sheet I had purchased back in Kalgoorlie the previous day, spread that out over the opened sleeping bag and place my towel over the top of that. I awake again reasonably warm at sunrise and sat up in the sleeper to just sit and watch the sunrise to what I knew would be a much better day.
I reboot the Telstra phone and do a manual network selection to try and get it to register as I knew Patricia 2 hours ahead back in Sydney would like to know I'm ok, but to no avail.
So I walk over to the modern 4 pay phones, but they don't take coins and the cafe doesn't sell Telstra cards. I'm somewhat stressed in the back of my mind that she'll be worried, but think, I'll get to somewhere with a coin operated phone today (Sunday) and decide to have a toasty for breaky and a cup of black tea, so as to not over aggravate my aging sensitive bladder.
The young English lady with many piercings serving behind the counter and I have a nice chat whilst waiting for my order, she's staying there for 3 months working to build up more money at the end of her Aussie adventure in the effort to return next year and do it all over again. I buy Patricia a Nullarbor fridge magnet and start chatting to the guy at the next table, who was west bound in a beautiful Kenworth hauling massive spare tyres for the mine dump trucks. Turns out he's also from SA, we're about the same age and both jumped in trucks to go north as young boys around the same time. We reminisced and he went on to tell me about how he used to drive a Flinstone Mack without power steering Adelaide-Melbourne when he first got his licence as a young man having to negotiate Melbourne traffic and tight streets delivering his load.
He said he saw me drive in last night and said I should've wandered over for a beer, I explained the day before, he nodded his head in understanding. We didn't exchange names, but as we stood to go our separate ways, we shook hands and wished each other well.
I checked fluids and dropped the tyres to 45psi cold on the rears, but I must say that the Eyre Highway in Western Australia is a beautiful smooth wide road and didn't think I'd need to drop the tyres down any further, apart from the odd jolt that would send the '70s retro fitted Mack air seat frame crashing into the rear bulk head between the sleeper and drivers area.
The compressor hose repair was holding well, but as I climbed back into the back and shut the door, all I could hear was a 48 year old truck rattling. It was then I remembered that Benny had kindly left a massive roll of pinch type bubble door seal under the passenger seat. So I took another hour or so to fit a full seal to the drivers door. That stopped quite a few rattles, but the noises from the passenger side were now even more obvious, so I just fitted some pinch fit seal to the top half of the door, to avoid metal to metal contact, it worked a treat!
There were naturally still some cabin rattles, but I was surprised at how much of it had settled and decided it was well and truly time to hit the road as it was fast approaching 10am.
The truck with the recently fitted short tipper body, two spare tyres and a extra parts was now riding quite well considering the short wheelbase. The kicks in the back with the associate bang of the seat frame hitting the back of the drivers area all now but gone, the late morning sun and heat soak warming up the cabin nicely, so on my next parking bay stop, I decided to try out my new Sennheiser noise blocking earphones on my trusty old iPhone with a mix of Dean Martin, Roy Orbison, classic, country and disco thrown in, life was good!