Luke, Martin and Jarryd headed off to Wolfe Creek meteorite crater in remote WA last week. The plan was to make a 3D image of the crater using a drone, map the crater, take some samples (to analyse for shock or melt glass and confirm the date of impact) and combine it all to make a virtual fieldwork laboratory so that anyone can zoom around the crater, looking at various rocks and features.
Luke’s journal continues …
We slept in until 6 am – luxury! – and after a quick breakfast of beans, bacon and scrambled eggs we went again in search of Snelling crater. 1 km to the south of the published coordinates still didn’t yield any joy, nor did any circles we had identified on the map. After two hours of searching, we gave it away as a bad idea and tried to find the original images Shoemaker described to find the crater.
With no good reason to head back to Wolfe creek, we decided to embark on the long journey back to Perth. For those of you following this you’ll be aware that this is now the danger period of the trip and any madmen will take their moment now! No takers? Well fine, I guess we’ll drive on then [insert driving montage here].
We made good time, finishing up just past Sandfire. There was a distinct lack of campsites so we ended up staying in one of those truckers layby’s. Setting up our swags on the only nominally flat bit of ground, we didn’t fancy anything too much and so just fried some sausages and got an early night sleep. I was occasionally disturbed by road trains rumbling past and had the unnerving feeling that I was about to be run over.
I woke up, looked at my watch and was flabbergasted – it was only 3 am but the sun was up. Strange. I slowly, gingerly, started unzipping the mosquito net of my swag, wondering why my head was hurting and my body felt like it had been dragged through a hedge backwards. I sat up blinking in the midday sun and after a few moments a shadow fell across my tent and a dog growled by my ear. I could feel it’s hot, damp, breath. I looked up to see a grisly man gently feeling the edge of a large, rusty blade, slick with a red liquid.
“G’day”, he said, crouching down and leering in front of me.
“Wait … one second,” I squeaked, “let me get my diary, I need to write this down.” Had you going didn’t I? No? Damn.
Anyway what actually happened was standard fare – up with the sun, watches working, a quick breakfast – and we packed up and headed onwards. I had the first leg which was way more eventful than it should have been – a suicidal kangaroo jumped in front of us early in the day (brake, don’t swerve! Phew, missed him). After that, this consisted largely of us holding onto the wheel, watching the miles go by, getting excited by occasional hills which break up the flatness.
We arrived in South Hedland and (bizarrely) all of us craved a pie. Even more bizarrely, the servo didn’t have any! Not one! Not even a road kill pasty! We had to content ourselves with the last of the cheese wraps and beef slices we had in our fridge thinking tomorrow, tomorrow there shall be pies – and we might even know what’s in them!
We finished our drive 800 km north of Perth and importantly, outside the murder danger zone. We might even get Martin back for his anniversary if things go well tomorrow! A quick meal of whatever we had left – a vegetarian pasta – was surprisingly delicious. Never underestimate what sundried tomatoes can do for a meal, although to be honest, at this point all our remaining vegies were sundried.