There’s silver in them thar hills!

January 16, 2010

It’s been a surprisingly long day, and I’m buggered, so it’ll be a short one plus a bunch of photos.

About three and a half hours drive took us up the Silver City highway to the Silver City itself, Broken Hill, the town that made BHP the behemoth that it is (Broken Hill Proprietary). The town sits astride a giant lode that is still being mined today, though it’s nearly out, and the place is defined around mining. Quite humourously all the street names are named things like Bromide, Argent, Chloride, Thalidomide†, and Calcite. The hotel we’re staying at is on Mica St. The streets themselves are made haphazardly and are the result of what must be the laziest roadbuilders in Australia. Instead of having a pipe go under a crossroad like everywhere else, they’ll just dip the street instead. There are dips everywhere. In one case the slope was just a bit too steep to build up, so instead of raising the road a bit, they just gave up. It’s a bit weird driving around here.

Now, from memory, wordpress doesn’t like image-heavy posts, but let’s see how we go. I’m not cogent enough to write a narrative at the moment, too knackered. Part of being knackered is also being a bit stressed out at doing 200km of unexpected unsealed road tomorrow. It could take two hours, it could take five.

Found this fridge mailbox on the way to Broken Hill. Bonus points for the Footrot Flats cartoon.

This is Bromide St, at one point one of the main roads of the city centre. But this far north they just gave up building it up the steep part of the hill rather than raise the road a bit. Note that the road starts again further up the hill.

I've never seen chimneys not made of brick or stone before. Corrugated iron? Really, fellas, try a bit harder.

The moneyshot. Like a slingshot, but with money. Pull the handle and the rubber band is released, shooting the parcel out along the wire. This was an old way of getting money to and from the back room

The guarantee for the car wash is missing an all-too-important hyphen.

Inside the Pro Hart gallery. The guy loved doing dragonflies. I can run with that. Yes, that dragonfly is on carpet.

One of the galleries had an exhibition of VCE student's stuff and most of it was pretty good. I fell in love with the abstract on the left and if I had money I would see if I could have bought it.

The christmas displays are still up, including this particularly Australian one.

Drove out to Silverton which isn't too far away. It proudly proclaims that it's not a ghost town yet as it still has a population of between 10 and 100. The world needs heros, Max.

Desert + Radio = Scary Christian Evangelism? On the side trip out to Silverton the landscape was reminding me of the drive through the Mojave Desert in the US. I put the radio on auto-search and it landed on a glassy-eyed christian evangelist station. The program was about stepping up your evangelism because 'what if your friends weren't converted and they died in a car accident tonight - they'd spend eternity in hell'. I actually find listening to these stations sort of amusing as you can pick out various different methods of autohypnosis.

The One

Finished off the day by driving to a local hilltop where there are a dozen or so sculptures of varying quality. A couple are great, most are meh. This is the piece I called “The One” because it’s the one that’s always going to be in photos and brochures. In the right time of year I would guess that the sun can be seen through the hole at sunset. We waited for sunset and were finally rewarded with one of the most gloriousless sunsets ever. Stunning lack of colour. The sun didn’t set so much as the horizon rose – a dust storm was inbound, and it was bloody windy too.

Time for bed now, tomorrow promises to be a Big Day.

† Okay, I lied about this one


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