20 October 2002
I'll start today's postcard with some toilet humour!
Driving back from Port Hedland to Karratha yesterday, I didn't realise until I was on the road and well beyond the outskirts of Port that I needed one... and there were none in sight. Then I saw it... a little sign at the side of the road : "WC 80". So I thort to myself, "Oooohh, can I hold on that long?" Every ten kays, the same sign appeared, but the distance figure had dropped. I was quite relieved (not literally!) to see the "WC 10" sign, but the next thing I saw made me laugh... a big blue sign with "W"him "C"reek at the top of it telling me it had toilets (male/female icons), food (cutlery icon) and fuel (bowser icon). So much for the WC!
The above piece of fiction was inspired by the roadside distance markers upon approach to Whim Creek. Do you kinda get the idea that I'm bored???
You may have noted from my last postcard that I made a particular effort to mention Mango Jam at every opportunity. That was for the benefit of a certain person for whom I scoured Kununurra for Mango Jam while I was there. Having tracked it down, I brought her back a couple of jars.
Imagine my dismay to be called cruel in response to that postcard, for talking about Mango Jam while showing those beautiful pictures! Imagine!
Back to the business at hand, this postcard takes a look at Lake Argyle.
The Ord Top Dam is the most efficient dam in the world. Just 330 metres long and 96 metres high, it restrains a volume of water nine times the size of Sydney harbour at normal times and 36 times its volume at flood peaks. Lake Argyle is 70 kilometres north-south and 40 kilometres east-west. Its waters reach within two kilometres of the Northern Territory border, although it has been known to travel interstate at times.
It was initially estimated to take several years to fill, however this was achieved in the first wet season after completion resulting in rushed evacuations from the Argyle Station, now under the lake, as the floodwaters rose.
Also inundated were many sources of Zebra Stone, a local black/white striped sedimentary stone. The only remaining accessible source is now on one of the many islands which dot the lake.
For me, the size of the lake was highlighted by the sign adjacent to the boat ramp near the dam. It warns that if you're more than five miles from shore, offshore (ocean going!) marine regulations apply.
Anyway, enough for now... I'm off to the salt mines...