We left Orange at the latest possible time before the caravan site kicked us out. We bought bagels from Mcdonalds because the menu was Olympic themed. We threw them out after one bite and drove on empty stomached. Some kind of death metal was in the cd player. It stayed cold throughout the day. It would have been a short, four hour drive to Canberra. We were headed there to meet up with a friend of mine I had made during university. My brother decided to take a detour through Bathurst. This was for the same reason as why he got along better with the male role models in our lives. He liked cars.
I did not.
We pulled into the main road of Bathurst, a sea serpent’s back of blind hill rollercoasters. Or maybe that was just my fading attention. We went up and down the road several times looking for a blue sign that would point the way to Mt Panorama and the Bathurst racetrack. We turned, we reached the racetrack, we followed it at exactly the speed limit. Fucking woo. We reached the top. The view was alright. The cold was deathly. Luckily we were living out of the car so I could put on all of my clothes. We sat at the top for a short time, trading lies and drinking coffee we had made back in Orange. I thought about where I would be in five or so years. Turns out I would be disappointed.
We drove back down the steepest and curviest part of the racetrack as fast as my brother would allow himself to go. I managed to keep my shit together barely. I didn’t know this would only be a small taste of the day ahead. We left Bathurst. Now if you look at the area of space between Bathurst and Canberra on a map you will see a big empty circle surrounded by major roads and highways and sane people places. We cut straight through the middle of that, with nothing but a ripped, coffee-stained half A4 map of New South Wales. This is how I learned to navigate.