Sprint to the Springs

After reading up on the expeditions of John McDouall Stuart, Aussie explorer extraordinaire, it’s with great anticipation that we set off in his footsteps down the Stuart Highway, in a 4 day dash to Alice Springs. Noteworthy stops include:
• Daly Waters, where we cycle the Stuart heritage trail and enjoy icy poles and icy beer in its iconic, laconic pub.
• Tennant Creek, where we spend a morning at the indoor/ outdoor Aboriginal Cultural Centre and Museum.
• The miniscule Pebbles and massive Devil’s Marbles rock formations.
• The kooky Wycliff Roadhouse, UFO capital of Australia.
• Lunch in the town named after our favourite eight year old cousin Elliot.
• The Aripwe Art Gallery in the aboriginal settlement Ali Curung.
• The gigantic Aileron man, woman and child sculptures and Anmatjere art gallery.
Our drive may be marked with the smoke from numerous small bushfires yet the nearer we get to the red centre, the more the temperature drops. By the time we hit Alice, we have swapped sandals for socks n’ sneakers, swapped shorts for pants, rolled down our sleeves, pulled on our hoodies and are sleeping with the heater back on. Full time. Full blast. Stuart never did it so tough.

All smiles at the Daly Waters Pub. Smiles fade somewhat when we bring out notebooks and pencils for a spot of schoolwork, but the cool classroom inspires a decent effort.  
The tree that Stuart engraved with an "S". The tree is easy to find. The "S" not so easy.
Elliot Herschberg, we miss you!!
Bushfire smoke in our path.
Pokin' our way around the itsy bitsy - though still impressive - Pebbles...
... in contrast to the much bigger - and hence a tad more awesome - Devils Marbles.
Alien action at the wacky Wycliff Roadhouse.
Aileron woman and daughter, with Bihary daughter, son and son.
All the big men. Aileron and Bihary.