Tourist Route 8

by Brad Rice

Same Road, Different Destinations

Tourist Route Eight twists and turns like a strap of licorice swallowed whole by the dry eucalyptus forest of the D’Aguilar National Park. Finally, emerging through Brisbane’s western suburbs’ back fence, it is a scenic mountain drive and my daily commute.

Route Eight falls through deep gullies, winding slowly back up their opposite slopes. Suddenly curving out from within the trees, it carefully terraces Mount Nebo’s draped folds, four hundred meters above Samford Valley. White clouds float between me and their shadows on the green valley floor.  I follow the twisted undulating asphalt with well-practised touches of the steering wheel and brake pedal.

The forest consumes more than the road. Black streaks briefly rubbed hard into the road’s surface, end bluntly at the base of a Grey Gum. A grieving family’s floral memorial reveals another traveller’s destination.

I continue to work.

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