• Thewhiteox

CSR Day 5: Graves

Updated: Aug 19, 2019

Graves along the way tell a fascinating story of the lives lived and lost on the Canning.

Tobin's Grave - Well 37 on the Canning

Well 37 Desert oaks - 539km

Days are going so fast. I woke up before Jade, lay in bed a while, the Ox was cool inside, we’d parked facing the sun & in the shade of a tree, so it wasn’t able to heat up. I walked back to Tobin’s grave, & found Mungatutu’s nearby, the man who had speared Michael Tobin, & been shot in return.

Mungatutu's Grave

It was a stark reminder of Australia’s history, and a perfect indication of the narrative - the place is called Tobin’s grave, by lake Tobin, but he was just a stockman, passing through, taking resources, making money. Mungatutu lived & breathed the land, it was his home that had been invaded, his people they fed salt to to reveal their sacred water sites, yet we tell the stories & we make the maps & we choose to ignore him.

I followed our tyre tracks down to the dried lake, wandered around, & investigated the corpse of a camel that had been drying & decomposing for some time, with leathery skin & white, dry bones. As I walked back to our camp, I followed the dingo & camel tracks that lay over ours, clear sign that they had come to sniff around as we slept.


We didn’t see another soul today, it just goes so fast. We stopped at well 39 where flocks of zebra finches gathered, & again at a lookout, marvelling again that we could be the only people in hundreds of kilometres radius.

Again at well 38, where we walked down to a dry river that had made some cool caves below the well site, where Canning & his men had carved their names in the rock. On the way to well 37 we stopped at some rock formations with signs of rock painting. Funny, the differences & similarities of two cultures.

As we approached 37, we saw beautiful desert oaks and a shady camp spot with the evening light shining around, we continued to the well, where we found another grave, of W. McLennon, another stockman killed by someone protecting their own home from invaders, but who became some kind of martyr.


We came back here to the desert oaks to camp.

I made couscous, but it was shite, think it had gone bad, dry & dusty & cardboardy, a great shame, because I’d put the last of our fresh veg in it… We had timtam’s for dessert, & a few glasses of scotch.

Next Page: Day 6 - Pancakes & Golden Grasslands

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