"It was a wombat," I announced, proud of my research.
"A wom-what?" Darren laughed.
"A wombat, you goof. They’re grey and look like they have a big bear head kind of, and they have pouches like kangaroos but their pouches are backwards so they don’t dig dirt onto their babies heads."
"Like a backpack?" Darren asked, confused by the idea.
"No, um, upside down... like if they stood up on their back legs the kids would come tumbling out but they walk on all fours so that doesn’t happen," I explained.
"Oh cool. I’ve never heard of a wombat before," Darren said, keeping his eyes carefully on the road ahead. Driving on the opposite side of the road was proving challenging so he was careful to stay focused.
Darren winced and shouted, "BINGO!"
I looked around quickly and spotted the koala he’d seen.
I sighed. Bingo indeed... we’d seen all the Australian wildlife we’d hoped to in a scant two hours — a wombat, echidna, red kangaroos including a joey, wallabies and invading species like fox, rabbits and a cat —
— all dead by the side of the Hume Highway.
I don’t think I’ll be adding Roadkill Bingo to the website any time soon and I cringed at the idea of what my daughters would have thought ten years ago if we’d done this as a family road trip.
The highway itself was great. Lots of roadside service stops, rest areas and public washrooms or if you wanted, you could pull off the highway into one of the towns along the way to explore the many independent shops and cafes.
We wanted to arrive in Melbourne during daylight so we stopped as little as possible.
About halfway through the drive, at around the four hour mark, we found ourselves getting a bit more comfortable with the dead animals lying all along the highway deciding that during the heat of the day we were unlikely to add to the body count.
Eventually on our trip we’d end up encountering living examples of the animals we’d flown halfway around the world to see but I suspect that we’ll always remember our first few hours of horrified fascination on the Hume Highway.
Disclaimer: As always, my opinions are my own. Car companies don't give me free rentals. No one involved is ever even aware I’m doing it.
You might also enjoy visiting these sections on DLTK's Sites:
Wife, mom and the woman behind the scenes of the DLTK's Crafts for Kids websites. The websites are a terrific hobby -- run by (me) Leanne, a mom with two girls as my official craft testers and my husband as my technical support. DLTK are the first initials of each of the people in my family (I'm the L!). Whenever we send out little cards or whatnot, we sign 'love DLTK' ... when I started the website I used the initials. Had I known the website would get actual strangers visiting it, I would have picked a less mysterious name but we're all stuck with it now!
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