Day 10: To Kill a Sparrow

He was like this for the better part of the day, and didn't even wake up when we hit a kangaroo carcass
He was like this for the better part of everyday, and didn't even wake up when we hit a kangaroo carcass

Hello everyone! This is Jessica, Nicole, Abhay, and Martin from Scout, Maroon 5! Just in case you’re wondering, this is the same Jessica as the one from Captain BlueBear in the past few days. Everyone has been car-hopping, so here I am, in Maroon 5

Due to the lack of technology in this car in the past few days, we would like to backdate on all the interesting things that have happened to Scout. The Scout Car, also known as the Bird-Lovers, has the shiny record of killing at least 12 birds in a streak. Nicole had, in one day, hit 5 birds in a row. Abhay had, in the span of three days, totaled 7 birds with all fatalities. Brian (who just switched with Martin today) had, throughout the entire drive, hurt no bird at all; although he did swerve dangerously once to avoid killing a bird. In all seriousness, it’s very sad and unfortunate that the birds constantly fly in front of the vehicles while we are driving at 130km/h, but considering the danger involved to avoid killing these animals, there is very little we can do. So birds, please stop flying in front of the cars and making Nicole cry!

Nicole's Favorite

Maroon 5 doesn’t seem to have very good luck with animals in general. The crew has seen many wild animals, most of them dead. According to the tally, they have seen 24 dead kangaroos, 3 dead cows, piles of dead sparrows, 2 dead hogs, and the list continues. They have seen some live animals as well, like 3 live emus, 1 dingo and 1 live lizard, if that counts.

Pushing Lead out of the way after putting Petrol instead of Diesel in it.

Back to business, we just left our campsite at Devil’s Marbles and stopped in Tennant Creek to top off the fuel before heading to Darwin. Unfortunately, a member of the team accidentally put in some petrol in the Lead Caddy, Blackberry. The good news is that we found out about the mistake before we turned on the engine and headed out. We called Volkswagen roadside assistance for the vehicle and pushed it over to the neighboring parking lot and arranged for a mechanic to come drain the tank. It will be expensive, but fortunately the vehicle is not damaged, so all is well. The rest of the caravan continued driving up north while Blackberry waits for the service. Sorry Volkswagen if you’re reading this!!!

From left to Right: Amando Miller, Ryan Tseng, Stephanie Taylor, Rafael Send, Ankur Dhar, Abhay Mathur

In the midst of all this sadness, the team is still having fun! We climbed the rocks at Devil’s Marbles yesterday, climbing all the way to the top to survey the vast sweeping stretches of barren outback. Most of the team had never been this far from civilization. Without any light pollution, our photographers were able to capture some majestic pictures of the stars. The sunset on the rocks was incredible. The team also had its first sampling of kangaroo meat yesterday. Don’t worry, this meat was from the supermarket, not some of the numerous road kill we saw. Our members said the diced kangaroo tasted just like beef. Tomorrow’s dinner menu includes Kanga Bangas, which are kangaroo hot dogs—even if they don’t taste exotic, our members are excited for their second roo experience.

Before our stop last night, our team did a mock roadside stop to find a suitable campsite for practice. Although we ended up staying at the very nice campsite at Devil’s Marbles, it was a good exercise for Scout (Maroon 5) to find a safe and flat roadside campsite for the team. During the race, we expect to camp on the road most nights, and we do not want our first experience with finding a site to be during the race and under time pressure. Our team successfully found a place to camp and was happy that we backtracked slightly to the beautiful site at Devil’s Marbles.

There have been lots of ups and downs with the team lately, and tension has been running pretty high. So is life, really. We are all still getting used to waking up before dawn, sleeping in the tents every night, and not showering very often, but I think we are all doing pretty well and getting there. We are trying to enjoy ourselves as much as we can while making sure we are on schedule with our mission; with only 10 days left before the race, we are doing our best to prepare for it and continue getting used to living in the Outback.

Jessica, Nicole, Abhay, and Martin