Avid caravan tourers, they had made several treks into the interior of Australia. They had always talked about "doing the loop" - the big trip around Australia which would take them from the Pacific Ocean of the east to the Indian Ocean of the west and then north to the Arafura Sea before heading east again to the Coral Sea and home again.
After his wife died Gordon kept his promise and "did the loop", crossing that great Nullabor Plain from east to west to Perth where one of his daughters lived - 2,555 klm (the Nullabor crossing takes a leisurely 2-3 days of driving).
(Note: While many photos of his trip were supplied to me by my brother-in-law he was a very lax photographer. I've had to search the web for some images of places he described about his journey to add a pictorial element to this story!)
About half way across the Nullabor. Nundroo is 1,014 west of Adelaide
and Norseman is 726klm East of Perth - Gordon's Photo
Across the Nullabor - Gordon's Photo
The "Gun Barrel Highway" - quite a lot do not stick to the 110kph speed limit. - Gordon's Photo
The 'Road Trains' certainly do not slow down - Gordon's Photo
A fuel hauling 'Road Train' - Wikipaedia
Australia has the largest and heaviest road-legal vehicles in the world, with some configurations topping out at close to 200 tonnes. The majority are between 80 and 120 tonnes.
Stray animals hardly make an impression on those 'Road Train' behemoths -- Gordon's Photo
Norseman WA - You consider yourself to have 'made
the crossing' when you reach Norseman - Wikipaedia
On the way across they went through Kalgoorlie and had to stop for the BIG HOLE at Kalgoorlie/Boulder.
The Big Hole, Kalgoorlie - - Gordon's Photo
Like ants, huge ore trucks toil up and down the excavation - Gordon's Photo
RAAF Vengence (Aerobatic team) formation over "The Big Hole", Kalgoorlie.
At Perth, Gordon's friend left the tour and flew back home. Gordon's daughter, Tracey, joined him for a trip up to Port Hedland - Red Dog country. They stopped at the Shark Bay Marine Park and visited Monkey Mia, where they fed the dolphins.
The daily feeding of bottlenose Dolphins. Monkey Mia Photograph
From Port Hedland Tracey then flew back to Perth while Gordon continued on alone on his journey up to Broome and started eastward again, through Arnhem Land over to Darwin and the Arafura Sea.
Map of Western Australia - Wikipaedia source
Nanydjaka Cape Arnhem Coast - Kakadu Coast - Darwin Tourism Photograph
Brampton Islands National Park - BINP Promotional Photograph
A spot of fishing off the Bugatti Reef off the Great Barrier Reef in the Coral Sea.
A group of fellow happy 'fishers' out for a day of fun and fishing.
(Image supplied by Nomad Fishing Charters)
The Brisbane skyline from Kangaroo Point - Wikipaedia
From Brisbane the journey continued south down into New South Wales and home, 1,157klm, and the round trip of over 13000 klm had been completed in just under five weeks. Besides the casual fellow travellers along the way, Gordon had kept his promise to Leonie to take her on the "Big Adventure" that many Australians plan in their retirement and they had completed the round trip of Australia - what we colloquially refer to as "doing the big loop"!
Back home, the Toyota Kluger was sold last week and the Caravan will be sold today, Saturday.
Having kept his promise to take Leonie around Australia, the urn containing Leonie's remains can now be distributed in the town that was her home for nearly forty years!