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|Title||:||Rock Star: The Story Of Reg Sprigg An Outback Legend|
|Number of Pages||:||333 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Rock Star: The Story Of Reg Sprigg An Outback Legend Reviews
Kristin Weidenbach's first book - Mailman of the Birdsville Track - was a readable and inspiring account of the life of Tom Kruse. This book is equally enjoyable and much closer to home - Reg Sprigg was her father-in-law.In September 1971 I went across the Simpson Desert. I was told at the time that our group - there were maybe 15 of us, in three vehicles - was the ninth 4WD group ever to cross the Simpson. Reg Sprigg's was the first. His trip was with his wife and two children, in 1962.In 1971 we were led by a fellow named Dick Lang, who still takes tourists around the outback, but these days by plane, not the two early model Land Cruisers and one Land Rover we went in. We drove north from Marree to Oodnadatta and then on to the railway siding at Pedirka. Then it started to rain. When we drove on to Dalhousie Springs, on the western edge of the Simpson, the track had turned to one long bog. I well remember pushing those vehicles through the mud.When the rain came we just sank into the mud.Finally we reached the Dalhousie ruins and Purnie Bore, which was the start of the dead straight track across the Simpson. Part of Rock Star tells the story of how this track was cut by the Total Oil Company, and has been known since as the French Line. Me at Dalhousie Springs September 1971. The French line todayBeing out in the Simpson was an enlightening experience. The vast expanses, endless sand dunes, wildflowers, and clear light etched a permanent impression in my mind's eye.Reg Sprigg's wife, Griselda (Scottish and proud of it) recounts a similar experience on that first-ever trip -"I wouldn't call the King my uncle. What unfortunate people the city dwellers are who know so little this bliss. Few are privileged to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature at its best here in a good season in the desert."Griselda emerges as a key figure in the Reg Sprigg story, and what's more she kept journals and letters about everything - a boon for the biography writer.I can remember standing on top of what's now called Big Red - a monster sand dune that is literally the last of almost a thousand we crossed that trip. It was on the edge of Alton Downs station, and years before the fencers had had the temerity to erect a fence straight across it - up one side and down the other. Needless to say the fence had not withstood the ravages of time and the shifting sands very well. Standing next to the fence on the top of the dune, 30-40 metres up above the flat landscape, I remember staring as far as I could into the distance one way, and then as far as I could into the distance the other way, and seeing nothing either way. Then I was called away to help dig the vehicles out again. It took a long time to get the vehicles up and over Big Red.At one point, we had to get fuel dropped in by plane. We drove the vehicles up and down a salt pan to create a runway, and to check it wouldn't be too soft or boggy once the plane landed. We sat in the only shade available - underneath and next to the vehicles - for a couple of hours waiting for a plane to come from Arkaroola with the fuel. I wonder if Reg Sprigg was flying that plane? The Spriggs owned Arkaroola at that time, although it was in a financial mess as well, until much later.Probably Reg was in one of a hundred places - the Northwest, the Southeast, St Vincent's Gulf - wherever there was the chance to discover oil, gas, nickel, or just the occasional undersea canyon. He was an incredible figure in the development of petroleum exploration in South Australia - SANTOS, Geosurveys, and Beach Petroleum all owe their existence to Reg Sprigg. He was the driving force in pinpointing the Innamincka area for oil and gas exploration - if you are in Adelaide or Sydney think of Reg when you put the gas on for a cup of tea, because he was the one who first convinced people to look there.Arkaroola - a place I must get to one day - was Reg Sprigg's love for the last few years of his life. His ashes are spread over Mt Painter, just north of the wildlife sanctuary and tourist village he built with Griselda.The Land Rover struggles over another dune. The Rover was much heavier than the Cruisers, and sank into the sand and mud more often. Val Horwood from Gilgandra and friend Kathy from Booleroo Centre - two friends from College The vehicles gathered around Poeppel's Peg, the point where the SA, NT and Qld borders meet. Val straddling three states - near sunsetRock Star is well worth reading. There was obviously a lot more to Reg Sprigg than the bloke who might have been flying that plane the day we waited in the desert.
11 CD talking book version but would like to read the book. Note the reason I liked this book so much is largely because of so many referrals to things I grew up with including diving in Gulf St Vincent, Walking and living in Adelaide and the surrounding hills and my father was also a one time student of Douglas Mawson. Parts of the story didn't interest me (his wife living in the UK) but most was of interest. I can understand why at times this biography seems almost fawning but Reg Sprigg certainly led an active life and used his intellect. Geologist, businessman, Anthropologist, teacher, conservationist and researcher amongst others. By chance 3 weeks prior I had been on a geological tour in Carnavon National park with a geologist who had just spent 3 years as a manager of the Arkaroola resort. Also just noted Sprigg mentioned in Bill Bryson's "A Short History of Nearly Everything". A short summary of his life can be found at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reg_Sprigg
This is an exceptional well written books on one of Australia's most important pioneers.