A Tallygaroopna truck driver has decided to join the Burrumbuttock Hay Run as he looks to return to a country area in Queensland that he hasn’t visited for nearly 60 years.
Frank Fitzpatrick, who is 76 years old, said he and a few others travelled to the central west Queensland town of Tambo and its surrounds in 1960 to pick up livestock and it was love at first sight.
‘‘We bought a load of cattle each and I’ve always wanted to go back and see how it has changed in 60 years,’’ he said.
Despite Mr Fitzpatrick travelling north since, he hasn’t returned to where his truck driving took him on that day in 1960.
‘‘I’ve been a truck driver all my life — as long as I’ve had a licence. I’ve been back to Bourke but no further up.’’
Mr Fitzpatrick said he had known about the Burrumbuttock Hay Run for a while but it was the story in Country News that made him decide to become involved.
‘‘I saw the story in the Country News actually. I had known about it for a long time but haven’t had the time. Now I have,’’ he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick said many people he had told about his venture were circumspect about his decision.
‘‘They say I’m mad doing this, but if I hooked up a caravan they would say ‘that’s a great idea’.
‘‘I know what I’d sooner be doing.’’
As one of the elder statesmen on the hay run, Mr Fitzpatrick said he hoped it was an enjoyable experience.
‘‘It’s kind of a working holiday but I won’t be rushing home. I’m going for the fun of it,’’ he said.
Mr Fitzpatrick will be taking 38 round bales of hay, which was donated by Rowan Hutton, on his Kenworth flat top trailer truck.