Back from Site for the Weekend: ‘Long’ Run Back

It is Saturday morning and I am back from site again for the weekend. Not that, as usual, I have anything interesting or exciting planned for the weekend except to get two or three site postings up that I have thought about.

It was an especially ‘long’ drive back from site on Friday. Obviously, technically, the distance I drive back from site every time is basically the same except for any tiny sub-kilometre adjustments that might need to be made for convenience stops (i.e., toilet breaks) or to get petrol.

But this trip back took longer in time and also my mind’s view of the trip back was that it was much longer than normal. When I finally pulled into my home driveway it felt like I had been on the road for about four hours.

Normally it takes me about two and a quarter hours to get back from site. From end to end the trip back yesterday evening took me two and three quarters of an hour—a half an hour longer than is typical.

Part of the problem was that I came back on a Friday and most times I come back on the Thursday. I came back of the Friday because there was a Monday public holiday so I did not go onto site until Tuesday. So this bumped the week back by a day making Tuesday my logical Monday and, hence, Friday became my logical Thursday.

Driving back on Friday evening is basically a bad idea because I get caught up in all kinds of country traffic heading towards the city for the weekend. Compared to driving back on a Thursday evening I would estimate that the amount of traffic on the road I use is about triple on Fridays—sometimes much more. Not only is there the additional traffic of fellow DIDO (drive in, drive out) workers on the road returning from the other three or four ‘mines’ dotted along this road to northern destinations for a weekend with their families, there is also those people going up to Perth for a weekend away.

Additionally, as I left site a little earlier than normal in an attempt to avoid some of this extra traffic I knew would be on the roads, I managed to hit school-out time. So not only did I have to slow down to 40 kph going through country towns I also got caught behind school buses a couple of times—along with 10 or 15 other cars trying to overtake them.

Apart from this extra traffic that I had to adjust for—which made the trip back seem longer—the Monday holiday also means I only get two days back at home before having to head off to site again next Monday.