Peter Nelson’s travel – Leaving Oz, almost too soon!

by Peter Nelson

 Well, after two years Downunder, the feet were getting itchy again.  After all that glorious warmth and hundreds of sunny days, we were ready for a change of weather.  Believe it or not, we wanted some snow!  Alaska was calling again.

Early morning fog on the fields.
Early morning fog on the fields.

But, hey, you never travel in a straight line, when those seductive curves are available.  Southeast Asis is Australia’s lovely next-door neighbor.  It wound up taking us 6 months to get to Alsaka.

Many beaches were just totally empty.
Many beaches were just totally empty.

So we packed up all our worldly goods.  And those were the days — when everything we owned fit easily into two small backpacks!  We quit our jobs and jumped onto a bus to the Perth airport.  Halfway there, I was looking out of the bus window and just happened to see a poster on a telephone pole.

Chimneys at sundown.
Chimneys at sundown.

The Eagles are coming to give a concert in Perth a week from today.  Hmmm.  Our flights are booked, our visas are ready, and besides, we have no place to stay.  This is way too late to be thinking about changing our plans.  Isn’t it?  Obviously.

But the EAGLES?  In CONCERT?

Never say never, right?  It’s never too late, right?  We jumped off the bus at the next stop, and caught the next one back into town.  A quick visit to a travel agent got our flight changed, a couple of friends offered to put us up, and we’re good to go.

And remember, this was 1975, when The Eagles were one of the hottest bands in the world, and Australia was just being discovered as a lucrative venue for rock groups.  In our time down here, we’d already seen Gordon Lightfoot, Steeleye Span, Focus, Tangerine Dream, J. J. Cale, John Denver, and Eric Clapton.

And the whole concert scene was way different back then.  How much were the tickets?  $5.00.  Every ticket was the same price.  The concert was in a football stadium.  We got there an hour early, and we were the first ones there!  We strolled across the football field, right up to the front of the stage and sat down on the grass.  No security fence, no security staff visible.

Right on time, at 8:00, Glenn Frey stepped up to the mike and said, “Howdy, Perth.  We’re The Eagles from Los Angeleeze.”  And the place just erupted!  Was it worth changing our plans at the last minute?  Uh, yeah.

A very old irrigation system.
A very old irrigation system.