National Geographic : 1966 Feb
When wind sweeps the Centre, dust churns in to clouds that obliterate the sun. Even with head lights burning, drivers can see only a few yards ahead. Grit sifts through windows and doors. Dirt roads disappear overnight beneath drifting dunes. No sensible motorist ventures into the wastes without maps, compass, water, and four-wheel drive. A breakdown can bring death, as a grim prankster reminds with a makeshift monument of the bones of a horse, behind the wheel, and a cow. Even on good days, tires bog in talcum-fine red dust. Iron oxide gives the soil its striking rust color. Dust storms increase as years-long drought lingers. Denuded of plant cover by grazing and lack of rain, topsoil blows away. Conservationists fear that even the return of average rainfall-ten inches a year-will not rejuvenate much of the lost grazing land.