"What's so special about this track, mate? - you've been up it before," a young stockman leaning against the bar of the Marree Pub asked of George Farwell.
Indeed, George had travelled the track twice, each time accompanying Tom Kruse on his mail truck which took four days from Marree to Birdsville, as Tom dropped fuel, mail and groceries at each of the isolated stations along the way.
But on this third expedition, which would take four weeks, George was roving with Max Holmes, the Marree-based policeman who was making his regular inspection of the country in a wooden-wheeled wagon drawn by two camels in the shafts.
English-born Farwell was a well-known travel writer of articles on the Australian bush which resonated with the public, worn from the war and seeking to know more about their homeland.
He was as easily at home around the campfire of a droving plant, as he was at a society dinner in Adelaide or drinking with fellow bohemians in a Kings Cross-based hotel.
Tom Kruse, on the other hand, had no need for urban society, while he drove his Leyland Badger truck delivering station goods along the track beginning in 1936.
The station families were his customers and his friends.
Each trip was arduous, during which Tom so often repaired his vehicle, crossed flooded creeks and sand dunes, but he survived and in 1955 he was appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 1955 New Year Honour's list for services to the community in the outback.
Tom did not seek recognition beyond the appreciation of the station people.
But he became renowned following the filming of the documentary The Back of Beyond, made by John Heyer and released in 1954 when commissioned by the Shell Film Unit in 1952.
Such was the resultant publicity, the Leyland Badger, which had been abandoned at Pandie Pandie Station, near Birdsville in 1957 was later restored between 1996 and 1999 and was gifted to the Australian people by Tom and his wife Valma.
It is now on display in the National Motor Museum, at Birdwood, South Australia.
Another truck driven by Tom has also been restored and is on display outside the Marree Hotel, while a collection of trucks also believed to have been driven along the Birdsville Track by Tom, form an entrance to the Mungeranie Hotel.
The Birdsville Track these days is not that which Tom knew so well.
The drama of the documentary, particularly of Tom struggling to drive across the innumerable sand dunes is not for the modern journeyman, with their four-wheel drive utes, camper trailers or camper vans.
The luxury of travelling in relative comfort was denied Tom, who drove on regardless of soaring daytime temperatures, irregular roads or uncertain seasonal conditions.
He had an important job and a responsibility to those who lived along the track and he was proud to be certain they had the necessary supplies for their lives.
But it was that documentary, which was re-released in 2004 amid wide publicity, which inspired me to travel along the Birdsville Track.
It had been on my 'bucket list' for years.
We now drive along the 'outside track' which skirts those sand dunes, and although the track is gravelled, it has been kept in mostly excellent condition allowing for a reasonable distance to be covered in good time.
Although it is not so isolated now with many people coming to appreciate the landscape, slow and steady is the essence when travelling through that Corner Country.
Take your time, there really is so much to see: like the excellent condition and temperament of the Shorthorn cows with the calves at the Mirra Mitta Bore, or the family of brolgas who were enjoying the serenity of a waterhole, not far from the track.
We made the Mungeranie Hotel mid-afternoon, which gave us plenty of time to make our camp after refuelling and having a beer at the bar.
Dinner that night in the hotel would not have been out of place in a swank hotel in Adelaide - a serving of lamb shanks, mash and vegetables was enough for the two of us.
It had been an amazing trip, and one which I hope we will do again.
I would like to see the country as soon as possible after general rain, and even better if I could also see the response of the native pastures to the floods through the Channel Country.
I would also visit the the Bean tree where old drovers camped and under which George Farwell's ashes were spread - something I learnt only after I had returned home.
The country had a very special appeal to George Farwell and I also don't want it spoiled by fracking, sealing the roads or over run with tourists.
That would destroy the natural charm of a landscape, so fragile yet so resilient, responding to gentle rain like the soft caress of a lover.