Take, for example, the tiny desert outpost of William Creek, along the Oodnadatta Track, at the southern end of the Simpson Desert. William Creek has 14 people, two pubs, Australia's first solar-powered, satellite pay phone, a single parking meter-and, in my estimation, at least half the world's population of flies. The dirt airstrip there is also crooked in every axis-it varies in width, curves to the right and is something less than level. When I arrived there in the 172, there was also about a 25-knot crosswind blowing straight across the runway-which, since there are few unicom or FBO services in the Outback, I discovered only when I flew overhead and saw the windsock sticking straight out to the right. And which, given the fact that alternate airports are few and far between, meant only that I then knew the landing was going to be a lively one.