Archive for May, 2010

138. Sunday 30th May 2010. Repairs and washing, drying, polish on polish off…

30/05/2010

We got WWWGO back from RACQ on Thursday. It seems John had lots of trouble and needed to use plenty of cuss and frustration words while removing the two broken manifold studs. There were probably a few skinned knuckles as well. So now the new manifold gasket is in place and I have to get used to a quieter engine sound. In other words, no noise.

We picked up WWWGO from RACQ late on Thursday afternoon. Donnis had not planned anything for dinner. Well, she did, sort of. She took a rack of lamb out of the freezer just before 5 o’clock. We picked up WWWGO about 5.45 so I suggested Bucks fish n chips for dinner. It is not often we have deep fried food. Buck probably has the best seafood around, especially as he has his own fishing boat. Some of his fish obviously comes from elsewhere but the stuff he cooks up fresh in his shop certainly is caught on his boat. We are not sure what cooking oil he uses but at least it does not get caught in my gullet like the McDonalds and Hungry Jacks deep fried stuff. It sticks in my gullet and I am trying to clear my throat for hours after eating their stuff. Not so with Bucks chips. Anyway the fish n chips were delightful with a quick salad we made here at home. We also sprinkled fresh lime juice on the fish and had a refreshing glass of wine.

Not bad for a quick take away meal.

I must mention the great win by the Queensland side in the Wednesday night first State of Origin Match for 2010. It was a dour match and although to me it did not seem like an exciting game, on reflection there were some exciting highlights. It just was not a nail biter of a game.

Hmmm. Somewhere last year or was it the year before, in one of my pages or could it have been in one of my posts (they are different ya know! I had been writing the blog for goodness knows how long before I wised up and started using “POSTS” instead of “PAGES” to report each week, err regularly, I did not know the difference, that’s what I get for being self taught) I mentioned about sitting on the back verandah to have breakfast and being visited by birds n other creatures.

Well I still sit on the back verandah for breakfast and watch the sun rise over the Conway Ranges and have my morning coffee (on weekends) and watch all the birds come to visit. With this absolutely grand Autumn n Winter weather with sunny days and light breezes I thought it was about time I shared the visual with you.

When seated at the table behind the NZ Christmas Bush, the sun rises over my left shoulder.

Of course with the sun rising a little later each day I will be trated to different views but here is what I saw about 6.45 am this morning after I returned from my walk and did my back exercises.

Sunrise over Conway Range.

I had already decided to wash and polish WWWGO this weekend. Donnis would be at work both days so I was not going anywhere. Apart from getting some grass cut Saturday morning I thought I would get a good run at the washing, drying, polish on, polish off. I also decided to buy a good 1200 watt polisher. What a heavy device!

Saturday I washed the front of the MH. The luton peak over the cab was smothered with insect suicide remnants. They were hard to remove. The duco on the front was also looking a bit sad and hazed. I needed a ladder and the heavy duty truck wash, CT18, which really works but make sure you wash it off quickly. I then polished the luton peak, scampering up and down and moving the ladder frequently. The polisher was a bit heavy and awkward but I managed. Next I polished all the duco, that is, bonnet, sides and doors, then did the bull bar.

Today I was up the ladder and leaning with the polisher when I felt my back protest, just a tad mind you. So instead of a ladder I put up our mini scaffold. Ahh. That’s better. I can stand upright with no stretching and using knees to lock into position as I did with the ladder. I spent the day, washing, drying, polish on, polish off. I managed to get one side and a little bit of the back completed. Looks good. I ran out of weekend to complete the polishing. Next weekend I will need to use the scaffold for the other side. To achieve that I will need to drive the MH out onto the street and drive in to the same parking spot – forwards. That way I will be able to have the same height advantage with the retaining wall so I can reach the top of the MH.

Sigh.

There goes another weekend of washing, drying, polish on, polish off.

Advertisements

137. Sunday 23rd May 2010. WWWGO repairs and a lesson in getting repairs done…

24/05/2010

On arrival home from The Retreat I resolved to get WWWGO mechanicals complete. Yes I know the wheel alignment is still outstanding but I have to organise a time to go to Mackay for that. In the meantime you might recall I had a service done by the diesel guys at the bottom of our street. They did the scheduled service but announced the whistling and rattling sound I could hear was a leak in the manifold and they could not or did not have the time or inclination to repair it. They suggested I see RACQ. Which I did. The new owner of three weeks, John, is not a stranger to The Whitsundays. He worked for RACQ many years ago, started the Ultra Tune franchise then sold it to Macca when he went travelling Oz in a converted bus. John got to WA and after a time working around Karratha he made enough money to buy three Ultra Tune franchises in WA and worked and managed them for awhile until his family wanted to come home. So he left the UT with managers and came home. Macca employed him until RACQ came up for sale and he bought it. Anyway when I told him what needed fixing and a few questions later he was aware my previous diesel guys were not interested in fixing the manifold leak because it was too hard. So now it is with RACQ and he ordered a new manifold gasket only to discover when removing the bolts, two are broken off and will need drilling out. If that does not work the head needs to come off to get the broken bolts out and then we are talking some serious expense. We should know the outcome by Tuesday.

Sigh.

Donnis Subaru Imprezza probably needs new CV joints as well as some replacement shockies in the rear. The guys at UT have been very good but I think we should go to a suspension specialist for this work. Macca at UT may be disappointed but the back seems to be skipping around a bit so we need that sorted out and the noises from the front drivers side is probably the CV joints protesting. Macca is reluctant to do anything until the CV joints display some physical signs of wear or something else manifests itself to be repaired or replaced.

Sigh!

We might have to bite the bullet and get them done as we want to sell her car as we are looking for a good late model Daihatsu Terios or a good late model Suzuki Sierra.  We want a 4WD capable of being flat towed. Only Sierra & Terios fill the bill. Capable of being flat towed, 4WD, under 1,000Kg and only 1.3 litre engine, reasonable storage space in the back and high ground clearance.

My Subaru Liberty Rallye now has 264,000 klms on the clock. I have neglected it a little the last few years because I have Donnis Imprezza, WWWGO and a Yamaha Virago to look after as well. I also do the house and yard maintenance. I really only have a limited amount of time as I like to get away for weekends and other holidays in WWWGO.

Although I have yard work to do, I managed to borrow a water blaster and clean all the mould off the concrete driveway and pathways and concrete tiles. At least I will not have to do that job again – this year!

Sigh.

Sunday I said bugga the yard work I am going to wash the Rallye. Which I did.

Hmmm!

Looks good, but incomplete. So I polished it. Still looks incomplete. So I blackened up the trim inset in the doors and the skirts. Still incomplete so I blackened the tyres. Then got them pumped up to correct pressure then cleaned the windows inside and outside.

Gee it looks good. I still have to vacuum the inside and coat the dash and other surfaces with Armour All.

Gee it looks good. I put it in the garage and I am reluctant to let it out. We will probably have to sell it but gee whizz it has been a good car and Gee it looks good. I do not want to sell. Donnis agrees we should sell her car first, then the Virago then as a last resort my car. If I do sell it must go to a good home.

Gee it looks good. Donnis wants to drive it to work tonight. I want to keep it in the garage looking good.

That is where I will finish up this week.

Until next time.

136. Sunday 16th May 2010. Retreat and a handy tip…

19/05/2010

What a weird title.

Let’s start with the tip. This is probably aimed at newbies to the scene but may turn on a light for old hands. Never ever leave the generator and generator fuel container stored beneath your bed. We learned this a long time ago. The fumes penetrate through the mattress and before long you are having a troubled fume ridden sleep. Good news is that once you remove the gennie & associated fuel, the fumes will leave, especially if you leave the mattress outside in the sun for the best part of a day and allow breezes to waft through the open external hatch.

Why am I telling you this now?

When we went to Wintermoon, Donnis brought the gennie and fuel in her car but asked me to remove it on arrival as the fumes were getting to her. When we were leaving, she was first driving to Mackay then home so I offered to carry the gennie in the hatch under the bed, intending to remove it when I got home. Before I got home I decided to drop WWWGO at the diesel centre for a service where it stayed for 10 days. When I got it home at midday on Friday I noticed a fuel smell around the bed.  I opened the hatch to pack a few things. Imagine my chagrine to find the gennie sitting there. The fumes were worse so the gennie and fuel were removed and left at home. We left the hatch open all afternoon and part of the evening.

So we cannot carry the gennie and fuel in a hatch that is not vented. Ditto cannot carry it in the car. Do we need a gennie? We have only used it about 5 times since we bought it 4 years ago. There is a good deal more thought required on this issue.

Retreat!

Here is a bit of an abridged history.

Back in the days of horse travel, watering holes (hotels which included stabling facilities, food and lodging) were usually sited a days horse ride from each other. Generally they were on or very near a good flowing creek or at least a creek where water was not far below the surface.

In those years gone by, horse travel from Mackay would probably get as far Walkerston, day two would find you at a hotel at Eton before the a long haul up the Eton range where the first hotel, The Range Hotel, would provide the usual travellers needs then it was on to The Retreat Hotel then Nebo Hotel. From there on, hotels were only found at a far flung town such as Cleremont which would be a good 5 or 6 days ride from Nebo.

About 20 years ago the Range hotel burned down and according to local goss there was some question marks about the origins of the fire. The licence was withdrawn and found its way to the Gold Coast. The hotel was never re-built.

A few years later a highway deviation  meant the Retreat Hotel missed a good deal of the passing traffic. By then the mining towns were in the early days of a boom. Travellers tended to stop at the pub for a beer before  moving on.

I recall stopping at the retreat, many years ago for a burger and a beer but noticed it was not the original pub and that it was in decline.

Two years ago a new owner started spending money doing the place up. The world wide credit crunch stopped his plans for awhile but the owner is moving forward again.

At present he offers free camping, toilets and showers. All he asks is that you spend a bit of money at the hotel by having a meal and a drink or two.

Gradually he is introducing entertainment on a purpose built stage which also incorporates a giant projected TV screen. A mechanical bull ride is an attraction in the purpose built corral. Nebo is a famous rodeo centre so he will probably get lots of local cowboys on saturday nights.

Outdoor area at the Retreat Hotel.

Hmmm! I am imagining watching the State of Origin Rugby League Match here on a cool Autumn night with the fire pits blazing and a good crowd of NSW & Qld supporters watching the match on the big screen. Pity the State of Origin is not played on Saturday nights.

You might have noticed the timber bench seats and tables. Like the dining tables and chairs in the Mess Hall they are all made from solid slabs of Mackay Red Cedar a highly prized timber and the trees are no longer allowed to be cut down. The chairs are so heavy it felt like they are bolted to the floor. 

The hotel was built beside Denison Creek but since the road deviation the bridge was torn out. Access to the very sandy creek can still be gained by walking 50mtrs down the remains of the original road to a sandy beach. Donnis and I decided to walk barefoot along the creek. We were joined by the the pub owners two sons.

Resting on a log across the creek.

This was fun as large cattle also walk across the creek and where they walk large holes are left which slowly fill up with loose sand. Occassionally we stepped into one of these holes and sank to our waist. It is sort of like quicksand. In fact one Donnis stepped into had her up to the waist with both legs. Luckily she was under an overhanging tree branch which had a thick vine dangling above her head so was able to pull herself out. In the meantime I kept walking, not realising she was stuck. Despite the holes we had a wonderful time exploring the creek. The sun was quite hot but down in the creek, bounded by high banks and lots of trees forming a canopy, the sunlight was dappled so

Up the creek without a paddle.

it was just a pleasant temperature and we spent a most enjoyable hour in  foot deep water.

For a total departure from our usual Sugarloafers routine, Donnis & I decided to have lunch and a beer at the pub. We shared a steak sandwhich with chips and a beer. Good thing we shared as it neither of us could have eaten a steak sanger by ourselves. Margaret joined us and she struggled to eat half her sanger.

For dinner Saturday night all the Sugarloafers went to the pub for dinner. Unusually, everybody stayed late. By late I mean some people started drifting off to their MH by the late hour of 8.30. We stayed until 9.45. The rest stayed right through until the entertainer on guitar packed up just on 10pm. Wow! Was that a late night or what?

Our camp site.

Before travelling to The Retreat I estimated a 2 and a half hour drive from home. That is about as far as I enjoy driving for a weekend away. After leaving home just before 7am on Saturday, we stopped an hour down the highway at Cabbage Tree Creek for breakfast. Allowing for a fuel stop and the breakfast break it did take us 2 and a half hours.

On Sunday we were the last to pack up and leave despite us having the furthest to travel. Ziggy our Indian Ring Neck parrot was with us and he attracted a number of other birds to visit.

This bird and another like it were landing around our table and looking at Ziggy with one thought on their mind."mmm , Breakfast".

As we were almost ready to leave a light rain began to fall. Whew! Packed up just in time.

135. Sunday 9th May 2010. Wash ya mouth out with soap frankeeg…

09/05/2010

Why such a strange title to this page?

Well, this has happened to me before. Many times. This time I am verbalising my annoyance, my anger even. I am agro.

Here’s the problem. Sometimes I spend hours, days even, preparing the words for this blog. Then I add the photos to the relevant place within the text. That way the text and photos flow with one another and the photos add to the mental visualisation of the story. After I have completed the text and added the photos and saved it all I then read back over what I have completed, make any small changes and save. Before I “publish” the page I have a look at the public post to see how it flows and presents itself to you, my loyal reader (s). 

Sometimes, much to my great frustration and annoyance, a photo I have painstakingly imported and placed within the text, just so, is somewhere else entirely. Sometimes it appears at the beginning of the post. sometimes at the end, sometimes sort of tagged onto another photo. In all cases the photo is of course, out of context.

After checking the preview I notice the error so go back into the edit mode, fix the problem, re-save and preview.

Grrr. It was wrong again.

Back into edit, move the photos, save, preview and Grrrr it was wrong again. On the fourth attempt it seemed OK and I exited the programme. Then had a look, the same as a member of the public would and woodencha know it?  The photos are out of place.

Bugga.

I could not be bothered trying to fix it again. It can stay out of order.

It always seems the longer the post text wise the more photo attachment problems there are. Perhaps I should “speriment’ and keep posts under 500 words, attach appropriate photos and publish that post then start another of 500 words plus photos and publish etc etc etc. (with apologies to Yul Brynner) Hmmm, maybe thats not a bad idea, then again it multiplies the work involved and interrupts the flow…

Take last week’s post, number 134. It was about 2,700 words. That means, under my new theory, I would have to create 6 different posts but all with the same theme.

OR

Create a page per day, which at one time last year when we were travelling in Tassie, that is exactly what I did, except I did not write every day, only when I had something to say.

So I am quite cheesed off  with this blog. Not what I write and upload but the @#&*^+_@ programme which allows me to do this page.

I know, I know, I know. It is probably operator error. I accept that. I accept also that I do not know enough about how this thing works. Most of what I have done on these pages I am self taught. I learnt from my errors but so far these photos appearing out of place have annoyed me and I still have not got an answer.

I am going to place a photo, a blurry photo, of the musical team, The Twine, which we saw at last weeks festival. Remember the name, The Twine as I think you will be hearing more of them in the future.

I am going to place the photo immediately after this paragraph to see where it ends up when I publish.

The Twine

OK now that’s off my chest, what else happened this week?

This week was a short one. Only had to go to work for three days but what a three days they were. Each day seemed like one drama after another. Yesterday, saturday I managed to get the grass in the front yard trimmed and cut and a couple of loads of Post Ului rubbish taken to the tip in the back of the Imprezza.

Today I managed to get the Imprezza washed (it was mighty dirty after a week parked at Wintermoon what with rain and dust) and polished and a couple of stone chips touched up. Also managed to cut some, not all, the grass in the back yard, even pushing the mower in the rain.

Yes it has started to rain again.

134. Monday 3rd May 2010. Wintermoon…

07/05/2010
This weeks report comes to you from the lovely valley area known as Camerons Pocket. Much of the area had been cleared some years ago for cattle. Many property owners have established orchards, including citrus and bananas. Some grow luscious, fat and traditional strawberries. You know traditional strawberries? Not the white fleshed flavourless imitation they sell in supermarkets but the real genuine red fleshed variety full of sweet flavour.
Much of the valley has kept areas of native rainforest and the surrounding low mountains (hills?) are a delight to the eye. However the farming community was not the reason we were here in this delightful part of the world.
We were here to attend the 14th Wintermoon Festival.

 
Before we get started on the festival let me have a few moments indulgence. I had arranged to arrive at Wintermoon on Thursday but booked WWWGo into Big Wheels in Mackay to have a wheel alignment carried out. I booked in 5 weeks beforehand. I was given a time of 9.15am and the job would take 2 hours, maybe a little longer, perhaps 3 hours. Okey Dokey, I can live with that. On arrival I turned off the 12v fridge and thought I could leave the fridge in the off position for 2 hours. I called Nevin who had previously agreed to pick me up and take me to Canelands Shopping Centre where I planned do some festival grocery shopping. After Nevin left I went to Muffin Break for a coffee and a… you guessed it, a muffin. Glynnis phone to say she arrived in the shopping centre so after she joined me and had a coffee we headed off to Big Wheels to collect WWWGO. It was not ready. They said they needed some parts and would have to order them and could I leave the MH overnight. I explained no I could not as I had too many pre arranged plans and must be away no later than 3pm. We agreed they would finish the toe in and toe out part of the job and I could arrange to come back later. On the surface I was calm. Underneath I was fuming. This had been organised 5 weeks before and the parts should already have been on hand and they should have told me a better time frame. If necessary I could have taken another day off and booked in on the Wednesday. Now I somehow have to find a way of getting to Mackay so the rest of the work can be completed. Probably drive down one Saturday and leave the MH parked in their driveway and pick it up the following week. So after making some loose arrangements the fridge was turned to gas and Glynnis and I went looking at used cars. Specifically a Daihatsu Terios or Suzuki Vitara. Of course they are both as scarce as hens teeth and few car yards have them. We had a lunch of corn crackers and tuna at the botanical gardens when we received a call at 1.40 to say they were finished. At last!
The Wintermoon Festival site is nestled next to the north-east edge of Eungella National Park, one of the largest rainforests in Queensland.  This is a festival given over to, well, mainly folk music. Much of the music is derivatives of other types of music and includes such genres as blues, jazz, rock, country, gospel and good ole Ozzie folk music which in itself is based on traditional music from England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Collectively they can be traced to Celtic Music.

Lots of vendors sell goods they make themselves

Some Market Stalls

 while others cheat and sell imported junk from Bali and other poor Asian communities. I suppose it supports our neighbours but I feel it takes away from the traditional local cottage industries. After all the idea behind Wintermoon is to promote local talent, musical or otherwise, and provide an outlet to the local and wider community.

“Get off the soapbox Frankeeg!!! Tell us about the festival”

“Well golly gosh I will.”

Some quick background observations.
There is tent camping allowed
 
 

Some of the tents on the main site.

on the festival site but all cars are banned to a paddock across the bridge over St,Helens Creek and a 500m walk, sometimes a further 500m walk within the carpark itself!
Across the road from the festival site is camping for the volunteers and the fourth stage known as the Lunar Creek Stage and attached coffee, scones and pizza dining area. Beside the stage and dining area runs the St. Helens Creek.
The main Festival site comprises three stages. The main, known as the Southern Cross Stage, The Shed Stage beside it (as one performance is underway another is being prepared on the shed stage next door. Finally a third stage around a hill is known as Crusty’s Stage. This is set up as an alternative so lesser known performers can be seen under a blackboard system. Simply write down your name, what time of day and how long your performance and show up. The songwriting contest is presented here and some of the headline acts get a jam session happening.
The fourth stage, Lunar Creekside is over the road within the volunteers campsite.    

 

The rest of us in motorhomes, caravans or just arriving too late to get a prime campsite are about 1 Klm away on Stoney Creek or in our case, too big to get into Stoney, on a hill above

Our campsite.

the Stoney Creek pasture site. They had hot showers (the water being heated in an old donkey boiler) and toilets.

Toilets, showers and donkey boiler at Stoney Creek.

We had a pair of toilets to service around 18 campsites. The festival ran from Friday 30th April until Monday 3rd May 2010.

I had driven to Mackay alone as Donnis worked night shift and wanted to go home for a sleep until about 3pm or 4pm. I guesstimated that if she left by 4pm she should arrive by 5pm or no later than 5.30pm. As she did not know where we were camped we had previously agreed to tie red metallic ribbons to three posts. As well, Glynnis wrote Donnis with an arrow on  a piece of cardboard and we set it up on a tree trunk so she could see it. 5.30 came and went. No Donnis. 6.30 arrived. No Donnis. I trudge down the hill and set up three LED torches to show her the way. 7.30 a car came up the hill. I flagged it down thinking it was Donnis. No, a couple of young girls in a Daihatsu Charade. They thanked me for the lights showing the track. Finally after I made dinner and was eating, she arrived. just on 8pm.  She had the sign with her but did not see the red ribbons nor the lights. What the!!! After she ate I drove down the hill to retrieve all three LED’s which were still shining brightly. The ribbons were fluttering in the breeze. How could she miss the obvious pointers and find the insignificant cardboard sign on a tree trunk?

We set up camp on Thursday afternoon and left Tuesday 4th May.

Did we have a good time?

You betcha sweet bippy we did.

According to the program there were something like 30 acts. In fact there were more because some musicians from one band would join with muso’s from another band and jam. Often a muso would fill in as an additional performer.

Our biggest problem was sorting out which performances we wanted to see and which ones we had to miss because we needed to have a meal break. As our camp was 1 Klm from the main site we packed up our chairs and lunches and caught the shuttle bus to the main site. To have dinner we needed to catch the bus back to our camp, prepare and eat a meal then catch a bus back to the main site for the rest of the nights entertainment. Staggering home at midnight was not unusual.
 
One of the top bands was The Bushwackers. Although we know them from the radio it was not until the lead singer announced this year they have been going 40 years that you realise how much they have been part of the music scene. It was also announced the lead singer also wrote the words to the iconic song, I AM, YOU ARE, WE ARE, AUSTRALIAN.
Another new act is called The Twine, a high energy husband and wife musical team who can play 5 different instruments each, sometimes three at once. They have been on TV recently on Australia’s Got Talent and apparently wowed the TV audience. It seems half the Wintermoon audience knew who they were and at one performance on Sunday night the dancers were 50 people deep. They also brought their 6 year old son on stage who plays drums, dances and handstands across the stage.
The stage areas seem to follow a basic idea for audience comfort in an outdoor setting. The audience area is open with only a tarpaulin covering to keep out the rain and sunshine. (it is still mighty hot at this time of year and the sun can burn the skin after only a short exposure) lots of bales of hay are lined up in front of the stage in rows and some people sit on them, some sit on a blanket on the ground between hay bales, while some, like me, take a more comfortable lounging chair. After all I have a back problem and sitting on the hay for 2 or 3 hours will leave me in agony.
To one side of the Southern Cross stage is the Shed stage, From the hay bale seating area you can watch each stage without having to move.

 
To one side is the food vendors including the Moonshine Café, a permanent structure and other tent food vendors. The Hare Krisna have a vegetarian food tent and a bookstore beside it. No visit to Wintermoon would be complete without at least one meal from the Hare Krisna. Their vegetarian curries and desserts are very popular and are served all day for each of the 4 days. To give you some idea of their popularity, the Hare Krisna have been to every festival.
This year the other tents served Mr Whippy type ice cream, a fruity ice confection and juice tent, Hungarian breads and pancakes, Dutch pancakes as well as all day breakfasts and the Cornjack man who also sold corn on the cob and popcorn.
No alcohol is served. Being adults you are permitted to take your own and you are expected to drink in a behaved manner. I saw no drunkeness, nor aggression. After all, this is a family event and families were there to enjoy themselves. Teenagers are only allowed in camp if they arrive with a parent who is also camped on site. Teenagers are given a colour coded wristband and if they are caught with an alcoholic beverage they are kicked off site along with their parents.
Younger kids are well catered for and there were many organised activities for them including swimming in the creek.
 
 

 

Families at St.Helens Creek.

One parent I spoke with told me she felt it was a safe environment for the children as they always played in groups and the campers all looked out for each other and their children.

An amazing thing was the lack of rubbish around the site. People used the bins around the site instead of just dropping rubbish on the ground. For the campers, only decomposing rubbish was allowed. All other rubbish had to be taken out in plastic bags supplied by the festival.
Colour coded armbands for every visitor. Separate car park area. Separate volunteers campsite. A new stage by the creek. A Police presence. SES providing traffic control and some security. No cars in the camping area. Separate check in and ticket allocation area. Extra campsites with showers and toilets. Shuttle bus service. Dogs are not permitted.People watching was an interesting pastime. I saw quite a few people dressed in 60’s style hippy clothes and hair styles. The variety of colour and style of clothing was infectious. I would love a pair of the hemp multi coloured flaired trousers but the only place I could really wear them would be at this or similar festivals. I just cannot imagine having the courage to wear such clothes to the shopping centre.

Ok Ok So I wore a colourful shirt.

The other activity I enjoyed was to crank my chair back and be lulled into a restful state (read snooze) listening to some of the gentler solo performers.

During the 4 days there were many workshops including fire stick twirling, fire poi, balancing, juggling, unicycles, clowns, kites and many other activities. Kids loved the water slide which ended about one and a half metres above a dry creek bed where a half metre of foam rubber was placed. The kids loved that final drop.

A few years ago the organisers, Chris and Jenny, announced the festival could not grow any bigger as they could not accommodate any more campers or provide car parking. Security and some drinking problems and theft by teenagers was becoming a problem. So were dogs on site, particularly those which were unrestrained. The whole festival was getting too big for them. So the word went out and more volunteers were called for as well as ideas from long time volunteers. Each year small but noticeable changes were made. 
 The small army of volunteers kept the festival going and have done so every year. The festival grows because the local farming community have now recognised the festival worth and allowed their property to be used for car parking and camping. The number of volunteers grows each year but so do the crowds. It is never going to be as big as say the Gympie Muster but 1,000 campers and another 1,000 day trippers is a lot of people for a small rural community.
The site of the festival as well as the campsites are just a picture. First time visitors always comment on the attractiveness of the valley. You might recall in an earlier post about 2 weeks ago I mentioned travelling along the valley back road from Marian to Stoney Creek. Most of that road is sealed although in many places it is not much wider than one lane. The road from Calen to the festival site is sealed all the way. About 100 metres over the bridge the road becomes gravel all the way through to Mt.Charlton a distance of about 12 Klms. The road also passes another popular and one of my favourite camp locations, Boulder Creek.
Each morning at 8am there is a Poets Breakfast where yarn spinners can have a go at reciting poetry, tell a yarn, recount an experience (with humorous embellishments of course) or just settle back on the hay bale and listen.
At 10am the music gets underway and goes all day with the last acts on the Southern Cross and Lunar Creek stages commencing at 11pm.
I cannot believe how tired you can become just sitting around listening to music all day.
 
 

Our campsite on the hill above Stoney Creek included friends Nevin & Marie in their converted Mazda Bus and Glynnis in her Paradise Motorhomes conversion on a Mercedes chassis and motor. Nevin brought a load of firewood and a fire ring so we could sit around the fire at night. Well, that did not happen. Every night we were down at one of the stages sitting under the tarpaulins and wearing beanies to keep the cool night air (read dew) off our heads.
The festival is also a good place to catch up with people we know from Airlie Beach and Mackay.
After all that wonderful relaxing in a safe and friendly environment it was time to pack up and head home filled with memories and already looking forward to next year.
 
 
 
 

 

Southern Cross Stage. Friday Evening waiting for a performance.

Welcome to Wintermoon.