155. 26th September 2010. Our 2nd attempt at getting away is more successful…

On our last post I was tra la la ing with the joy of finally getting on the road. That joy was overshadowed by disappointment when it started to rain and we developed two leaks. Thank goodness we had really only just started and were only about 30 klms from Melissa and Steve and we could stay in a dry shed while repairs were carried out. That said, the rain depression stayed over the top of the central coast and highlands for the next few days with predictions that it would continue for at least another week. Over the mountains in the area we wanted to go, namely Cleremont, Alpha, Jericho, Barcaldine and Longreach the rain would include thunder storms. So we stayed where we were and repacked WWWGO and the car and jettisoned some stuff we really will not need or which are heavy and probably will not be needed. Namely, the generator and its fuel. We have rarely used the generator over the years and with careful use of our resources we should not need it. Besides, we could not stop the fumes invading either the car or under the bed, the only places we could store it. If we absolutely, positively must have a generator in the future we will look at a 4stroke Honda rather than the el cheapo $98 2stroke we had. The generator and the fuel is stored in Steves shed. As our plans stand, we will probably stop at a caravan park each 4th or 5th night so we can top up batteries, top up fresh water, empty grey and black water and get a load of washing done. Our plan to go to Lake Elphinstone for a few days changed when Glenise called on Thursday night. She and new beau Eric were expecting to catch up with us at Theresa Creek Dam near Cleremont. They were camped at Cape River somewhere between Charters Towers and Cleremont and expected to reach Cleremont on the Friday. Plans change, so we agreed to leave Finch Hatton on Saturday and drive directly to Cleremont (do not pass GO, do not collect $200) a distance of about 300 klms. More travel in one day than I planned but it was the only way we would catch up with each other. Friday dawned. Overcast and a few showers. As the day drew on, the showers became less and the wet, muddy and slippery track out of the shed and up the hill was beginning to dry. Donnis took the opportunity to do some sewing as Melissa had flown to Brisbane to attend a Queensland Endurance Riders Association Inc meeting. Steve was still at work at Peak Downs so we took the opportunity to just relax and do a few small jobs for ourselves. Saturday. Umm err, we are still at Finch Hatton. Lots of rain overnight and the ground in front of the shed is a small pond. Not sure if I want to try to get out and get bogged in the process so we are staying another day. Melissa arrived home from Brisbane and went to bed so we went for a drive to Gargett and a cent sale at the sports club. (Cent Sale. Donnis has never attended and I recall going to one around 20 years ago. Here is how they work. Prizes are usually donated by local businesses or there are trays of meat or veggies. Often there are home baked goods as well. It is a revenue raising event. You buy tickets, usually 5 books of coloured tickets each with 5 numbers. The volunteers draw a prize from the prize table while the MC draws a ticket from the barrel and calls a ticket colour and number. If you have the correct coloured ticket number you win that prize. This continues until all the goods are won. There is a half time break for tea/coffee and buy a small plate of  sandwiches and or cakes. After all the prizes are won the left over plates are also included in the prize pool. We won 5 plates.) While we were inside, the rain increased in intensity and the lawn bowls area was soon underwater. We won four mostly junky sort of prizes but is was a fun and different afternoon. I think we will bite the bullet and try to get out of here tomorrow. The rain is supposed to be easing and having tested the grounds in Donnis car we will have a go at getting out. Sunday.   Hurrah Hurrah Hurrah. We finally tore away from the umbilical cord which bound us to our Whitsunday area. Although light rain was falling we managed to empty our grey water tank, fill the fresh water tank with clean rainwater from the sheds water tank and carefully drove up the wet track to safer ground. We emptied the toilet cassette at Mirani and learned of a new problem. The cassette has a button to release air. Effluent started to leak around this button. Hmmm. Will have to find a way to remove and replace the rubber washer or seal so until I can fix that we are going to use public facilities. It could also explain why we are getting a smell, umm err PONG when we start driving with a full cassette. Next stop was at Nebo for fuel and a free coffee break at a rest stop area. Talking with one of the volunteers it was interesting to discover she is also a Canadian, educated at the Edmonton University and somehow ends up in Oz working as a tow truck driver! She also gets faint at the sight of blood so when she attends fatals or those accidents with lots of gore she keeps her eyes averted. It was on this stretch of road we noticed hundreds of signs designating the site of an accident. These signs were paid for by the coal mining companies and depict in artwork, what type of accident; head on, hit roo, single vehicle, rollover, fatal, booze related, speeding and so on. After awhile these signs became a chilling testimony to the dangers on this road which services many coal mines and cattle properties. The intent behind these signs are to alert and remind drivers, particularly young drivers to take more care. At the coffee break we were given a bag with a few goodies inside including a road safety brochure warning about the main causes of accidents. Speed, Alcohol, No Seatbelts and Inattention. We arrived at Theresa Creek about 3pm to a glorious sunny afternoon and met Glenise new beau, Eric. We had a wonderful dinner of pork cooked in the Weber barbecue, onions, potatoes, carrots and sweet potato cooked in foil in the ashes of a fire. There was also broccoli and beans. The dam is overflowing at present due to all the heavy rain and even the camp area has some sites still underwater. Where we are camped, each site has a a 6m x 10m levelled shade area to use in any way you choose. Nice touch. The creek looks a picture although the water ski boats can be a bit distractingly noisy. No power, composting toilets and showers we have to drive to but at $10 per night not a bad deal. No photos with this post but I promise I have taken photos and when I can edit them AND have an internet signal, they will be included with the next post. Cheerz 4 now.

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