363. Sunday 16th March 2014. Yahoo! Cyclones have gone and I have three days away…

10th March

Woke to rain and strong winds. In fact I was woken several times during the night. At one stage the curtains in the ensuite were being blown and flapping against the ceiling. The wind blew my toothpaste and dental floss off the shelf and the clattering woke me.

At 10am the Tropical Low formed into Tropical Cyclone, Category 1,”HADI” and is slowly moving away from the coast afer doing a ”U  Turn”. Perhaps to build up intensity and come back stronger. Regardless of the movements the wind and rain stayed.

Tuesday 11th March

HADI continues its slow move away from the coast and remarkably there are three cyclonic systems in the weather map for Queensland. One is for cyclone Gillian in the Gulf country to the north, HADI off the coast and another tropical low further to the east.

Still gusty wind, strong at times and rain comes and goes but as predicted, conditions started to ease today. I had a half plan of travelling to Lake Elphinstone this weekend to join the Mackay Sugarloafers.

Wednesday 12th March

The sun came out the wind eased and I have made a decision. I will go to Lake Elphinstone in WWWGO. Hmmm! That means all the stuff I lugged off WWWGO now needs to be lugged back on.

Sigh!!!

Now that I have made the decision I am looking forward to the trip.

Thursday 13th March

The sun shone again today but rain is forecast for tomorrow.

Friday 14th March

After a leisurely breakfast and final preparation I am on my way to Lake Elphinstone

Sign lead the way.

Sign lead the way.

about 260 Klms from home, 92 klms from Mackay and 25 Klms to the nearest town, Glenden, which was built by the Newlands Coal Company. Lake Elphinstone lies within the Bowen Basin a huge area of coal deposits. Once a town, Elphinstone, comprised 9 streets was mapped out but little remains except some straight lines in an otherwise chaotic landscape. I can find no records of an actual township being built apart from being a location on a map.

On arrival I found the Sugarloafers and set up camp among the other rigs.

Apart from the nine vehicles belonging top Sugarloafers members there were probably another 20 or so caravans and tents scattered along the edge of the lake. Mostly people with ski boats.

Apart from the nine vehicles belonging top Sugarloafers members there were probably another 20 or so caravans and tents scattered along the edge of the lake. Mostly people with ski boats.

The lake is very attractive with many species of aquatic bird life.

The lake is home to many species of duck...

The lake is home to many species of duck…

...as well as geese...

…as well as geese…

Black Swans and...

Black Swans and…

Redclaw, a much sought after crustacean of the lobster or maron family. They are a good eating  fresh water maron although it does take several to provide va feed for one person.

Redclaw, a much sought after crustacean of the lobster or maron family. They are a good eating fresh water maron although it does take several to provide va feed for one person.

It is also apparently good for fishing but the main catch seems to be a maron or crayfish like creature found in huge numbers in many inland fresh water lakes. This lake is no exception.    http://www.daff.qld.gov.au/fisheries/species-identification/freshwater-fish/redclaw

Several rum and ginger beer (Dark and Stormy) at happy hour and with dinner relaxed me to the point I was falling asleep by 8.30.

Saturday 15th March

Calm and serene...much of the time. It is however a popular spot for ski boats and jet ski's.

Calm and serene…much of the time. It is however a popular spot for ski boats and jet ski’s.

High rocky hills overlook the lake on the western side of the lake.

High rocky hills overlook the lake on the western side of the lake.

Yep,. The hills are rocky with lots of balancing rocks and cave like crevises.

Yep,. The hills are rocky with lots of balancing rocks and cave like crevises.

I did some walking and talking and relaxing and drinking beer and rum and eating and talking and catching up with old friends and did I mention talking? The weather was perfect as was the night. Another Sugarloafer. John Silver and I wanted to climb the nearby high rocky hillside but realised it would be long taxing walk especially as we could not see an obvious track nor a way past the barbed wire fence. If we can find a starting point we would have to begin our walk at first light.

Tonight was a communal dinner of finger food but we all called it a night by 8.30.

The moon rises over Lake Elphinmstone.

The moon rises over Lake Elphinstone.

Sunrise over the lake.

Sunrise over the lake.

A golden morning at Lake Elphinstone.

A golden morning at Lake Elphinstone.

Sunday 16th March.

First light at 6am and John was still asleep. I started walking to find a starting point for our possible walk (climb) to the top of this steep and rocky slope. We have been told some campers did climb the hill in recent years but we have no idea who they were or when they climbed the hill or even where their starting point was. John and I will have to do some more research before we tackle this project later in the year.

These declared noxious weeds, the Prickly Pear, can grow anywhere. It will not be long before the weight of the plant will collapse the guttering on this building.

These declared noxious weeds, the Prickly Pear, can grow anywhere. It will not be long before the weight of the plant will collapse the guttering on this building.

At smoko time we had a club meeting and I was packed on my way home by 11am. Only two days at Lake Elphinstone but I enjoyed it immensely.

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6 Responses to “363. Sunday 16th March 2014. Yahoo! Cyclones have gone and I have three days away…”

  1. placestheygo Says:

    The black swans are beautiful. I don’t remember seeing any before.

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Thanks for your visit Pam. I think we have more black swans in Oz than white. Each morning as if on signal, all the aquatic birds would slowly swim to the northern end of the lake then fly back to the south. Later in the day they do it again. Curios.

      Like

  2. Margaret Clifton Says:

    I remember going there after the last time wr visited you at Arlie. We dropped in for a night and spent 3 weeks. It was beautiful I’ve always wanted to go back again, for a long stay. Lv Marg xx

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Hi Margaret, I knew you had stayed there longer than planned and given the weather and the dam was full who wouldn’t want to stay three weeks? You can always come to visit for Easter. We could meet you there.
      Cheers

      Like

  3. Geoff Clifton Says:

    Is the donkey still there?

    Like

    • frankeeg Says:

      Sadly no donkey. It has been gone for a couple of years. There are new demountable type toilets and showers. Just cold water at present but many people seem to enjoy a cold shower. There are a couple of gas cylinders at the side of the demountables but do not seem to be connected. Perhaps they will install a coin in the slot user pays hot showers in the near future. Cheers

      Like

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