Just as we make it to the highway, we pass about a zillion trucks all flashing their lights and driving very slowly ... must be some fund raising event. Wish we knew what for.
We have a good drive to where we cross Tenthill Creek just outside Gatton where we mark up 100k’s which is roughly 1 hour from home. Not much further along we throw a right onto the Gatton – Clifton Road. This major road heads up the range about 35k further on and is an easier way to reach Warwick, passing by the Darling Downs Zoo which now boasts Tigers. Also this drive is really scenic.
We pass by fields filled with potatoes, carrots, wheat and it really is beautiful farming country surrounded by the foothills of the Great Dividing Range. You can still see the effects of the January flood event where parts of these hills fell and large boulders lie at the base.Ma Ma Creek township has a small convenience store that offers coffee and meals and would be a great stop off if you are heading this way. Just passed Ma Ma Creek township, you will cross over Ma Ma Creek and then through the most impressive cutting. Thiess Brothers very first official project was to virtually slice this hill in half and they have done a great job. You can read about their feats of wonder on the Tribute Board at Heifer Creek rest area. It’s amazing and something I think everyone should see (the cutting and the sign).
30 k’s after we turned off, we arrive at our destination. It appears that several others are camped here as well, so at least we’ll have some company. Another thing we notice is that they haven’t mowed for a little while as the grass is a bit long and there is clover everywhere. Might be another chance to find some 4 leafed clovers? At least we will have some time to look.
We manage to get almost the same spot we did last time we camped here, and start setting up. The ground is a little uneven where we are, but we get things nice and level. This weekend is going to be either hilarious or agonising, as due to a few other dogs being here, we’ll have to keep our puppies chained up. Chains, ropes and poles just don’t seem to mix for some reason. We are set up and relaxing in no time, even if we are untangling puppies every few minutes for a while.
There are 3 others in residence to our right, 2 with dogs, and 3 to our left that seem to be together and have 4 dogs. Left have a genie going and are using a circular saw to cut timber. Around 2pm genie camp start up the doof doof music, which I ask very loudly if they will turn it off and thankfully they do.
Glenn finds 2 four leafed clovers but I just keep looking.
We take the dogs for a swim away from the other campers and under the bridge. It’s not very deep here but it’s cool and my little puppy loves to do her submarine impression any chance she gets so she seeks out the deepest part. We head back to camp with rather wet dogs in tow. They relax with a Pigs Ear each. Glenn rather surprised to see Kiah munch on hers and finish it because she usually buries them for awhile.
As we sit relaxing after starting our fire and cooking dinner, one of the campers to the right comes over with his dog and comments on our, as he calls it, Bush Pig. Says he makes them and to come over for a look, which we do. His are 9kg gas bottles that are cut in such a way as to look no where near the same as ours. He tells us that he’s sold a few when camped out here and that they are $150. If you didn’t have an OzPig then these might be just the ticket. You can put a really huge camp oven right into them and they have lots of holes over the sides so you can let in a lot of air. He’s even designed a heat bead “basket”. He also mentions that our neighbours are of a somewhat undesirable nature. We’d heard their language for most of the day, along with some arguing, but it was nothing overly requiring the police, so we stay away from them as best we can. The gent tells us to expect the gennie to go till at least 2300 alas. He mentions that they have been here for about 8 weeks and that he wouldn’t approach them directly, warning us not to do so. We chat with him about all manner of things, until there is no further sunlight available and I say we have to make sure our fire hasn’t gone out … not to mention untangling the dogs.
The next day also dawns overcast, but we’ve had a thousand birds wake us. I decide to list as many as we can identify by sound. Galahs, Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Currawong, Noisy Minors, Mapgies, Coo Coo Pheasant (Woof Woof Bird as Glenn calls them), Wood Ducks, Whip Birds and Crows, just to name a few. We also see most of these as well as a Sacred Kingfisher and a Shag.
Gradually, the sun makes it’s way through the clouds and seems to evaporate the clouds bit by bit. After a breakfast of left overs and a few snags, we take the puppies for another swim as the deepest and longest swimming hole of the area is right in front of us. The bottom is rather slippery and rocky, so I don’t venture in very far in my thongs. Wearing shoes is out of the question due to the clay bottom. I need to be careful of buried flood debrea though as the signs of the “high tide” are still visible far above my head in the trees surrounding what little water there is. A good sign is that it’s still flowing.
As always my little submarine takes to the water and encourages the other dogs to do the same, but they aren’t as convinced but at least give it a quick try. It’s good to see that she’s a bit like a duck, but will have to watch this if I am ever to take her north to crocodile country. Teach her that she just can’t enter the water when she likes, but rather when I allow her. A good lesson to teach her now I think, where at least it’s moderately safe to do so. One good thing is that she’s potentially drowning about a zillion fleas right now. Even with the chemical coctails that the vet supplies, we some how have become a flea breeding household of late, and I am finding they are tough little blood suckers this season.
Breakfast for the puppies is some lovely Ox Liver (ewww) and dry kibble, which they devour without hesitation. Usually I slice the livers and dry them in a low temperature oven, but hadn’t done so with this particular piece. It disappears within seconds from each plate.
Way more comfy than a doggie pillow apparently ...As the sun clears more and more cloud a fantastic breeze strikes up and continues for the remainder of our time there, and it brings along the odd March Fly which is rather confusing since this is October. Glenn renames the species to October Fly so that they are more appropriately named. I guess if we encounter any next month they will be November Flies.
As always many, many people travelling this road (possibly to visit the Darling Downs Zoo?) stop in to use the facilities. I haven’t been near them, as last time we were here they were literally moving down deep within their bowels (some toilet humor for you) … but I think it was maggots. They certainly didn’t smell the best last time, but things could be different, but I still don’t check this time. They also come down to the creek to walk the bank and sit and eat at the picnic table. Can’t blame them really. One couple also put up a tent and pull it down before driving off. I think that’s just plain weird, but maybe they wanted some privacy? We will never know.
Of course we’ve been packing things away all morning and making things as they were before we set up camp. It’s what I like to call “The Slow Pack Up”. Wash dishes, put kitchen stuff away, pack up the Oz Pig, make the bed, pack up dirty clothes, hang towels outside to let them dry properly, wipe down benches and tables … I reckon you might know what I mean.
Just as we are about to pull the hard floor over (we’ve had to attach some rope as the breeze has gotten brisk and the awning won’t stay “over”), one of the not so nice neighbours approaches asking if he can stick his head into our Swag for a look. His name is Phil and he’s the one whose been using the circular saw. He tells us that he’s building shelving and cupboards for his caravan which he bought for $700. He convinces Glenn that he needs to see the great job he’s doing with the shelving, whilst I stay back at camp. I do approach however, when he calls over a Shar-pei puppy. They are so wrinkly. I find he has a huge flat screen tele in that caravan … obviously why the genie was required till all hours. Apparently, they are all related and up from Tasmania on a holiday. He’s on a disability pension due to a crook hip and back. I totally understand a crook back, but it doesn’t stop me from working altogether, just lifting things really. I realise that backs can be crooker than mine of course.
I manage to get us away from Friendly Phil so that we can close the lid and head on our way home. Hitching things up and packing away the puppies is always a regretful thing, but we are under way by 1330 … alas … on our way home once more.
It’s been a nice relaxing weekend, even with our noisy neighbours.
An hour and a half later we are back home and reversing in the camper. Half an hour later, it’s back to the suburban domesticity of washing, putting out the garbage and washing the car.
Trip Kilometers: 259.4Trip Duration: 48 hours