Wednesday, 22 August 2007

Purification by Fire and Water

I've been away for a couple of days... I didnt plan to be.
I went on another scouting mission for the Rainbow Gathering.
For those who didnt read about the last time I went scouting, I ended up fighting a bushfire with no shoes on...

This time, we went to a site near Washpool National Park, I went by myself, leaving Littletree with Purple, planning to stay overnight and return the following afternoon. It had been raining steadily for 2 days, and forecast for more, but everyone else was still going, so I went too.

I drove in the driving rain, sticking to the major highways, because of the weather. When I got into the area of the park, the paved road ended and the mud began. Some of the hills were a bit hairy, my van slipping sideways down the sloppy roads. But I made it fine, and turned onto the track that I thought would lead me to the meeting place.

Puzzle Road was a pretty rough bush track, and clearly no one had driven on it for a good long while - it was basically 2 overgrown wheel ruts going through thick forest. There were 1-2Metre tall saplings growing in the middle of the road, and it wasnt too long before I was stopped by a fallen tree blocking the road. A bit of heaving and slipping in the mud and rain, I got the road cleared and went on... about an hour and 6 fallen trees later (cursing that I'd forgotten to bring my bowsaw), I came out to the end of the road at a junction. I had no idea where to turn, but it was starting to dawn on me that Puzzle Road was maybe not the way I was supposed to go.

Thank goodness Mark and Naughty drove by at that point, wondering what I was doing there. Turns out Puzzle Road was just a loop that leaves the main road, goes around for a ways, then joins back onto the main road not very far from where it starts!

The meeting place was not far down the road, and we arrived there to find Foc' and Nic' already set up with a tarp and fire going next to the river. Thank goodnes Foc' had brought his chainsaw so we had lots of wood :)
We sat around and chatted as the sun set, had dinner and went to sleep...

7am Naughty tapped on my van window to wake me up. though Foc' and Nic' had set up their camp a good 30 Metres from the river last night, this morning it had moved to just one metre from the water's edge. Or was it that the river had risen just a bit? We packed our stuff quick smart, as the river was still rising, and rushing fast.

In convoy, we drove up to the site we planned to scout, Naughty and I parked our vans and we all piled into Foc' and Nic's 4WD. We drove into the site, it was fantastic - everything we need for the gathering. But as the river was just a tad swollen, we couldn't cross it to check out the details. No problem, we could clearly see that it was the site, and agreed to come back in a week when it was dried out.

So, only 9am, and we were already heading home :D
only, we didnt get very far before we came to this:



We all got out of our cars and stood looking at the rushing water. Mark waded out into the water, got to knee high before declaring that it got MUCH deeper after that, and even at knee deep, the current was too strong. I watched in dismay as a huge tree floated past us at an alarming rate.
Just then, a car drove down the hill on the other side of the river, and pulled up at the water's edge. A local guy got out of the car and we waved frantically... he shouted "I HOPE YOU'VE GOT ENOUGH FOOD FOR FOUR OR FIVE DAYS!!"

A chill went down my spine. Mark grinned and waved at the guy, he drove away. We were stuck. Nic' and I were worried about our kids; she'd also left her son with a baby-sitter, and we had no way of contacting the outside world. The guys weren't worried; we had our vans, and enough food to last a couple of days. downhearted, we went to find some high ground to make camp on.
We parked the vans parallel, with about 7 metres between them, and hung a tarp over the space, with the 4WD supporting on side and poles at the other side. Foc' cut some wood and got us a good fire going...

We spent the day drying stuff out, chatting, and walking back and forth to the river to see if the levels had dropped at all. but mostly, we just prayed for the rain to stop.

Praises be! the next morning, the water was under the bridge, in its proper place, and we could get out :D soggy and tired, I made the journey home to find that no one had even missed me.

and my new computer had arrived! :D :D :D more about that tomorrow...


  1. Hardcore, woman! I think I would have quit after the first fallen tree.

  2. Fantastic! Way to hang in there. And what fun!

  3. Holy crap! I'm so impressed! You need lots of medals for that. And chocolate.


Thanks for your lovely words, witty banter and entertaining discussion :)