13 November 10
This trip has confirmed our certainty that our lives are not our own. We plan carefully, set off in a particular direction with a specific destination in mind, but circumstances lead us on a tangent — resulting in challenges, new friendships and a growing trust in the One who holds us in the palm of His hand.
Driving north from Mitchell, we headed for the Mount Moffat section of Carnarvon National Park. On the way, we stopped to play at another section of the Maranoa River.
As we approached the border of the park (well, that’s relative — we were still 150 kilometres away!), we noticed that we were low on fuel and decided to stop at a farmhouse to enquire if we could buy diesel from them. We knew that many remote properties kept their own supplies of fuel in tanks, and if we met the right person, they’d be willing to let us fill up from their tanks.
After we pulled into the yard of Womblebank, we noticed that the tow-bar below the truck was sagging, and if we had kept going, we could have lost the trailer! The rough dirt roads we had been driving on had created a lot of stress on the connection under the truck.
David unhitched the trailer and drove the truck into town to see if he could find someone to weld it up for him, while I stayed at the property “Womblebank” with the four girls. Our hostess, Sally, offered us drinks and gave the girls ice-blocks.
After hearing how we had enjoyed the mulberries in Mitchell, the kids took our girls into their chook-pen, where their mulberry tree is growing. All three girls enjoyed another mulberry feast while the chooks watched with envy.
In the yard, the girls played imaginatively with the toys that were lying around. Aisha learned how to hit a ball with a bat off a tee, and Brioni enjoyed swinging from the tyre swing.
When David came back from town, it wasn’t with good news. He hadn’t been able to get a welder to fix the truck for him, and as it was approaching evening, he thought he’d better reunite with the family.
Soon after David returned, Sally’s husband Angus turned up on the motorbike. After some discussion, David discovered that Angus already had the necessary welder in his shed that David needed in order to fix the crack himself!
Having dinner and putting the girls to bed wasn’t much different than camping in the bush. The only differences were that we had 240v power and were in the front yard of one of the highest cattle properties in Queensland!
We woke to a cloudy, windy day at the top of Queensland. Womblebank is one of the highest cattle ranches in the state, and it certainly felt like we were on top of the world.
As David continued to work on the back of the truck, grinding and welding, the girls played impromptu games, including digging in the sand in the front circular driveway of the property.
I used the time to finish trimming Misty’s hair. We like to cut her back every summer, and it certainly makes her appear to be slimmer.
When David was finished, we began our slow drive the 130 kilometres to Mount Moffat. We stopped once for a late lunch at an eroded creek-bed. Heavy water flows had left the creek bed appearing like a mini-Grand-Canyon. Aisha was delighted to see the effects of erosion, saying that she had wanted to look at something like this. I’m enjoying the anticipation of her delight when we finally can explore the Mount Moffat landforms.
Later in the afternoon, we stopped for the night at Charlie’s Creek. The owners came by on their way home, and they were very friendly to us although it appeared that we had set up camp in their driveway. They had fifteen more kilometres to go before they reached their home, and we have about 60 more before we reach Mount Moffat.
We’re just taking a slow pace in the truck, enjoying the scenery and the kangaroos. If we were in a hurry, the road may be a hardship, but we’re just enjoying the drive. David says it’s the most economical way of driving because we may end up driving for four days on one tank of fuel!