Taking the very minor roads means we find interesting places to stop and explore that are otherwise only frequented by locals. We don’t always choose our spots — sometimes they choose us. Getting bogged meant that our plans of heading into town were put on hold for one night.

Last night’s stopping place where the Wollara Road crosses the Goulburn River is a great spot too cool off on a hot day. We had driven from Merriwa through Goulburn River National Park, climbing up into cool ranges and then down into the farming valley again to reach the river.

After I pulled over to investigate the stony creekbed, I decided to back the truck up and over-corrected while trying to bring the trailer around. The left-hand side of the truck dropped off the track, revealing that the grass was actually very long because the ditch was so deep!

We lost traction as the weight of the truck shifted off the right-hand-side wheels because of its crazy angle, and we couldn’t go forward or backward. As any good wife would do, I climbed out of the driver’s seat and pleaded with David to fix my dilemma. He couldn’t. We were stuck.

Bogged near Bylong, NSW, October 2011
I backed off the formed track and placed the left-hand wheels into the hidden side ditch.

Bogged near Bylong, NSW, October 2011
David and I disconnected the trailer and turned it around, hoping that removing its weight would allow the truck to drive out of the ditch. It didn't work.

But we were really only stuck for about fifteen minutes. That was enough time to calm down, rationalise the incident and realise that nothing really was wrong. David was really encouraging to me, helping me analyse my negative feelings and detach myself from my prior ego-driven agenda. Nothing was wrong. Everyone was safe, and help would eventually come.

The first vehicle that drove along the dirt road was a grunty Ford 250 ute. Although it’s relatively rare in Australia, this is the exact same model of vehicle that pulled us out of the mud outside Emerald, Queensland last year!

Bogged near Bylong, NSW, October 2011
After quickly assessing the situation, Liam hooked his ute up to the trailer and moved it out of the way first.

Bogged near Bylong, NSW, October 2011
Then it was simply a matter of pulling the truck out of the ditch with the combined power of both engines. Easy!

Liam and David on Wollara Road, October 2011
We're so thankful to Liam for his cheerful assistance.

Our three older girls were oblivious throughout the whole interlude. They were in the back of their truck, watching Magic School Bus episodes and didn’t even notice the truck’s crazy angle!

Having parked properly — on level ground — we collected firewood and sat back to relax. It is a good camping spot and would easily accommodate a number of families with tents and caravans.

Fire and full moon, October 2011
Camping in the bush last night, we warmed ourselves by the log fire and gazed at the full moon.

In the morning, we enjoyed washing in the river and playing on its bank. I feel like a new person after I wash and change my clothes!

Girls on the bank of the Goulburn River, October 2011
The Goulburn River meanders through Goulburn River National Park, providing clear, fresh water to campers.

Delaney and Calista on banks of the Goulburn River, October 2011
Delaney and Calista engage in the age-old recreation of rock-tossing. Each splash is somehow deeply satisfying.

Aisha and Brioni on the banks of the Goulburn River, October 2011
Aisha and Brioni are making little fairy homes amongst the flat river stones.

Girls with strange dog, October 2011
This friendly dog wandered up to the girls while they were playing at the riverbank and stayed close to us until we drove away. The park ranger thought it belonged to the adjacent property owners, as it clearly isn't a stray or a wild dog. Brioni, especially, made good friends with it and she wanted to name it "Samantha".

Camping on the bank of the Goulburn River, October 2011
We parked within easy access of the river on a mostly level section of land off the road. There were well-used campsites closer to the water, but we opted to stay up a bit higher.

Getting stuck was a lesson to remind me to be content in my present circumstances. Although nothing was actually wrong, I felt angry, aggrieved and disappointed with myself for getting us into that predicament.

I was also too attached to my arbitrary desire of reaching the town of Mudgee before nightfall, and getting bogged clearly meant we wouldn’t be able to do so. When I attach my ego to a destination, I forget to enjoy each aspect of the journey.

Being in a negative state of mind, I couldn’t accept the gift that was in front of me — a clear, flowing river with an easy parking spot for us to stay overnight! In the end, getting stuck was the best thing for our family because we could enjoy the bush environment for another night and day before heading into town. And it was the necessary development to make me to slow down, to take it easy, to chill out and remember to enjoy the journey.

I’m well-versed with the theory of contentment in the present moment, but clearly I’m still struggling to put it into practice. However, each incident that leads me into self-examination is a progression along my own spiritual journey. When I recognise what an ugly attitude looks like, when I can finally step back and see circumstances as neutral — and just waiting for my positive response — I can embrace everything as a Divine gift to take the rough edges off me!