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Friday, July 2, 2010

A lot of things are genetic

We're well aware of a number of the traits that characterise Dickson males, but the more time we spend with the family the more they become apparent. This year, not wanting to arrive at the Gemfields to choose a camp and dig spot an hour before sunset, we planned an extra stop along the way. The first night Haydo, Meg & the kids made it comfortably to Chinchilla Weir, and so we decided that we would aim to catch up with them (after leaving a most lovely family wedding in Brisbane mid-afternoon). It was a late night for us, but the family awoke to find that the rude people who parked so close to them in the middle of the night were us.

The other van is only on its third trip out, so there's even more to and fro, back and forth, in and out, forgot to do this before that can happen, etc. than happens when we pack up. In the process of all of the packup one of the clips fell closed under the fly bag and as the van was wound up just enough to get the door closed it was noticed that the mechanism wasn't working properly. No one was too concerned - it could be fixed that night.

We meandered our way through country towns taking a little longer at every stop than planned, and so decided to make camp at Rolleston rather than Springsure, since there was the minor repair job to be done. What is it about Rolleston? Readers of our blog with good memories may recall that last year Rolleston was the site of an 'inside oil change' and a towbar that almost fell off...

Plan A was to wind up the top and support it with pieces of wood so access could be gained to the inside to work out what needed to be done. The top was a LOT heavier than expected and as a certain someone wound the handle it didn't seem to be going up. 'A bit more' was yelled, followed by the distinct snap of a metal cable. Hmmm. That didn't sound good.

An inital look inside the cupboards (lying on the floor of the un-popped van) didn't reveal any access into the workings of the machinery. It was a race against the sun and attempts were made to pull off panels from the outside - unsuccessfully. It was quickly decided that our travelling companions would be staying in a cabin, not the unpopped van that night. As light faded and torches were produced it was discovered that there was access through the floor of the cupboards, and the inital problem (caused by the latch that fell closed) was discovered. Fortunately it seemed like it would be easily fixed. The old mate at the caravan park had brought over a roll of wire when he heard the cable had snapped, so a plan was hatched for the morning.

A few hours of daylight and numerous trips to the back of our truck for bits and pieces resulted in a successful fixing of the cable and winder. When the clicking of the ratchet resulted in the lifting of the roof there was much jubilation.

We were back on the road and heading for a sunset arrival again! It didn't take much discussion to decide on a one-night camp in a spot we knew, then the next day we would fill all the water containers and head off looking for the perfect spot to camp and dig for the rest of the time.

This year the chainsaw wasn't left at home, and the cooking fires have been great. Stay tuned for more adventures which will no doubt occur with all the Dickson genes congretated around here.