I mentioned that we made some last minute plans about what we'd do in the second week of the holidays. It was dry, cattle work was done and nothing exciting was planned, so I decided to MAKE some excitement. So we packed ourselves (kids and I AND the dog, leaving dad at home) and went off to visit some old friends, who while we'd seen here and there, not visited for years. Because they live on station about 400km to our north.
Monday morning saw us head off, grabbing some groceries on our way through town and heading up the infamous Hann Highway. (far more civilised than it used to be, having long stretches of bitumen amongst the dirt these days). With no rain in these parts, the road was in good order.
First stop, a bit past a Roadhouse called The Oasis (the only fuel and convenience stop in 300kms either way) was my friend Kat's place.
And with seven kids between us, it was a noisy old visit! The kids had a ball....
and as for the mothers, well we talked, ate, fed the kids, talked some more, ate some more, and did some more talking. Kat has the most lovely renovated house, set in lush sweeping lawns and shady garden beds. A lovely place to visit.
We stayed two nights, and Wednesday morning dawned with a shower of rain and dark moody skies (and reports of rain at home, which was exciting). Off on the next part of our adventure, we retraced our tracks a little then turned off...
(the first being the Einasleigh, the second being the Copperfield).
We arrived at the Cowans place "Oakleigh" as a shower of rain came over, and with a grand total of TEN kids galloping about, we quickly made ourselves at home. Juliane has been slowly bringing house and grounds into shape over the past few years, and had her husband and brother in law help cart rocks and dirt to develop her lovely native garden.
We arrived in the middle of mustering, so with ten kids to feed and just as many adults (if not more) Jules and I were easily occupied for the afternoon getting a caterers sized dinner and dessert ready to feed the troops (AND making proper boiled egg custard "just like mum makes!" Juliane's husband was pleased to note...although my only involvement was stirring and making judgement as to when it was to come off the heat...stressful times, I tell you!)
With report and talk of more rain, by morning I was keen to get going (as had always been the plan) and after making phone calls and wishing to avoid the 7 hour trip home the "long way" I decided to run the gauntlet and drive home the Hann (which is not as user friendly after rain!).
We made it out of Oakleigh just fine, with just 255kms to go to get home...and it rained and drizzled and rained all of the way down that bloody road. It got a bit messy in parts but thankfully we stayed on the road (given that we passed only ONE other car on the road I was starting to question my sanity!) and then, about 100km away from town, the rain stopped. Just like that. But looking behind, I think we'd just moved a bit faster than it....It was BLACK behind us!
Made it home well before dark, and with the kids tired and grouchy, I think it meant they had a great time away. As did I. (although, I am kicking myself I forgot to get cuttings from Juliane's garden!!)
And in good news, came home to a well watered garden thanks to around an inch of rain (with more to the south over the inlaws and my parents properties! A wet season it doth not make, but relief certainly provided!)