Sunday, April 5, 2009

Day 37- Richmond

I woke early this morning and sould see the sky was a brilliant shade of pre-dawn orange so i ducked out of bed and went to take a few photos. Could not really manage to get the colour right so i'll have to make more of an effort to get up early in future to practice.

Mum, Dad, and i went for a walk around the lake while Tim and the kids were asleep. It's not a big walk, 1.2km i think, and it was wonderfully cool so it was nice to be out and see the sun rise. Here is a photo of one of our crab pot bouys in the morning sun :) There is a photo display near the park on the other side of the lake showing how they made it (in 2003) so that was interesting to look at. There is also a good play ground and an adult exercise area as well as a mini water play area with a water fountain and two water canons but it was not working this morning so we figured we'd try later in the day.

Our vans are just to the left of the red car behind the trees.Back for a quick breakfast so we could get dressed to head out to do some more fossicking. We had decided to stay another day so we could have more of a look around. It's only a really small town (pop 900 i think) but it's a nice town.

We left Darcy with Mum and Dad (cos even though we got away early before the real heat kicked in it is still ridiculously hot) and Jordy, Tim and I headed the 12km out of town to the fossicking site.

The area is all limestone shale and even though in Hughenden you mostly find belemnites for some reason (they are not sure why) here in Richmond you get a big variety of fossils and shell. We just parked the truck under a tree (the only one big enough for shade!) and just wandered around the area. There are little fossils of pieces of shell embedded in the rock all over the place. There is so much of it that you sort of forget how amazing it is that there was this huge inland see millions and millions of years ago. But the shell bits were not exciting enough for us to worry about collecting. LOL!

Jordy had a great time. I had been thinking on the way out that we should have packed some kind of fossil digging tools but i had no clue what we would have had to suit, and i was thinking of a paint brush to brush away dirt or some kind of small digging tool.... Tim must also have been thinking cos he packed three hammers! So we were just banging away at the rock like real professionals. :)

Jordy was hilarious. He had his hammer just banging at stuff and when a rock broke in half he'd yell "Check this out!" and i had to go admire his find. I was worried it would be hot and boring for him so i had put a blanket on the ground in the shade with a bottle of water and told him to sit down and take his hat off if he needed a spell. Every now and again he'd sit down for about 10seconds, sigh, and then get up again, wave his hammer and say "This is good fun looking for dinosaur bones, mum!" and off he'd go.
We spent a couple of hours out there and found some really interesting bits all embedded in soft rock. We each found a complete shark tooth (there were lots of fragments but we each lucked out with a small complete tooth), a whole belemnite, a couple of small complete bones, a funny shaped bone that looked like it had some kind of fin or flipper on the end, something that looked like a spine of a snake or something that does not have big vertebrea (no clue!), an impression in the rock of something prehistoric. We bought a couple of things back and if we have time in the morning we will call past the Discovery Centre and see if someone there can tell us what they are.
Tim chiseled his tooth out of the rock but i never got around to doing mine today. But if i do i will keep that but we'll leave everything else here in the caravan park garden unless it's super cool and the Dinosaur place wants it :) We sat around in the 36'C shade for a bit before having lunch. I had a 30min cat nap and Tim rode down to the local pub (tell him to get his reviews done!!). Then we wandered around the lake over to the playground. Met a lovely family that are "sort of" locals. They live on a cattle station 250km north of here and are in town for the triathalon this weekend. (Crazy people doing triathalons in the middle of the freakin day out here!!!!! as if it's not hot enough in the pub?!?!?) We had a good chat to them and Jordy played with their kids. The water park was still not working and they knew the CEO in town so were going to call past and see what the issue was for us. Dad got to chatting and turns out they just bought all their kids archery gear and are starting to learn. Dad had some old rests and bit and pieces that he is not using so later in the afternoon they called past the van park and Dad gave the gear to the kids.

They ended up inviting us out to stay with them for a week or whatever on their station if we call past again (which we plan to do down the track on our second lap around when we do the Gulf and the Cape) and do some hunting for the feral pigs. I hope we do stay in touch cos that's the sort of thing that we would all like to do. It's nice out here finally getting a chance to talk to the locals and get a real feel for a place instead of just driving though like tourists. The other people in the park a friendly too and we spend a bit of time chatting and going back and forth to each others sites for a natter.

After another swim and a cool off we came back and had some cake for Darcy's birthday. Mum made a carrot cake (just a packet mix) and i found a tea-light candle so we sang happy birthday and Jordy blew the candle out and Darcy la-la'ed and did a jig and they we had cake- Darcy had just a mouthful cos being a packet mix i have no idea what dairy stuff is in it (actually, we had identified a couple of other food intolerances- tomato! for one, so we will have to really watch his diet.)

We put some of the yabby crab traps in last night and when we checked this afternoon we had caught one great big red-claw! Nothing else though so we ended up throwing him back.

It started to cloud over a little which bought the temp down just a notch. And then later this afternoon we finally had a light sprinkle. We looked at the grey clouds and wondered about putting the bed flys up. Tim decided not to worry and then the wind started to howl and blow and the rain came down in massive big fat drops. Typical. So we all ran around like mad things in the glorious cool rain grabbing gear that was blowing away in the strong winds and putting the awning down before it broke. It lasted about half an hour and then died. But the temp stayed down so it looks like it will be a nice night.

Sort of a mushroom bolognaise thing with rice for dinner that was pretty bloody good if i do say so myself. The kids crashed and i won't be far behind them. It was a lovely day and i am glad we stayed the extra night.

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