Flash Fiction Friday: Bob of Mongaloo, a 353 word story short.

It is a chilly autumn night out and about in the Mongaloo Mountain ranges. There is a beast watching two teenage boys with intense interest. The two young men are sitting down congratulating themselves with some stolen beer after a five hour trek up the mountain trail and a two hour struggle trying to pitch their tent and get a fire going.

Donavan, the younger of the two boys sits staring up at the stars. “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright.”

Barnett snorts shaking his head at his cousin. “Donavan sits warming his exhausted muscles by a raging campfire while stating the obvious in poetic verse.”

“Shut the fuck up.”

“Barnett gives Donavan a look that indicates his feelings have been hurt. That look then turns into a cheeky and devilishly handsome grin.”

Donavan turns to look at his cousin, a smile spreading across his face. “Modest aren’t you.” Then his attention returns to the stars. “But seriously look at the stars, have you ever seen them so bright.”

“Jesus, I Don’t know Don. Probably just look brighter ’cause there aren’t any lights up here.” Barnett walks over to the tent to retrieve a large back pack. He pulls out a cooler bag on his way back to the fire. “Give me a hand with the camp oven will ya. I wanna get this lamb cooking.”

There is a rustle in the nearby bushes drawing both boy’s attention. Out steps a magnificent dark purple dragon “Did I hear someone say lamb.”

Both boys are frozen still, slack jawed, staring at the Doberman sized dragon. The dragon continues to walk over to the fire without taking its eyes of the lamb roll in Barnett’s hands. The only things that move on the boys are their eyes as they follow its strutting stride. The firelight causes a glittery glow to cascade along its back and large folded wings. It sits down opposite the boys, perched on its hind legs while taking them both in with its iridescent green eyes.

“Hi my names Bob”.

I’m not completely sure who these characters are yet really, but they’ve been in my head for over a week so I thought I better remove them and put them down on paper (so to speak).

It started with the line “The air is cold on this dark night. But the fire is warm and the stars are bright” entering my head with the image of two boys by a campfire on a mountain top. We’ll have wait and see if the boys and their dragon entre my dreams again and become anything more.

Planning: The Tip Trip

aussietipfamilyroadtripThe planning for our “Tip Trip” started back when I was pregnant with Riley, who will be two on the 27th and involved selling Shane’s Nissan patrol 4wd Ute.  We had ‘‘The Troll’’ set up so we could live out of it on camping trips, but it was only a two seater and we now needed a family 4wd wagon. Hence an 80 series Toyota Landcrusier was purchased. We left “The Cruiser” as it was with only the addition of a baby capsule. Other than a few nights out bush bashing and an Easter trip to Narrabri It hasn’t really left the yard. You see Shane has vehicle he’s given to use for work purposes and we use my little Mitsubishi Lancer wagon “Lancey” the rest of the time.

To The Tip Map

We intend to travel inland on the way up. First stop will be Lighting Ridge, then onto Chareville, Longreach, Winton, Mount Isa, Lorella Springs, Hells Gate, Lawn Hill, Normanton, Musgrave, Branwell station, the Old Telly Track and finally Loyalty Beach.

From The Tip Map

Then back down the coast via the Peninsular Development Road, the Frenchmans Track to Chili Beach, Captain Billy’s landing, Weipa, Musgrave (again), Lakefield National park, Cooktown, the Creb Track, Cains, Undara, Airle, Lake Awoonga, Caloundra, Coffs Harbour, then home to good old Lake Macquarie.

It’ll be approximately 12,000 kilometers all up, not including sightseeing kilometers.

The modifications and work that has been done on the Cruiser falls into two categories (1) add-on’s for trip and (2) had to do because they were worn out.

(1) Roof rack, roof top tent, in vehicle water tank, rear bar with two spare wheels, Engel 60 ltr camp fridge (transplanted from the Troll), light bars, reverse camera, Hema GPS mapping software for Shane’s iPad, iPad holder, rear storage draws and cargo barrier.

(2) Heavey duty clutch kit, reconditioned transfer case, braided brake lines, suspension (springs & air bags), wheel bearings, cv’s, rust repairs, heat gage and winch.

I’m not going to talk about the cost involved in getting the Cruiser up to scratch as it’s a sore point between my husband and I. The Cruiser has cost us a lot more than planned and wasn’t in as good of a condition as we originally thought – but at least the damn expensive bitch is all good now.

I’ve been so stressed out over the whole trip I think I’ll just calapse once it’s finally here screaming “IT’S FINALLY HAPPENING”. I’m really looking forward to doing sweet f*** all at Lorella Springs & Loyalty Beach, just relaxing, reading, swimming and going for walks through the Daintree rainforest.

doing nothing cartoon

I am worried about our our dog Ellie being home alone for two months. Ok so she won’t really be alone as my parents only live two houses up from us, but still the poor thing will miss us, probably. I am really nervous about being in Croc territory and Riley getting eaten. Like having nightmares about it nervous. We’ve been trying to fit as many supplies in the Cruiser as possible. Drinkable water and food for Riley is first priority. We have seriously limited room for food for ourselves – oh well hopefully i’ll lose some weight on this trip LOL. I’m hopping Riley is going to be a good traveler, the furthest he’s every gone was Narrabri and that was when he was having two naps a day. With so many Kilometers being spent behind the wheel, I’ve downloaded a fair few Audio Books and plan to play them over the otherwise wasted hours of driving.

Oh and did I mention Riley is still in nappies – all those dirty Nappies – Oh My.

Shane’s super keen for the trip, he’s loving the idea of not having to go to work for two months, as well as getting some fishing in, driving the Creb and old Telly Track and taking Riley on the glass bottom boat for the Great Barrier Reef tour. It’ll be wonderful to see his face light up at all the fishes.

The only thing Shane is really worried about is getting the Cruiser stuck somewhere and damaging his pride if we have to be helped out haha.

I imagine Riley is most looking forward to getting to sleep up top of the roof top tent with me and take up all the bed, as well as terrifying me by constantly trying to run off. I think he’s too young to worry about much, but hell hath no fury like a toddler whose banana and yogurt supply runs out. And I know I’ll get a tantrum every time we have to pull him away from park play equipment.

On the trip I’m going to be keeping track of the kilometers traveled, litres of fuel used and our food and accommodation costs.

These are my Approximations before the trip and I think it’ll be interesting to see how far out they end up:

Fuel Costs $3,000.00 – We are not even sure of the exact kilometers we’ll be travelling, it’s rather hard to judge some of the areas we will be going to.

Groceries for three for two months $2,500.00 – so that includes everything from nappies and soap to milk and sausages.

Accommodation $1500.00 – most of the parks we will be staying at do have a small daily fee and even though we will be camping as much as possible there will be a few times where we will be staying at a hotel on the really high kilometer days.

We will be trying to pack as light as possible with the bear minimum of bedding, clothing and cooking equipment being taken. A small first aid kit, emergency EPIRB and recovery gear. While squeezing in camera equipment and a few special small toys of Riley’s. And a small range of tools with the following spare parts: fuel & air filters, assorted hoses, clamps & belts, engine oil, brake & power steering fluid, wheel bearings & grease as well as some assorted fuses.

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Riley “enjoying” the Barrington rain

We did a practice day trip up around Barrington Tops to see how the Cruiser will chug along fully loaded. We averaged 6.41 kms per Litre (15.61 Ltrs/100km) – the Cruiser weighs around three tonne fully loaded, so that’s probably pretty good.

I’m going to keep a journal while we’re away and when we get back share the best bits with you, what we enjoyed the most, how the Cruiser held up on the tracks etc.

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Now for the THANK YOU roll call: Triggs Motors, Dennis Trigg, Gordon Trigg, Sean Davies, Scott Holms, Jacob Hector, Mark Elliot, Graham Mitchell, Paul Clarke, Toronto Brake Service and Carey Bay Auto Electrics for helping out with getting the Cruiser ready to rumble.

And an extra BIG thank you to Gordon Trigg for talking Shane out of spending more money on s**t he didn’t need, like diff lockers front and rear.

Until Next Time, happy traveling everyone.

Lostocking Riley

Riley Walk Retouched

Last weekend Riley went on his first adventure to Lostock.

His second ever camping trip.

Our second ever camping trip since he was born.

Our second time ever forgetting to take pillows.

I was extremely excited to take Riley to Lostock being that most of my fondest childhood memories involve the Lostock Dam Caravan Park and land that surrounds it. I always wanted to live at Lostock and still to this day dream about it. I’ve even published a poem about the place, In this place featured in The World Around Me eBook and In My Shoes & Under My Skin Tree Book both Published in 2014.

Lostock Dam is a fairly small dam on the Paterson River (approximately 93 kilometres north-west of Newcastle NSW Australia) The name of the dam originates from the village of Lostock, located approximately 2 kilometres downstream from the dam wall and then there is the Caravan park on higher ground at the face of the dam spillway, named Lostock Dam Caravan Park.

On Friday night the weather channel said that the forecast for Lostock over the weekend was rain, so we Umm’d and Ahh’d about tenting it in the Cruiser or staying in my grandparents on sight caravan. In the end we went with camping out of the Cruiser down with the Hector boys and their utes.

The weather stayed mostly clear until we finished setting up. On setting up camp we discovered that in our haste to leave and with all the Umming and Ahhing we had forgotten pillows and pots and pans (things we wouldn’t have needed if staying in the van).

In true Lostock style it was fine and then the clouds rolled in. Within a few minutes the heavens opened up a torrent on us, then about half an hour later it was all sunshine again. Riley toughed it out in his rain coat and gum boots, he wasn’t too keen on the coat but was very happy when the rain cleared and he found the puddles left behind. He had a grand old time wandering up and down stomping in all the puddles and loved having the freedom to roam around.

Riley Wet

A wet Riley in his Rain Coat & Gum Boots

Riley Touch

Riley meeting a puddle

Riley Splash Original

Riley stomping one way down the puddle

Riley Strut Original

then stomping the other way back

The simple things 🙂 :-).

Riley Relax

Riley chilled out and relaxing with his bottle

Cover Forest DK

The poem about lostock “In this place” features in this eBook

PreviewuNDERmYsKINF2

Also the poem about lostock “In this place” features in this Tree Book

Riley’s First Camping Trip

Capture.22PNGMy Husband Shane and I spent this Easter taking our Son Riley, who is now almost 10 months old, for his first ever camping trip.

It was also the first camping trip for our 80. When Riley was born we sold our beloved Nissan Patrol single cab Ute, which we had perfectly set up for our style of camping and 4wding and we purchased a Toyota 80 series Landcruiser, which we are in the process of setting up family style.

On Thursday we got up, got ourselves and Riley ready, loaded up the 80 and headed up to Narrabri. We made fairly good time and Riley was an Angel on the 400klm – 6 hour journey. We managed to get our brand new Roof Top Tent set up without much drama considering it was our first attempt at doing so. Once we had everything set up we realised we had forgotten to bring sugar and our pillows, dang it!

On Friday I sat around read and relaxed, Shane went fishing and Riley made some new friends – This is pretty much what we did the whole time.10170931_1425931957662166_3131954294624548325_n

On Saturday night the boys had their Camp oven cook off – An event that happens between my dad and our mates Don and Matthew each camping trip. They cooked off, with my dad and Mathew making beef stews and Don a Lamb stew. No one could decide a winner but we all stuffed ourselves silly with the outstanding creations.

Shane then attempted to make a chocolate damper for desert, a perfect way to christen our brand new camp oven, but he slipped while removing the lid the whole thing got covered in ash and embers, although no one was deterred the damper was shook off and eaten anyway “She’ll be right mate” “just a bit of extra crunch”.

On Sunday it was my Dad’s 56th birthday so a concoction of red wine and rum was partaken in.

On Monday Riley took six whole steps buy himself and then proceeded to take a few here and there. He took a few more once we got home, boy is it weird to see him wobble and walk – he’s growing up way too fast.

Riley has fast become a terrific camper, he slept well and enjoyed playing with leaves, dirt and dogs the whole time. The fishing wasn’t as plentiful as the boys would have liked, but you can’t have everything. We slept up the top of the roof top tent with Riley down the bottom in a porta-cot. I’d spent the two weeks prior putting him to sleep in the porta-cot at home to get him used to it and it seems to have paid off. He’d flight sleep during the day, but slept quite well at night, possibly because he’s so exhausted from his adventures.

10277009_1426698347585527_3840396842785608338_nOn Tuesday we headed home and yet again Riley Impressed us with his traveling abilities.

Seven Days

Seven Days: Post 63 of 365 post prompts 2014

Today’s post asks us the question; You wake up tomorrow morning to find all your plans have been cancelled for the next seven days and there is $10,000 on your dresser. Tell us about your week.

WOO HOO!!! YES PLEASE!!!

I’d nick off with my son and hubby camping at one of our fave spots. Just the three of us self-sufficient in our 4wd and roof top tent. Probably up to Lostock for a let’s say three days, then maybe even Coffs Harbour for two more. So we’d get some bush camping then some beach.

After that I’d come back home and go all out the opposite and stay at a real fancy hotel/holiday spa up the Hunter Valley. Just me and the hubby for a day/night with a gigantic spa bath, in room massages, mani and pedi treatments etc.

Aww my feet ache just thinking about it. What I wouldn’t give for a pedicure and a foot massage right now. But alas nappies and baby formula (well anything for my son) take top spot in the purchases budget over my own little luxuries these days (as with every mother).

We keep trying to get away camping but something always comes up. Life has a bad habit of getting in the way.

I Love the Creek of Flowers

Free Association

Today’s Post asks us to write down the first words that come to mind when we hear – Home: Creek – Soil: Flowers – Rain: Love

It asks us to use these words in the title of our post.

So you say HOME, I say CREEK; I grew up next to Stoney Creek. Its bottoms not stoney these days, it’s all covered in muck, but my mother remembers swimming in it as a child when the water was a lot cleaner and the block of land she now lives on belonged to her grandmother. Really brave people still swim in it. My dad paddles it frequently in his kayak. Even though if it’s not in the best shape these days, it still is beautiful with some shrubbery still along its banks. I have many fond memories that where made along its banks and the sight of it resembles home in my mind nearly as much as my Mum and Dads house.

You say SOIL, I say FLOWERS; well I think the connection here is rather obvious. I love flowers and gardening, I’m not all that good at and don’t have much time or space these days for it. Whenever I’m out and about I always find myself looking at and admiring other people’s gardens. Maybe one day I’ll have a place where I can create my dream Garden.

You say RAIN, I say LOVE; I love rain! I love it when it rains. I love when it’s raining so hard at work you can’t hear anything over the roar from the tin workshop roof. I used to love it when it rained as I was walking home from school, I always walked slower when it was raining, made sure I got wet to the bone (yes my school bag was water proof, stress less) Swimming when it raining or there is a storm, I’m not quite sure that it’s very safe, but it’s awesome sensory fun. I always sleep better if it’s raining hard or there is a storm. At night I play rain and thunderstorm ambient music to help me sleep. A lot of my child hood memories of camping with my family it was raining and there was always MUD to be played in.

365daysofprompts  Post 18/365 (missed 4)