04 November 2016

Campertrailers National meet and then on to the Australian Caravan Club National Muster

4th November 2016
Time has once again slipped by BUT now that we are in an area that has fairly constant internet access then I hope to be able to get this blog updated.
So we will go through the events of the past – nearly 2 months – since the last update.
On the 15th September Darryl and I left Jimboomba and Beckie and the Grandchildren (and BEN) and started to make our way to Ganmain for the Campertrailer Group National Meet.  We travelled as far as Inglewood and it rained most of the night.  Next day we travelled down through Goondiwindi and to Bellata.  We had to travel through 4 lots of water over the road before we reached Moree. 

  There was evidence of lots of ‘self-sown’ canola along the sides of the road.  We camped the night at Bohena rest area in the Pilliga South of Narrabri.

But the crops of Canola were spectacular

and so were the fields of DAISIES

On the 17th September we stopped at Dunedoo for lunch and then on to Gulgong Showgrounds.  It p’ed rain all night.  On Sunday the 18th I don’t think the rain let up at ALL.  We decided to go out and see the Henry Lawson museum and then from there to the main Museum (which takes up about a block) and then rain could be heard getting much heavier.  The original lady that greeted us was called home by her husband as the roads were started to flood.  We then went up to the BIGGEST and most diverse STACKS store that we have every come across.   A bit like a Dollars and Sense Store but MORE………  It is in the cellar of the store up above and is amazing.

 The store seems to go on forever :D

 Water gushing down the kerbing in Gulgong

 The depth of the water when we got back to the van

We stayed again at Gulgong as the weather was too inclement and lots of local roads were closed.  The next day – Tuesday 20th – we were informed that the road through to Sydney was clear and open – so we headed off down to Cowra. 
  The cause-way at Cowra had gone down by about 5 meters.  We were able to get through by the big bridge above.

  We stayed the night in the free camp opposite the information Centre and headed out toward Junee.  It had continued to rain all through the night and whilst driving the rain was almost horizontal.  And I think it was because of this that we had water ingress through the rear weather hatch.   We stopped off at Coolamon in the caravan park and waited until we were able to line up for the 10am registration opening on the 23 Sept.  We met up with a couple of other campers too.
Friday dawn overcast but dry, and  we headed toward Ganmain a whole 15 kms away.  We arrived just before 10am with about 12 other :D
We settled into our designated camp area up near the new toilet blocks, and watched as everyone else came in and got settled too.  The ground was very soft from the last 7 months worth of rain. Everyone was saying that they were SOOOO over it.  Needless to say we had more rain on Saturday and Sunday.
On Saturday we did a drive to my old home town of MARRAR

  The main Street and the Pub

 The Hall

 Uniting Church

 Fields of Gazanias

Sunday morning everyone headed down to the street for the markets.  WOW – great markets with lots of variety and no-one really complained about the rain. Whilst here I met two lovely ladies who were being taught to weave by the ‘Hands on Weavers’ of Wagga Wagga.  We arranged to meet up again on Wednesday.

  Some of the signs by the school children Welcoming the Campertrailer to town
 Campers and locals alike were out enjoying the day.  That night we had our Opening Ceremony and we had dignitaries from the Coolamon Shire there also.  I was busy weaving the base for a basket for Beckie during the proceedings and at the end of it a lady came running over to find out what I was doing.
  The base of the bag in progress
In the course of conversation, we found out that this lady was Margaret Fox (now Seymour) and the wife of the Shire Mayor.  Margaret’s Mum and my Mum had shared the same room at the Nursing Home in Wagga.
Over the next few days we had lots to keep us busy with information sessions, ‘Stitch’N’Bitch’ for the ladies. An Auction night and a Trivia night.  We had a community day on Wednesday which started with a  breakfast cooked b the men’s shed (thank goodness we were under cover as it was still raining).  Darryl and I did a trip to Coolamon and visited the new Coolamon Cheese and a couple of the other shops down Cowabbie Street (the main street). 
 Some photos from Coolamon cheese

 It was lovely catching up with Annette and Kim (weavers) when they came out to the van and spent the afternoon.
On Friday we had the Closing Ceremony at 4pm.  Unfortunately because of the continued rain, quite a few people had already left.  But we raised a substantial amount of money for the Show Trust as well as the Advance Ganmain Committee and the Men’s Shed.  That night quite a few of us headed out to the pub for dinner and whilst we were there the rain was torrential.  :C  So much so that Boggy Creek in town had come up to almost flooding level.
 boggy spot

ooops needing a tow out of the bog

Boggy Creek up again

Saturday we managed to get out of the showgrounds at about 11am – after watching many others nearly getting bogged.  We arrived in Wagga at about 2pm.  Daylight saving started that night (still not a fan). Went up to the Coffee Club on Monday to meet up with the two weavers (Annette and Kim).
We continued to have lots of rain over the next week and lots of roads were closed and some of them major roads.  All the areas that we wanted to go and see on our way to the Australian Caravan Club’s National Muster in Shepparton – were flooded.   So we decided to stay in Wagga with family and head off the day before we were due to Register in Shepparton.  
I finished the bag for Beckie

We met up with Cathy and Ted Roberts (who managed to find a dry spot to stay and get their shopping done) and then on Thursday 13th we headed off and met up with Marie and Wayne Adams, and Penny and Dennis Hynard at Uranquinty and then met up with Cathy and Ted again at Casey’s Weir near Benalla.
 Casey's Weir

  The foam just after the Weir.

We all headed off from Casey’s weir on Friday 14th and arrived for check in at about 10.30am and were all shown to our designated sites.   There were over 200 rigs camped on the Shepparton (Yorta Yorta Country) showgrounds for 10 nights.  Most of them arrived on the Friday 14th and left on Monday 24th.
  All set up :D

On Sunday 16th October there was a Market held at the showgrounds that was open to everyone.  Unfortunately there weren’t many stands (again due to inclement weather) and minimal outside traffic. 
 My Table

some of my stock

The program was full of tours and information sessions and we were kept very busy for the whole week.  On Saturday Darryl and I managed to get out to see Lesley Collis and her lovely family for a few hours.  It was great catching up with them all.  Sunday 23rd October was the closing ceremony and drawing of the raffle.  Unfortunately we were not the recipient of any prizes.  Over the week the ACC had raised near $56,000.00 for the Showground trust (in site fees alone) and almost $300,000.00 for the community.  A very BIG well done to all who were there.
Monday 24th we pulled out of Shepparton after receiving a parcel that I was expecting (more craft material) and then we headed out toward Howlong NSW.  The flood waters had gone down and we wanted to see the Whisky and Chocolate factory at Corowa.

 Corowa Whisky and Chocolate Factory
  We were disappointed – as this is only a chocolate factory :C  They DID distill whisky in May 2016 into barrels BUT it will be another 2 years BEFORE it is able to be tasted and drunk.   So off to Howlong we went and camped on the banks of the Murray with our friends – Chris, Cathy and Ted, Penny and Dennis and Marie and Wayne.  A lovely evening and it was amazing how much the water had dropped the next morning (about 12” or 30cm).
 Murray River at Howlong in pm

 and zooming in on the sign next morning, you can see earth :D
Tuesday four rigs headed off toward Cootamundra – up the Hume highway and stopped at Holbrook for fuel and then on to Dog on Tuckerbox (lunch)

 and then on to a rest area just south of Young.  We had about 8 other campers with us.
Wednesday we headed off to Gulgong and camped the night in the Showgrounds.  Everyone took the opportunity to top up with water, recharge big items and enjoy a shower where you didn’t turn off the water constantly.
Thursday 2 rigs headed out to Willow tree via Coolah, Premer and Quirindi and the other 2 stayed to investigate Gulgong before heading out via Merriwa, Scone and Murrurundi to Willow Tree.  We were arriving here for the official opening of the Willow Tree Recreational Ground Freedom Camp on Friday Morning.   The camp fees are $15 per night with power and water, showers and toilets.
 part of the camping area

 our set up

 part of the crowd

 The official Opening

 It is right on the main Northern rail line and there are lots of coal trains on this line.  Each time we counted the ‘trucks’ there were 82 of them being pulled by 3 engines.  We would wave to the drivers and also to the passengers on the Brisbane train whenever they went past.  We had had three days of NO rain and then at 4pm the skies opened and poured for about an hour – so once it abated everyone came out for happy hour and I sat and completed my latest basket.
The opening on Friday went really well and I was interviewed by the Channel 7 local news and I have been told that I was on screen for about 10 seconds during the aired interview.  After the opening was completed about 7 of the vans left and left 2 of us to sit back and relax.  We were joined about 2pm by another van.  The campground is situated right next to the Bowling club so we all headed off for dinner, which was quite nice.

Saturday 29th we vegged around the vans and I completed my sewing craft from Shepparton
  2 sets of Christmas Placemats using Chicken Scratch Embroidery

 and then on Sunday we went to Quirindi to do the shopping and take our friend, Chris, out to Wallabadah to the Memorial to the First and Second Fleets to Australia.  It was a bit of a shame that the grounds needed attention, but lots of campers were taking advantage of the camping available here also
Monday 31st we were going to leave but wanted to pay a visit to Nundle first.  They have working woollen mill there that was great and then after lunch at the Mount Misery Gold Mine, we went up to Hanging Rock and Sheba dams before heading back to Willow Tree.  We arrived back at 3.30pm so stayed another night.

Tuesday 1st Nov we said good bye to our friend Chris who was heading to Newcastle to visit her family, and we headed up to Manilla  to visit with our friend Sue and her lovely Mum.  We had a great catch up and a fantastic Lunch and then watched the Melbourne Cup with Sue and her Mum.  At 5pm we headed off and got to Barraba for the night.
Wednesday 2nd we went to Bingara (did the shopping) and made use of the dump point before travelling on.  I was not too good – had a pain behind my eyes, doing my ‘dance’ and feeling quite unwell.  Darryl kept driving and we arrived in Texas QLD and out of daylight saving and then I slept for about 4 hours.  My ‘dancing’ had stopped but the pain behind my left eye was still there whenever I coughed.  We spent two lovely nights at Texas.
Friday 4th we headed up through Millmerran (Got some more milk) and then up the track to Cecil Plains.  We are going to camp here for 3 nights before heading towards Caboolture to get the van serviced.

So there you have it.  Most of what we have been up too.