The Night the Lights went out at Elphinstone

Our camp out The Lake.

As a kid, if ever there was a spare few hours I liked to watch videos. We had a collection of classics from ‘Blood Bath and the House of Death’ to the ‘Secret Diary of Adrian Mole’ and ‘Silly Symphonies’.

These were the staples, but we also had heaps of taped off the telly video’s. The titles were written on these with Niko, sometimes crossed out multiple times as they were taped over. Usually with Rage. By Big Sister.

There was one video that always intrigued me, though I never got to watch it. Written in Niko on this one was “The night the lights went out in Georgia”.

I think I may have tried to watch it,  maybe it was so old the tape was a bit banged up and static-y, or maybe there was a few minutes of another boring movie at the start that then fuzzed into ads and then the actually movie, maybe I was always keener to watch ‘Cocktail’, I can’t really remember.

But I know I never watched it. Though the name stuck in my brain forever.

I always assumed it was some kind of dramatic saga, so when I needed a title for my own dramatic saga, which coincidentally happened at night, this is the first thing that came to my mind.

So ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the dramatic retelling of one of the many adventures of my crazy family.

The Night the Lights Went out at Elphinstone.

Part 1.

The Christmas school holidays were drawing to a fast close when we made the decision to head out to the Lake, one of our favourite campsites, for Dan’s last 5 off for the break.

What it lacks in power and reliable amenities, it makes up for with freedom and great skiing opportunities, and it has been a 2nd home for us for many, many years.

We took into account the weather forecast, and decided that a wet weekend camping was better than staying home, so we headed off, prepared for rain, and keen to get on the water.

We arrived late and set up our camp on the waters edge, watching the sun go down from our warm evening swim.

The Lake turned on some amazing water, and we skied until breakfast the following day, then until morning tea, then lunch, etc etc. My Mum arrived from Mackay and Dan and I, along with G1 set off for a quick hunt at a mates property.

No pigs to be seen, and a flat tyre put us behind schedule, meaning we didn’t get home until after dark.

And after a ripper of a storm.

My heart was in my mouth as we drove home through the storm that we knew would have gone over the lake in our absence.

Thankfully upon arrival Mum and G2 and 3 were all fine, had zipped up all the windows in camp, and pushed water from the tarp! A neighbour from up the way had even come to check on them. How awesome are some people?

The radar showed some more rain was headed our way, so before bed Dan dropped a few poles, brought in all the gear to the centre of the tarp and off we went to bed.

The heavens opened around 11pm, and boy did it rain.

We were pushing water off our tent, and as our tent is separated by about a foot from G2 and 3’s tent, communicating with them to push their water off, without getting ourselves soaked, was both hilarious and difficult.

They weren’t too scared, considering the thunder and lightning and managed to keep the water from pooling too badly.

G1 and Mum were camped in their own tents under our tarp and didn’t fare as well.

G1’s tent copped a torrent and through the driving rain she managed to yell at us that she was fine, but moving in with Grandma.

She took Duke too.

The rain eventually eased and everyone, bar Mum, who had to share her swag with leggy G1 and Duke, got some much needed sleep.

What a night!

To be continued………………………………………………………….


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