The Night the Lights Went out at Elphinstone-The Finale

Debris on the bridge.

Debris on the bridge.

Our camp was in front of the tree in the middle.

Our camp was in front of the tree in the middle.

One of the many fish making his way to the Lake from the hills.

One of the many fish making his way to the Lake from the hills.

Middle Sister and I finally getting to sit down at 4am. The smiles hide the exhaustion.

Middle Sister and I finally getting to sit down at 4am. The smiles hide the exhaustion.

The rescuers were helping Bil get his tinny trailer out of its predicament, but the terrain, rain and alcohol were not helping.

Bils trailer was stuck, and Bils ute was now stuck. 3 wheels on the ground.

Rescue came in an almost disastrous way, a Hilux with more spotlights than a 4wd display wall, tore down the once road and straight onto its side in the now massive gutter.

There were gasps from us, and laughs from his mates, but the gods were certainly on our side, and defying gravity and logic, he drove that ute sideways out of the rut and back onto 4 wheels, to pull Bils ute and trailer from their muddy graves.

Dan managed to get our ute and trailer up top, and our mad rescuer let us, and helped us, load all the rest of our gear into his ute, while Bil went and retrieved his boat from the steadily rising lake.

Finally the last car and person were up on high ground.

The kids were divided between cars and most were sound asleep, Mum was weary and worried, but they were all safe and dry.

And still it rained.

The safe high ground we were on was just a foot of flowing water, but there was nowhere else left to go.

Bil went back to bed, our rescuers went back to their camps, (after much thanks), Dan poured a rum, grabbed me a beer and Middle sister a red bull, and we sat under a picnic shade to wait till morning.

It was 4.am.

We debriefed and laughed and shook our heads and then once the adrenalin had worn off, shivered and finally felt the ache in our muscles.

As the world lit up, the rain eased off and we could finally see the results of the madness in the night.

Our rescuers boat had upped anchor so Dan went off with him to retrieve it, our other neighbour had left his boat trailer on the edge and his gear was now floating all over the lake, with his trailer well and truly under.

Fish and crabs were flipping and crawling in the now small streams from the hills, headed serenely into the Lake. It was an amazing sight!

We unloaded the gear from Bils ute, and the rescue ute and repacked it all as best we could.

The kids had chips, poppers and banana bread for breakfast and we headed for home. The road was in a terrible state, covered in debris and the Isaac Bridge had strips of bitumen peeled off like icing (you know that hard icing that icing that no one likes).

It was a very long trip with no sleep and Mum had to turn around and come back through Moranbah as the road was cut to Mackay.

There were a few stops, and hits of sugar to keep us all on our game for the drive and the next few days were full of unpacking, hosing, drying and repacking. And sleeping.

What a bloody night.

Now we all want caravans, and can you blame us?

 

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