Earth Science Camp, Episode 3:
For the past five years, the road from our house to town has been dug up regularly from October to December, about two or three kilometres each year, to widen and improve it. Every spring/summer, we’ve had to sit in the car waiting for a man with a red ‘lollipop’ to wave us through, then jolt up and down over a load of gravel that’s just been dumped to get to the bitumenised road again. Imagine my excitement then (not), when I found out that the next stop after The Pinnacles was a tour of a road works project!
We back-tracked over roads covered the day before to go south to the Main Roads Project Office, picking up the main Engineer on the way. He thrilled the girls by telling them that a python lived in and around the office, so could they please not scare it? They took a bit of persuading that they didn’t need to be worried about it. Fortunately he didn’t tell them about the preponderance of kangaroo ticks as well until they’d been there a while (without seeing the snake).
The idea was that the Engineer would take the group on a Main Roads bus to look at where they were working on a new highway going up the coast (at the cost of $120million). But the bus was tiny and would only take half the group, so the rest stayed behind and filled up on hot drinks and biscuits. I couldn’t believe I had lasted since 6am the day before without a coffee, but I certainly appreciated the chance to have one now.
When the first group arrived back, the second ‘half’ climbed on. Oops, still not enough seats. All the kids fitted in, but there was no room for me. I was beside myself with disappointment as I went back to have another cup of coffee (she says, with a smug smile). Even the school bus driver looked like missing out, and he really was disappointed, but a road worker offered him a lift in his ute. They did offer to take me too, but I looked at the burly road worker and the equally burly bus driver squeezing themselves into the seat and thought, no, I really didn’t think so.
It wasn’t until everyone was back that I suddenly realised that I really should have given the camera to Eldest (who doesn’t have one) and got him to take lots of photos of the heavy vehicles for Dynamo, who absolutely loves that sort of thing. So I’m afraid there are no photos for this episode, not even of a carpet python, who decided on this occasion to make himself scarce. As did the ticks, I’m happy to say! You'll just have to imagine lots of men in fluorescent orange jackets, some big yellow machinery (rollers, graders, bulldozers and the like) and a LOT of dust.
...but more about the dust next time.
Facts about teenagers - No. 3 : When emotional, teenagers - male or female - shout 'Oh, my God!' , despite going to a good Catholic school which should teach them better. If they think something is good then it is described as 'Totally awesome!' or, if it's really really good it's 'totally sick, brother!'