The landscape continues to change as we head NE to Hughenden, from black soil downs, rolling Mitchell Grass plain, desert uplands and to the prehistoric Eromanga sea. The drive is only a couple of hundred kms away however we go through two towns, including Stamford which has a population of 5. Today is race day in Stamford and the staff at the Road House come School assured us that the town will be pumping by this afternoon. You can imagine the jokes derived from this place. Upon arrival of the caravan park the kids play with the neighbours whilst mum and dad set up. We are getting pretty good at this set up caper now and close in on another set up record. Hughenden is another town steeped in dinosaur history and once again the town has capitalised on this with another museum of artefacts and memorabilia.
The stand out is “Hughie” a life size replica of the Muttaburrasaurus cast from the original bones discovered on a property near the town of Muttaburra. There are so many interactive fossils for the kids to touch and feel; its incredible to be a part of such history.
The following day we venture to Porcupine Gorge, located approx. 70kms away. After stopping at various lookouts we arrive at the Gorge and venture down the 1.2km windy track. The gorge was fantastic and whilst eating lunch Liam lost his first tooth. Luckily the tooth fairy found us that night and deposited the grand sum of $1 for his troubles. After lunch Mike and the kids had a swim and were able to cool down on this 33 degree winters day. I think the swim was just the tonic prior to the steep ascension, particularly Mike who had Maddox on top of the kids back pack carrier, which he never complains about wearing…ha ha
We discover part of the old dingo fence that runs 2,500km. This used to protect sheep and cattle from Dingo attacks and is reputedly the longest fence in the world. So glad we don’t have to repair it. We find another bizarre site, a 500 feet deep whistling bore. ????????????
The following day, and prior to departing the sleepy town of Hughenden (a town where a couple of days is probably enough), we decided to have a quick stop at the BMX track so the kids could let off some steam. Well, it was only a matter of time before one of the kids ended up in hospital. The eldest, Michael, thought he was 25 years younger and jumped on Yasmins bike. Thinking he was still as capable today as back then, went off a jump and got it all wrong landing heavily on the corner of his left shoulder and side of his face. At first we all thought he was performing however upon closer inspection he was a bit worse for wear. In a semiconscious state he was complaining about his left shoulder whilst blood was trickling down his left cheek from a gash just above his left eye. After convincing Mike he should see a doctor, and eventually getting the kids bikes back on the roof racks, we headed to the doctor. After being prescribed some panadeine forte and anti inflammatories Mike got sent off to the Hospital for X Rays however was twice sent away due to various medical emergencies (only 1 doctor in town and 2 nurses on shift). With the likelihood of not having X Rays done that day we booked a motel room for the night. This was luxury, a dodgy little motel room with a fridge, AC & bathroom. We then decided to really splurge and had dinner at the local chinese restaurant. It was a true outback chinese experience and we had a combination of chinese food, fish and chips and ice cream.
After heading to the hospital and finally getting X-Rays done, Mike then took them to the doctor who firstly stated there was no break but then said there could be a small fracture. The doctor seemed quite confused and said there appears to be some abnormalities in the shoulder and said perhaps we should wait for a Specialists assessment which is located in Townsville. In other words, we don’t know what is going on and we are certainly not staying here another week, waiting for results. So we push onto the next town – with an arm in sling and the thought of how I will erect the camper trailer on my own.