As I was trying to paint the outside of the house in the howling wind today, my mind wandered back, as it does when the body is involved in mind numbing activities, to the trials of camping in the wind.
One particular event that came to mind was an evening in the delightful hamlet of Waratah in the Northwest of Tasmania. We arrived and the air was still. I pitched the tent but being lazy and seeing that the wind was absent I thought I would dispense with the extra guy ropes. We slept well for most of that night until a Bass Strait gale decided to descend at about 5:30 a.m. We were shocked into alertness when the staves of the tent started bending inwards at an alarming angle and the tent thought it was a plane on a runway preparing for take off.
Camping on a quieter occasion
Scrambling out of our sleeping bags, my wife and I tried to get dressed but we had to do so with our posteriors pushed against the bucking and bending staves to stop them from snapping. After having made ourselves presentable for the outside world under extreme circumstances, we packed our gear and started dismantling the tent. But I was too eager in my removal of the pegs with the consequence that the tent then decided it wanted to fly to Antarctica. In desperation I picked up the nearest weighty object at hand and threw it on the flailing tent – this happened to be the love of my life. While she was spread-eagled on the angry tent I tried to roll it up underneath her.
Surprisingly, I accomplished this, and kept the marriage intact – which was good, as we still had many hours together in the car to manage that day.
Moral: In the future prepare for the worst and hope for the best.
Here are some more examples of public art:
The History of Campbell Town carved in an old Cypress tree
Alexander Beetle mural in Burnie Tasmania
Paper Mache people at The Makers’ Workshop Burnie Tasmania
My wife and I like looking for public art as we travel. Sometimes it makes sense and other times … it doesn’t. These do.
Penny Farthing Rider – Evandale Tasmania
Spinner – Oatlands Tasmania
Pageant in Time – The People and Occupations in Burnie Tasmania
One of my favorite places in the world to visit and revisit is Tasmania. It isn’t just that we lived there for three years many years ago that pulls us back. There is something unique about the island that makes each return a special treat.
Cataract Gorge in Flood
It is hard to put your finger on the magical quality it has. In one sense it is just like most other western societies with consumerism and supermarkets, graffiti and all the usual social problems. In that regard it is not that much different from home. Yet, at another level, its separation from the rest of the Australian rat race, its many places of retreat, its huge variety of scenery all within easy driving distance, makes it very appealing. If you are an elderly couple or a thrill seeker there is space and there are places for you.
Because I love European history, it is that aspect of Tasmania that appeals to me
most. The early European settlements, the connections with Convict History, the visual reminders of the past are all present and accessible. The bridges at Richmond and Ross are worth the trip alone.
And then there is the stunning visual beauty from rugged mountains, spectacular waterfalls to the secluded inlets and coves. Being campers we have often stayed in places that would other wise be impossible. There was a night in the Tahune State Forest, another near Hell’s Gates on the west coast that are etched in my memory. And pitching a tent on the Freycinet Peninsula is obligatory.
The aspect of Tasmania that thrills me most is that it refreshes my faith in the creator God. It reminds me that this place wasn’t an accident or a freak offshoot of chance but an glimpse of an intentional God who has a sense of beauty and magnificence. Tassie is a reminder that I need to keep my eyes and heart open for glimpses of God, not just in places, but in people and circumstances. God refreshes our soul through his Word and Spirit but there are times when He does it through what he has made.
The Infamous Port Arthur