Today finds the family camping on the banks of Lake Dyer, just a km or so away from central Laidley. It's a beautiful campsite, set up only about 50m from the water, with plenty of shade trees, well appointed sites with lots of room, lush grass and picturesque views across the Lockyer Valley.
We stumbled onto this place quite by accident. My husband was born out here, and on a Sunday drive out to his birthplace we followed the signs to assuage our curiosity. That was about four years ago, in the middle of the drought. There was about 20% capacity back then and the grounds were a barren dust bowl.
Post floods and we now have 99% capacity, and it's green all round.
If you listen closely you can hear the trains as they travel through town on the way west to Toowoomba and beyond. There are plenty of boats on the dam as well, so the throb of boat engines is a constant, but not annoying sound.
Jordan and I came up last night with the camper trailer to set up. Now when we got here there were 20+ people in the communal area next to us, watching me drive in, back up and set up. I'm not one for looking like a fool in front of strangers, but have to admit I was proud of our efforts and we were soon sitting in the comfort of our annex enjoying the cool afternoon breeze, listening to some tunes and just passing time in our own little piece of country paradise.
As the sun sank toward the horizon, we wandered over to the banks of the lake to watch the spectacle of the sun setting behind the mountains in the distance. There was a distinct chill in the air and we congratulated ourselves on having the forethought to pack light coats "just in case". We followed that with a text to the boys to pack for a cool night when they come up.
They stayed behind the first night so Hayden could play cricket on Saturday morning and once that was over, the plan was to have them tow the boat up so we could play on the dam.
I love just getting back to the easy life, pitching camp and watching the world go by. I've finished one of my books already (Jordan is onto her third) and am catching up on a few magazines as well. Camping is ideal for me, because I don't feel the need to do anything while we are here. We don't have to organise excursions or activities, we just take each day as it comes. If we want to wander over for a swim, we do. If we want to have a nana nap in the afternoon, well that's ok too.
I love the sounds of the country, the birds singing, the wind rustling the leaves on the native trees that are abundant on our site. I love watching the way the colours change on the leaves as the sun begins to wane in the sky, the galahs flying overhead on their way home and the sounds of silence as camp begins to settle. The clink of cutlery, pots and pans as dinners are prepared, the whistle of kettles boiling, the hiss of gas stoves cooking away - all sounds that bring a smile to my face.
And as night sets in, the bats come out and wing their way across the sky, dark silhouettes on a darkening backdrop. The birds go quiet and one by one the stars come out. Last night I reacquainted myself with some old friends - constellations that are only barely visible in the city night sky are luminous in the country where light pollution is low.
Taurus, Aries, Pleiades, Orion, Canus Major and Minor, Leo, Triangullum, Scorpio and of course the Southern Cross all twinkled across the night sky - ok, I saw Scorpio on a toilet run at 2am, but still saw it! It also helps having an app on my iPad to help me identify new clusters in the night sky.
And so to bed. Gorgeous night, not too hot to sleep and cool enough to enjoy the light summer doona's comfort. Can't wait to see what the new day brings...