Trust No Goblin, an interesting name for a doof, and Mt. Pikapene was the place it was held. I’m going to make this short, because I’m a bit over the whole adventure, but there’s plenty of photoblogging to be done of course 🙂
This is a huge post, and even though I hate the LJ “cuts” this one probably deserves it for low bandwidth people and so forth…
Friday I did a bunch of shopping, getting some kickass gloves for the three boys (Brian, Mitchell and I) and a new tent for myself. I’m really ecstatic with the tent I bought - an OZTrail Star Lite (2006 Edition) which is designed for hiking. It weighs about 2kg’s, takes about ten minutes to setup and is big enough for two people to sleep in comfortably 🙂 For $100 it well and truly satisfies all my needs for doofing and the (hopefully) upcoming super road trip o’ doom.
Twas a fun day, since the night before I was talking to Clairey and ended up picking her up in the morning so that we could hang out and cause mischief as we normally do 🙂 We stopped off at The Confectionery Warehouse to pick up some lollies, hoping to have as much fun Mitchell and I did the week before at the Queensland Winter Solstice event. I ended up getting a big bag of 200 fruity lollipops, a bag of mentos and a bunch of other lollies just for me 😉 One of the cool things I picked up was a lollipop with a mini Etch-A-Sketch on it, sure to provide minutes of fun when I get bored one day 🙂
We stopped at my house for me to pack up and get ready to go, then to Brian’s to go shopping and drop most of the gear off to make it easier to pack the car. It wasn’t long until 5pm, so Clairey and I headed back into the city to pick up Mitchell after work with the intention of droping Clairey off so we could leave for the weekend. Rather than letting her sit at home and us go to the doof, she was now coming along! A stop at her house to pick up her gear, then to Mitchell’s and back to Brian’s to shoehorn the gear and the people into the car and we were off 🙂
It was skooshy, but we all fit in there, and we headed down to Brian’s uncle’s house on the NSW North Coast. I can’t remember if it’s Murwillumbah or Mullimbimby, but it’s a huge beautiful house in a beautiful location, and always heaps of fun.
It had rained overnight, making for a fun trip down O_o and some beautiful plants with water droplets in the morning that Mitchell found. One day I’ll teach him about aperture and how it affects depth of field in macro shots, but these photos came out pretty nice 🙂 I really liked some shots he took one day of mushrooms in his garden, they were cool!
The morning brought an interesting challenge and an omen of things to come - Brian’s car wouldn’t start. Normal enough after a cold night in the elements, but after a jump start it wouldn’t kick over. Eventually it turned over and started, then ran fine for the rest of the day - but it was a bit weird for an EFI car to turn over but not run straight away.
This time we’d actually remembered to bring the directions, so the only time we had any problems navigating was finding our way through Lismore to head to Kyogle, then down to Casino. An hour after leaving Casino (including about 20km of dirt tracks) we were at the site!
As I’ve said before, the doof was located at Mt. Pikapene, a pine plantation area, which gave us a kickass pile of logs to pick through for firewood 🙂 We setup camp, found some firewood just before it got dark and got a fire started to keep us toasty warm throughout the night. Actually getting the fire started was a bit of a pain, since it had been raining there as well. A litre or two of kerosene later splashed around and we’d got it going enough to dry the bigger bits out and keep them going.
Not long after that, the music started, so we danced around and chilled out and I polished off a bottle or so of 2004 Buckland Gap Cabernet Merlot which I picked up a quarter-dozen for $20 on the way down. A damn good drop for the money, I say!
Eventually it was time for a sleep, many crazy adventures later. It was nice that there was some half-decent grass around, making for a makeshift hay matress under the nylon of the tent - nothing worse than having to sleep on rocky ground in the freezing cold! I love my Holeproof Explorer wooly style socks, they keep me so amazingly warm - for the first time ever I actually had to wear two pairs of them, it was that cold!
Waking up in the morning, I cooked breakfast for myself - all day breakfast kicks ASS! Beans, sausages, potato, onions, all in a can easy to reheat in my funky new billy on the gas stove o’ burnination 🙂 The music was pretty good, and the dance floor was packed for the whole day - quite a few people - which was good because they needed 400 paying entrants to cover costs.
The dancefloors were at a lower level than the carpark/camping area, and the ground was a bit muddy in some places, so someone decided to turn it into a proper waterslide. After an hour or two you could see those who’d been on (or near) the slide, being covered in a thick coating of mud or just being saturated.
As a reward for being one of the instigators of the sherbert-related fun at the Winter Solstice, the amazingly beautiful and wonderful person LauraLai bought me a giant sherbert straw as a present! I don’t know what I’m going to do with it all, eating it could nearly kill me! Thanks LauraLai!
The high point of Sunday was meeting some kickass foreign doofers - two gorgeous ladies that’d come over from Britain and a group from Israel who were great fun to talk to.
Unfortunately, with the highs come the lows - and Sunday afternoon came with a great big one. We packed up ready to leave, and the central locking had been playing up but we thought it was just the fact that the battery was flat after a cold night, and expected that a jump start should get us going again. That was not to be the case - an hour or two’s troubleshooting left us with a car that was no closer to starting, and without mobile reception or an ability to tow the car out, Brian and Shannyn got a lift back to Brisbane in the back of another group’s car, hoping to be able to sort something out overnight. Mitchell, Clairey and I were left at the doof, 20km from the closest town along roads we didn’t know, with no way of contacting the outside world and most of the doofers were gone, or were due to go early Monday morning.
Luckily, Mitchell got a lift with someone else that was heading back to Brisbane at 6am - allowing him to call into work and get the day off - and also to call my work to advise them that I may not make it. I setup the tent on Sunday night, throwing all the blankets and clothes and warm gear I could find in it because it was going to be a cold night without the fire, and Clairey and I bundled up inside and went to sleep.
Monday morning’s alarm clock was the sound of logging trucks driving past - which got our hopes up as far as the rescue went. They’re pretty cool trucks, some of them carry the back half of their trailer on the front half.
Setting up the tent was a good thing, because the car would have been really uncomfortable, and it rained that night - on Monday morning Clairey and I setup the tarp so that we’d have a little bit of shade and cover if the rain came back. It also gave us a bit more time to nap, seeing as we hadn’t slept well for the second night without a matress and in the cold.
By midday we were starting to wonder what was going to happen, having no way to contact the outside world always makes for an interesting time when you’re wanting to be somewhere else. About 2pm, we heard the welcome sounds of Brian’s Landcruiser, with car trailer in tow. Unfortunately he’d somehow hit the trailer on a fence that lay either side of a cattle grate, so there was a tyre to change and a bit of panelbeating to get it looking a little less broken.
After that was done, we had another go at jump starting the car, which didn’t work again - the starter motor would turn the engine over, but it just wouldn’t fire. While we were planning how to get the car up onto the trailer, luck jumped up and threw us a nice bonus - the courtesy light turned on, showing the car would start, and after a mad dash to get the jumper leads on, we got the car started! Huzzah indeed! 🙂
To save fuel, we put the car trailer on the commodore - it’s well capable of towing an empty trailer, and the ‘cruiser used enough fuel as it was. Then we were off! I knew that there would have to be a stop for fuel on the way back, but the battery was charging now that the engine was running, the only worry was the electrical bug that was affecting the car. Driving home, the indicators would flicker randomly, the central locking had a mind of its own, and the windscreen wipers would make their way haltingly across the windscreen in little jumps and starts. It wouldn’t do it constantly, but every so often the car woul remind us that something was not quite right.
Brian stopped for fuel in Casino, and not wanting to get in the way of the petrol station (with the trailer etc) we stopped on the other side of the road to wait with the engine running. As we went to leave, the car presented me with my favourite of its issues - when you put it in gear, you have to wait a second or two until it actually goes into gear with a clunk before driving off, else it’ll stall. Luckily, it started again first go, after giving me another ono-moment.
I got a bit lost in Lismore, not knowing exactly where to go, but after stopping for directions at a servo we were on our way again. By the time we got back across the border, the fuel was looking a bit low so we stopped at Coolangatta for fuel. I didn’t want to get stuck in the dark again with a non-working car - not to mention without a mobile, since it seems there’s no mobile phone stores anywhere in New South Wales, let alone servos that sell random accessories. After getting lined up next to the pump (yay for blocking the way with the trailer) I turned off the car, prayed and then tried to start it again. No go. Shit!
I decided to give it time, putting twenty bucks of fuel in it, paying then coming back for another go. Nothing. Hooray! I told the guy at the counter that we weren’t leaving the car there, just had to wait a little while because the car was borked, and had a smoke in the meantime. I finished my smoke, and as I walked over I noticed the little light was on again, so the mad dash was completed, key jammed in and twisted, and we were running again! I left Clairey in the car to look after it, so I could run over to the payphone and call work and beg for an E-Day (thank you David for giving me one) so I could get some sleep and have time to sort everything out.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, we drove home, dropped off Brian’s car and the trailer, grabbed whatever gear we could find and then I dropped Clairey home via Mitchell’s to say hello and tell him we got in alright. It was 9pm before I dropped Clairey off, and about ten before I got home, but boy was it great to have that first shower since Thursday night, use a toilet that wasn’t growing out of the ground, and then getting into a bed with a real mattress in a room with solid walls.
P.S. I’m probably not going to go to another Northern New South Wales doof for a while, TNG and the April Fools’ doof turned me off the whole community down there. It’s full of fuckwit stoners and people that just don’t seem as nice and as inviting as the Maleny/Queensland doof scene. If you’re in the crowd, the carpark or anywhere at a doof, and someone walks past where you are, give them a smile, respond to their hello, don’t stare them down and act all tough - get a life! And I know it’s not just me, a few Queensland people have mentioned it lately. 🙁
P.P.S. I wish Clairey hadn’t had such a shitty weekend, camping will definitely have to be on the cards sometime soon! 🙂