We drove to Warracknabeal and stopped in a very pleasant, shady picnic area beside the only bit of Yarriambiak Creek which still has water. All the herons for miles around were there hoping to find fish. While Jean had a rest, I took the car off the trailer and drove 20 km to a site north of here and returned in time for lunch.
We needed to do some serious stuff like registering the truck and replacing a broken tail light on the car, and to get the mail so we booked into the caravan park by the river for a week. We will be able to check out many sites round here by doing trips in the Little Motley.
The truck is now registered in Victoria. We save a heap registering it in Victoria instead of Queensland and all they wanted was a receipt from the caravan park as evidence of residency. We now have a Victorian truck towing a Queensland trailer carrying a West Australian car all driven by a NSW driver. We can't get more multi-cultural than that!
The truck is booked in for a major service on Tuesday and the new lens for the Terios tail light is on order. We have four clear days to survey all the sites within a 100 km radius.
The electric steps have been out of action for a couple of weeks and I had decided that I would spend some time trying to find the cause of the problem. I woke up with a strong feeling that I should check the steps out again before taking the drains up so I used a magnet to actuate the door switch. Since this worked OK I investigated the magnet in the door and found that the door was bent and wasn't closing properly at the bottom. A slight correction to the door was all that was required to restoring the steps to proper operation. It's amazing how much better we do diagnosis while asleep. I am reminded of the most important lesson I ever learned from a boss, in this case Col Smith, who once offered to me one of his rules for good management "Don't make the decision before you have to". If I had tried to solve this problem when it first occurred, I would have modified the steps to manual electric operation and then removed the controller and tried to find the fault inside the box without the benefit of a circuit diagram.
The Procters turned up on Sunday and we had curry and rice for dinner and lots of chat catching up on our various adventures since we had last met at Xmas time. They have been busy surveying sites right across tho North east Victoria and needed a few days to catch their breath so they decided to come to Horsham and spend some time with us.
On Monday, we all attended an Australia Day breakfast in the nearby park. It was a smallish gathering but the atmosphere was nice and I enjoyed the ceremony. One of the pipers was congratulated on his sixty years of membership of the pipe band!
In the evening, the Procters took us to dinner in the pub and afterwards we drove to the weir which creates the lake which is such a feature of the town. On the way we couldn't but notice how neat and tidy the town is. Clearly everyone is proud of their town but I suspect that there is someone in command of the community who wants the town to be the way it is and who knows how to get people to do the right thing.
At the weir we met a local farmer's son who lives in Horsham and who told us how good it is to live on the Wimmera River. His great-great-grandfather settled here in the very early days and his family have been farming the same land ever since. He told us how the Wimmera River floods several time a year, except in bad drought times like now, and keeps the river ecosystem alive and well.
On Tuesday I took the Little Motley to the Little Desert National Park and to the Mt Arapiles-Tooan State Park to do some more site surveys. At the Little Desert National Park Office I talked to the ranger about the state of the park and he told me that they release environmental flows from the water storages in the Grampians to maintain the health of the Wimmera River because it is so important to health of all of the Wimmera. Though the Wimmera peters out in the Big Desert even in the best of years, and much sooner than that normally, the river allows agriculture over a wide area which would otherwise be unproductive.
Mount Arapiles was as impressive as ever with the sun shining on it and showing its massive grandeur to perfection. It takes a lot of skill, time and viewpoint selection to photograph it. This is a very amateur picture of it.
We had to wait for the new tail light for the Terios so we stayed on a few more days. Jean went to the podiatrist and I caught up on some chores.