Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Local oddities

Kemmis Creek has some fascinating history tucked away in the bush. The shack is at an old goldmine on the flanks of Mt Gotthardt. It's still working from time to time, apparently, with deep trenches following zones of mineralisation where granite has intruded the basement sediments.

The bricks are all that's left of an old copper smelter. The bricks were made at the base of the hill, near one of our drill sites. They were then hauled up the hill behind a horse and dray to build a smelter. They weren't really high temperature bricks though, as they eventually melted! The farmer told me that mining stopped when Aborigines killed 31 miners, but I haven't been able to verify this story.

Around the smelter site were several old cars, including a Chev sedan, a Ford flathead hearse and F600 pickup. The area has obviously been burnt at some point, as the vehicles had varying degrees of fire damage.

Lastly, the place is overrun with pigs! This was the biggest, and he wasn't too worried about us drilling around his foraging areas.

Kemmis Creek

For the last six weeks we've been looking for coal on Kemmis Creek station, near the town of Glenden. It's the nicest spot I've worked in, with rolling hills, lots of forest and the nearby Mt Gotthardt to climb. We've been working all the hours of daylight, so get to see some wonderful sunrises. The prickly pear has been flowering too, after overnight rain showers.

Saturday, May 26, 2007

New Zealand - friends, family and food

No entry for a while, as I spent one break working in the Brisbane office, and the last in New Zealand. Brisbane's OK, but the office is a refrigerated box. The worst day in the field (so far anyway) is better than ten hours without natural light!

New Zealand, on the other hand, was great. Flew into Wellington to see a friend, Katie. After a quick detour to the pub we got home nine hours later. Subsequent efforts proved that yoga and green-lipped mussels are not good hang-over cures. I could only spend three days with Katie - not long enough - but we went to the movies, had some great meals (banana curry anyone), and then there was the Karaoke...

On the Tuesday I sailed south on the ferry, and caught the train to Waipara. It's funny getting off a train in the middle of nowhere - they basically threw me and my bag out! The guest bed at Pemberley was so comfortable I stayed two nights (thanks Janey and Roger), and then on to see my father.

The return to Oz was via Melbourne, so by the time I got to Mackay I was buggered. Straight up to a resort I know, early tea, and a good night's sleep. Twenty channels of satellite TV counts for nowt when you're asleep by 8!