Sunday, September 5, 2010

Father's Day

I always get a Father's Day present. I know it seems strange because I also get a Mother's Day present. Yes, it's double-dipping, but I've done both jobs for so long I think I deserve the recognition for it.

Tomorrow is Father's Day here and Lauren gave me my present tonight.

F111 during afterburn
Tonight was the annual Riverfire celebration. Basically it's an hour of fireworks along the river that bisects the city. Before and after we have an F111 fly over and afterburn. It's a spectacular sight and this year was the last year for the F111s before they're retired from active service. Lauren rang at 5pm to see what my plans for the evening were.

The fireworks.
"Want to come up to Mt Gravatt and watch the fireworks from there?"

"Sure, sounds fun. What time?"

"I'll meet you at the bottom of the mountain at 6."

That's right. The bottom of the mountain. The road was closed off for the night as Mt Gravatt is a popular place to go to view the fireworks over the city. It's far enough away from the city so we can see the whole show without the interference of the bends in the river or the crowds. We can't hear the music either but that's not such a big problem. We get the birds' eye view. But it's nearly 2km from the road closure up to the top, and with the road closed we had to walk.

It took us nearly half an hour to walk up to the top. We were more interested in chatting so we just took our time and enjoyed the evening. The view from the top is spectacular with the city laid out all around us. Spring has just begun so the breeze was cool with a promise of rain later. Cool here in Queensland means that about half the people up there with us needed long sleeved shirts but mostly short sleeves were fine, even at night.

Afterwards we started the walk down again. Someone in the crowd called out 'shortcut' and, like sheep, we all followed a narrow, barely visible path down the mountain in the pitch black. The path was so steep it was like walking down a very steep flight of steps, only there weren't any steps, just slippery grass and gravel. And did I mention it was night time and dark?

Of course I can't ever suffer in silence.

Me: "We'll never find our way out. We'll still be wandering around the bush in three days."

Lauren: "You didn't bring any water with you, did you?"

Me: "No, but I know how to gather the dew from leaves in the morning."

Lauren: "Oh good. We'll be fine then."

Me: "They'll probably find our bodies next week."

Lauren: "No. With so many of us going missing at the same time, they'll find us before then."

You can't argue with that logic. It took less than 15 minutes to reach the road again.

Just to put it in perspective Mt Gravatt is a popular destination for walkers, runners and cyclists, and it's surrounded by suburbia. I've walked up there fairly often myself and have used the shortcut - in the daylight. It feels different at night because there's no perspective on distance or direction. And there were kids in the group I could scare. Couldn't miss that opportunity!

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