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04 December 2020

road trip log

 4 7 20

independence day. one last moving-out errand. boomba has kindly agreed to take his subaru back and keep an eye on her for a while for us so i drive it up to preston and say hello and goodbye to rueben and maeve. uber back to jeremy and candace's house.   jeremy pumps up our tires at the last minute.  bikes are strapped to the back and we are outta heidelberg.  on the road! finally!  gassed up and ready to rocket for the northern border.

we have a pretty long day and cross into NSW and arrive at the caravan park in Wonboyn after dark.  lots of permanents.  victoria meets one of those qanon idiots ive read about. they give us oysters.  very friendly.

5 7

on our way out of wonboyn we stop and get some oysters of our own at the seaside.  the lady ivery friendly and tells us about how the fires came through.  there are burnt thing everywhere and lots of brand new infrastructure.  we find wild camp outside a tiny town called tantawangalo.  dig a hole.  there is a creek nearby for freezing cold swimming and a paddock with a very noisy cow across the creek.  we will stay hiding out here until we get our covid test results.

6 7

results in the morning.  all clear. we can travel away from the plague zone guilt-free.  put oysters on the fire to pop em open.  we stay another night because its nice and secluded.  victoria gives herself a buzzcut. we have a celebratory party of two while huddling to keep warm. 

7 7

this place is not far from the road but still nice an secluded.  there are still some van jobs that need doing.

9 7 

pack up and head north.  we see a camel in a paddock while driving.  get to cobargo.  hunt around for teejay for a while since we are not quite sure what to do. we need marching orders as we are here to work!   check in to the cobargo pub and set up doris out back. expected to park in someones yard for free but we dunno what to do and its only like 15 bucks so we park out back the pub. it is cooold.  so much fire damage.  reconstruction is clearly ongoing.  drink beers at the pub w teejay until nightfall.  teejay will sort us out tomorrow.

10 7

no work today. maybe tomorrow. brad meets up w us at the pub.  the cobargo pub is an experience. its very big with tvs and pokies and that garbage but that doesnt quite ruin it.  there is a massive beer garden and even though its fucking freezing we prefer that to the news or sports or whatever. teejay recommends the schnitty. briefly meet spud and sean. spud says we should set up in the showgrounds.  theres power and water there and its free since we are fire relief volunteers.  we make the move and brad and teejay come over to the van for drinks and lots of rain happens and we are unprepared and get pretty soaked but the bottles of wine soften the blow.  

13 7 

first day of work.  mill around a bit looking for something to do.  brad needs a minute to  figure out what needs doing and what we are capable of doing etc.  the fire damage all around is harrowing.  melted cars.  exploded gas tanks.  literal scorched earth.  the hills surrounding the town are covered in trees that are burnt matchsticks.    spud feeds us pies for lunch.  we are going to like working here.  i don a hazmat suit and start cutting and hanging insulation. spud suggests moving to underneath the horse shed to get out of the wind and rain.  winter in cobargo.

14 7

we move to the horse shed and everything has a chance to dry out.  not a day too soon because the wind that whips through here is a strong fucker.  you can imagine what it was like in january, stinking hot, dry and windy and then here comes the fire.  more insulation today, almost done with the exterior walls. we are also right by the showers and laundry which is handy.  people drive their dogs to the showgrounds, the dogs get out and run alongside the cars which drive the loop around the showgrounds, then the dog gets back in and they drive home.  

15 7 

insulation mostly done.  hanging plywood sheets onto the framing with liquid nails and brad gun.  wally is a good dog. magpies are noisy around the van in the morning.  we ride our bikes over to spud's as a nice 45 second commute.  cobargo small town vibe.  talking of news of who is still in tents and red cross donations and other chartitable acts coming their way. the fibreglass didnt mess me up like i was told. no significant itching.


16 7

trivia night at the cobargo pub. we come in second place.  we hear about how folks watched the trees explode on new years eve. it is cold. they think we are martians for riding our bicycles for the 800 meter journey back to doris. 

17 7 

up to narooma today to make party. meet up with sparklefam and carlos at carlos's dad's house. cheese party and late night steam blowing off. carlos works for red cross and has some intense fire stories.  the hot tub seems to not make water hot anymore. attempts are made using the stove to heat water pot by pot.  this is the signal to me that it is time for bed.

18 7

get back to cobargo a little dusty. realize i left my camera in narooma. damn. luckily its saturday and no insulation is to be hung today. just us instead.

20 7

brad calls in sick so no work.

24 7 

last day at spuds. victoria and i hang the ceiling sheets in the bathroom. it is a very fun job and it takes us all day.  quitting time comes on gradually today with more and more pf spuds mates showing up.  it feels more and more like a party vibe.  the fireplace is in now and spud sparks it up for the very first time.  he's so happy.  pizza gets ordered.  beers.  wally is cruising around for scraps.  carlos drives down from narooma and drops off my camera. amazing.

25 7

convoy with brad up to jervis bay to meet up with matt and casey.  it is raining.  it doesnt stop.we eat good food and hunker down.

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