Monday, May 23, 2011

Mosaic Monday ... Leaving On A Jet Plane

My baby boy is heading off overseas again.  Last time he was away for over a year, but this time I think it will probably be a lot longer.  He and his partner are heading back to her home on the Emerald Isle and they're both looking forward to this adventure together.

Thankfully they were able to come and visit for a while.  Our baby boy hasn't lived at home for around eight years now and so he made sure he visited all the family and the old haunts.  On the last day of their little break with us, he asked if we could all take a drive up into the ranges to the north of our city ... about 60 kilometres from our city centre and way on the opposite side of where we live.

It's a wet tropics area in these northern ranges and, appropriately, it was a dreary drizzly day where we were able to reach out and touch the low-lying clouds whilst driving through the small township at the top of the ranges.

We had a very pleasant drive, stopping to have a picnic lunch and a wander around.   Not only was it a great opportunity to get the two young city-dwellers out into a rainforest area, listening to the sounds of nature and feasting their eyes on the birds and butterflies living in that area, it was a chance to remind our son of one of the links that exists between previous generations of his family and the area here in north Queensland that was his home for so many years.

Mt. Spec Road, which stretches for approximately 18 kilometres up into the Paluma ranges, includes the concrete arch bridge over Little Crystal Creek.  This road was constructed between 1930 and 1936, at the height of the Great Depression, using mostly unskilled labour.  It was the largest Unemplyment Relief project in this region.  Not only was it an extremely difficult and ambitious project, that eventually took six years to complete, it turned out to be quite dangerous as well, with some loss of life.

Our baby boy's great-grandfather was one of the labourers who hacked out the original road up into the rainforest-covered ranges, and build the concrete arch bridge, dressed with stone, that arches Little Crystal Creek.  The teams of labourers had to live in rustic camps in the mosquito-infested rainforest while they were employed on this project, and they didn't get to see their families for anything up to a year at a time.  Working conditions were hard and these men were mostly living in isolation.

My husband's dad can remember his father talking about waiting for the horse-drawn carts that would take a week or more to get up the ranges to deliver a bag of 'goodies' sent from the family living back home. 'Goodies' were things like tobacco, soap, home-made griddle cakes, socks and blankets. 

It was a fabulous day ... great surroundings, great stories and great company!

I'm joining Mary at Little Red House for her Mosaic Monday meme, so please drop over and visit.


  1. It doesn't matter how old they are or how far they go you miss them. Lovely photos Bernie.

  2. Oh so true, Sue! Hopefully Mick and I will have the chance to get over there to see them both in the future. We'll have to swing by Romsey on the way!!!

  3. Fascinating post. Best wishes to your 'baby boy' and his partner, I hope you get to visit them soon.

  4. What a great post! Glad you all had fun, memorable visit and time together. So neat to have that concrete bridge in your family history too.

    Wonderful photos. Thanks for sharing.


  5. Such grand pictures!! The scenery is just breathtaking! Have a wonderful day! Cathy

  6. What a great day, almost looks prehistoric with the rock formations and waterfalls. It is hard to believe how fast our children grow and are gone.


  7. that's the good thing about pets - they're loyal and don't leave home (lol)

  8. Great post with a sad ending. It is hard to say good bye but Skype is a great invention. Love the waterfall and the bridge with its interesting history.

  9. Beautiful scenery,I love the bridge!

  10. Sounds like you had a wonderful day and time with your son. I love these old stone bridges. Does it ever stop raining in Queensland. At long last we had a deluge in our corner of WA on Friday, but sunny skys again since then. It did the garden good.

  11. So hard when the little birds leave the nest for lands faraway. You live in a beautiful country Bernie, love the water pictures. Take care and hugs Jen.

  12. It's so hard to say good bye to them, isn't it? Today is my boy's birthday - hardly a boy at 31, but he'll always be one to me!
    Lovely that you could spend some time immersed in your family history before you son headed away. Those of us with roots deep in the New World need to remind the rest that history doesn't begin and end in the Old World.

  13. Great pics and great memories for your son while he's away.

  14. A weekend filled with beautiful memories, of a beautiful place! I'm sure he'll be back to visit the stone bridge again before you know it.

  15. Mac ... hopefully next year we'll get to pop over there!

    Thanks, Book.

    Flowerlady, it's always great to have the boys at home but, of course, it's becoming a rarer event as they are living their lives so far away.

    Thanks, Cathy. It was just a wonderful weekend.

    Eileen, they grow up so very quickly and then their lives take all sorts of twists and turns. Never a dull moment!

    Catmint, lol, yes that is so true! Loved your comment.

    Diane, yes thank heaves for Skype! We will definitely be making use of it.

    Wanda, the whole area is lovely. We hadn't been up there for ages, so we really enjoyed the visit.

    Jill, we've had some drizzly days here again, but nothing heavy so we're not minding it so much. This is our dry season though, so we're really not expecting much more rain until the end of the year now.

    Thanks Jen. We just hope he'll be safe, well and happy over there.

    Pondside, oh so true. Your comment is spot on! Whilst our history doesn't stretch back all that far, we have to acknowledge those who've gone before us and helped make our world what it is ... even if it was only a hundred years back.

    Thanks Missy. We'll catch up with him soon down in Brissie in the days before he actually gets on the plant, so we'll be heading down that way very soon.

    Curbstone, I don't think he'll be back for quite some time this time around. He's looking to make a life over there for at least a couple of years ... we'll see how it all pans out.

  16. What a great visit with your grown up little boy. It's such fun to do things with them as adults, especially when you can visit places where he has roots and history!

  17. I love the photos! Australia is so gorgeous it was our honeymoon location, what joy it must be to live in such a place that is not only gorgeous but has so many historical memories for your family! Thank you for sharing.


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