a true town.

the days keep passing by.
the weeks keep passing by.

i open the document on my desktop labeled blog and glance over my notes. shit. this stuff happened almost three weeks ago. i want to relive every moment with you, but they all seem to be fading into the past. fading is maybe the wrong word. the memories are there, engrained on me forever, but the present seems to be where my mind is. living instead of reliving.

yet i want everyone at home to be with me. to share in this journey with me. this crazy thing i call my life.

so i’ll do it. go back in time. to friday, december 6, 2013.

we arrived in townsville in the evening. pulled up behind a mangled sports car on the street and were welcomed by two dogs and two friends. tammy and tyson. a beautiful family that ryan has known for years. the old climbing gang. the old climbing gang who now has three kids.

the boys gave up their bedroom for us and after an hour or so of catching up about ryan’s past year of adventures and reminiscing about the good old days, we curled up to sleep. each in our respective twin size bed complete with spiderman covers.

our time in townsville was about community.

a quick morning tour was enough to give me a taste of life in this comfortable, quaint town. it has that old sense of charm with a modern edge. probably one of the best representations of the word “town” i have ever seen. every corner has an old queenslander style pub waiting to serve you an ice cold beer.

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you can taste the ocean salt as you look out at the multiple islands scattered throughout the water.

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and when you drive up to the top of castle hill (a massive hill in the middle of a very flat town), you can see it all. every nook and cranny of townsville.

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we even got a bit of entertainment of some aussie truckers awaiting their next load. the stereotyped american trucker seems to translate pretty accurately to the aussie trucker. these men were fully intoxicated at 11am and missing most of their teeth. i could not help but love them.

then off to the “working bee” christmas party with tammy and tyson and their community.

the concept: many hands make light work.
the outcome: ryan helping scrub a deck while i played with a zillion kids.

and of course, there was a white elephant gift exchange complete with the steal rule. we had a gift bag mystery incident at the store (ie i bought two gift bags that immediately went missing two minutes after handing the cashier $3) so we had to improvise on our wrapping… (i’m sure you can guess which two presents we brought.)

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after a delicious taco dinner and several amazing desserts (tammy owns her own baking company, babycakes & co), we got straight to business.

it’s all about strategy.

we ended up with honey roasted peanuts and a variety pack of chocolates. perfect road trip food. and a perfect end to a fun evening with a piece of the townsville community.

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the next day it was time to pack up and head out, but tyson made sure we didn’t leave without getting some climbing in. so we all grabbed our gear and made our way to hervey’s marbles, a boulder field on the cross over the great dividing range. it is not what i would call the best bouldering, but it was fun. and defeating. after a month of consistent climbing followed by a month of no climbing, bouldering felt like the hardest thing in the world.

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and then it was good-bye.

and then it was hello…

…to the perfect spot to roll out the swag.

a creekside piece of paradise complete with a tree swing and sunset.

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now you might be asking yourself, what is this “swag” thing she rolled out. it’s basically the perfect road tripping contraption. a waterproof canvas tent-like outer shell. a zippable mosquito net liner. a thin mattress covered with your sleeping bag and pillow. roll it up and pop it in the truck for travel. unroll it and and tie to the truck for sleeping.

however, i will give you one piece of advice: trying to sleep two people in a one person swag with the mosquito net zipped by necessity and temperatures around 90 degrees is not very fun. even when you like the person next to you…

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but alas, we feel asleep in the heat. we were just outside charters towers and that is just where we were going to stay. at least for the night. in the morning it was time to start heading west to the northern territory…

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