It started pre dawn on Friday morning, three guys off on a road trip. My two sons and I driving over 1200 km in a day just to get to an airshow. As the song says "the road was long... " but the boys travelled well. Keeping the pressure on so we could get down there in the day we stopped only briefly for meal/fuel breaks and once just as the sun set to get this;
Whilst the boys were asleep when we arrived we were greeted with a magnificent night sky at Temora. This is my first go at star catching and I don't believe the image does the sky that night any justice but does show lots of room for improvement.
Whilst the nights sleep wasn't the best in the Tent Barracks, next to the airfield, the morning sky was much more rewarding, complete with contrails criss-crossing the sky.
The airshow came and went ... a fantastic day of mostly vintage aircraft , with just enough jet noise to make it worth the trip. You can see the photos here http://leighatkinsonphotography.zenfolio.com/p835269440 We were back on the road by 5pm Saturday night hoping to knock out a couple of hours to make the Sunday trip a bit more pleasurable.
ahh yes room service and a hot breakfast capped off a great nights sleep refreshing us for the days travel and exploring ahead. Our first opportunity to stop was the Parkes Radio Telescope followed by a field of wheat the boys were keen to explore (Yup city boys).
A few hours further another stop found us at a place called Hickey's Falls, which turned from an exploration up a gorge to exploring a swimming hole we discovered, much to the boys delight.
An hour or so swimming in the water hole and I felt ready to get back on the road. The boys had loved the stop and the swim did them the world of good ... no swimmers or towels (just off with the shirts and shoes and in!), two boys exploring and playing.
Around 30 hours on the road, 2450km over three days, chance to catch up with some old friends at a fantastic airshow (Warbirds Downunder), foregettable numbers of road works and fuel stops, immeasurable number of bugs washed and wiped from the windscreen and we were home safe and sound by 10:30pm Sunday night.
It was a fabulous experience, but next year I think we will plan the trip a bit different.
Tears still in his eyes, his clothes and hands covered in dirt, with fresh blood on his elbow from a fall from his bike. Maybe not looking his best and certainly not feeling his best right at this moment ... Riley took a few minutes to compose himself and then all he was interested in was strapping his sweaty helmet back on and getting back on his bike to tackle the hill that had been the cause of his fall.
The hurt and even the scabs and scars will eventually fade but the feeling of determination that drove him to get back in the saddle and try again will not, because in a little way he has taught himself that persistence pays off. That attitude will serve him well in all of the challenges that lay ahead in life for this fine young man.
I try to instil in my boys that failure is not falling off your bike ... failure is not getting back on the bike. Sure, you should take a moment to sit down in the shade and compose yourself, dust yourself off and then, when your ready get back on the bike and get up that hill.
At his best!
To celebrate Riley's 8th Birthday we took some friends of his indoor rock climbing. Its amazing how quickly the boys take to this. Below, Cooper is challenging himself climbing the holes in the wall. Its fabulous to watch them from the first, in some cases nervous, steps onto the wall, each time getting higher, growing in confidence and their faces beaming in smiles.
There is no doubt that being a parent is one of life's greatest adventures. The two fine young men that I have the privilege of being Father to inspire and motivate me, they are a source of pride and wonder and never cease to amaze me. The fact that I get to share this adventure with a such a wonderful lady, makes it all the more special.