The Australia Journals: Apr. 16-17, 2010

Kookaburras in a tree during a camping trip at the Candlebark Camping Area in Lake Eildon National Park.

For background on this series of blogs, see this intro post.


One of the meteorology classes I took at Monash had a mid-semester two-night camping trip as part of the curriculum. It was meant to be a field learning experience with taking different meteorological measurements. I love camping as it is, but this allowed me to do camping with a bunch of Aussies in Australia, mix in some meteorology learning during the trip, and I got to finally spend some time with Melinda. It was one of my favorite experiences during the whole Australia trip. I already mentioned Celine in an earlier post, and mentioned there was one other woman who really caught my attention while in Australia. Melinda was that other woman. I had class with Melinda, but this was the first time I got to spend any sort of time around her. By the end of the camping trip, I was kind of wishing I hadn’t got to know her. Haha. She’ll make an appearance in one more post in a couple weeks. 

The Journal Entry

Written on April 18 about April 16-17

The past two days have been good. Yesterday I got up at 7 and got ready. It was a normal morning. We had a test in 3360. I don’t think I did too well on it. I’m hoping for a 50. I’m not sure I’ll even get that though. Elizabeth doesn’t think she did too well either. It will be interesting to see what the scores are when we get the tests back. After 3360 Elizabeth and I went to Menzies and hung out there until 3040 tute at 10:30. We started earlier yesterday so we could talk about the assignment a little bit. After the tute I came back to my room and got lunch. After lunch I chatted with John a little bit and then started getting ready for the camping trip. It was such a pain trying to figure out what to take and what not to. Actually packing was really quick. I was gonna try to fit everything in my backpack, but that wouldn’t work. I ended up using my small suitcase and having that packed full. I talked to Mom for about 10 minutes while I was packing. At about 1:50 I met Elizabeth and we walked to the pick-up point. We left at about 2:30. We took a big charter bus. I sat with Elizabeth. We stopped in Yea on the way up. Elizabeth and I both got a muffin at a bakery. They didn’t want us to eat it on the bus, though, so I had to eat mine real quick. That was a bummer. After that we went to the camping spot. We are staying at Candlebark camping area in Lake Eildon State Park. I got my stuff after I got off the bus and then had to find someone with a tent. A guy named Sheldon said he probably had room. I helped him set up his tent. After we got it up, we realized we could get 3 people in there, so a guy name Allen ended up staying in our tent as well. We got our stuff set up in the tent, and then I went and visited with Elizabeth and Melinda. Elizabeth and Melinda are staying in a tent together. They actually got the tent from our 2020 professor. After a couple minutes we went down to the campfire and hung out until dinner. I was glad there was a campfire because it got cold pretty quick after the sun went down. Dinner was pretty awesome. I had 3 sausages and a hamburger. I probably could have had more as well, but I didn’t. After dinner we had a meeting where they went over safety and stuff and then we got into groups. Elizabeth, Melinda, and I got into a group with Jane, David, and Luke. I was kind of skeptical about them at first, but they have turned out to be pretty cool. After we got into our groups they assigned us group numbers. We got group 8, which meant we had to do the hill climb at 3 A.M. That wasn’t cool. I probably would have rather gotton any other time. A group did it every 3 hours from 9 P.M. that night. After we got our group numbers we all went to the bathrooms, which were the “base station” for the hill climb measurements. Richard showed everybody how to use the measurement device. After that we all walked to the base of the hill so we all knew how to get there. It was a pretty good walk to the base of the hill. It took about 20 minutes I believe. When we got to the bottom the 9 P.M. group started their climb while the rest of us came back. On the way back, we went past some bathrooms that looked identical to the ones at our campground. Everybody thought they were ours, but then figured out they weren’t. Nobody noticed them on the walk to the hill though. It was really weird. After we got back my group got ready for bed pretty quickly since we had to get up at 3. I just brought my silk sleep sack and a blanket from my room to sleep in. I slept in my jeans and a hoodie and all. I was warm at first but ended up being pretty cold. It was hard to stay wrapped up in the blanket. It was just too small. I didn’t really get to sleep until about midnight. I woke up at 2, and didn’t really get a good sleep until 3. Our group met at the bathrooms at 3 and started our walk. I was the time person, Luke did the measurements, and Dave wrote it all down. The hill was really steep. We stopped about every 4-5 minutes to get a measurement. Jane had to stop that often to rest anyway. Nobody really complained about it though, which was nice. There was a part of the climb where it levelled out, and we thought we were almost to the top, but then it got even steeper than it was before. That was funny. We got to the top at about 4. We stayed up there for about 15-20 minutes looking at the stars and just hanging out. The stars here are awesome. You can see so much. It’s amazing. I tried to get a couple pictures. I’m not sure how they turned out. We started back down about 4:25. We stopped a few times on the way down to get some measurements. It was so much faster coming down. I couldn’t believe we were at the bottom when we got there. We got back to the bathrooms at about 5:15. We put the stuff up and then went back to our tents. The two other guys in my tent had their walk at 6 A.M. I wasn’t able to get back to sleep before they left. I think I finally fell asleep at about 6:15. I slept ok until my alarm went off at 8. It was so cold in the morning. I was really wishing I had a sleeping bag. I got up at about 8:10 and came to the campfire area to get breakfast. They had pancakes for us. They didn’t have syrup though. They just had jam, sugar, and lemon juice. So I had my pancakes with apricot jam. It was pretty good. After I finished eating I got my camera and started getting some pictures around camp. A bunch of Kookaburras had started hanging around so I got a bunch of pictures of those. They are pretty awesome looking birds. They are really annoying though. Occasionally a big group of them will start making a lot of noise all at once. It’s especially annoying when you are trying to sleep. Anyway, at about 9:30 or 9:45 we started our experiment station stuff. Our group had pibal first. We got a ride a couple of km away and then they had to get the theodolite set up. We only had a few minutes to do measurements. I tried to do it first, but lost the balloon once I had to read the Vernier scale. The second pibal group lost it real quick as well. We tried a second one. This time I tracked and Elizabeth read the scale. That was so much easier than doing it by myself. The other group lost it, and so the guy showing us how to do it said we needed to get back since we were running late. I was bummed that we couldn’t see how long we could track it for. We got back to camp at about 11. After we got back Elizabeth, Luke, Melinda, and I went on a walk to the lake. Our group had a break until lunch at 12:15. It’s amazing how much higher the lake used to be. It has gone down so much. It didn’t take very long to get to the lake. We hung out there for a few minutes and then came back. After that I just hung out in the campfire area for a while. At about 12:30 I ate my sandwiches. They did a radiosonde launch at about 1. After that I noticed some specks in the viewfinder of my camera. I spent a while trying to get that to go away, but never could. That bums me out. I guess I’ll have to try to find a place to take it in the city to get it cleaned. At about 1:45 we got back to going to our stations. We did the wind mast first, then the tethersonde, then bowen ratio, and then radiation. The tethersonde was pretty crazy. They had showed us pictures in measurements class of those, but it was cool to actually see one. There wasn’t anything too interesting about any of the other ones. We finished at about 4:45. After that I got this and started writing in it. I wrote in it until dinner was about ready. I didn’t get too far though. I put it up and then we had dinner. They made chili for us. It was pretty good. It was pretty amazing they had made that here. After dinner we had a trivia night. We competed in our teams we had been in all weekend. By the way, our team name was the Climates. That was pretty awesome. Anyway, we had trivia for a while. That was really fun. Our team did pretty bad, but that didn’t really matter. That finished at about 9:15. After that I just hung out in the campfire area. I ended up visiting with Melinda and a couple other guys until about 11:15. That was really cool. Melinda seems pretty awesome. She is really pretty. I have wanted to meet her ever since the first day of 2020 class, so it’s been pretty cool to get to do that this weekend. Last night while we were visiting she said she doesn’t drink because she is a Christian as well. That’s really cool. She swears every once in a while, though, which is a turn off for me. I hate it though because it would be cool to go on a date with her sometime, but I’m only here for about 2 more months. I’m not really sure she is as strong of a Christian as I am looking for though. It’s so frustrating. Seems like the story of my life. We’ll see what happens though. Maybe we can visit some more in class and stuff after this weekend. I don’t really forsee anything happening between us though. Anyway, at about 11:15 I had to go to the bathroom really bad so I just decided to get ready for bed as well. It is now 9:50 A.M. on the 18th. I’ll probably try to write about today when I go to bed tonight. I just wanted to get the past couple days out of the way since I had some spare time. Anyway, that’s it for now.  

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