SUNDAY 4 JUNE OPALTON
Last night seemed a little warmer and the sky was blue again today.
John went noodling on the heaps after breakfast.
The creepy one left – good!
We went for a walk after lunch, taking the back track towards the Outpost. We passed quite a substantial stone house, looking un-lived-in. Thought it might belong to seasonal miners, but B told us later that it belonged to a Winton man. The story was that in his poking about for opal, he dug up some bones by Sandy Creek, reputed to be those of three old timers who had been murdered. He took the bones to his house. He then had a ferociously scary night and since then had refused to ever sleep again in the house, believing it to be haunted by the murdered men! He wanted $25,000 to sell it, though.
We did a bit of specking as we walked. There were lots of old mine shafts on the flats.
As we made our way back, a resident from a camp near the Bush Camp, came across to us and showed us an opal he’d just noodled on the nearby heaps. As he spoke to us, he kept his face turned away from us – not sure if he was ashamed of his teeth, or did not want to be identified! (We had earlier commented to ourselves that a foray through this area and the surrounding hill country would make a dent in various State Most Wanted lists!)
Anyway, the gent said we could noodle in that area. He came back a few minutes later – he’d cracked the stone and reckoned he’d just made $2000-$3000! So he was very happy – obviously he’d needed to tell someone!
We noodled there very enthusiastically, but it was pretty late in the afternoon and we couldn’t really see well enough. Next time!
A low loader trundled in carrying an excavator. He seemed a bit lost. He said he had to go 35kms beyond the airstrip. That was rather vague, but we thought his destination was possibly Devil Devil or Opal Creek, and were wondering how on earth to describe the way to him. Then a 4WD came by and said he’d lead him out there.
I made pumpkin soup. We had that for tea with salmon steaks and salad.
The battery seemed to be struggling to power the fridge now. Some of the things in the freezebox seemed to be softening a bit. Clearly, we needed to revisit our whole solar power system and its adequacy, at some stage.
The kero lamp had given up working too – blocked jets?
This was our last night round our campfire. It was a good. clear night for it – the starry sky was brilliant.
It had been a great stay out here, marred only by the power supply issue.