We had a interesting and innovative time away. Because of a variety of factors, we couldn’t stay the weekend at the farm we originally planned to stay. But, that was ok, because we had plan B to fall back on. And we went camped the night at Oallen Ford, along the Shoalhaven River. It was dark when we arrived, and apart from one other 4wd parked away from us, we had the place to ourselves and we quickly found a good spot and set up camp.
Muggins here, soon discovered he had forgotten the bag of tent pegs and rope. Luckily I always carry spare rope with me, so that was not a problem. But what to do about the tent pegs? We scouted around all the other empty campsites and found 1 tent peg. Hmmm, what to do, we really need another 3, and the one we found was one of those small light tents, and wasn’t that suitable for our needs.
Lord, help me, show me what to do, I quickly prayed. A flash of inspiration came to me, as I realised I had solid pegs attached to the traps. However, they were the type that had an eyelet at the top, with the chain link looped through; instead of being a hook shape like a normal tent peg. Again I prayed, “Lord, how can I use these?” And the thought came to mind, use the trap spring to connect the tent base to the peg. (I was using trampoline springs to use on the traps, which would buffer the tugging of any caught animal)
It worked brilliantly and we soon had the tent up. Thank you Lord! We quickly got the fire going and sat in front of it for a while, enjoying its warmth. A few spits of wet stuff, started to sizzle on the fire and it started to drizzle. I quickly threw a rope over a nearby tree limb, and stretched it over the tent, erected a tent pole in front and pegged it to the ground with another rabbit trap. And stretched the tarp over the tent, and was able to tie it off to the barrier cable of the fence we were camped beside.
I was a bit excited. We saw heaps of rabbits around and I had no qualms about setting some traps near the burrows; but, shooting was out of the question, as it was on public land. The night went without a hitch. There is something about fresh air and the bush which clears out the sinuses, fills the lungs and calms the inner man. (It does for me anyways.) I started the fire, got the billy going and went for a stroll to check out the scenery to see if a rabbit might be in the offing.
***Dang. I soon had a friendly four legged friend following me through the bush. The owner of the 4wd had a companion dog, which happened to be a bitza that had some Jack Russell and other unknown breeds in it. It followed me from burrow to burrow, and even chased a rabbit through the Blackberries into its hole, where it started to eagerly dig its way into it. I called it to stop and was wondering if I may have had to get the shovel to dig it out. Ok, that put paid to the notion of any rabbit trapping. I didn’t really fancy dog on the menu. So after breakfast we did some exploring of the local area, and even tried to get access to the farm my grandad once owned. But the gates were all locked.
Lunch time came around all too soon, and as I stirred the fire up, we saw black clouds rolling towards us. We talked about staying or going and eventually made the decision that it would be best to pack up while everything was dry and by 3pm, we were on our way home, and by 6pm, were walking through the front door a little earlier than we planned.
All in all, it was a brilliant time away, though short and it had some hiccups. I had some great connection time with my son, and once again was encouraged how God walks alongside us 24/7, and helps, inspires and gives us flashes of wisdom for the most mundane things, when we ask him for help. Even to the point of using a rabbit trap.
***While the encounter with the dog is real, there is a very real chance that the story could have been embellished and stretched somewhat in accordance with campfire stories and legends.