Waggs Walkabout

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Whoops - wrong way

Today we had decided to take in a bit of culture and get out of town as well by heading out to Trephina Gorge for an a cappella concert that was part of the Alice Desert Festival. Trephina Gorge is 45 miles straight east of Alice Springs on the Ross Highway. We were headed out of town at approximately 2 pm for a 3 pm concert, thinking we would get a scenic and leisurely drive through the eastern Mc Donnell ranges. At the edge of town we noticed a sign that looked like it has been spray painted in haste and read “Trephina Music Concert moved to Ormiston Gorge.”

We were VERY lucky to have noticed the sign because Ormiston Gorge is 93 miles in the OPPOSITE direction. We quickly whipped around in the road and headed west at a not so leisurely pace. Only in the Outback could you even imagine moving an event over 90 miles away from the advertised venue on the day of the event with nothing more than a hand painted sign.

The change of venue was likely addressed at the beginning of the concert but we were a tad late getting there since the distance to the event doubled with no notice. Our best guess is that bush fires were the reason for the change.  Having lived in Alice for four years now, Dave and I both laughed and said “Oh Well”.

We still had a scenic drive and enjoyed wonderful music in a magical setting. The high cliffs blocked the scorching sun rays and the amazing red rock walls of the gorge served as a natural sound shell.

The director used a microphone when talking to the audience, but the voices of Asante Sana rang off the stone walls in an almost haunting way.

Sitting in our camp chairs in the dry river bed, Dave and I enjoyed the music and Dennis played quietly with his sand bucket and shovel. After the concert we choose to avoid the line of a hundred or so cars all traveling the same twisting hilly two lane road back into Alice by stopping in at the Glen Helen Resort for an ice cream bar and a bit more amazing outback scenery.

 We also worked in a quick game of "neaking"  (For those of you who haven't spent much time lately with short people that don't use the letter S, "Neaking is when you try to sneak up on your own shadow and catch it.)

As we headed home, Dennis asked to have the radio turned on. He likes his music and having slept most of the way out to the gorge he didn’t realize that the Alice radio stations fade away at about the 40 mile mark. He wasn’t very accepting of that explanation and continued to request music. Dave and I wrongly assumed that our singing was so bad that one or two songs would cure him of this need for music. We sang every freaking song we could think of, most with mumbled words and mutilated melodies. I’ve never been good at remembering the words to songs I hear on the radio and 4-H summer camp was a mighty long time ago. We had finally resorted to Christmas carols when we got close enough to town to turn on the radio and couldn’t have been happier to hear Elvis Presley howling “You aint nothin but a hound dog.”

This week’s To Do list includes down load some children’s songs from I Tunes and purchase one of those adapter jobbies that allows the IPod to play through the car radio.


Shahana said...

Seems nice place to visit.

Anne Schmidt said...

Hi! loved your post, just thought I'd clarify the reason for the venue change... not for bushfires but for too much water!
Asante normally sings at Trephina but this year, as like last year, Alice was lucky enough to have so much extraordinary rainfall earlier in the year that the river was still "running" (ie, trickling :) unexpectedly thru Trephina hence our quick change. Unfortunately the Desert Festival programmes had already been printed before this decision had been made.
Hope you continue to enjoy your adventure here in Alice!

SWEETIE said...

Not sure if you got my last comment or not... might not have done it properly. Thanks for posting the photos and video clip of our choir!!! Do you have anymore video clips ?? Would love to hear more? It came out crystal clear on your recorder.

Regards Kim

Walk with me said...

Kim, I do have a couple other clips of the choir. I'm happy to share. You can reach me at pmwaggoner@yahoo.com and we can figure out the best way to get them to you.