We took several days making the roughly 1000 km (about 600 mile) journey from Rainbow Beach to Cairns. Most of the Rest Stops along the highway allow you to stay overnight, so that was an easy way to travel.
After Bribie Island, we stopped for a few days in Rainbow Beach. Rainbow Beach is a small town, right on a long stretch of beautiful sand beach. There's a sad story on a plaque about how the beach got its name. A friendly rainbow was struck down and killed saving a beautiful maiden from her abusive husband, and led to the many colors of sand on the beach. We took several morning walks along the beach, and played some in the waves.
We got here safely enough. And spent the first night near Bribie Island, mostly just recuperating from our frantic preparations to leave and the traveling itself.
Welcome to October. The weather in Berkeley doesn't seem quite ready to change yet, but I've heard that Yosemite has had its first rain storm and hail fall of the new season. El Cap is being sieged with climbers, strong after a summer of climbing and ready for the Big Stone. Hans Florine and Yuji Hirayama have set the new speed record for the Nose, turning a multi-day epic into a less than 3 hour morning jaunt, and I haven't been climbing in weeks. It feels like even longer than that because my recent climbing forays have been indoors, climbing plastic rather than rock. I miss exercise and I'm getting pudgy.
The only consolation is that in six short days, Tom and I will be getting on a plane to Australia, and won't be coming back until December. Two and a half months of scuba diving, climbing, surfing, and chasing kangaroos through the poisonous countryside will hopefully cure the pudginess.
Of course the intervening six days that lie between me and my vacation aren't trivial ones. There is still so much to do, and leaving some place where you've spent time and made friends is never that easy. Tom points out that we aren't REALLY leaving, because we do plan to return to the Bay Area in April while I hunt for a job. But I feel a sense of finality and closing in the preparations that we are making anyway.
Many thanks to Tom, who found this nifty blog software and set it up so that we could post some updates for our friends and family during our odyssey. Hopefully by the end of our trip I will have some idea what went into that, and my own website will take shape.