Monday, July 19, 2010

The Backyard

The feeling of sustained uncertainty that has been the hallmark of our time in Oz continues.  When we arrived in October '08, a bunch of big questions were open before us.  Would I find work?  Would we have another child?  Would we decide to sell Pelagic?  For that matter, would we like Australia?

As it turns out, we came up with answers to all those questions.  In order, they were: yes, yes, yes and yes.

But of course those answers have lead to new questions: When will we find the new boat?  How closely will I end up working with the science community here in Hobart?  Should we buy a small place to be our home during our stay in Tasmania, or should we cast ourselves on the mercy of the very expensive rental market, or should we continue to put together a string of housesits to cover our time here?

The impending end of this delightful five-month housesit in Kingston is bringing all these questions to the fore.

But, on the bright side, we have recently become smitten with a used cruising boat that we found in internet-land.

We'll let you know how that goes.


Meanwhile, we have of course not been spending all our time pondering questions about the organisation of our lives, but have mostly been getting through the hectic day-to-day of people with small children.  I've been keeping regular hours in the home office, laboring away, and taking the weekends off - it's a great indication of how non-overcrowded Hobart is that I'm not tempted to take my days off during the week, when parks and such are less crowded.

Lately we've been going for a family hike each weekend.  Normally I'm not so great at exploring my immediate backyard - I've always put my time and energy into exploring beyond the horizon.  But with an almost-four-year-old hiker in the family, and the goal of one family outing a week, we have a great setup for exploring our immediate environs.  It doesn't hurt that there are heaps of good trails around Hobart, and that the Tasmanian winter, which we were warned of at great length, turns out to be a complete and utter fiction.  Many a summer day on Kodiak is colder than what we've been having here.

We've decided to concentrate on the trails on Mt. Wellington, the backdrop for Hobart.  The mountain is a 20 minute drive from the housesit, it's covered with trails, there are no crowds, at least this time of year, and Charles Darwin hiked up the mountain when he visited Hobart, giving it a nice history-of-science touch.

This is what we saw on our hike on saturday:

Alisa and Elias looking down on the Derwent River and Hobart.

South towards Storm Bay and the Southern Ocean.

Lunch at the Junction Cabin.  Eric is the white lump beneath my chin!

Elias once again was a great little hiker, even though we had somewhat negligently put him in his new gumboots, which are a size or two too big, and therefore made for treacherous footing (read 'falls and tears') on the rockier sections of trail.  It was a four-hour outing.  Elias was very happy for the first three hours and forty minutes, and completely over it for the remainder - a good reminder to temper our ambitions! 

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