Friday, January 1, 2010

Australia – Outback Kununurra

Pine Mountain News

2009 is behind us and 2010 begins.It is
not just a new year but the start of a
new decade.

Here at the ranch we have gone from
traditional gardening to aquaponics and
now have fish as well as vegetables in
our greenhouse.

This year many people saw a decline
in their net worth as the housing bubble
collapsed and prices fell.

It was the year of the bailouts as all the
big companies and banks found what they
thought were assets turned out to be
complicated worthless junk. The government
kept all of them from going bankrupt.

Poem of the Week

“Old long since” by emily d stine

It’s the drop of a ball or ten thousand
that fell from the ballroom and land at
your shoes.

It's the air, bubbles in your champagne,
as they fizz and they pop, go right to
your brain.

It's the "old long since," that song that
you sing
when the p becomes an a and dances with
the m.

The words are a blur but the melody rings,
something you remember, a black & white

The end of a decade, the start of a year,
a time to finally make resolutions clear.

A time to celebrate, find someone to kiss,
and remember tomorrow with champagne

It's the "old long since," that song that
you sing,
close your eyes, and wish for what the future
will bring.

Feature Story of the Week

Australia – Outback Kununurra

by Jordan Williams

The Outback is not, in fact, just a chain

of steakhouses; it’s also something that

Dundee talked about, which is more than

enough of a recommendation for me.

Seriously, though, the Outback is a great

destination for travelers and although I’d

been to Australia before, I’d never spent

much time there.

Now, first off, you should understand that

the Outback is big. Really, really big.

Australia has close to the same amount of

landmass as the United States, with about

a fifteenth or so of the population. That

population is largely concentrated in a

handful of cities in the coastal area, with

vast stretches of the country mostly empty.

What that means is that talking about the

Outback is a lot like talking about the

Midwest; it’s not specific enough to mean

anything. So I needed to choose a specific

area of the Outback, so I went with


Kununurra is the largest town in

northwestern Australia. Largest town

doesn’t quite mean the same thing in

Australia as it does elsewhere, so

Kununurra only had about four thousand

people living there. What made it

appealing was the access to the Outback

and the overall remoteness of it, thousands

of miles from the major cities. If you’re

going for an authentic Outback experience,

this is the place to start.

One thing to keep in mind is that this is

not a vacation for people who are afraid

of flying. You have to fly into Australia,

of course, but you do that in the comfort

of a very large jet. Getting to Kununurra,

on the other hand, requires the use of

smaller bush planes, unless you fancy

spending days driving over barely paved


I consider this a feature rather than a

drawback. Australia is home to some

of the most beautiful landscapes in the

world, and flying over them especially

with a pilot who can point out the

features, is an essential part of the

experience to my mind.

Kununurra is itself quite small, no

surprise, but it’s got ample places

to stay. Once I’d settled in and eaten,

I was able to take in a rodeo, which

was fun, especially when done in the

typically over the top Australian style.

The town is right up against half a

dozen parks, all of which have great

hiking and spectacular views. My

favorite was probably the Parry

Lagoons, where birds and other wildlife

from around the world come to play.

If you like the water, it’s well worth

the seeing.

I also recommend taking a day trip

(again, by plane) out the Argyle diamond

mines, where rare pink diamonds are

mined. It’s an amazing experience,

to see what’s involved in harvesting

these tiny and valuable stones.

Pine Mountain Evening

It is evening once more and a new year has

dawned. We are all gathered in the family

room after a traditional New Year's dinner of

Sauerkraut mashed potatoes and pork roast.

Tonight my sample coffee of the evening is

Australian from

This American roast coffee is a flavorful mix

that comes on strong disappears for an instant

then boomerangs back for a fine finish.

Well my coffee is finished now and it is time to

bring this day to a close. good night everyone

see you next week.