I had been stopped by about six people, all singing the praises of the new boat ramp. The boys at the Seat of Knowledge were raving about it and four people stopped at the seat to discuss the benefits and the beauty of the new area.
So, before I came home, I rode to the Lions Park to see what all the fuss was about. During the months of construction, as my own private protest, I did not go there to check out the progress the way everybody else in town did.
I admit that I had a negative preconceived idea .. and nothing that I saw today, changed my mind.
The Lions Park and it's surrounding area was THE spot that Adoring Husband and I fell in love with, nine years ago, during our first visit to this town. It's rustic charm delighted our souls and was one of the key reasons that we sold everything in Sydney and moved here eight years ago.
Until they began work on the new boat ramp a few months ago, I visited the park every day, just to sit for a couple of minutes and enjoy the view over the river.
Six years ago, Adoring Husband and I chose that very spot to be married in front of 50 friends and family.
Almost four years ago, the park was my place of therapy after the trauma of the tornado.
I have hundreds of photos of the beautiful sunsets with the glorious natural backdrop, taken directly from the tip of the park.
Now it's surrounded by a massive dark asphalt carpark big enough to accommodate 45 single cars, 3 disabled spots and 48 car-trailer parks. There are concrete paths filling any area that the carpark misses. A huge rock wall juts out from the end of the park, followed by the boat ramp itself and then a long floating pontoon.
The toilet block that was once painted with tacky, but charming pictures of pelicans and sea life and for me was a symbol of the simple life that we chose for ourselves, has now been painted over with dull grey paint.
The barbecue areas and other seating, that were once painted in varying shades of blues and cream are now a dull grey. The shrubbery that once separated the park from the carpark area has now been removed and concrete path has replaced it.
It makes me sad and angry to see it and nothing will convince me that it has value.
This town now has four public boat ramps. According to the Fraser Coast Council website, two of the existing boat ramps (Ross St and BH Rd) will be monitored, and depending on their use, a decision will be made as to whether or not they remain open. The caravan park also has a boat ramp that is classed as 'public use'.
My opinion means little and there is nothing I can do about it now, except to accept the changes and listen to everybody rave about it. Progress can't be stopped. Trees will be chopped. Grass and dirt will be concreted. Waterways will be manipulated. Landscapes will be altered. Strangely enough, humans look on in admiration and marvel at the changes.
I don't get it.
Anyway, once I recovered from my momentary distress, I pedalled home and retreated to my desk where I enjoyed some very successful website creating time.
Unfortunately, I had to shut down before 2pm because I was due at Chef Pat's house for some eating, drinking and laughter.
I remained alcohol free for the day and was accidentally fed gluten, which meant an unpleasant evening at home for me and no dinner so that my body could recover.
Considering there were only five of us there for most of the day, it was very noisy! My ears hurt and it was difficult keeping up with all of the conversations as people competed for 'talking time'.
As always, Chef Pat provided delicious food, and her hospitality was warm and welcoming. She's a lovely lady and I always enjoy time spent with her.
Tonight, Adoring Husband and I watched the Aust vs NZ rugby league game that was played in Perth. It was a good game - especially because Australia won!
Now, I am heading to my desk to continue building my website! It seems to be never ending! But I am enjoying it very much!