This post deviates from the general theme of 3D printing and software curiosities. It is ‘ancient’ history from an old travel blog I was writing while traveling around Australia.

A photo of blasting happening in the super pit at Kalgoorlie

Flashback time! Well, I could attempt to tell you a story about last week. It would take about five seconds, and be totally un-enthralling; despite my best efforts at deadpan humour of the laundry variety. So back we go, four months or so. I promise I won’t make rhyming habitual. Although I suspect it would have been the only way to make laundry humour work. Sorry, distractions. Focus: Back we go, back past turtles. Past gorges, an election, the USA, fly season, Meekatharra, a lap of the south west, way back to good old Kalgoorlie.

When we set out on this trip around the country, I only had a couple of things I knew I wanted to see (there have been so many other cool things I would have missed, had it not been for Meech and her nose for adventure). One of the things I really wanted to see was blasting at the Super Pit in Kalgoorlie. I don’t know what it is, but there is something about guys and digging holes in the ground. There is some sort of primitive chemical switch in the back of our brains, which instantly associates digging a hole with a good idea. Like all those years ago in that fateful autumn in Albury, where the Anti-Clinton and I decided to start digging in the back yard. Why? Because we could. Our only goal was to dig the biggest bloody hole our little primary school bodies could muster. Maybe a tunnel, dunno. But the hole was going to be BIG!

Everyday we dug at our hole; it became our autumn adventure, exploring the boundaries of our imaginations of the time: What happens when you dig a big hole? Will we find treasure? Will we find little critters? Will we end up in China? We started digging to find out. We dug this hole for a long time, even for our short attention spans of the time, we dug and we dug (weeks perhaps, a month?). It got to the point where this hole was probably up to our waist in depth, and yet we still kept digging. However, this was around the same time where the hole just wasn’t getting any deeper, so we turned to Dad. He suggested we had to dig further out before we could go further down. So away we went, digging away, the hole got wider, but not noticeably deeper. In fact, I think it was this point it actually got a bit shallower - although a little frustrating, it didn’t seem to hamper our enthusiasm for the big dig.

One morning we awoke to the sound of heavy rain on the roof; we glumly looked out the window to our big hole in the back yard. There would be no digging today. The following day the rain had stopped, and we rushed down to our hole to be disappointed that Mother Nature had undone much of our hard work. The edges of our hole had collapsed; and a puddle had formed in the bottom. Our hole had been wrecked. Well not completely, you see. The mental association of a six year old boy in this situation goes something along the lines of:

  • Rain plus hole infers puddle.
  • Hose is like rain, but stronger.
  • Therefore, hose plus hole infers backyard Snowy Hydro Scheme.

We had a great time with the hose and the hole we had been digging; we got completely covered in mud. It was awesome…

So naturally, being near the Super Pit, the switch in the back of my head flicked on and I had to see them blast a hole in the ground. Although towards the end of our three months at Kalgoorlie it was starting to look a bit glum. We had tried so many times to see them blasting at the pit, but we seemed to get thwarted by weather each time. Seriously we went about a dozen times to the Super Pit while we were at Kalgoorlie and each time the blasting was either cancelled or rescheduled for another day. However, about a week before we left, we got lucky and saw them set off two explosions at the Super Pit. It was awesome! Way better than fireworks, and a little surprising - the rocks and boulders falling down the edge of pit looked and sounded remarkably like a waterfall.

It was almost as good as a backyard Snowy Hydro Scheme.


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