Sometimes life's challenges can be beaten!Aug 23, 2002 Write an essay on this topic.
Popular Products in BooksThe Bottom Line Using just a little prudent care life's challenges really can teach us something.
My twenty three year old daughter is quite a good driver – that is she can drive any automatic car well. But gears – those infernal things mostly found on small cars these days are just not her scene.
About a year ago daughter decides to buy herself a better car and enlists the aid of an Uncle. Said uncle is mechanically predisposed so that part made sense – provided the vehicle chosen was automatic.
But shock of shocks home she comes, with “Uncle” at the wheel of a new geared or manual gearbox vehicle. And why is uncle driving – well young Amy would learn soon enough! Still, only a year has passed but time enough to contemplate learning how to drive her new car.
Lesson one is best not mentioned, the same for lessons two to eight but last weekend there was a most unexpected breakthrough. Amy was driving, a little tentatively but driving nevertheless! Things were indeed looking up and after nearly a week’s contemplation for her and a much-needed break for me it was time to head off again.
After two “stalls” we were off, sailing down the road and turning corners, stopping, starting and generally doing things automotive. The further we went the more confident she became and I almost started to relax!
For a change of scenery we headed north and steered away from the major roads and highways and instead followed some rather minor ones. At times we even ventured off sealed roads onto well-formed unsealed roads that exist in some remote parts of the hills around Adelaide.
Feeling more and more relaxed, enjoying a bright sunny winters day we had a little unanticipated surprise in store!
While on an unsealed road that I knew would eventually return us to the major valley highway, I had overlooked the fact that many of these very minor and lightly trafficked roads do not have bridges – and between us and the highway was the second biggest river in the State!
Rather than bridges these minor roads have what we simply call “Fords”, no relation to the vehicles of that name but in reality these are very cheap bridges. Often just a series of well placed rocks, sometimes a short concrete section across the base of the river and on rare occasions sometimes even a one foot diameter pipe may be laid under the concrete.
We saw the telltale trees that line the river about half a mile before we reached the mighty “Onkaparinga River”. Now it’s late winter so it just might be flowing and the question begged “Is there a bridge?”.
Unfortunately we lost on both counts. But there was a couple of mitigating factors. The local Council (County) had gone to the trouble of installing a concrete base across the riverbed but regrettably the river was flowing – quite rare indeed even for this, our second biggest waterway. There was even a depth indicator showing a potential two metres (about six feet eight inches), rather comical since what river flows that deep? Well certainly not this one more than once in fifty or a hundred years.
Daughter Amy, not being suicidal, stopped the vehicle short of this tumultuous crossing. There before us lay the mighty Onkaparinga River in all it’s glory. To cross or not to cross – that was the question!
On careful examination perhaps this whole situation wasn’t as hopeless as first thought. The crossing meant descending down the eastern river bank, smoothly graded from well back making the three foot descent over about thirty feet not too steep. The same applied across the other side. It was the river itself that caused the potential problem, not the entry or egress.
So what of the main fast flowing body of water. Although awe inspiring at almost a car length wide, the depth had failed to record on the depth gauge, being less than a half inch deep. Nevertheless this vast amount of water was doing it’s best to supply the City of Adelaide, over a million people. Oh sure there are other, smaller rivers all doing the same thing but really it isn’t too hard to realise why the vast majority of Adelaide’s water is pumped in from the one river worth talking about, The Murray.
So we had a choice – either turn back or attempt a crossing! With our hearts in our mouths we inched our way across, the tyres getting fairly wet but nothing else so that just proves that sometimes life’s challenges can be beaten!
Both Amy and I decided that was more than enough excitement for one day so we beat a hasty retreat for home, some ten minutes away.
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