Black Dog Ride 2011 – Day 8

Tents!

As the Black Dog Ride was officially over, a number of people had departed Glen Helen early, whilst others took their time waking up/packing up and getting the day underway. After breakfast, I joined Jim & Chris in climbing up the rocks of Glen Helen. I’m not exactly sure what to call them, so hopefully the pictures will help explain where we went!

We had a good chat about depression and how it’s affected each of us – I don’t have it, but through the Black Dog Ride, and great people like Jeff Marsh, Jim Seymour and James Pralija, I’ve come to understand it more, and also understand how it has (and still does) affect their lives. It’s the personal conversations that are the most powerful way to understand and reduce the stigma of depression.

Glen Helen Gorge

Once we returned to terra firma, Jim went for a chilly swim whilst Chris & I dipped a foot (or 2) into the water. I headed back to the resort to catch up with the others who had a big sleep-in after a night of frivolity, chatting and shenanigans with Ash, the lovely lady who made the Black Dog Ride event at Glen Helen a success!

Time seemed to slip away today, until Sharon came over and advised that she’d just bought a helicopter ride for James & I! We had to wait a while before getting on board, and the pilot managed to get me to measure  something I’ve not measured for more than 6 months: my weight (which is used to help calculate take-off weight and such). In case you want to know, I am 81Kg 🙂 There are some pics in the slideshow at the bottom of the post, and you can see a sneak preview video of the take-off and initial flight:

Brady Bunch

After that, time seemed to keep on slipping, to the point where we were packed and ready to go at 4pm! Still no swim for me in the Glen Helen water this time around, but another sunset ride (this time away from the sun) back to Alice to settle into Lasseters, grab a quick swim (I dived in, swam to the other end then got out quickly – the water was freezing!. We chose to eat at the Juicy Bar in the premises – it was a little chilly at night in the Juicy Bar, and we were well entertained by the wait staff and security trying to light the ‘Dalek’ heaters. In the end they managed to fire up 2 of the 7 heaters and left the rest in a huddle, forgotten and lonely (it does not do your customer service any good to tell patrons that no-one filled up the gas bottles).

There was a bushfire smell and smoke all over Alice Springs from controlled burning – I even snapped a pic or 2 – it looked spectacular but the smoke made for difficult breathing for most of the night.

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