Below is not the whole story (only an introduction), but is the only part that will survive, as the rest of the story never finds its feet, and ideas on it have since changed.
Today, the Sun has set, and shadows long gone, here on a verandah a dozen or so kilometres outside of Horsham, Victoria, a small gathering has come together on a property close to Megan’s heart.
“Aunty, tell us a story about one of your adventures,” comes a young voice from near the door.
“You must have heard all of my adventure stories by now, Andrew,” replies Megan.
“Yes Aunty, tell us a story, perhaps one with Jack in it, please?” Naomi asks looking up Megan in her chair from the floor of the verandah.
Megan feels a slight welling up inside as she begins to recollect the times she would bump into Jack at the most opportune of moments. The gathering of Megan’s nieces and nephews and their families all move in closer to listen, as Megan pauses for a moment and wipes a small tear from her eye.
“Have I ever told you about the time when I spent a whole night stuck on 2 foot ledge in Mexico, while Jack was nowhere to be found?” responds Megan to Naomi’s question.
“Aunt Megan, I thought I have heard all your stories, but this one sounds new,” replies an older nephew, James.
“Thanks James, now where to start,” says Megan as she ponders for a moment.
I was in Ecuador at the time when I got a call from Melbourne asking me to fly to Mexico, and that a ticket with information would be waiting for me at the Mariscal Sucre International Airport in the morning. So I packed my gear, I had only been there a week on my holiday, and my Ecuadorian friend was sad to see me leave so soon, as we were preparing to go climbing the following week. But, I soon assured her that I’ll be back as soon as I can, and that I will only be about 5 days. The next morning she gave me a lift to the airport, and with a parting kiss, and a long hug I was off, on another new adventure.
What a time to be in Mexico, currently spring, and flying into Mexico City there is always so much time lost just trying to get away from the terminal. While waiting in a long line for a taxi, a voice from behind me echoed in my ears.
“Hey colourful stranger, need a lift?” came a voice from past encounters.
I turned to find Jack standing a few metres away looking down and smiling. How does he do that, spot me in a crowd of people, and then let me choose a response.
“Sorry, of topic there, back to the story,” says Megan.
Stepping out of the line Megan walks over to Jack, luggage in tow. “What’s dragged you away from your usual spring break of climbing in Spain, Jack,” asks Megan, knowing he is probably here for the same thing she is, just a little different.
“Well, you already know the answer to that one, that freak earthquake two weeks ago in the south-west has developed into an interesting new rift land formation, now a couple of hundred metres in height,” responds Jack, as he pulls a map, photographs, and a preliminary report from his pack sitting on the ground.
“I know, a professor back in Melbourne has asked me to see if I can check out a section of the new formation that seems to be different in nature to the rest of the rift,” explains Megan, while taking her pack off the luggage trolley.
“Where do you need a lift to then,” asks Jack?
“I need to get to my motel, as the university has organised me a hire car from there,” replies Megan.
“I meant air lift down to the site, Toby and Andes here are giving me a ride to the heliport right now,” responds Jack while pointing to Toby and Andes a few metres away. “You do know that they are only letting essential logistics traffic, and medical services in and out by road, a helicopter is the only other option,” says Jack, as he thinks, that university has left Megan short on budget and information again.
Megan leaps at the offer, “Sure, a helicopter ride sounds just the trick, are Toby and Andes coming too?”
“No, they have to coordinate some work here for the next week or so,” replies Jack.
The packs are loaded into the back of the van and then Megan, Jack, Toby and Andes set off to the heliport.