Saturday, July 15, 2006

Burrowing away from the heat

It's already 83 degrees at 10:37 a.m. The forecast says we will get up to 95 today and 96 the next two days.
That would be considered a chilly day in Coober Pedy.
I am reading "Travelers' Tales: Australia" and just completed Joanne Meszoly's essay "Bedrock City," about Coober Pedy. Located about eight hours north of Adelaide, Coober Pedy is an opal-mining town of 3,500 people. The temperatures hover around 120 degrees for eight months of the year, so most inhabitants live underground. Coober Pedy must surely rank as one of the world's weirdest cities.
The extreme desolation and other-worldly residences make Coober Pedy famous. Several films -- including "Mad Max" have been shot on location here.
Here in Dubuque, the girls and I have drawn the shades and jacked up the air-conditioning unit. In a little way, it's our own approximation of Coober Pedy.


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