• Kelvin Grivell and daughter on the Flinders Range. Image supplied.
    Kelvin Grivell and daughter on the Flinders Range. Image supplied.

A missing ring adds some mystery to Kelvin Grivell’s multiday walk in the Flinders Ranges.

"In July 2020, with my wife, three kids and another family of camping friends, we walked from Mambray Creek (Flinders Ranges, SA) to complete a circuit including Alligator Gorge and Battery Ridge. Over two nights and three days we enjoyed dozens of creek crossings, views of St Vincent Gulf and a time made even more memorable by a ring.

My father had died four months earlier and I had been wearing a gold ring of his that was gifted to me, which would in time be passed to my son. On the second day of our hike we’d navigated Alligator Gorge by rock hopping through the water, climbed up a decent hill and had earned ourselves lunch and a cuppa. As the rest of our group set off after lunch, I was walking at the back with my wife when I looked down at my hand where my dad’s ring usually was. It was gone.

I spent the next few minutes and hours being consoled by my friends and family and regretting how I could lose something so precious on a hiking trip. My friend encouraged me to search for my ring in my sleeping bag and my pack, which I did when we stopped for a drink. There was no ring.
We set up camp and settled in at Kingfisher Flat. It’s the most beautiful campsite, with green grass and sitting beside a flowing creek. That night I went to sleep and eventually reconciled that my ring was gone for good.

Finishing the hike the following day, back at Mambray Creek, my mate said we should have one last look for the ring at the campsite we stayed at before setting off for our three day trek. I went along with the idea, especially given there were toilets nearby and it was a four-hour drive back to our home on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

As we approached our campsite our friends were in the car in front and their daughters started searching around the grounds for the ring. It was a kind gesture but I had accepted the ring was gone. I inspected our fuel gauge completely dismissive of what was going on beside me, while my eldest daughter stepped out of the car and walked to the fire ring where we’d been chatting, laughing and shelling pistachios three nights earlier. Seconds later I heard my daughter say 'I’ve found it!'.

I seriously could not believe what she’d said until she presented me with my dad’s ring that had fallen off my finger three days earlier around the campfire. I accepted the ring, hugged my daughter and to this day find it hard to believe my dad’s ring was found. The two nights hiking in the Flinders Ranges had been memorable but this precious chapter made it something I will never forget."

Words and photos_Kelvin Grivell


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