Kinglake West Dec 2012Took party of six men into the bush earlier this month. "Bush" is Australian English for "wilderness".
We go hiking every month. Usually the last Saturday or Sunday. In this case our Nov outing was put back one week.
This state park was badly burnt in fires several years ago. I have taken other men here about seven times before. The party had been warned to carry 4 litres of water, wear ankle high boots, and that we would be off track most of the time (with GPS and compass/map assistance).
The density of the vegetation was more severe than ever before. I took the lead and broke a trail for the first hour. We reached the first ridge stopping for rest, rehydration, and gear check. There was a young 20 year old in the group. Had never hiked with him before so was anxious to see why he was out with older men. Oh oh....he had been in psych care only two weeks before and had been invited by another fellow ! This was the first major alert for the day.
"Alerts" or "red cards" often arise in groups and are to be expected.
We started at the entrance car park. Walked north along road. Climbed over the fence with the signs asking to "STAY OUT". With packs on it was doable. ....though I noticed the medical doctor in the group looked puzzled. I wasn't pleased that he was with us and in tennis shoes.