Kinglake West Dec 2012

Took 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.

HollywoodBob HollywoodBob
46-50, M
3 Responses Dec 28, 2012

A man in the hand is worth six in the bush

Thanks for sharing your story, great post.

He'll A.....sorry I missed you.

The doctor lagged at the rear of the group all day. At 2pm he asked me if we would get back in time for him to catch his flight to Sydney.

My reply see that trail across the gully ? He said he could see it. I remarked that if we could get off the ridge we were on he would. We had been walking down a creek bed and faced a 2 metre drop. And then a 4 metre drop after that. Without ropes I was loath to tackle that descent. So we bush bashed our way out instead. No trail. It took another 90 minutes to get off that ridge. The doc missed his flight....but was able to reschedule at no charge. When he left he invited me to his 40th and asked if I could tell him when the next outing would be.

By the way he was gay. As was his partner. They are both great guys.

Last weekend one of the hero guys in our group learned his 22 year old son was gay. He was in shock. I suggested he call the doctor and ask for advice about how to be a loving father. Apparently the guidance offered has been of great help.

Interesting connections we make in life sometimes.