Looking for Old

I love finding old stuff in the bush. I found this old bridge a few weeks ago after talking to a mate about putting our kayaks in above the weir on the Gregory River. He’d told me about a property that had access to the river, but I couldn’t get to it, so I thought I’d just keep driving and heading towards where I thought the river might be. I was so damn excited when I found this at the end of a road near Redridge:

It’s the original traffic bridge across the Gregory River. It’s over 100 years old. The year of construction (1920) is stamped on one of the walls:

So, I contacted the Childers Historical Society to see if someone can help me complete a submission to the State Heritage Register. The bridge is still intact, even though the timber has decayed. It’s an awesome example of bridge construction from that era. There wouldn’t be too many of these still around.

I also found this cool old bridge in Farnesfield:

I went to check out the other side of the road (this creek runs under the road) and found this:

I looked for the swagman, but he and his ghost were not about. There was also no jumbuck. Still, it was pretty cool.

A while ago someone parked a small cart in the bush on the Melaleuca Track. They’d tried to pull it by hand to the campsite (6km), but piked out after about 2.5km. It was only that I was looking at the cart that I noticed this, which is a really old surveyors mark. You can’t see it in the photo, but there is a large metal screw in the bottom of the scar:

Then, about 3 weeks ago, I saw this, which I was really happy about. I’ve been walking past this for years, but it was only after QPWS moved a few fallen trees off the track that it became visible. I was pretty sure it was an Ingidenous scar tree, so I sent this picture to an Indigenous mate and he reckons it is a scar tree, so hopefully I can contact the local Traditional Owners to let them know they’ve got this tree in the area.

I called the tree Yggdrasil, which I learnt about from reading a book called Overstory, and pat its side whenever I go past now:

I was riding my fat bike a while ago and found this awesome specimen in the bush near Redridge. It’s an old bakery van from the days when people used to have their hot bread home delivered. Some of the sign writing is still visible on the side. It says Kellys Hot Bread:

I get to find a lot more stuff than most people do because I go to places that other people don’t. Plus, looking for old stuff gives me a rush, which probably isn’t what gives other people a rush at all! It’s an amazing feeling to round a bend in an old track that widens up to reveal a dilapidated old shack full of aging and broken furniture; the owner long since dead and gone. My heart picks up speed at the first suggestion of the glint of sun off broken glass until the butterflies arrive in my stomach and the words how cool is this, how cool is this are tumbling repeatedly from my mouth. Standing inside the old I can’t decide where to look first and I wonder about who the people were, how they came to be here and why they left and no one ever came back. Momentarily I am sad for the vacuum their departure has left, but then am once again commanded by my unwavering curiosity towards all the things I can never know.

Me and the Road

I wanted to do something cool today, but couldn’t come up with anything, so I decided to walk to Childers. It was a good opportunity to try out the sign I had made for the back of my pack for the charity hike I’m about to do. I also thought I should re-familiarise myself with hiking along the road.

It was cheating a bit because I got dropped off 16km out from Childers AND the pack only weighed around 10kg. I imagine it’ll weigh at least twice that when I get going on the actual hike. PLUS, I had a chocolate thickshake when I arrived in Childers after only 3.5 hours of walking. .

It’s been three years since I did my last charity hike along the road and man, I’d forgotten how damn terrible walking along the road is! There’s two reasons why it sucks: one is the traffic and the other is the shoulders. The shoulders are nearly always sloping and that makes the going very difficult because even though the slope is only really slight it’s enough to put extra pressure on one side of your body. I don’t have bad knees, even so, this does get to my knees after a bit. There’s nothing I can do about it though, so I just have to suck it up. I can’t do anything about the traffic either. After all, that’s what the road is there for. It’s hard to describe what it’s like until you’ve hiked along the road. It gives you a totally new perspective of being a motorist. Some of the stuff people do on the road is pretty unbelievable. The overtaking is the craziest. It’s for that reason that I try to walk only on the left. I nearly got hit by this crazy overtaking mofo on my last charity hike. You just get to see stuff when you’re walking that you don’t see when you’re driving. Some of it is a real eye-opener!

I didn’t really see anything particularly interesting on the 16km other than a dead bearded dragon. Poor thing šŸ˜¦ I picked him up and put him in the bush near the road so he wouldn’t get all smooshed up. He’d only just been hit.

I snuck into an avocado farm and walked along the edge of the plantation for a fair way to avoid a section of road with almost no shoulder. I always get scared when I do these cheeky maneuversĀ  because I don’t want to get into trouble, but no one came out ranting and raving. At leastĀ  I’ve got the sign this time. I didn’t have that on the last charity hike I did.

I took this photo because it’s quintessentially Childers; cane bales set to go to fibre production with canefields in background.

While I was walking I got to wondering what it is about hiking that I like. I think the main thing that gets me is that it allows me to rise above all else because when I’m hiking, there is only hiking. I can’t go and do just one more thing (something I do to get past feeling unmotivated), I can’t tell myself that in ten minutes I will go get the washing off the line, send one more email, write 100 more words, and I can’t go and have a little lay down. I just have to keep hiking because that’s all there is. It basically absolves me of all of my responsibilities, which means I don’t worry about anything at all while I’m hiking because what would be the point? Ultimatley, it’s a way to free my mind.

Free your mind by way of adventure