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The Sydney Buswalker

A Monthly Bulletin devoted to matters of interest to the Sydney Bush Walkers, 5 Hamilton Street, Sydney.

No. 40 April, 1938.
Editor:Marie B. Byles.
Business Manager:J.W. Mullins.
Publication Staff:Misses Clare Kinsella, Dot English,
Kathleen McKay, Flo Allsworth,
Messrs John R. Wood, Brian G. Harvey,
Stan Lumsden.

Contents

Editorial. Page 1
News from Here There and Everywhere. “ 2
Australia's Furthest North.by Waff Knight. ” 3
Camp Fire Chatter.by Firelight. “ 5
Gentle Arts of Hitch-Hiking and Jumping-the-Rattler.by Frazer Ratcliffe* ” 6
Federation News “ 9
“Paddy” ” 9
Let us all Play Injuns!by Dorothy Lawry. “ 10
Bush Walker Ballads.by K.M. ” 11

Editorial

This is a valedictory editorial, a sad one, too, for the journal seems to have been increasing in popularity; articles have been flowing in without effort - except to the writers of course - ; they have been improving in quality, and people who have been asked to write have always responded - what, always? Well, nearly always! So that between one thing and another the work of editor has been easy and pleasant.

The various improvements to which the journal probably owes its popularity may be traced to different people. Bill Mullins is the principal one. It was he who suggested the change to a monthly, the purchase of the roneo, the reduction in price and the attractive cover. Morrie Berry is the person who suggested the features of “Federation News” and “News from Here There and Everywhere.”

The various alterations have not added appreciably to the editor's work, but they have added very definitely to the work of the business manager and his assistant who turn the handle of the roneo. The only other person who faces the drudgery of routine work is Kath McKay who corrects our spelling, punctuation and grammar.

Probably you did not realize any alterations were made so lightly has her finger touched your precious manuscript. But it is her touch which makes one confident when showing the journal to outsiders. Despite this you have probably often noticed distressing errors - the editor has, anyhow but these are inevitable when there is no opportunity for proof-reading. It is thanks to Kath McKay that they are so few.

The editor's work now passes to Dorothy Lawry, and we are fortunate indeed that she agreed to modify her recently adopted slogan of “no more work”, and take it on. Under her able and popular hand we shall look for still more improvements, and winth all the helpers now helping we shall hope that her slogan will not be modified to the extent of more than one Saturday afternoon a month.

News From Here There And Everywhere.

"Wayfaring"

The journal of the Melbourne Women's Walking Club contains many interesting articles and one in particular on “Barks of our Gum Trees” which is the sort of thing we should like to see more of in our own journal. Incidentally it also contains a number of typographical and other errors which were very heartening to the editor of “The Bushwalker”, for it is always cheering to know that others may be responsible for the same faults as we ourselves make.

Another Climbing Accident

The saddest thing in the same publication is the announcement of another climbing fatality. Olive Sandall slipped as she was climbing in the Cathedral Range and was killed. The scene of the tragedy is a stretch of little pointed peaks much beloved by rock-climbers and not very far from Melbourne. No one would expect these pleasant little rocky summits to be the cause of a serious accident. We extend our sincere sympathy to our sister club.

Ring of Parks to Commemorate the Sesqui-Centenary

In the latest issue of “View Points” there is a list of this ring of proposed parks. They are in the following districts: French's Forest, Galston Gorge, Cattai Creek, Prospect Reservoir, Landsdowne Bridge, Cronulla-Kurnell, and the Randmick Rifle Range. It would indeed be a wonderful memorial if the Parks and Playgrounds Movement got what it sought.

Cost of Week-end Trips

Fares about 2/6 would probably be about our average. In America they appear to get off less lightly. The scheduled fares for the Mountain Club of Maryland are seldom less than a dollar, about 5/-, and often a very great deal more. It is when we read figures like these that we realise how fortunate we are in havirg cheap weekend fares and attractive places not far distant. However, Maryland has the advantage of maps and guide books in which “every mile of the walk is marked”. But is this an advantage after all? There would be none of the joys of exploration.

An Exchange Editor

This is one of the officers of the same club, an officer whose job it is to keep up an active correspondence with other clubs. If the S.B.W's list of exchanges increases we may have to instal a similar officer to carry on this valuable work for us also.

Australia's Furthest North.

By Wiff Knight.

Reading in “Bush Walker” No. 1 an account of Oliver Moriarty and party doing a trip from Kiandra to Kosciusko in midwinter, makes me think of a trip I did over that route in February and it was too cold for me then. I swore off cold spots and would rather go amongst mosquitoes and crocodiles than suffer another trip to Kosciusko.

I will write about a trip the wife and I took to the most northern point of Australia. We were camped at Somerset, a homestead that is situated on the north eastern point of the Peninsula. We had to go to the north western point about 9 or 10 miles as the crow flies, but much further by walking. I tried to get some information from Mr. Vidgeon who owns the land at Somerset. He told me that he had not been over by land and that it was about 20 miles around through swamps and advised me not to go without a guide. The black boy told him it was not a place for a white woman to go. With this cheerful information we decided to give it a fly.

Mr. Vidgeon was taking some wheat and pollard around to the other end of his land where the old family home was. A. Mr. Jenkins and his wife were living there trying to start a poultry farm. It appears that they sailed up from Sydney in a yacht, sold the yacht and started to raise fowls. They had 200 fowls in a snake proof yard and well locked up at night. The carpet snakes are very plentiful and like a chook occasionally. He had a dog that warned him of any danger; his last dog disappeared and he thought a croc. must have got him. The trip around in the boat would cut a lot of walking out. It seems funny that sandy beaches and muddy will run next to one another. We passed a headland and then a small muddy bay. We had made three attempts to get to this bay overland and had to give it up as the bush and vines were too thick only about 1 mile from our camp. On the next headland was a croc asleep. The blackboy pointed him out to me. Before I could draw the wife's attention to him he was over the edge and under the water. It put the wind up me, I thought what chance would we have of getting away from him on land. Mr. Vidgeon told me that they could travel as fast as a good horse.

We put out a trailing line with a piece of white rag on and soon had a kingfish on, not a big one but enough for dinner. Then we came to a large muddy bay, more rocks, and then turned into the next bay, a long shallow one. We anchored well out about ½ 1) mile from shore and got into a flatbottom boat and rowed as far as we could and then got out and walked the rest. Mr. Jenkins came out with a hand-made cart of packing boxes drawn by a horse, all harness hand-made, to get his fowl feed. His house was well up off the beach. He had to come well out in the water as it was too shallow for boats. As we were to camp here I decided to get as close to his house as possible. We were invited to dinner wild turkey, wild pig, kingfish and yams with cheese custard to top off. It was well cooked and we enjoyed it. We pitched our small tent in long grass just in front of the house. Green spiders swarmed up the walls of the tent and the mosey's gave up a tune and I fell asleep and never woke until daylight. The wife told me she had not slept at all. The dog was rushing first to the beach and then over to the fowl yard barking at something - might have been snakes or croc's. So I am lucky to be a bit deaf. I thought the wife was going to say let us go back to our main camp, but to my surprise she said let us get on with this trip and get it over.

Mr. Jenkins came with us part of the way as he wanted to shoot a bull for fowl feed. We went down to the beach and got on a track that leads to the Telegraph Station followed it inland for about a mile and then branched off on pig tracks making for a hill. This country is a bog in wet weather and the grass about 4 ft. high. Mr. Jenkins went in front with his rifle as there might be a croc about.

He told me that he would not think of going in the bush without his rifle and was surprised when I told him I never carry firearms. I blazed the trees high up on the side that I could see coming back. When we got to the top of the hill about 200 ft. high we had a splendid view of our direction to the beach about 1 mile away. But we had to go through a level forest. I was told to blaze a way through so that we could find our way back. Just then the dog scented a turkey and Mr. Jenkins left us and was back in ten minutes with his turkey. He told us that they are silly birds, they hide their heads and not their bodies when danger is near. We descended the hill and I arranged with the wife to stay at the last blaze until I blazed another tree in front, then pick out a third tree in line and come up to me so that we could keep straight through the bush. She soon forgot her job and was wandering about picking flowers and I ran into a wasps' nest. Then we had to both bolt with our eyes shut fighting off the wasps. I only had my shorts on and got more than my share of stings. We lost our blazes and I would not risk another lot of stings we went what we thought straight ahead until we landed in a mangrove swamp I knew we were near the beach then. Climbing on mangrove roots was a difficult job until we landed, not on our sandy beach, but a muddy one about 200 yards from our right place. That made a big difference because we sank up to our knees in the mud and when we pulled our legs out our shoes stayed in the bottom of the hole. I had to put my hand down to get them. We both laughed at each other with black legs and arms. I told the wile if she saw a croc to get up one of the mangrove trees, she said, “What are you going to do?” I said I would have to stick in the mud and with a pole I carried sharpened at the end and try and stick it down his throat. If there is one thing the wife won't do is to walk in mud but there was no way out; it had to be done. It was an awkward job every step you took meant some balancing while you pulled the other leg out. At last we landed on the sandy beach and peeled off, and were soon in the water washing the mud off ourselves and shoes and socks. We decided to have a snack and rest; it was only 11 o'clock. 11-30 saw us on our way across this mile beach and a small headland, then a very small sandy beach the furthest north beach, so we had another dip. I might tell you we never went any deeper than 2 feet. I had to chase a big fiddle-nose shark away before we went in, they are harmless but you never know what is in that milky water. Then on to the rocks and oysters - I never saw such oysters; one measured 6 inches by 4 inches, I opened them by giving them a blow with the back of my tomahawk. Something to chew about in one of them! They are good but tougher than the variety down south.

We were only about 1 mile from our goal, it took about ½ 2) an hour to do as there were very rough cliffs. At last we stood right on the most northern point of Australia. As there were two rocks with about 10 ft. between them I stood on them both to make sure. I have never had a compass so could not tell which one was the exact north. The sun was my guide and mid-day sun is due north in the winter. About a stone's throw away is York Island and about 10 feet away fram that is Ellerbee Is. with a light on it. On the western side south is a sandy beach about 9 miles, then rocks where the Telegraph Station is. The line comes from Thursday Island and goes overland to Batavia and Cookstown about 400 miles. A motor boat brings the mails and stores across from Thursday Island every two weeks. We left this lonely spot and made back to the sandy beach where we could get water and camp. After tea we walked on to the headland dividing the sand from the mud to see if we could see any crocs and to get our bearing back through the forest. No crocs but we got a good view of our way baok. The mosseys were thick in the tent. I got some dried grass and smoked them out and sealed the tent up and went to sleep with my croc pole handy and the wife had the tomahawk. We were not disturbed and in the morning we had a dip and early start back. We came through the forest easily and over the hill but got a bit bushed in the swamp. I would go back to the last blaze and look for the next blaze and we got back to Mr, Jenkins' place at 11 o'clock. We decided to push on home to our main camp a very doubtful way. If low tide we could do it in 6 miles. If high tide I was told it was a long way around. We went the short way until we struck a creek, dirty black water about waist deep, I went in with pack and clothes on my head singing out and lashing the water with my croc pole to scare them away, I put my pack dawn on the other side and went back for the wife who had a small pack. Safely across she started picking up shells. I told her to drop them and get off the beach as soon as we could. It was about ½ 3) a mile across and ran back about the same distance and not a tree to climb up if Mr. croc had put in an appearance. We easily did the last stage and landed back at camp at 2 p.m.

On Sunday, two days after, the natives from the homestead were in that creek spearing crabs and a croc rushed passed them and never touched them. I think we were very lucky. The wife signed the visitor's book at the homestead and said she was very disappointed at not seeing a crocodile.

Camp Fire Chatter.

By Firelight.

The stork has been flying around again, Ada and Clem. Armstrong recently had a visit from him, and he left them a son. Clem represented the family at the Reunion, and took home with him the good wishes of many old friends.

By the way, the attendance at this year's Reunion set a new record. Amongst the 129 adults at the camp fire, we were glad to see four past members - Bill Chambers, Doreen Smeaton (a foundation member), and Charlie and Vera Kilpatrick, who, of course, were our first Hon. Secretary and Hon. Treasurer. We sincerely hope they will all come again next year.

Of course, Wal. and Phil. Roots were there, but they had left the Imps at home in Brisbane in the care of their grannies. Six hundred and ninety-nine miles the Roots' had driven to attend the Annual Meeting and the Reunions

Some of the bushwalker babies did not seem to enjoy the campfire as much as usual this year, even though Rene Browne had very kindly supplied a tent nearby, in which they were parked. Or were the babies just trying to do their share of the entertaining?

We have not seen Jim Cranitch for a while, but we understand he was married recently and his wife is not a member of the walking fraternity. Long life and happiness to the Cranitches!

Talking about absentees. Where was everyone on Swimming Carnival day this year? The total attendance was only about 45 although the weather was good. Anyway, the standard of performance was high, and those present enjoyed some splendid racing. Yes, of course, this is a walking club — as we have been reminded before.

If Topsy Ankerson has her way, it will be two walking clubs. She is looking for supporters for a Junior Club, so those of you who would like to help her take out youngsters and train them in bushcraft and bushwalking ideals, get in touch with Topsy. If she gets the support of a dozen or so of you her idea will become a reality, and a lot of youngsters will have a new joy in life. An inaugural meeting will be held at Berowra on April 10th. the train being the 9:30.

An Explanatory Discourse on the Gentle Arts of Hitch-Hiking and Jumping-the-Rattler.

By Frazer Ratcliffe.

Part 1

Editor's Note:The following articles are very entertaining but it must not be supposed that the Club approves of the gentle arts referred to. On the contrary their general practice would soon bring the Club into disrepute.

Everything has its raison d'etre. Even unto the lowly orders of “hitchers and jumpers”, with most whom I met it was necessity of locomotion which caused them to travel so. Wherever they were dumped or jumped they sought food, and, in some case, work too. With my bicycle and myself these methods were employed in order to dodge bad roads (I might say - x!! - x bad ones).

For some time I had wondered how jumping the rattler was done. All professed not to know. Finally I met Roy Carlton while I was cycling through Howard, north of Maryborough, one dusty hot flyie day. He was sitting in the shade and atmosphere of the hotel fence, waiting for a car to pass south so that he might hitch along with it. One passed, he saw it too late. “Oh well” he said “there'll be another one soon.” If, reader, you have such a complacent mind you could be a very successful hitcher.

And this is the treasured information he gave me regarding jumping. The adjectives and expletives are not for quotation.

“Make enquiries as to when a train is going your way, how long it stops at the station or siding and if the station masters ahead are sympathetic or otherwise. If otherwise it is better to go on past their station and then jump on. For if they are “otherwisers” the chances are that they will have the police searching the train for you, and, if caught, it means up to 3 day's gaol. But even that has its compensations for in those country towns generally, there is no “lockup” and you spend your time playing (officially improving) in the policeman's garden. The last time I was caught I thoroughly enjoyed my- er - visit - holiday. His daughter was pretty and friendy. Night time is the best jumping time. The train is in, move to where the officials can't see you (in many cases they look the other way) and scramble into an empty truck (there is usually at least one) lie flat and there you are.

Those with bicycles generally make two s hooks of stout wire, place a hook either end of bike, lift up till the tops of hooks are over the truck side, and leave bike suspended there, climb up and pull in bike and all's well.” It was this latter part of the information I wanted. Eventually I bade him farewell.

It was many weeks later. We had left Rockhampton some hundreds of miles behind. Roads were shocking, miles of pushing through loose, hot sand, over corrugations and pot holes. Temperature over the 100° for days. At times for many miles on end the road was just a sandy track winding in and out of the ever present gum forests.

Villages were 50 or 60 or 70 miles apart, up to 40 miles between farms. First two hours in the early morn I was cool, thereafter I rode or walked along in a continual bath of perspiration. Water tanks and holes were miles apart, good water was unobtainable. If you didn't notice the stale taste of the tepod 4) tank water you drank you certainly noticed the H2O's flavour and smell, or the soda effect of the warm bore water. That is, when you reached water. And in between water you simply put up with your thirst and thoughts of the - fools who say that the Western and Northern lands can support several more millions. Like hell! And when you cycle (and walk) through that country with the flaming sun and no water you do look it as hell. No green grass, the trees are barely green, everything has that dead, shrivelled up, brownish appearance, the earth everywhere has large cracks caused by the torture of the burning heavens and rainless skies. The heat doesn't come from just the one small sun in that blue expanse, it floods down from the pitiless spaces above.

So when we reached Yabula 5) the crew was ripe for mutiny. And mutiny came. For enquiries revealed that the road for the next forty miles lay over a mountain range. It wasn't just one of the ordinary bad ones we had been on for the past weeks. It was a really bad one. Any motor car which went over (very few did - only some half dozen a year) was guaranteed a broken spring or axle (or both). Any motorist who knew of this section always avoided it by taking another road many miles back. The road over was just a rugged track full of holes, where it wasn't holey it was covered by boulders. There was no water the entire distance. And when I thought of the sun as well, no Sir, not for us. It would take about two days walking and pushing that stretch.

So enquiries were made at the Station. “Yes, there might be a train in the morning.”

Morning came and with it uncertainty for my first attempt at “jumping the rattler.” By 7 a.m. I was packed, feverishly I searched for wire and made the hooks. No, one wasn't good enough. I'll make another, must be certain about it, don't want it to fail at the last moment, hurry there! At last a stronger one was made, musn't be late, hurry! Quickly I tried lifting the bike with them. All's well! At 7:10a.m. all was ready. I sat in the shade and waited - till 10 a.m. Still no train. Strangely enough I was no longer excited.

A lone train came in and waited. Thought I, I'll ask the driver if he goes my way and if he can take my pack, that would be a help in case I can't “jump” and have to cycle over. He was going my way but he wouldn't take the pack as he said it was somewhat risky for him to do so.

A. few minutes later a crowded jigger 6) came in, one man jumping off. Thinking that he belonged to the jigger crew I asked if he could take my pack for me provided he were going very far.

“Sure” he said. “I'm going the next 40 miles over the range to Eulo, I'm the fireman of the engine yonder, take it over in a few minutes and I'll hide it in the cabin. Don't be obvious in doing so though.”

Anxious not to miss I waited but a few seconds before doing the deed. The driver looked the other way as the fireman placed it in the cab. Down jumped the fireman. Said he, “Why not jump aboard yourself, we leave in half an hour with these trucks and some from an incoming train.”

I thanked him for the suggestion, saying that I would try although I hadn't thought of doing it.

I looked at the line of empties and decided upon the back one. I placed my sleeping bag in and began with the bike when along came the fireman.

Swears he, “What the hell are you getting in that bloody thing for? These don't go - only the first bloody three! You had better wait till we shunt the three on to the main line when the other bugger arrives. Don't forget don't be obvious about it.”

I “bloody” well thanked him. And waited.

Eventually the “other bugger” arrived on the platform line and was shunted back and then the three trucks placed in front. Horrors! The only open truck into which I could hide (??) was one containing a tremendous pile of coal! And it was right in front and alongside the Station! And don't be obvious! And the train goes in a few minutes!

Over I rushed, trying to make it seem that a stranger running across a railway yard with a clattering bicycle towards a truck was quite a natural thing. In went the parcel, up went the bike, down fell the hooks. Once more the bike went up, the hooks gripped. I let go, the front hook came un-put and the front wheel brushed my cheek, while the handle knocked me on the head. The back hook did likewise, and the pedal ripped my shirt as the bike fell. So we began again with quickly repaired hooks. This time the handles and the projecting collapsible back carrier (which came undone and wouldn't recollapse) prevented the hooks from reaching the truck side. I wriggled the hook and bike, they caught. I let go, down fell the bike against me in its wake my shirt received a wonderful example of an oily chain design. My arms were not quite free from oil either.

In desperation I discarded the hooks and grasping each wheel lifted the bike till rested on the corner of the truck, then jumped up and placed it in the truck.

Room to hide bike and self there was none. The coal was piled high above the truck level, leaving only a twelve inch space between the slope of coal and the truck side. Against this slope the bike rested for all the world to see and in that twelve inch space I lay on big beautiful lumps of dusty coal. I lay and listened. Voices there were and footsteps too but we remained undisturbed. We pulled out, I could not resist one last look, so raised my head towards the Station yet but a few yards away. What a wonderful smiling send off the group of seven gave me! So my perspiration had been for nought.

Soon we were in the ranges where from time to time I caught glimpses of the road. Each time I saw it, its state made me shudder. I willingly put up with the coal. We passed several groups working on the line. Each time I hid and each time I received kindly enquiries regarding my health. About 90 minutes later we arrived at Eulo my journey was over. Fortunately the Station Master was in his office, he has one of the “otherwisers.”

The fireman dropped my pack and all was well.

(To Be Continued In Our Next)

Federation News

Shacks at Garawarra

The Federation is not letting this matter drop. Private shacks in a public park are outrageous, and their owners cannot plead unemployment now. The Federation is approaching the Minister about the matter. If anyone would verify the exact number and condition of the shacks for the Federation, this mould be of great assistance.

Mr. Turner's Resignation

After many years of useful work Jo Turner has seen fit to resign from his positions of representative of the Parks and Playgrounds Movement on the Federation Council and Trustee of Garawarra. Charlie Roberts (C.M.W.) succeeds to the former position and Tom Herbert to the latter.

Topographical Work

The hard-working Ninian Melville produced a map of a hiker's track from Blackheath to Emu Plains passing through a tunnel under Narrow Neck, and also a scheme for obtaining a meal area at Otford where we may have tea on the way home. There will be further news about these next month.

The Bushwalker

The publication committee budgeted for the sale of 500 copies. It still requires a further hundred to be sold. Have you sent a copy to all your friends abroad?

The Co-operative Society

The Subcommittee to investigate the possibilities of this is getting down to work and now proposes to circulate clubs as to possible support. It was authorized to spend up to £2 7) on this.

The Story Of The Frieze

(Continued from last month)

Nevertheless his desire was not quenched, neither were his longings stilled, so he gat 8) him a little bag, wherewith to carry food, and journeyed into the bush on the edge of the city.

And he took with him a book wherein was written the way he should go and he went warily lest perchance he should lose the way and become entangled mid briar and thorn, or rend his apparel on prickly bush. Notwithstanding these things, however, he soon grew in wisdom of the bush and he ventured on longer and more arduous trips into the wilderness, and found his by by using a chart and the magic needle, like unto that which mariners use.

And one day as he walked thus alone, he met a band of travellers like unto himself and they greeted him with friendly words. Then did he turn himself about and accompany them to the place of their encampment and he cooked food on their fire and pitched his tent with their tents.

(The Story of the Frieze will be concluded in next month's Bulletin).

'Phone B.3101.F.A. Pallin,
Good Camp Gear For Walkers,
327 George St., Sydney

Let Us All Play Injuns!

By Dorothy Lawry.

A new member wrote:-

“Dear Miss Dix,

I am not a pole-cutter, but, because I an new and inexperienced, I am constantly afraid of being mistaken for one.

What can I do to improve my bushcraft, and become recognised as a leader and a bush lover?

- A. Walker.”

“Ans. To achieve your ambition you must develop your powers of observation. Train your mind to notice, record, and correlate the information it receives from your eyes, nose, and ears. Watch your step, and always be asking yourself, and others, “What? Why? How?”

- Dorothy Dix.”

We rather suspect that Dorothy Dix is not a bushwalker, and was hiding her ignorance of bushcarft under wise-sourding geralities. And yet her advice was good, as far as it went. The trouble is that, though many of us may be young and earnest, we all go buehwalking for the fun of it - not to study. We swing up our packs, and off we go for the day, or the week-end, or the big trip. Work is behind us, our cares are forgotten; the bush is ours. And how we enjoy it! Yes, how?

Some wish to be as tough as the toughest, so they join -parties whose members are a bit stronger, and walk a bit faster than they themselves. Then they have to barge along with their eyes on the ground all the time lest they stub a toe, or stumble. They certainly toughen themselves, and develop wonderful appetites, but they don't see a thing of the country through which they are walking, or of the plants and animals, birds and insects that live there.

For a really enjoyable trip, most of us go out with parties of about our own standard (with, for preference, one or two people in the party who are slightly slower than we are). Then we have time to look at things as we walk, glancing down to where our feet will go, and up again at the far hills, noting how they fold into one another; stopping to watch a beautiful beetle; sneaking up to see a shy bird; drinking in the colour and scent of the bush as we go; enjoying it to the full.

Yes, certainly, the first point in bushcraft is to take time to see things. And the second is to learn to know them by name. As you go, a question or so - - “What's that bird?”, “What's the name of this creek?”, “Isn't that a lovely tree! What kind is it, do you know?”, will show you that many of your comrades know other things besides how to cook chops, or make a stew. And, of course, everyone likes to show his superior knowledge, so they will all be glad to tell you the names of the places, or birds, or plants you see. Some of them may even be able to name a few of the thousands of different insects.

Another way to add to the fun of bushwalking - and to increase your bushcraft - is to wonder why things grow as they do; why birds and animals behave as they do; why flannel flowers grow in the rockiest places, and Christmas Bells and Heaths are only found in swamps…..

Does this all sound rather studious, and “highbrow”? It isn't, really. In fact, it is next door to childish. Do you remember how you used to admire the “Red Injuns”? How you loved to “play Injuns”? Of course, you did! and, of course, you remember. Two of the main characteristics of the American Indians were their highly-developed power of observation, and the way they could go through the woods hardly disturbing a twig, hardly leaving a sign of their passing.

Let us all “play Injuns” again! There are no enemies trailing us, fortunately, but we have a very strong incentive to leave the bush unmarred by our passing - we love to see the bush in its primitive beauty. We want to see it like that this weekend, next month, next year, and through many happy years to come. If, in our bushwalking, we resemble a herd of elephants, how much bush will there be left for us to enjoy next year?

Let us, rather, remember our early loves, the “Injuns”. Let us make their ideals our ideals. They tried to go through the woods, and to live their lives, enjoying everything, destroying as little as possible, and leaving no mark of their passing.

Do let us all “play Injuns”!

Bush Walker Ballads

1. Young Smithers

By K.M.

Young Smithers was a weedy youth who pushed a clerkly pen.
They said: “Why don't you come and tramp the Bush, where Men are Men?
Forget your books, forget accounts, forget your twos and fours,
And come and see the wonders of Australia's Great Outdoors.”

So Smithers, not without a qualm, set off one Sabbath morn,
And very soon was wishing that he never had been born.
They walked him miles without a break; they said: “Come on, you runt!”
Young Smithers gulped and watched the legs of someone on in front.

They crawled through prickly underbrush, they climbed cliff-faces sheer,
They leapt across great chasms with the ease of mountain deer;
They cried: “Now there's a view for you!” Young Smithers gave a grunt -
Be only saw the hairy legs of someone on in front.

Downhill they went, uphill they went, rivers they forded too,
And how poor Smithers lasted out that day he never knew.
Engraved upon his memory throughout that dreadful stunt
Two things alone remained: the legs of someone on in front.

And now alas, his vacant desk proclaims his tragic fate.
“Then did he meet his death?” you cry. Ah no, a darker state
Engulfs his mind: he cannot see whole figures as of yore,
But only legs, eternally, legs, walking on before.

Heavy Eaters.

“I had a wonderful day, grandma. I went over the hills with a party of trampers, and oh! you should have seen the Devil's Gorge!”
“Hush, my child, that is not the way to speak of your companions. I'm sure they had only healthy appetites.” From “Outdoors” (The Otago Tramping Club).

1) , 2) , 3)
0.5
4)
[sic] tepid
5)
[sic] ? Yabulu, QLD
7)
two pounds
8)
[sic]
193804.txt · Last modified: 2015/11/17 00:32 by elddawt