Intrepid expeditioner signs off on the intentions board.
Destination: Out there.
Mode: Two feet and a heart beat.
Due back: Sometime later.
Slam door on the way out.
Tripping merrily along the track, over ele seals and through the puddles. Past comms, past dieso’s workshop.
Goodbye Landing Beach. Ciao Razorback.
Start climbing hill.
Puff puff puff. Who put this hill in the way? Puff puff puff.
Ooooo! A bench! Considerate folk these Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service (TasPWS) people. Tea and biscuits would be nice about now. Must suggest to the Station Hill ‘Climbing Morale Committee’ that we install a cafe here, staffed by friendly TasPWS leprechauns.
The tussock thickens to forest–like density. The hill gradient steepens.
What are your legs?
Springs. Steel springs.
What are they going to do?
Hurl me up the hill.
How fast can you run?
As fast as
a leopard a skua stealing a penguin chick.
How fast are you going to run?
(shouts) As fast as an ele seal chasing a skua.
Then let’s see you do it!
I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.
Get to top of First Gully. Gale–force head wind bowls intrepid expeditioner ass over apex.
Intrepid Expeditioner (IE): Macca Met, Macca Met, this is intrepid expeditioner on channel 7. Over.
MACCA MET (MM): Intrepid expeditioner, this is Macca Met. Receiving you 4 by 4. Over.
IE: Macca Met, Can you turn the wind off for me? I forgot to hit the Off Button before leaving station. Over.
MM: No. Over.
IE: I’ll do your slushies for a month if you will turn the wind off. Over.
MM: We are an ethical science organisation who believes in the integrity of our scientific dataset. We turn the wind off for no one. Over.
IE: Two months slushy?
Wind stops. Intrepid expeditioner skips blithely along the track until it steepens uphill again — about 10 metres.
O, ye desk–bound muscles! O, ye second helping of last night’s chocolate cake!
Another 93 trips up Doctor’s and I can wear that bikini for the Australia Day swim.
Climbs hand–over–hand up tussock grass. Crawls on hands and knees up through the mud.
Thank you MIPEP for bushy, sturdy tussock grass to help haul me up the hill.
Thank you TasPWS for the sturdy new track markers to haul me up too.
Continue upward. Starts shedding objects from backpack to lighten the load. Tosses blocks of cheese, gourmet chocolates, a camera, track markers, a second camera with super–size lens, a laptop computer and DVD selection.
When are they planning to install that cable car up the hill? Was it Plan R in the station rejuvenation project?
The top of the hill is in sight. Intrepid expeditioner stumbles to the top. The rolling hills of the plateau stretch expansively away into the misty distance.
Intrepid expeditioner disappearing over the hill along the Overland Track.
…Walking in a winter’s wonderland… Gone away is the rabbit… Here to stay is the red poll…
Fear not, Gentle Reader. Our intrepid expeditioner is now safely ensconced in a small round field hut with no sharp edges. We know that she is well as her daily radio skeds feature off-key renditions of musical classics. Her evening sign off is consistently Vera Lynn’s — We’ll Meet Again. IE displayed her comprehension of this morning’s weather forecast with a rousing chorus of Singing in the Rain. She continued with other MGM classics until we turned the volume down. She’s still going yet. The lunch time committee meeting concluded that we would only get truly concerned if she moved on to Disney musicals.
Hakuna matata, my friends.