4WD Touring Australia – June 2018

(Ben Green) #1

022 | 4WDTouringAustralia


We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver,
lling every pore and cell of us.

  • John Muir, My First Summer in the Sierra

Instead of insight, maybe all a man gets is strength to wander for a while. Maybe the only gi is a
chance to inquire, to know nothing for certain. An inheritance of wonder and nothing more.

  • William Least Heat-Moon, Blue Highways


was six years old when I made my rst hike.
Dad and I drove six hours west, toward the
Appalachian Mountains in an old tan El Camino.
Our aluminium frame packs were in the back,
packed with enough gear to see us through for
a few days in the woods. Mine was bright, hunter
orange. His was an old beat-up Kelty covered
in zippered pockets full of pocket knives, ints,
band-aids, snakebite kits and smelling salts.

We were headed up to the crest of the range,
along a road called Skyline Drive built under Roo-
sevelt as part of his New Deal, a way to employ the
unemployable in the lee of the Great Depression,
toward a park called Shenandoah.
We had topographical maps and new socks.
We had no real plan except enter the forest at
some point, and come out again a few days later.
We hiked most of the day.
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