“Many people nowadays live in a series of interiors… disconnected from each other. On foot everything stays connected, for while walking one occupies the spaces between those interiors in the same way one occupies those interiors. One lives in the whole world rather than in interiors built up against it.”
– Rebecca Solnit
Date 7th September
The road was good today. A man stopped in a black van and asked if I wanted a lift. I told him what I was doing and he sounded really excited and gave me a donation.
Down the road a bit, a lady (Robyn) stopped and asked if I was walking from Mt Perry to Toowoomba. When I said yes she gave me a donation and a punnet of blueberries! She’d heard me on the radio and was from Gayndah. She must’ve done a U-turn on the highway to get to me because she did one when she left.
I ate the blueberries as soon as she left and they were really yummy! They made me want pancakes.
I stopped at a rest stop and had to wee. Everyone else obviously has the same idea at this spot because the grass was all trampled and there was no where to hide behind. Sometimes it would be so much easier to be a man! I went down into a little gully and there was a big dead bird in there. It stunk, but what could I do? I had to wee! I thought it was a wedgetail eagle because it was so huge and had the colouration of a wedgie, but on closer inspection I realised it was actually a gigantic rooster! Its spurs were as long as my fore arm and as thick as one of my fingers.
At the rest stop I was able to take some selfies by leaning my camera on the bin. There was a picnic table and I sat there for a while looking out over the valley. It was a nice view.
After the rest stop the road when down and down and down and kept going down for what seemed like an eternity until I got to Emu Creek. It sucked. I didn’t like walking down for so long. I think it was around 2km of steep downhill. It’s funny how you don’t notice this kind of stuff at all when you’re driving, but the smallest hill when you’re walking is like a big deal.
I walked through roadworks and the stop-go ladies held up traffic coming from both directions so I could get through. On the other side I stopped to lean my pack on a stump, so I could get my GPS out to see how much further I had to go. My friend Pat came while I was there, which was really cool. He was on his way to Toowoomba and I’d arranged with him to pick me up at Mt Kynoch when I eventually arrived in Toowoomba.
Pat had lots of food and milk, which was just awesome, although he didn’t have any Doritos or chocolate. I made a big burger out of cold chicken, cheese and sauce. It was pretty much the best thing I’d ever eaten in my life. He stayed for almost an hour, but eventually he had to push on to Toowoomba.
When I was planning the hike I marked waypoints on my GPS for each campsite. At Glenaven I was waypointing my spot when I saw a lady (Maree) walking up her driveway. When she got to the road I told her what I was up to (I was worried I looked a bit suspicious tramping around in the bush next to her fenceline) and gave her a print out of my plan and a letter about my fundraising. A few days later she emailed me to say that I should stay with her and her family at their house rather than on the side of the road. How cool is that!
When I got to Maree’s I wasn’t totally sure that I was in the right place, so I turned the GPS on to see if I was. It took FOREVER to navigate, well, it seemed like forever because I felt like a dick standing in the driveway thinking that Maree might be watching from her house and thinking to herself, what is she doing out there? But at the same time, I didn’t want to walk down to the house and say, “Hi, I’m here!” and have someone look at me like I’m the world’s biggest idiot and say, “That’s great. Who the hell are you?”
The GPS finally navigated and yes, I was in the right spot. If I had’ve paid more attention to my surroundings I would’ve noticed that there was a bright pink piece of paper in the front of the letter box with my name on it. Durr! It was a lovely welcome note from Maree.
I had a really good time with Maree, her husband Jim and their 5 kids. I was a bit freaked out when I realised they had that many kids (I’m not a huge fan of kids, especially naughty ones), but these kids were really cool and had very good manners. I especially liked their son, Jethro who was a very good conversationalist. I said to Maree, “If someone gave me a kid like this, I would be more than happy to take him and keep him.”Maree told me that she and Jim had registered to become foster parents and had fostered one child so far.
Maree and I talked a lot about self sufficiency. “We’ve got a milking cow, so we have all of our own milk,” she said.
“That’s awesome. You’d be able to make some really good cheese with all that raw milk,” I said.
“Yeah,” Maree answered. It was then that I noticed the large wine fridge with home made chesses inside it. I got a bit too excited about that and took lots of photos of them and talked nonstop about making cheese for the next couple of hours. One of her cheeses was a Romano, which she’d been curing for 6 months already. I don’t know if I’d have the willpower for that kind of timeframe.
At dinner we had homegrown sausages and breakfast the next day was homegrown bacon 🙂
Jim and Maree said they would try and make it to my arrival in Toowoomba.
Me at the rest stop with dead giant rooster and nowhere to pee.
Maree’s cheeses. She even waxed them herself. She’s my cheese-hero!