• arealityfewsea

Loving the Support and Gratitude of treading lightly while living simply.

After a tough nights sleep wrestling pigs and cows we wake up to this view
Sunrise over the Pig Dam

In my professional life I am a support worker within the disability sector. I have strived to be the best role model I can be, right or wrong, as well as in my personal life. Most of my life has been about supporting others in their endeavours, goals, challenges and achievements. This has always given me great satisfaction. I love watching and supporting people develop and grow along their journey. This next stage of my journey, which is intrinsically entwined with another being, has shown me how I, we, are lovingly supported as well. The mere fact that people are reading this and wanting to engage and know more about what we are doing is a clear indication that we are supported. I have a new appreciation for the word support which leads me to have a deeper understanding of what gratitude is to me. Whether you are directly or indirectly supporting this next stage of our lived experience, it is deeply appreciated and lovingly received.

And with that we would like to single out a handful of amazing beings who have greatly assisted us to get to this point in time and space. You need to be mentioned because without your support and guidance we wouldn’t be sitting in the very privileged position we are in currently. Firstly Kay, you were our first subscriber and also the amazing seamstress who turned our old queen sized Sheridan sheets into our amazing sleeping bag inserts. Yes we could’ve paid $100 for a synthetic insert however Kay took on the challenge and created something special that we get to sleep in every night. She also makes the most amazing crotched face washers that we have 2 of. So if anyone is looking for repurposed handmade product Kay’s your lady. To our galactic cosmic family in Cairns. You know who you are so no need to mention your names. From the deepest recesses of our hearts we thank you for all you have shown us and shared with us over the last 2 years. It has been an amazing journey that still continues through our cosmic connection. The love and compassion through all the moments we shared will be forever embedded within us. Words and language don’t come close to saying what we mean though it is felt in the heart. Much gratitude for the light and love we share.

To Emma for all the leg work and Sam for supporting Emma we thank you. Without Emma driving up the range with all our stuff and Jazz meeting us on day 1 at Clohesy river, we not sure we would’ve made it beyond Koah in those first couple of days. Then meeting us at Granite Gorge where Sam became our first guest rider from there to Walkamin, hope your butt has recovered. And now both coming to Laura with a heap of shopping and spares that we didn’t envisage needing just yet. We look forward to the next couple of days hanging out with you in the big town of Laura. Finally where would either of us be without that one really special friend? Im not sure, however we all need a little Gypsy to assist us occasionally and Jen, we are grateful beyond words for your love, support, encouragement and assisting us to discover who we really are.

Give me a running creek and a dirt road and im happy
Just add water

Now that we have expressed our gratitude to the humans that have made a difference to our life there is one really special being that needs thanking. Jazz! or All that Jazz as her official name is. She looks at us some days as if to say WTF are you putting me through today. We had a moment where we thought she was going to lay down on the banks of the Mitchell River and die. She had quite possibly thought we couldn’t get any crazier until she realised that this was how it was going to be for the foreseeable future. She stopped eating and drinking and was done, or so we thought. Without a vocabulary to express her desires we tuned into her and realised that all she wanted to do was run and be free with us. So we stopped mollycoddling her and let go of the reins and let her dictate her own terms. Well after that day she ran roughly 85kms to our riding 105kms and is smiling and much happier. She also slept for the first time in weeks instead of being alert and on guard defending the universe from weird noises and things that go bump, in the night. You are indeed a bloody legend my dear!

Now all of this gratitude and love we are sharing has come about due to our last leg of the journey. We spent many a day and night reflecting on how the hell we managed to get to where we are. We have pinched ourselves every night at the amazing scenery and locations that we have been fortunate enough to be in. We left Chillagoe feeling refreshed and energised although a little apprehensive about the 300kms in front of us without any towns, shops or phone reception and if we could physically cope with the distance and solitude. It took us 10 days to cover the distance and in that time we spoke to maybe 5 people and seen only a handful of vehicles. There were a few tantrums and breakdowns, mainly from J however all was in context to what we are uncovering about ourselves. With some of the harder days came some amazing campsites by water for all but 1 night. And on that night had we had the energy to ride another couple of kilometres we would’ve been by water. However when the body and mind is shot, the best option is to stop and rest.

Palmerville road heading down only to head up again soon enough
Another hill although this is the down bit

Through this area we crossed 3 of the bigger river systems on the cape. The Walsh was our first and although the water was flowing fast it wasn’t above the causeway. We camped beside it that night and we didn’t sleep that well due to all the mining traffic and semi’s that continued all night and covered us in dust. The next day was a struggle due to a lack of sleep, heavy traffic and average road surface and we stopped by a small creek at 1pm and that was us done for the day. Dinner was cooked and consumed by 3pm and bed before sunset. The next day we rose early and hit the road fresh and by 4 pm had covered a lot more territory than the previous day and wound up camping by a cattle trough and dam. We got a hell of a surprise when we went to collect some water from the trough when a handful of pigs charged out of the dam and frightened the crap out of us. That kept us and Jazz on edge for the night and around midnight we heard a snorting roar near the tent. We peaked outside to see Jazz sitting there stunned as a Bull was trying to figure out what the tent was in front of him. Thankfully he figured it wasn’t a cow so he or us weren’t getting any action tonight.

The cooling waters of the Walsh River was very refreshing after a days riding and dust
The Walsh River

We woke with the sounds of helicopters and cars and seen the station we were on were mustering. So we packed up and peddled forward and came across a herd of cattle being mustered and had a brief chat to the fellas who looked at us like we were from another planet. We managed to get to the Mitchell river crossing early afternoon and went up to the station to inform them of our intentions and also to ensure it was ok for us to be there. After the surprise of being caught up in the mustering of one station we thought it would be prudent to check in with the next. He was a top fella and thought we were “awfully keen,” however he shared some local knowledge with us and wished us luck. The Mitchell is a bloody big waterway. It starts out near Mt Molloy and winds its way to the Gulf collecting more rivers along the way and we have a pretty special connection to this river. I asked Shell to marry me on the banks of the Mitchell near Mt Carbine, we got Married at Tyrconnell Goldmine which sits on the Hodgkinson River that flows into the Mitchell and here we were at roughly the midpoint of the whole river system, what else could happen. Well as we have written earlier we thought we may be burying Jazz here, thankfully that wasn’t the case. We had an awesome 2 days chilling by the water swimming and relaxing our tired muscles.

The captivating and Majestic Mitchell River along the Palmerville road
The Majestic Mitchell River

The Palmer River was our next destination and 2 days of undulating ups and downs that never seemed to end or get any shallower we got to our first rocky creek bed crossing. It was a steep entrance although not a steep or long as the exit that we had to take the next morning and thankfully not quite hip deep. We pushed through and camped right on the river across from the Palmerville Station. We wanted to stay an extra day however we had heard stories that the station owner was a cantankerous old bastard that doesn’t like people around so we didn’t hang around long enough to find out. From here we managed to cover the 100kms to Laura in 4 days and managed every night to camp by either a dam or a river. The last river was a real cracker. After a shitty experience on the road that morning where the corrugations, soft edges and middle and the gibber stones everywhere J had a massive meltdown and raving rant that has been captured on video and will hopefully be edited and uploaded as it is funny to watch. The unnamed river run through a limestone basin and had cut into the ground to create a small gorge with waterfalls that made like a little spa. So after a hard 15kms the spa was indeed worth the effort to get to. We ran out of stove fuel so we lit a fire and cooked up a mean meal of mashed potato, canned veggies and shiitake mushroom gravy. The next day was another bone rattling 15kms of dirt before we hit the blacktop all the way into Laura. It was funny that the last 20kms took an hour and a bit yet the first 15km took two and a half hours, oh what a difference road surface makes.

Doesn't look steep however pushing our bikes up here took around 40mins
Its a steep climb out of the Palmer River

Through all of this action and adventure we have had many moments to either sit and ponder or ride and consider our fortunate position in life. Yes we have had our fair share of ordinary moments in life however they have led us to this very point and for that experience we are truly grateful. Every evening we are able to sit together and share what happened to us through the day. Although we are riding together we do spend a considerable amount of time apart and by ourselves pondering life's big questions and also being really conscious of where we are. We have both sat there in silence after dinner and sort of looked at each other and gone, “how the fuck did we get here” and “isn’t this bloody amazing”. It is really a simple life we are a part of. We feel as though we are a pair of turtles some days, carrying our house on our back slowly plodding along to the next point in time and space. And then other days wondering how did we get here and where are we actually going and why? To tread lightly and live simply does take some adjusting however gratitude for actually being able to do this goes along way towards actually asking “what else is possible?”

The road between Chillagoe and Walsh River
Where to next?

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