A Tasmanian journey
by Russ Grayson. Originally published 2002.
TO CLIMB or not? That was the debate I held with myself on the walk up from the Waldheim road head.
I remember her then. Checked wool shirt of the kind favored by bushwalkers and outdoor types. Warm wool trousers, dull khaki in colour. Petite wire framed glasses balanced on a delicate nose. Blonde hair tied back I’m bunches. Chunky leather boots. Pack on back.
CAUGHT BETWEEN rapacious extractive industry on one hand and the sublime beauty of nature on the other, Tasmania remains a paradox in the Australian political landscape. Now, there’s something else to add to the offshore contradiction that is this southern island state—Launceston’s air.
Tasmania, the late 1970s.
UP AND UP. Through a dark, wet forest of towering trees. Along a rough track that never saw the work of a maintenance gang. Squishing through muddy patches, slowing as we climb the steeper sections. All familiar stuff to mountain walkers.