The next two days follow much the same pattern of early starts, a short ride up to the trail head, followed by substantial walks up into Finch-hatton Gorge to survey at my standard sampling sites. For access we use the Mt Dalrymple walking track, which takes us beyond the formed trails to the popular falls in the gorge, onto a much older but still substantially-worked track with occasional stone steps. These peter out before the 600 metre mark, but the track continues to the summit of Mt Dalrymple. Using a minimum of equipment, consisting of binoculars, notebook, thermometer, infra-red range finder and i-pod, I found that my field-work was emminently suited to adaptation to a carbon-neutral operation. The major concession that must be made seems to be time. It has taken an extra two days to reach my study area, and will require an extra two or three to visit them all… Otherwise logisitically it is much the same. The other major investment is energy, and mental will to get up and put in the extra labour to reach the sites, butas I have said before… these obstacles are more in the mind than physical, and require only an increased level of commitment. When you look at the challenges faced by peole every day all over the world, and those that will likely face many more if we fail to adjust our lifestyles and ecologies to meet the challenge of climate change, these seem to me like trivial efforts to make.
Also, having managed to find by some strange fluke that there was an ex-pro cyclist (Roscoe) living in Finch-Hatton Gorge, the prospect of completing the ride with a broken rear spoke mercifully did not eventuate. With the help of Wazza from Platypus Bushcamp, I organised a rendezvous with Roscoe at his native timber tree farm about 1km from camp. There he broke out his substantial set of tools and parts, installed the spoke and re-trued my wheel, while we discussed the current global climate, tree farming and carbon offsets. A thoroughly enjoyable afternoon, and much-need support for the expedition! thanks roscoe! A big shout out to the kids too!