I Carry

Whenever life leans in





The dignity of the tall gum tree

The ageless serenity of the gorge

Cliffs of towering power

The sheer beauty inherent in nature

Enfolded in a flower

Remember the songs of birds

The sigh of wind

Trees sifting energy

Releasing it in leaves

that fall to the ground to dazzle with their abstract pinks and greens


and apricots…

Remember the stillness found on the trail

Counting steps between markers

All that matters

The next small triangle


And know

That all of this magic

lives on when I go

It’s part of my fabric now

I will always have access to

these memories

know the key

return here in my mind


*I recently (okay end of July) completed the Carnarvon Gorge Great Walk. Six days solo hike through the wilderness of the stunning and remote Carnarvon Gorge national park.

It was an amazing experience, a total immersion into the landscape through which I walked daily, setting up my little tent at night and falling asleep, waking into the sounds of the bush every morning.

The routine became simple. Wake, boil the kettle, eat, look at map, walk to next camp, lunch on a hillside with an awesome view somewhere along the way. Set up camp, eat, sleep. Wake. Camp. Walk.

I thrived, out of range of phone and email and every other modern device (I had a Garmin Inreach for safety). My entire system rebooted and as such I have been wary of spending much time online since returning – until now.

This writing is part of the process although I’m only now finding the ability to put a little of the experience into words.

The poem above fell into my head on the last day as I trudged along, my backpack much lighter then when I had begun, my body fitter but my soul not quite prepared to go home yet.

I could have easily stayed out there forever and will certainly be returning to do the walk again as soon as the merry go round enables another break.

In the meantime, I can always go there in my mind.

The best thing about life is that we have the experience, and then we have the memory. Which of course must be tempered with – the worst thing about life is that we have the experience, and then we have the memory, but in this case it was the former.

A couple of photos – not many, because I was so wholly present, they remain vivid memories in my head. And that is the best place to keep them.

Gossamer Gear The One Tent 500gms – yes I became a gram counter before leaving – this tent was light, easy to set up. Being single walled I had condensation but the sunny days meant I could air it out at lunch
Day Two an epic climb from “down there” being the floor is the gorge and at the foot of those white cliffs you can see in the photo. Thousands of step ups.
Lunch perch
Another day, another lunch perch
Releasing the load and you guessed it…another lunch spot
The scenery was spectacular – every single day – this was taken in the way down, day six.
Kookaburras are a lovely alarm clock.
Day four (I think it was four – a bit of a blur) I reached the mahogany forest a magical world of prehistoric cycads and towering mahogany trees. There may have been a dinosaur, it may have been my imagination.

13 thoughts on “I Carry

  1. How beautiful the poem and the landscape is breathtaking, I can image how one grows and becomes part of it. I felt like that when we’d go cruising on the sail boat.

  2. Oh Kate, what an extraordinary experience, and such a beautiful poem. You are courageous and open to experiences that many are not; I envy that. I imagine your life will never be the same after allowing such a beautiful experience into your life.

    • The changes are still coming to the surface Susan. For one thing, carrying everything you need to survive and even thrive for six days on your back and living with bare essentials made coming home to my big full home pretty overwhelming. I now have a gratitude and reductionist mindset. Lovely to hear from you, I hope you are well and writing.

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