Today

  
Who are you when no one is watching? 

Take that question roll it through you. 

Who are you when you are not watching?

Smoky Ranger

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Souplesse on bike and in life.

  
Souplesse is a French word for suppleness. This term has made its way into the cycling community to describe a fluid and seemingly effortless cycling technique. 

Many enthusiasts also notice this mentally, when they hit the “sweet spot” or as they say in the sports science fraternity “the flow.”

I’m finding this is also something  us Humans are looking for as a permanent emotional state. Truth of it, seems, we have highs and we have lows equally as sharp as the other. 

Equanimity could help.

 I know as I pedal up hills and down dales, in scorching summer heat with everything I own on my bike, equanimity is my refuge as my legs lungs and skin slowly burn.

I’ve been heavily practicing vipassana meditation. Through this I’ve had a multitude of reflective and active awareness  flow through me. It’s also translated into my riding, a very “Zen in the moment” thing.

A new year has come and I’m more committed to continuing my vagabond ways, through amazing and heart affirming events I’ve been silently and lovingly guided back to my innate gifts (art, music, healing, philosophy) and now I know these are my apples on the apple tree that is me. 

I have ranted and raved and preached to all and sundry about how the Human worlds not right. Now I see it’s exactly what it’s needing to be. 

Souplesse on the bike is becoming souplesse with my disposition. I realise, me, trying to rattle all the cages and move everyone into what I think the world should be, is arrogant and pointless. Another folly of man. 

I was switching one task of Sisyphus for another. All I feel I can do is give myself love and permission to live my life exactly as I feel is right. Society be dammed. I follow my code. 

In this I show all those I come in contact with what it’s like to live by your convictions and joys. Like a finger pointing to the moon…don’t look at the finger too long or you will miss all the moons heavenly glory.

So I ride, I camp, fish, hunt, forage, dumpster dive, couch surf, help people out with whatever they need, plant food wherever I go. I also plant seeds. Seeds of my truth. If they find the right soil, they flourish.

As I write this I’m amazed at how fast a year travels by. I’ve wrestled many things last year. Seen some beautiful places and met interesting characters. 

I was asked “what’s the worst thing that’s happened to you this year?” Hindsight showed to me, this has been one of the best years of my life. Any mishaps turned out to be a blessing.

I have no money worries, no bills, no one co opting my life choices. No boss, landlord etc. Instead I have an abundance of help support. friendship and love. Everyday is an opportunity to reaffirm my choice. 

I do what I want and try my hardest to daily live by my code and follow my truth and my heart. If people I meet need something, if I can help, I do it gladly and freely. If my life choices resonate great, if not, great. 

I’m going to keep on being a nomadic freeman on a bike, so much to do so much to see, so much to create. The real world (not Human cities and our social memes) the sky the ocean the mountains the dirt etc is an amazing and beautiful place. It’s ok to go have a play out there!

Try to be patient, try to be kind, try to be unselfish, without being blind. And though you will suffer, try to envy not. Try to be thankful for all that comes and conscientious of all you’ve got.

I’m ready for what comes next.

Smoky Ranger

348 days later…

   
It’s been 348 days since my first post. My ambitious goal to blog weekly turned out to be poorly met. 

What has Smoky been doing?

Answer is simple. 

Living. 

I’ve ridden my bike (of course) stayed with family and friends, had the misfortune of stopping to keep abreast of the affairs of the world and been past disgusted with the state of things. I’ve been fishing, hunting, climbing, foraging, sunbathing, reading, talking (a lot), drawing, writing, lots of meditating, thinking deep thoughts, planting food, seeds, trees, building garden beds and fences, greenhouses. Cooking cleaning, child minding, fruit picking, day labouring, sleeping napping, getting stoned.

Most of all trying to answer the real questions (to me anyway)

Who am I?

Why am I here?

Where am I going?

What’s going to happen to me when I die?

 What’s the point of it all?

A new friend has dubbed my adventure as a “treadlystential journey” boy is he right!

A year in to my grandiose plan and I’ve had two minor accidents, second one injuring my trailer, the axle that my trailer clips onto is busted and I’m still waiting on a replacement. 3rd attempt at procuring it. No one in Australia has them, I may have to order direct from the U.S…

Again the delay has caused setbacks I’d originally aimed at being in the Northern Territory by now, this trip is going to take longer than I told everyone. (Thank god for that)

The truth be told, here in cyberspace ( as I lay on the 20th fold out couch I’ve slept on). I don’t plan on coming back to anywhere I’ve lived.

It’s taken a year for me to finally not care about what may happen tomorrow. To stop being anxious that I’m being irresponsible with my life. A year, to detox the compulsion  to be busy all day everyday. I don’t angst about my career now fast faded, my house, ex partner, paying taxes and bills, getting and keeping “security” for my future.

Finally stripped it away.

I’ve been methodically stripping the gear from my bike and trailer, less of everything and it’s still too much to carry. Do I need my trailer as much as I think?

I don’t know.

Many people are saying  about my trailer, “it’s a sign to not go on.”

I feel it’s a challenge that I haven’t finished what I set off to do. Which is to be as free as a human can be, in the cage we live in, on this planet. And die trying.

It’s amazing and humbling to see how many lives I’ve touched. The outpouring of genuine affection and love is awe inspiring. Fate keeps landing me in places in just the right time in just the right ways to be part of some deep and profound events.

Maybe I have had a breakdown and am suffering from a form of dysphobia. 

Or maybe the gods applaud and support my (no longer) secret plan to unplug, say “I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive my wrongdoing, thank you and goodbye” to every single person I love, leave some great lasting memories and ride till I find the right spot and am never seen or heard from again.  

I’d also hoped along the way, to inspire everyone around me to awaken from the cultural slumber we are in. To collaborate on inventing new ways of living and create a freedom for all to investigate the real questions of human experience. Sadly not many are picking up what I’m putting down.

I’ve found kindred spirits via social media who are actually taking charge of their own self determination and trying to live free. At this moment, I’m done trying to inspire humanity to be better in its collective action. 

I see so many things on so many levels, now that I have the day to live fully. I realise now, it doesn’t matter one jot, what I do or don’t do.                                   

Not one jot what I write or blog. 

Some will see it or read it, maybe give it a thought or two and go back to their hamster wheels called “having a life”, filled with all the obligations, justifications and partake in the global obfuscations, in the hope of carving a precious hour or two to themselves to indulge in some ultimately empty pleasurable experience to release the pressure valve of modernity.

But maybe people want to read about your experiences and see pictures of the things you’ve seen, Smoky?

My answer is, stop living vicariously through others, stop living according to the dictates of others. Turn of your fucking TVs, phones and computers, tell your boss to get fucked, and go do shit that makes you feel excited and alive.

You are running out of time.

None of you are making it out alive. 

I know my time is fast coming up, and for 200 of the 348 days since I said fuck you to “earning. a. living” I’ve had more joy, wonder, awe, love, peace, excitement and laughter, and true human to human connection, than I had in 38 years.

So back to “Smoky been lazy with his blogs and pictures” sorry folks, I’ve been too busy living in the moment to record the moment all 348 days filled with them.

Fishing with bacon and The Position of F##k You. 7/8/15

  
I had a lovely catch up with Mr “D” and Dj McTastic, ostensibly to catch fish stock for their start up aquaponics farm. They drove a ways to meet me in the Riverlands region here in Southern Australia. 

Mr “D” is arguably a mad genius, he and Dj McTastic arrived an hour late (as usual ­čśť) with their fishing kits and Mr “D” had two 100 litre tubs to bring back fish to go in the aquaponic tanks.

But one crucial thing was missing…bait! Mr “D” has more ambition in his little finger than most people have in their entire lifetime. And his “can do, will do” attitude has, at times, carried him over the line when others would have failed. So Mr “D” cheerfully states, “it’ll be right, we’ll just use some bacon on the hooks!”

Dj McTastic quizzically looks at him and says, not a word. I had scouted out a few places to go along the river having seen many an old boy out earlier in the week catching plenty of fish. The weather sadly was atrocious! Howling winds and rain later in the day led to a series of comedies in errors. 

Mr “D” a competent angler set up the lines for him and Dj McTastic, for McTastic to cast his line out into the gale and watch his tackle just fly out into the middle of the river! Somehow Mr “D” forgot to tie it on…

I caught an excellent tree branch on a willow tree on my first cast! Talk about “pissing into the wind”, had to cut away my line as it was never coming off. A lovely group of people pulled up to the place you can see in the photo to have a picnic, with the alpha male of the pack cheerfully chatting with us that today was not a day to fish due to the approaching weather and something celestial making the fish uncatchable that weekend.

So we decided to move to another spot with the winds at our backs instead. Another cheerful chap told us of a good spot about 20 minutes drive away. So we packed up and toodled to it. Again another flying tackle and crazy wind!!! Bacon flies off hooks amazingly well…

Deciding today was not a day to fish we went back to a local park with a BBQ to cook the bacon we had left along with other goodies that the entrepreneurs had packed. 

As we were cooking eating and laughing in the steadily cooling day, we got to talking about how work/career has become synonymous with life, autonomy and the unconscious consensus of thought that you are only as free in the “modern world” as your purchasing power permits. 

We had all seen The Gambler with Mark Wahlberg and a scene that strongly resonated with Mr “D” sums it up. 

  “You get up two million dollars, any asshole knows what to do: you get a house with a twenty five year roof, an indestructible Jap-economy shit box, you put the rest into the system at three to five percent to pay your taxes and that’s your base, get me? That’s your fortress of fucking solitude. That puts you, for the rest of your life, at a level of fuck you. Somebody wants you to do something, fuck you. Boss pisses you off, fuck you! Own your house. Have a couple of bucks in the bank. Don’t drink. That’s all I have to say to anybody on any social level.”

Perfect synopsis of our global mentality. 

Now it’s a nice sound piece of advice. But again we all know you are only as free as you’re able to purchase that freedom. But are you? Houses are great for putting stuff in them, cars need constant cash flow to keep it on the road. The State always takes its lawfully deemed cut of any income. You need a constant flow of money to maintain that “modern basic living” standard and much more to add global travel etc to the list of acts of freedom.

I look at my moneyless nomadic minimalist lifestyle and realised this: 

“No day but today”                                     my needs in order are, water, food, protection from the elements, sleep, interaction with others. If you can procure those things inventively without money, you are in the ultimate position of “Fuck you.”

But then what!? This is what I’ve been experimenting with. Lead others to the waters so they may also drink, if they choose. Motivate encourage support and inspire others to emancipate themselves and support each other. 

Com and Munos , together and gift are the root of the term Community. This is what I believe is the ultimate position of “Fuck you”, enlightened anarchical groups of people pooling resources, in stewardship of the Earth, meeting our needs together and creating an emerging, progressive society of self rule, abundance, peace and freedom.

Smoky Ranger, sure can dream can’t he?

My aim versus life’s aim 16/6/2015

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50lb takedown recurve bow practice

I haven’t written much of a blog really, seems like I’ve been doing everything and nothing. Writing is one of my keen passions and sadly haven’t had as much time to do all that I have wanted.
Winter solstice is fast approaching and I have just left my hometown.
A dear friend of mine lightheartedly pointed out to me in conversation, that its difficult to write about people and events when you are around those people.
Oh too true!

“What have you been up to, O Smoky?” I have been asked.

Trying to emancipate “Framily” (friends, family and friends who’ve become family), from being wage and debt slaves.

Actively cajoling to outright pushing people to join the “green rebellion” and grow their own food.
Making peace with the death of my former life and my former self.

And finally, saying goodbye to the people and places  I’m leaving behind, as I grow and evolve whilst exploring and travelling and green rebelling.

Its been a lot of fun sojourning in my hometown, staying with people, living with them for a time, getting to know them in less verbal ways and far more experiential ways.
At times its been downright frustrating as well.
I daresay for the circle of people I call framily as well.

I’ve explored places I never had time to see as previously working or distracted. I’ve picked fruits and vegetables from around the region. “Gone Bush” on day trips. Had intense discussions with everyone about everything. Dumpster diving for food. BBQ’s, dinners, lunches galore. Administered treatments, counselled those who’ve needed it.
Offers of romance from near and far have amazingly  presented as well.
I’ve not slept much, eating is getting less (frequency and volume), yoga and meditation dropped away as I moved around.
Riding my bike has been sporadic. Some days 150 km plus and others none at all.
I was slowly being pulled into other peoples life choices and found myself losing aim on what’s truly important to me.

I’ve had a lot of people offer to “help me out” by offering me a place to stay and food to eat. Its so greatly appreciated but it kept me longer than I planned.
Its been comfortable, cosy, as I have been “home”
But it was wracking my soul.

What have I learnt from this?
Be very clear on what I want and what I don’t want and what’s an agreeable arrangement.
After all I have the 4 agreement’s tattooed on my right forearm and as I slowly “fell asleep” in suburban living again, I forget to follow my guiding light.

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Wild celery growing by a creek

So in future I won’t be engaging in anything with anyone unless first and foremost it sits right with my heart and souls values.

Aside from that, I’ve met a lot of really top people, shared some great moments, hung out with kindred spirits, whom are on the cusp of becoming more of their true selves and less of a societal clone.
I’ve managed to drop 12kg of weight off my touring gear. 10kg off me (under 110kg, so much muscle lost:'(). I sold some stuff and traded other bits.
And received some really helpful kit and advice.

I’ve learnt to “say yes” to opportunities that present, to continually live an experiential, aware and focused life. (Thank you DJ McTastic!)
For ending up at an Anzac day street party with a gang of hard drinking filth talking diggers in the cold and rain was a memorable experience I wouldn’t have had, if I had said “hmmmm, no thanks”.
Living each day as if it is the day you’re going to lay down at the end of it and never wake up, is a heady and at times fearful prospect.
After all we all like to know where we are going in life!

Further to this, I’ve come across a technique to help navigate my uncertainty in being completely free.
A silver coin.
I have a coin with a hole drilled through it, its now a paracord pendant, hanging around my neck, next to my new tattoo.
If I’m not sure where I’m going or what to do I take it out and flip it. Heads or tails, yay or nay, left or right, north or east etc.
(Thank you Grizz!)
This is what I’m now referring to as my “experience multiplier”
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.
I have no idea how all this will end up.

But isn’t that a truth for us all?

The most haphazard blogger returns 5/5/2015

5/5/2015

Invictus

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find me, unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

William Earnest Henley

A dear friend shared this most epic poem just this week with me, last night in fact, as we sat outside in the small hours, watching a storm.
I am deeply touched and emboldened by it.
Upon looking it up I discovered that Nelson Mandela would recite it to not only himself but also his fellow inmates during his long incarceration.
What does it have to do with anything O Smoky? You ask.

Well, read the poem, close your eyes, and review all you have done (or not) this year so far. Open your eyes and read the poem again and let Henley’s words invoke thoughts feelings and emotion within you.

We see on Instagram and Facebook, posters, television and hear on radio, the exhortation to “hustle” to not give in to falling behind in the rat race. I’ve seen parts of this poem being used to do this. To encourage a noble effort from a humans psyche but for purposes that aren’t, in isolated focus, ennobling.
The poem Invictus resonates with me tremendously.

I will share, today, a story of my past.
Actually a story of my father and his father before him.
Being an avid investigator of Genes and epigenetics I often wonder if we somehow have “memory” of our ancestors and the major events that impacted upon them and changed their destinies or fates and then their subsequent offspring carry that legacy.
My biological father is German. He was much older than my mother, much older. I was conceived “out of wedlock” from a man who had lived through World War two.
As a boy he saw a horrible event which I suspect set him on a new internal path.

As the Nazi party formed and utilised the “SS” to brutal effect, many German intellectuals and survivors of World War one, opposed the fast shifting sands of the new Reich and its broad sweeping legal reforms.
As a result over 3 million German citizens were killed by their own Government.
Germans killing Germans, as it was “legal” to do so as opposition to their new┬áregime was deemed “illegal”.

My Grandfather had been involved with tanks in World War one. When Germany was preparing its rearmament and reforming its armed forces. My Grandfather was recalled to active duty.
He flatly refused.
One fine sunny day in what was to become East Germany. An SS officer, with Panzer Grenadiers arrived to collect him.
He flatly refused, with a weapon.
For this his family were seized, my father a young boy held with a gun to his head to force compliance. My grandfather surrendered his weapon and was promptly marched out into the street. With ruthless efficiency the unit rounded up everyone that lived on the street to bear witness as my fathers, father, a retired soldier, was punished.
The SS officer shot my grandfather in both of his legs, amidst the screaming from all present.
I cannot imagine what that would be like, especially for a young boy, who loved his father with all the joy, hope and total faith a child feels for their parent.

After all, the word “Mum” or “Dad” is synonymous to “God” when we are small and totally dependant upon our progenitors.

My grandfather, kept in the middle of the road,  was driven over by the half track vehicle, the SS officer commanded.

Killed as an example to others for not complying, with an insane regime for insane purpose.

After the war my father with his mother and siblings survived the brutality of the Russians in an internment camp for the civilians.
Having studied this period of history intensely, the innocent people of Germany suffered a unique form of hell. They continued to do so for quite some time.
The early 70’s,┬áduring the┬á“Cold war” many, many, people were either willing or unwilling agents for the Stasi, the East German secret police/intelligence organisation for the U.S.S.R.
My father a grown man by then had become an Engineer, and also an agent for the Stasi, hunting Nazis.
To this day I do not know what happened. I only know the end result.

He, in the dark of night, packed a small suitcase and through his network of contacts managed to get out of East Germany. He walked through Europe to find himself passage to Australia.
This is a man with a strength of will that can only be called Ubermensch. He decided he’d had enough of “living” in East Germany and would rather risk his life (as escapees were killed) to be free. Despite it being “illegal” to do so, he defied them.
Turning away from the relative comfort and security found within the known.
Turning away from family, friends, shelter, a hot bath and meals.
This man took the road less travelled. Hell, he blazed a trail so that others may follow. Walking his path, for his reasons alone.
Gee…I wonder where I get my crazy desire to not submit to authority, why I have always been an enlightened anarchist. Why I have an insatiable urge to roam. Two generations of survivors of two world wars.

I had the absolute joy of watching Into the Wild, last night. A bio-flick about Chris McCandless who gave away his wealth and lived free, travelling around North America and Mexico to ultimately head to Alaska.
Again the imagery and dialogue within that movie resonated so powerfully with me. In that mans actions I see me.
A beautiful but somewhat lengthy quote;

“So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.”

Into the Wild.

My sun has been different every day since I chose this path.DSCF0030

Adelaide, R & R brings my purpose into clearer focus.

Two weeks of R and R, have given me time and space to reflect over many aspects of my little adventure so far.
It’s nice to come back to a place I’ve called home for so long.
I’m out of step with everyone as time differences from Perth to Adelaide are 3 1/2 hours.
Also not keeping to time due to not working has shown me how conditioned we are to living by the clock for work.
In regards to my travels I’m mapping out the next leg and making preparations to soon be on my way.
I’ve been riding a large amount 100-200km at a time without a load to just keep my butt used to the saddle and my leg/lung power from deconditioning (it’s the Exercise scientist in me).
The Tour Down Under is here so cyclists aplenty are making car drivers more intolerant than normal. So due caution and care have seen I’ve not been skittled again.
My hands are almost back to normal. Slight tingles every now and again remind me to be gentle with myself, I’m no longer 20 and am not indestructible.

Not working a job for money (as I’m back in my old neighbourhood), has been stressful, as the conditioning I (as all of us) have had is that you “have to earn a living”, this haunts me somewhat.
After all…how can you contribute to society if you don’t work a job?

I see and hear all the people I know and love, as well as those I don’t, all talk about their lives with various aspects of this cultural narration point, as the underpinning notion of their lives.
To some I may seem a “moocher” right now.
I’m far from it.
Here now, with people I know gives me a real time opportunity to start implementing my ideas that were crystallised before I heard of Rob Greenfield or Mark Boyle.
I am working on exchanging my life’s “time”, my awesome and varied skills and abilities to provide what others need in exchange for what I need. And I find I’m needing very little. Which frees me to give and do a lot!

My best friend and his wife have given me a place to call home, when I need it. I love them both so dearly for this. In return I do what I can to show my appreciation and help in ways that I can. We have a few projects to do, Food gardens are the priority now!

The number one complaint I’m hearing from Perth to Adelaide so far is the cost of food, real food not processed chemicals and materials made to look and taste like food. Real food.
I’m gripped by an almost frenzied and righteous anger at seeing us all being wage slaves.
No one I know is “getting ahead” as costs for basics and staples such as food are increasing at an alarming rate.

So time for me to step it up a notch. Or four.

Being a herbalist, now amateur permaculturalist, and fan of all things “off grid” I plan on helping everyone I know here to set up food plots to grow an abundance of seasonal produce, to share it and start building relationships with others in their street.
I would like you to picture, to take 5 minutes and imagine this.
What would your street look and feel like if there were no lawns just food gardens?
People sharing their crops and getting together to make meals and sharing methods to utilise and preserve the excess?
Imagine the smells, the conversations with new friends, laughter, your kids growing up eating real food that truly costs pennies for pounds?

Imagine having an extra $200 in your bank balance, every week, as you didn’t need to go buy fresh produce and have it rot in you refrigerator within 4 days due to it being substandard and imported from God knows where from and God knows how long ago.
Food should be as free as possible!!

Meanwhile over 30,000 children die daily across the globe due to starvation.
Do some maths on that statistic. That’s 210,000 children a week, 840,000 children a month, 2,520,000 children a financial quarter!!
We here in Australia just finished having a media rage over a person killing a few innocent people in a cafe in Sydney.

Here in Australia food uncertainty (the ability to secure food) is on an alarming increase. Food wastage domestically is also at alarming figures. Approximately 30% of your food per annum goes in landfill.
Meanwhile we live in suburban wastelands…houses with manicured lawns and pretty trees, with footpaths and roads.
The contrast I see from having been out in the wilds to coming back into middle class suburbia is honestly horrifying.
What would happen if, by our actions we became more food self sufficient and the supermarket oligarchs decide to “pull on the choker chain” to bring us to heel, so to speak?

What would we do? How would this develop? What escalations would come? Would companies lobby local, state and federal government to ban domestic food production? How far would it go if we take back our sovereign right to work land for our own purposes?

I see a small cultural revolution immanent if we do not take our autonomy in regards to feeding ourselves.
After all buying bare essentials in a shopping hand basket means at least $50 dollars these days in either Coles or Woolworths.
How long will we the people of Australia tolerate this? Don’t look to the government to do much.
Do it yourselves!
There is a book I implore you all to read and apply called “One magic square” by Lolo Houbein.
If we all did this we would save thousands of dollars per year! Put that on your mortgage! Get debt free ASAP!

After all, for autonomy and independence from reliance upon money aka “a job” we need to be able to procure our essentials. Water food and shelter from extremes in climate (weather).
The challenge is you need land to do this.
How much money wouldn’t you need if you had no mortgage?

In all my travel so far I have seen huge tracts of land under-utilised solely for mono culture cash crops, be it pine plantations for lumber, pastoral grazing land for sheep and cows, to be reared for killing for their flesh. Water supplies hoarded and poorly utilised. All for what?
Quarterly profit margins.
We pay these.
Daily.
In jobs most of us can’t take more than two full weeks off from or otherwise your out permanently.
What are you working FOR?
Or at you working to get AWAY from? Is it debt?
There is a large demarcation between these two.
You know what gets me out of bed in the morning and what I’m working for. It has nothing to do with the status quo and everything to do with freedom.
Smoky Ranger

Cause to pause

The Indian pacific leg of the journey started very smoothly.
I awoke at 6am, final pack and prep and off to the East Perth terminal. I was (un)fortunate to load my gear in the baggage carriage due to being incredibly early and making handling my bike look incredibly easy.

The trip was…languid. I sat in companionable ease with other local and international travellers, sharing adventures and misadventures from the four corners of the world. As I penned this in my notebook, I was sitting in the Matilda cafe carriage, looking out over the expanse of the Nularboor plain.
Seemingly endless openness is what my gaze gently rests on as I chat with others over everything and nothing.
Vast cobalt blue sky, dotted with small melting marshmallow-like clouds, seas of buttery yellow pasture lands becoming sparse and morphing to red soil, daubed with drab khaki green scrub.
These are the colours to the canvas of this experience.
The train is surprisingly quiet and smooth, the gentle sway rocks the carriages side to side with a delicate hand like a mother on a rocking cradle.
With each exhalation I find the knot that has sat behind my solar plexus for what I suspect has been years…loosens.
My thinking over the many tomorrow’s possibly to come, slows down. I’m finding that I’m right here in the train, in “me.”
Calm, present, in the moment and enjoying this new experience.
After all, I’m unable to rush this.

I’m travelling in the “Red service” aka “cheap seats” and yet again I see the “money buys you class” system at work here. The other levels i.e platinum and gold classes have near silver service, by pretty girls with professional bantering, that ensure the wine stays flowing.
In the Matilda cafe it’s meat pies, overpriced beer, chips and salad rolls.
I consider my options for dinner as the dusky shadows lengthen the profiles of gnarled little trees and prickly bushes.
$13.20 for a small dinner plate of braised steak and onions with reheated frozen vegetables or the same price for the same size serve of pasta bake with cheese sauce and reheated frozen vegetables…hmmm tough choice.
I consider myself thankful for the meal, the companionship and the experience of it all.
One day, I won’t eat ever eat again.

What are you having for dinner, my readers?
And when you eat,do you know where and how, that food came to be on your plate?

Leave a trail so that others may follow

Yes I reaffirm, I am travelling around Australia!
Yes I have sold all my possessions and closed my practice to travel, explore, adventure and write!
Yes I’m leaving my family and friends to be a “hobo on a bike.”
Yes I’m using my remaining years to not conform to living the way we all are and can’t tolerate much longer.
As Ralph Emerson so eloquently stated
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
Despite me typing this post on my iPod touch using wifi, I am something of a Luddite.
I am working to release myself of all the ties that bind me and techno goodies are hard to let go.
In my former life I was a mad gamer. Growing up poor, we had the park, I only played Nintendo at my friends house at sleepovers. Once I started earning good money I bought up games like they were cheap crack for a long weekend.
It’s now a lil slice of history repeating itself for me. My closest friend in the world has video games at his house and I will be staying, for a time, with him and his lovely wife soon.
Picture two Irish wolfhounds barking at 2am playing tag with each other…in a Winnebago.
That’s us when we are playing co op games with alcohol in the mix.
I promise now Sam, I will not keep you both up!
I have recovered well enough to get going! I did indeed have concussion, with what felt like a hangover to the power of ten for two days. Mild nerve irritation to both my hands, sprained forearms, some scratches and bumps.
I heal amazingly well and fast. I put it to good genes, nutrition and as I’m a therapist, able to treat myself for most things. I’m ready to go!
I’m off to Adelaide ASAP, it’s summer here in Australia and Adelaide has been roasting due to forty five plus heat, bushfires and thunderstorms.
Perth is starting to warm up as well.
It’s been beautiful here, low thirties and sunny.
The Nullaboor is getting hot. Real hot.
After much thinking and my little skittle that just happened, I had a shift in perspective.
My previous mindset was “I’m riding around Australia on my loaded touring bike”
I’m now “travelling around Australia with my loaded touring bike.”
I missed the travel window I knew I had, due to my setback.
It’s now a highly risky venture to pedal over 1,000km in mid thirty degree heat across dry Western Australia and then go through another 1,300km of close to fifty degree desert with thirty six metre long road train trucks all the way.
The big issue is water.
Australia is credited as one of the driest and harshest continents of the world. South Australia is touted as the driest state within that continent.
It is a long stretch between water stops and I can only pull so much on my bike for drinking, cooking and washing.
In the first week out I went through a minimum of six litres of water (and electrolyte drinks) a day! The average temperature that week was twenty eight.
Can I do that stretch at this time of year? Yes. Will it be fun? No.
Is the chances of heat exhaustion, sunstroke, dehydration, 3rd degree sunburn, windburn and let’s not forget road accidents high? You bet.

So, one ticket to Adelaide on the Great Southern rail.
I was able to get a great deal on my bike, all the gear and of course me, getting to Adelaide in relative comfort in two days. I have never ridden the train, I’d always travelled by plane back and forth, due to the immense distance. Different method but still part of the adventure. My family and friends that have consulted with me are all happy that I’m travelling smarter for this leg due to the conditions.
I will cross that stretch of Australia on my bike!
It has now become my own personal Everest.
It itches at me to do it, simply because, in a Neitszche/Kierkegaard sort of way, this is one of the trials of asceticism, I have set myself, to exercise my will for spiritual purpose.
Existentialism 1-0-1 “I hurt, therefore I am.” ­čśť

So Adelaide by Tuesday. I will be seeing many, many people there so expect to be there for around a month. It will give me time to plan the next leg of the trip, say hello, get in some monster 200km rides through beautiful countryside. Tie up loose ends from my past and then take my leave. Along the south east coast, down to Tasmania, up around the east coast across the “top end” and then down the west cost and retrace my trail to finally (!) bike along the Nullaboor to finish back in Adelaide. Well that’s the plan right now ­čśë

I have had tremendous aid and support from people near and far. People emotionally close to me and complete strangers (who have now become friends).
I am so very grateful for all the kind wishes, help, advice and support!
Thank you to everyone involved in my adventure so far.
Thank you to everyone I have met on the road.
Thank you also to all the people reading my blog.
I have had great feedback about my start with writing and it has helped me to continue on with the choices I’ve made and given me confidence that what I wish to share, people will enjoy reading about.
When I get to Adelaide I will recap my initial week on the road, I didn’t this week due to my hands just not cooperating with my will.
Stay tuned for the next instalment
Smoky Ranger