Goolengook Blockade

We left the Forest Forever camp and headed for Goolengook.
Along winding dirt roads surrounded by the forest we love, occasionally seeing a coupe that had been "harvested". The contrast between Heaven and Hell more and more apparent.
We drove past huge sassafras and lilly pilly covered in vines "valley of the monsters" they called it , though i thought they looked like giant children playing at ghosts. I shuddered to think of the fate that may lay ahead for these freindly, giant " ghosts"
we wound our way along ever winding roads through more and more forest Soon we crested a hill and saw the blockade camp nestled in a small saddle ridge To my city eyes it looked like a slum at first , inhabited by scruffy looking people, but i soon looked on it as my home
We were greeted with open arms and welcoming smiling faces.I was a stranger , i looked different to them, yet I was accepted with genuine and freely given freindship. Treated not as a guest ,or interloper ,but as one of them.
These young people just blew me away with thier commitment, courage, optimism, and willingness to have a go. The life they have chosen to live is one of simplicity and co-operation, and of treading lightly upon this our lovely planet. I looked and looked ,most os us were addicted to nicotine but there was not a single cigarette but to be seen, anywhere!!
They shun many of the comforts most people just take for granted,yet embracing such technology as solar and other "green" technology, many had email addresses . Where a block of chocolate shared is a celebration or the sight of a fresh wood cooked pizza inspires oohs!!! and ahhs!!!! and yummos !!!!
Simple and childlike in thier joy and enthusiasm for life, their energy was contagious,i found myself going for a long walk often going up steep valleys through vines and over slippery logs just to see what was just around the next turn. I think i walked more in that week than i had for the rest of the year!!!
I came upon a small clearing, the sun streaming down through the treetops , shining on the fronds of tall treeferns, making them shine and glisten, thier trunks green with moss and epiphytes. So struck by the beauty before me , I was moved to tears. This was the most beautiful thing my 41 year old eyes had ever encountered ( except for seeing my child Genny born )
The joy of the beauty i saw was soon overpowered by deep grief as a vision of the near future unfolded in my mind.
The harsh roar of chainsaws , the thunder of trees crashing down ,the bulldozers relentless growl, the terror of the inhabitants as thier world was literally wiped clear from the Earth like shit on a baby's bottom.
That moment i think may have changed my life, for the first time i really felt Gaia speak to me.
which for me, a definately not spiritual man, was a little scary. It was weird, no words, more a feeling, a feeling of terror, like a small child trapped down a well, so afraid, with a fear no dentist's chair could ever hope to inspire, crying out for help, hoping someone will hear, that someone will come to save them.
But it was a fear tempered with optimism, hope , and knowledge that there was someone somewhere that would help.
But who will help?
Someone else will ,won't they ?
Sorry Mate, if YOU don't do it, it won't get done !!!!
So it's really up to you and me Mate. WE gotta do it, cause someone has to, and someone includes both you and me!!!

days at the camp

We rode in the truck, an old tray-truck with a canopy over the back, up through the coupes with alternating devastation, and paradise. the burnt coupes looked like they had been bombed, which they had, they firebomb areas,
and I heard tales first hand from some who "the department " knew days in advance, would be in that very same area, having to dodge incendery bombs!!!!!!
the only things left standing were tree ferns 2-5 meters tall and many hundreds of years old ( they grow 1cm a year ) and huge " habitat trees " !!!
But what good is it if your home survives, but you have to travel over open, burnt, land exposed to any predator that may be looking for an easy meal ,
and then have to invade other animals territory taking thier food ,then once again have to run the gauntlet yet again?
what if you have young to feed ? what then ?

Then we parked the truck and carried what we needed along the road and into the forest ,
we follwed a long narrow track till we reached a tree with ropes hanging from it, after a rest, and the gear checked,
up went a climber slowly inching himself up to the " tree-sit " pirched high up in the tree-top, followed by a red haired girl with a huge joyous smile,it was a contageous, enthusiastic smile.
The rest of us were needed on the ground , there were things to be sent up and ropes to haul on. After we had finished our task for the day we headed home,i was tired but it was a good tired,
so much better than the tired of sitting in front of " 'Ol Cyclops " here !!
after resting, a simple meal was cooked, which we shared as we sat around the campfire, talking of the days events and plans for the future, like maybe we could have a web-cam broadcasting live to the world ( so if you have any equipment you could lend or sell or donate please do )
Then later after darkness had fallen , some fire-staffs were produced, and I was treated to a spectacular show of balls of fire spinning and lighting up the night .Wow !!
later we all bedded down for the night , I found a spot at the end of the tarp, and settled in for the night , but , I didn't sleep well.There were about 2,000 mosquitoes buzzzzzzzzzzing in my ear all night long. So i resolved to pitch my little tent nearby .

One day during our regular radiocheck-ins ( the radio is powered by peddling an exercise bike )
We were told some people were stranded way out bush with a flat battery. So after hurridly eating one of the best pizzas ever ,four of us set out to rescue them.
First we mapped out our route, identifying possible hazards,loaded up the chiansaw and off we went.The roar of the truck engine echoing through the bush . I was in the back with with a kiwi who after finising his degree decided to see the world. It was fun racing ( well racing for this old truck ) along winding roads the over-hanging branches slashing at us as we peered gleefully through our peepholes in the canopy.
All was going fine till we got to a track that we though might be trouble, but hey it didn't look so bad . so up the steep track we went , the engine groaning as we slowly made our way upwards. So far so good eh ?
Well you that bloke Murphy? , well, he must have got on somewhere. There in front of us was a fallen tree, ok out with the chainsaw and we soon had it almost cleared then it started raining ,and one log wouldn't budge, but we persisted and got through. On we went till we saw a large tree across the road . Remember Murphy?. well he struck again! The chainsaw got jammed !! It took several hours to finally free it, and there was still much sawing to be done. Then when we had finally cut it we still couldn't move it enough to get through. Then the tow-rope snapped. But still we persisted and got through ,the rain was heavier now and we wondered if we may become stranded too, but bravely we struggled on , after all, the others were depending on us. So over the crest we went and down a steep, bumpy, track till we reached the track that the car ,and ,poeple were. We stopped . The track was far too steep for the old truck especially after all the rain. But, bright as a spark the red-haired girl lept from the cabin of the truck and.clad in her oilskin jacket, strode off into the enclosing gloom . It was getting dark , it was raining, and freezing cold . She must have walked a long way up the track "coo-eeing" along the way, she was gone for some time.
But when she returned alone we knew we had failed our mission. Sadly we headed back to camp. It was a long way back, but, at last we reached the camp. And there to greet us ,sitting around a nice warm fire, Were the people we set out to rescue. They walked back through the bush, discovering some beautiful valleys, and even beat the rain. Sigh...oh well a happy ending a least . "Ya gotta laugh " I often say "or else you'll just cry ya life away "

more soon

It's nice sitting around the campfire everyone talking in hushed tones, no need to talk loudly out here. I roll a joint and it gets passed around, each person taking a small toke and passing it on, sharing it ,like the food ,the work or the fun, like games of hacky-sack.
Now and then a silence falls , and we all stare deeply into the fire, lost in our own thoughts, its a comfortable silence, peaceful, no need to chatter away just to make a noise,
Quietness has its own sound, a sound you don't hear much in the city. Then talk would begin again. Tales of past events, plans for the future, jokes, laughter, till we got tired and went off to bed
Then in the morning the chorus of birds clearing thier troats for thier daily bush-opera, followed, usually, by the sound of distant chainsaws.
Someone rekindles the fire and starts breakfast, usually coffee , of course ;-) and some porridge of some sort. Good old " stick to ya ribs all day " porridge. I had forgotten how i loved it in my younger days.

then it was time for me to go , i had things to do in the city, like type up this page. So i got a lift to the highway, and started hitching and walking ....and walking, 6 hrs till I got a ride. Then what a ride !! Every male hitchikers dream, a beautiful woman in a flash car. A truck the next morning , another car , then i caught trains the rest of the way.

Well i really enjoyed my time with those bright young people and i'm going back. There was talk of setting up a web cam in the bush, also i want to make an officail "blockade" page announcing "actions" or other items of interest