Canoeing the Macalister

I guess one of the great pleasures of canoeing is that you so rarely see anyone else canoeing. In 25 years canoeing (various sections) of the Macalister (for example) we ran into other canoeists just once. On that occasion one of them STOLE my spare paddle, which would have left me quite literally ‘up the creek…’ except I had another. I could NOT persuade police to CHARGE this piece of slime (eg with ‘conduct endangering life’), but I did succeed in having him sacked from his job as he was driving a company car with a prominent (Japanese Co) logo (whom when I rang them) they did not want to have associated with such conduct. The further you get away from people, the more civilised it gets (in my experience). I am all FOR bad roads (or NO roads at all!) Mind you this morning I AM feeling for the (fellow) hiker who offered me a lift on Friday when we were canoeing the Macalister. He was heading for a multi-day hike in the Bryce’s Gorge area (I suggested a few interesting side trips he might take and pointed out to him the location of an abandoned hut he might seek shelter in in the event of bad weather. Mind you, whilst I knew the weekend might bring some RAIN, I did not realise then that there would be (lots of) snow down to 1200 metres, so he will be VERY cold this morning, and hopefully he found shelter. You DO have to remember that BLIZZARD conditions can occur at any time of the year (quite unexpectedly) in the Victorian Alps! It PAYS to be prepared which is why I ALWAYS carry a spare paddle – and various other aids to survival…a .308 comes in handy betimes too!

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