|Filming and interviewing near the cliff edge at Sundial in the Grampians. WidPlaces II?|
The highlight for me was the wonderful group of people that came together because of the TrailRider. I want to mention them all by name so this will be a longer than usual post.
Myself and Ros and Joanne and Rodney. One of the interview questions was about how the TrailRider has changed my life and this gang of four was right at the heart of that. With Jo and Rod wearing their Sherpa Volunteer T shirts I, was reminded how central they have been to the whole venture. Rod, coupled with John Kenwright and the motorised TrailRider sherpead me to places that were more difficult than any before. The motor really does make a big difference What we learnt was that the difference extends to getting over rocky obstacles as well as ascending steep hills.
John Kenwright - Access & Inclusion Coordinator for Parks Victoria - more than anyone else - has made this happen. Right from the first HPHP connection in 2011. And the TrailRider is only part of what he does. I could say so much more about HPHP, and did when interviewed, but I want to focus here on the people.
Tanya Smith, from Parks Victoria in Bendigo, was the centre of our world at the Congress a year ago in Sydney. She is a very strong part of HPHP, an utter delight and we even got to meet her daughter this time.
From Conservation Volunteers Australia there was Caitlyn O'Reilly who co-ordinates volunteers in the Grampians, but in the TrailRider context, has been most deeply involved in establishing the first Sherpa Volunteer Program in Australia. The trained volunteers are getting their paperwork sorted out so that visitors call on them. I plotted with her for a trial run from Ros and me.
Storyscape is Pip Chandler and Zoe Dawkins (plus partner and "token male ;-)" Darren) The Storyscape website will give you some sense of the brilliance of what they do. Working with Pip in 2012 on WildPlaces was a delight as was yesterday, with them both. The last time we saw Pip was when she filmed the Oxfam Trailwalker challenge in 2013
David Roberts, Head Ranger and Ben (Park Ranger) were both there. David Roberts was the first person Ros and I showed the Canadian TrailRider pics to in 2010 and he simply "got it" and passed them on to John Kenwright. "Mighty oaks!" (from tiny acorns grow) was my greeting to him yesterday - he truly has a lot to answer for. And he is working hard on tuning bush walking tracks in the Grampians to TrailRider use. More on this later. Ben was one of the sherpas on the very first TrailRider rocky bushwalk in the Grampians - the first in Australia come to think of it. 2011 - pre blog so nothing to link to.
That it folks. Ros and I dwelt on how a gathering of people like this is very greatest gift of the TrailRider project!
|The Gang of Five - Rodney Brooke, Joanne Brooke, John Kenwright, me and Ros Hart|