That Dempster feeling

So I didn’t take the Great Northern Highway.  I shrugged at the junction and disappeared down a cattle trail instead.

It took me nine days to ride the Gibb River Road – 670 km of rock, sand and corrugations that rattled every bolt in my bike.  I shredded my tires twice and broke five screws in my pannier racks.  Even my shoes fell apart.  And I loved it.

It reminded me of another road, the first of this long journey.  There the only sounds were bugs, birds and the slow crunch of gravel beneath my feet.  I lived on creek water and sunshine, slept beneath tender stars.  I was never better than in the Territories.

The feeling faded over time, maybe from age or the weary cynicism of travel.  I thought it was gone forever, that this was a fool’s errand.  I went mad trying to find it again, when all the time I only had to stop.  Breathe.  Let it tap me on the shoulder.

It has, and I aim to savor it.


7 responses to “That Dempster feeling

  1. Your journey and the silence. You make me long for that even though i have temporarily or permanently left australia.Your right,just stopping and listening and it’s there. paul de saigon

  2. How great to see this website updated!
    I first read your blog while preparing a road trip to the Balkans ; I was very moved by your article by the way, and found myself feeling the same way in Sarajevo or around the wonderful inhabitants of Bosnia and Albania. It was a road trip by car though so the experience was quite different.
    I kept that article in my bookmarks and was going to read it again when I noticed the updates. I wish you a wonderful trip and I’m happy to get to read more of you. Your posts are always moving without ever sounding “too much”. Thanks for what you share.

    • Thanks so much for following along. Bosnia is beautiful and I’m glad you had the chance to explore it. Any future travels planned?

  3. I especially liked the shoes falling apart comment. I find flat pedals and barefeet is the way to cruise if the weather is warm. So pleased you are back. My prayers for you have been answered.

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