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Into the Outback

You’d have to be crazy to hike in the Australian Outback in the middle of the summer.

And so, there I was, planning a four-day walk through the Western Macdonnell Mountains, hitching to the trailhead, setting up camp in a dry river bed to wait out the hottest part of the day. The Larapinta Trail […]

A Walk in the Wilderness

I’m going to step back in time for a moment. About three weeks back, to the time that I was in Hobart, Tasmania, folding a strange man’s laundry.

Is this weird? This is weird, I thought to myself, but in a good way. Susan Munroe, professional houseguest; maybe I should put that on my resume. […]

Stinking Hot

I was planning to write an update about Tasmania, Australia’s southernmost island state, about fourteen days of hiking through moss-laden rainforest and along quartzite ridges, about the value of wilderness. But that was before I arrived in Coober Pedy.

“Welcome to Radeka Downunder”, the sign at the hostel reception read. And they meant downUNDER. “6.5 […]

The end of the earth. And some jokes.

The coastline of any country is, I suppose, technically the end of the earth. But some places feel more terminal than others. Australia’s southern coast is one of those places. The land drops into the ocean in a headlong rush of tangled green. White-barked eucalyptus trees seem to fling their branches overhead in startled free […]

Quiet in Melbourne

I haven’t had a real conversation with anyone in days now, not since leaving Salt Lake City in the wee hours of the last day of last year. Tiptoeing down an icy driveway into the waiting airport transfer, shivering in my summer-in-the-southern-hemisphere jacket, I slipped out of the city in a contemplative quiet that has […]