Wombats and Wallabies



Road signs along the highway have a picture of a critter crossing for the next 2 km.  It looks like a little bear.  Another sign warns of kangaroos crossing.  Still another sign warns that we are driving in a high incidence zone of car encounters with kangaroos.  I wonder if that is like the signs we have in New England telling how many moose have met a car in the past year.  Finally at a toll booth I asked the attendant what the little bear on the sign is.  It’s a Wombat and she says not to hit one with your car, ‘it’s like hitting a rock.”


Brooke is the driver of our Ford SUV and although I normally am anti SUV’s – I like the security this one provides since we are driving on the left, a first for both of us.  Brooke is the driver, I’m the navigator.  Good thing we haven’t run into one of those wombats.


It was time to take on Kosciusko.  Unfortunately the weather wasn’t cooperating but we have lots to do in Australia so we decided to put ‘work’ before ‘play’ and headed up.  It was cold, wet and miserable.  In fact, I can’t remember being quite this miserable in….well since the monsoons in Nepal a month ago.  I put my head down, leaned into the prevailing wind and burrowed on through.  The wind and wet were so severe we couldn’t talk to each other without yelling. At times Brooke totally disappeared in the clouds and rain.  Water dripped off my nose, my feet squished with each step.  And this mountain was supposed to be easy?  Okay, it was pretty easy. We were back in Thredbo taking a hot shower three hours later.


We have been on the move since.  This is a vast continent and we have traveled for days from the coastal town of Torquay to Melbourne to Canberra.  Thousands of kilometers, hundreds of road signs warning of impending ‘roo’ crossings, and not one spotting of a kangaroo…. anywhere.  I keep my eyes riveted on the landscape checking the ‘bush’ for this famous critter.  Locals assure me they are prolific and everywhere.


Not sure what the summit of Kosciusko looked like, too many clouds and high winds.  One of those ‘can’t see your hand in front of your face’ kind of summits.  We did our best taking pictures but now that I look at them you can’t even tell that is a person standing up there.  Do you think that possibly it is one of those illusive kangaroos?



Climb On!


1 Response to “Wombats and Wallabies”

  1. 1 Jen December 8, 2008 at 1:21 am

    YOU were the navigator?!?! LOL

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November 2008
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About Wendy Booker

In June of 1998, this 55 year old mother of three was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS after experiencing balance problems, blurred vision and numbness on her left side. When first diagnosed, Wendy was devastated. But it took very little time for her to transform anguish into inspiration. She immediately turned her hobby of casual running into a continuous pursuit and has now completed nine marathons.

Mountain climbing became the next conquest. Wendy learned about a team of mountain climbers with Multiple Sclerosis who were attempting to climb Mt. McKinley (Denali) in Alaska. With no previous climbing experience, she dedicated a year to hard training and set off with them in 2002. Although weather conditions prohibited the team from completing, Wendy attempted the summit again in 2004 on her own and she succeeded!

The feeling of accomplishment she experienced propelled her next aspiration: to climb the highest mountain on each continent. Just five years later, Wendy Booker has successfully reached the top of six of The Seven Summits – Mt. Kilimanjaro, Mt. McKinley, Mt. Elbrus, Mt. Aconcagua, Mt. Vinson Massif and Mt. Kosciuszko. Mt. Everest, the highest mountain on earth, still awaits for 2010.


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