Picture History: 1961-1974

Queensland specific bushwalking discussion.
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Queensland specific bushwalking discussion. Please avoid publishing details of access to sensitive areas with no tracks.

Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 10:22 am

G’day,

First time post here from an old codger just passing through to reminisce a bit. I have fond memories of bushwalking around the Brisbane area fifty years ago that forged many wilderness skills I still draw upon for exploring the almost impenetrable chaparral here in southern California.

I grew up on a remote cattle station in the Queensland gulf country. There I had a gentle old mare to ride about on, bare backed of course, lethal snakes to avoid, giant spiders dropping off the ceiling at night, crocodiles lurking in the fresh-water creek, hot sand with bindi-eye stickers to cross barefoot, brilliant stars like never before or since, and suffocating, humid heat. The galvanized iron roof would creak and crack ominously at night during contraction after the blazing sub-tropical sun set. There was no electricity so our lighting was by acetylene lamps; a primitive outpost that by its very nature built self-reliance.

We moved to Brisbane in 1955 when trains were still pulled by steam engines and wonderful trams clattered about for convenient and charming city transport. My Dad built a house in the farthest suburb at the time, Mt. Gravatt, where there was plenty of undeveloped bush for me to run wild in. The Boy Scouts imposed some order but I never properly transformed into an organizational lad steeped in the ways of the crusty old Empire. Baden Powell bush craft consisted of whittling sticks to make shoe racks outside the tent along with similar camp conveniences.

Around 1960 I was introduced to Bert (Albert Armitrage) Salmon who kindly passed on his trove of knowledge about the Glasshouse Mountains, Scenic Rim and walking tracks around the Binna Burra and O’Reilly lodges on the Lamington Plateau. Walking was a simple affair, outfitted with an army surplus canvas satchel and sandshoes. We had no GPS, cell phone, walking poles, rescue choppers or other conveniences now deemed necessary for a safe outdoors experience.

Our bush icons were Bernard O”Reilly and Arthur Groom, and I still have their classic books, “Green Mountains and Cullenbenbong” and “One Mountain After Another”. They were early recreational explorers naturally imbued with a love of the land and rugged pioneer spirit so thought little of heading off solo into the unknown with just a few supplies on their back.

We were slightly better equipped through Paddy Pallin whose gear was available at the Scout Shop in the Valley although not as cheap as army surplus. Canvas and cotton (waxed or oiled) were still the best materials at the time and I remember my first Hotham down bag that ensured toasty nights.

My first organized walks were with the Y.M.C.A. Ramblers and a memorable trip from that era was to The Steamers above Emu Creek behind the Main Range. It was a bitterly cold winter and we slogged up through the rainforest on the southern side to scramble about on these rotting rhyolite monoliths. This was very impressionable for a High School Senior owing to the remote location, grand scenery and aura since Bert Salmon never achieved these fabled summits. My toughest through walk was in the back of the Tweed Range from Warrazambill Creek, up to the local Pinnacle then into incredibly ancient rain forest trying to find the Tweed Pinnacle. Antarctic Beeches loomed out of the cloud and we had no visibility to navigate this prehistoric land.

Naturally we became more disorganized at Uni, consistent with the radical times, and I had several outings with the U.Q.B.W.C. Their informal culture suited me better but I was still a free-range spirit at heart and did not fit well into any organization, no matter how liberal.

We did a lot of independent new things like canyoneering (first descent of the Coomera Crevice), extreme bush bashing (ascent of Boyd’s Butte), scree running, trail running (around the Springbrook Falls loop) and speed boulder hopping that now seem to be mainstream activities.

Anyhow, I got thinking about all this after a hiking forum here in California discussed ten essentials for every hike that rely far too much on tools, technology and gadgets. My list, based on a “core inner strength” put mental attitude as the most powerful asset:
1. Experience
2. Judgment
3. Self Knowledge
4. Self Reliance
5. Responsibility
6. Creativity
7. Accountability
8. Integrity
9. Humility, and last but not least
10. Great sense of Humour.

My opinion did not go over too well with the locals and it was then I recognized a huge cultural and generational gap. Well, here are some images from those times for those interested in this ancient history:

http://picasaweb.google.com/rokrover/BrisbaneBushwalking#

Cheers,

Ted
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Son of a Beach » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 10:48 am

I think your list makes great sense, and I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post. There's some great old pictures there too. It seems you've had some great times out in the bush. Welcome aboard, Ted!

PS. I'm envious of anyone who's been to the summit of Crookneck.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby HitchHiking » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 10:55 am

Yeah some fantastic photos there!
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby juju » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 12:22 pm

Beautiful post. I'm putting your list on my fridge. Thankyou, Julie.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby juju » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 12:33 pm

Thanks again Ted, just looked at the pics. Wow - what a great time. My favourite the Lizard Lookout and - should that be 'scream running'? - instead of scree running. Julie
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Tony » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 1:32 pm

Thanks for a great post and some great photos.

I like your list too.

Tony
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby isoma » Tue 07 Dec, 2010 6:05 pm

Great stuff Ted,
Thanks for that.
You know you now have to give us a few climbing memories as well :wink: (please).

Cheers
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Wed 08 Dec, 2010 1:31 am

Thanks for the comments – I’m glad to see there’s such interest in the past. I hear Crookneck is now off limits, like a lot of other places we used to visit. Of course, things were much simpler then with regard to access and liability issues.

It was remiss of me not to acknowledge those who shared the adventures, so here are some I remember:

Ross Allen, Paul Caffyn, Ian Cameron, Pat Conaghan, Ron Farmer, Bob Fick, Pete Giles, Garry Hardy, Les Hicks, Col Hocking, Kirsty Jensen, Neill Lamb, John Leah, Mike Meadows, Chris Meadows, Julie Meadows, Hugh Pechey, Dave Reeve, Craig Rowley, Lance Rutherford, Bert Salmon, Mark Sceats, Rose Sceats, Greg Sheard, John Shera, John Simpson, Dennis Stocks, Ian Thomas, Rick White, Les Wood

Apologies to those unintentionally left out as my memory is not what it used to be. Unfortunately I’ve lost touch with many, some are no longer with us and others are no longer active in the scene. Hopefully other veterans will dredge out and scan their fading Kodachromes and post up.

Cheers,

Ted
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Tony » Wed 08 Dec, 2010 6:20 am

Hi Ted,

Is the Paul Caffyn that you shared your adventures with, the Paul Caffyn from round Australia sea kayaking fame.

Tony
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Wed 08 Dec, 2010 8:47 am

Hi Tony - yes, the one and the same Paul Caffyn. I only heard second hand about his great kayaking exploits.
<edit> Paul is the one in photo 17 at the Balor Hut campfire, second from left, wearing glasses
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby scockburn » Sun 12 Dec, 2010 3:25 pm

Hi Ted , great pics. Enjoyed looking at them . I've walked many of these places over the past few years and think it is great to look at past records and see how things have changed and marvel at the things that have stayed somewhat unchanged. As a current and active Brisbane Bushwalking Club member I recognize a few of the names on your list. Ron a notable one . I climbed Mt Maroon with him and few others a few month ago and he's probably just as fit and active as he was back then. Regards Steve C
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Drifting » Sun 12 Dec, 2010 7:11 pm

Fascinating post and great pictures- thank you so much! I've hiked in many of those areas during the 90's, and its amazing how much they've changed.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Phil Box » Tue 14 Dec, 2010 9:09 am

Hi Ted,

Great to hear from you again and excellent that you found this place and have taken the trouble to put down your history here. You gunna come back here any time soon?

Phil...
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Wed 15 Dec, 2010 9:51 am

Ah, interesting question, Phil. I'd love to return to the place holding some of my best memories but realize things have changed so much I could never fit in again. As the Rolling Stones noted in their great "Out of Time"

You don't know what's going on

You've been away for far too long …..


Besides, all my family are here in the States now.

I have over 1,000 images from the Brisbane walking and climbing days and posted just a few to capture an impression of people and places at the time. Heck, I have pictures of Noosa and Peregian as quaint villages before the developers turned them into a version of Miami down under.

Anyhow, this is a great site and I'l be sure to check in from time to time. As long as it's not like my present Hotel California where "You can check out anytime you like... but you can never leave"
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Phil Box » Wed 15 Dec, 2010 4:13 pm

Yeah, I remember Noosa as a kid. Little corrugated iron fishing shacks lining the river. The neighbours over the road had one and we visited them in the early sixties. As you say, quaint. Good times.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Lamingtonman » Thu 20 Jan, 2011 12:35 pm

Those pics are awesome, I'm a keen 4wder so I loved all the toyotas on Fraser. Also the Boyds Butte pics I found interesting as this is an off track trip I'm planning now.

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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Wed 26 Jan, 2011 3:57 am

Thanks to the interest I've added quite a few more pictures - so feel free to browse the linked album again.
http://picasaweb.google.com/510Rover/BrisbaneBushwalking#

I remember the big flood in '74 well but never took any pictures then. We were too busy helping clean river silt out houses.

Say there, Lamingtonman….. back in the day you had to drive a Land Rover as Toyotas were considered upstart pretenders to the 4WD throne. Regardless, history has judged in favor of the Land Cruiser and good examples (with the inevitable rear quarter panel rust) fetch big bucks here in the States.

Boyds Butte was perhaps the most awful bush bash I ever did. I forget how we approached and climbed those crumbling pinnacles but I'll never forget the shortcut down we took tunneling through acres of lantana. Maybe there's a five-star resort hotel there by now?

Cheers,

Ted
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby juju » Thu 27 Jan, 2011 12:41 pm

Who is the fellow in the lizard lookout shot? Is it you? Julie
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Fri 28 Jan, 2011 9:31 am

juju wrote:Who is the fellow in the lizard lookout shot? Is it you? Julie

Arrrr, that be me alright in the Lookout, Julie. A bit scratched up from battling the bush but a small price to pay for such a fabulous view. Those were the days ……
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby Genesis » Fri 28 Jan, 2011 9:25 pm

Thanks for the memories, I am from Queensland and you brought back some memories from my scouting/venturing days where army suplus was the first choice
for all trekking. The pics were great.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby juju » Sat 29 Jan, 2011 8:13 am

tecais wrote:Arrrr, that be me alright in the Lookout, Julie. A bit scratched up from battling the bush but a small price to pay for such a fabulous view. Those were the days ……

It really epitomizes the times and the feeling I have for the bush. Julie.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby DaveGwy » Fri 25 Feb, 2011 3:22 pm

Hi Ted,
I really enjoyed your post, and I'm really enjoying your collection of photos. My father in law was really into bushwalking and climbing in about the same era as you. I'm curious if you ever heard of him or even climbed with him - Tony Kelly? He has certainly mentioned you to me in his stories. There was also a few others, 'pioneers' of climbing around Mt Maroon and Frog Buttress, people like Ron Collett, Trevor Gynther, Rob (squeak) Staszewscki, Mick Olsen, Don Groom, Mike(?) Groom.
Cheers
Dave

edit - Another popped into my head, John Oddie.
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tecais » Sun 27 Feb, 2011 12:42 am

Hi Dave - sure, those names are familiar to me eve though I overlapped briefly with most. Donn Groom was an exception and we did some classic adventures together in the late 60's. Anyhow, this is a good opportunity to link Mike Meadows' blog. You can read a more definitive account of all the pioneers there and hopefully in his book too, when it comes out. http://climbinghistoryoz.blogspot.com
Cheers,
Ted
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Re: Picture History: 1961-1974

Postby tas-man » Mon 21 Mar, 2011 9:04 pm

Son of a Beach wrote:<snip>PS. I'm envious of anyone who's been to the summit of Crookneck.

Nik, that was my very first bushwalking/climbing experience and I was hooked from that day! I have an album of B&W photos of that climb somewhere, but have not seen it since I packed it up to move to Tassie. Must have a look for it in our attic one day soon. There was a photo of me negotiating "Salmon's Leap" that I was always going to frame one day . . . .
"The world reveals itself to those who travel on foot."
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