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Another early morning hike. This time in Kings Canyon. The proposed hike began with 500 natural steps which I didn’t think we could do successfully.  We did half the hike beginning at the end.  We still climbed steps and clambered over rocks but the rise was gentler and easier to manage.  Julia climbed easily and was independent through tout most of the hike.  This adventure is offering her a good deal of independence.

After lunch, we climbed back into the van for a long ride to the Western part of the MacDonnell Range.  During our ride, we stopped to refuel at a large, rather cheesy, rest stop in the bush. While there, we found the exact center of Australia. The spot was marked by a rusted maps with a spear through the center.

 

We arrived at our camp after dark. Because of an overbooking, we were not at our tour company’s official site.  The Camp beds were not made and there were no blankets in sight.  Dinner preparations were left to us while our wonderful guide, Claire, tracked down blankets.  We cooked veggies and noodles on the bar-b-q. Thankfully one of our group regularly cooks for large groups and took the rest of us in hand.  No one was happy with the arrangements but there were few complaints. We worked together and, if anything, the challenge further bonded the group.

As a group, we had little in common apart from curiosity and a sense of adventure, and yet, the miracle of friendships happened. We were interested in each other and every one of our mates was kind to Julia. How incredibly serendipitous to be in such a number.  I am thankful for  our coming  together and happy for new friends.