Yearly Archives: 2010

New Year Fossil WIsh

In a moment, you’ll find out about the funny looking rock between my fingers.

It’s the age old tradition. You go to a foreign land. It’s New Years Eve. There’s a fountain in the town square. You throw in a piece of local currency. You make a wish. You go back to drinking champagne.

Or, if you’re like me, you don’t see the sense of throwing good money into the drink just because others are doing it.

Spoilsport.

Then there’s… Continue reading

Remains of the Bait

The remains of the bait: a barracouta head after a night on the Southern Ocean floor. Crayfish and sea lice have stripped most of the meat from the skull.

The longer I stay in Tasmania, the farther I’ve strayed from my original objective – travel Australia’s southernmost state by horse or mule. Instead of traveling overland, I find myself drawn back to the sea. But that’s okay. It’s hard to jump aboard a crayfish boat for a stint at sea… Continue reading

Message on a Tasmanian Beer Can Postcard

First, a damn big thank you to everyone who’s subscribed to the Postcard from Tasmania service – that’s where I send folks a real postcard, complete with genuine postmark, from Tassie. I mean really, didn’t you feel better when that Tasmanian devil card showed up in your letter box? The postman sure was amused and hell, it paid for my pint down at the southernmost pub in Australia. Made everyone’s day and I hear one even ended up on a… Continue reading

Sounds Like a Tasmanian Crayfish

Home in Carolina, the sound that cheers me most is the sound of a mule heading up the road, wagon in tow. It was a sound I’d hoped to replicate here in Tasmania.

Instead, I’ve ended up listening to crayfish.

Georgie and the cray: Georgie works the pots aboard “Miss Carmen”. Here, he’s holding up a large cray or “dog” as they’re called. Behind him are the cliffs off Port Davey.

Yep, instead of hitting the road in a equine… Continue reading

Maps are coming

Overlooking Spain Bay, Tasmania. But just where is it? And what’s the range of hills in the background called….

It’s confusing as hell. First, no one knows (including me for my first 30-something years) where Tasmania is. But Spain Bay, Tasmania? Forget about it…

Until now.

Yep, maps have been added to RiverEarth.com. So soon you’ll be able to find out just where those freaky looking lobsters were caught. Or where the guy with the kangaroo bullwhip collection lives. Or,… Continue reading

Tasmanian Crayfish

By now you know the drill. My attempt to ride a mule around Tasmania failed because, well, mule are near impossible to find here. Still, the ten dollar-bike I ended up taking off on has served me near as well as an equine companion. Better, in fact, I’d argue, when it come to meeting crayfish.

Last time I wrote, I mention how I landed a berth on the crayfish boat “Miss Carmen”. On it, I ended up going to sea… Continue reading

Going to Sea

Damn Skippy! The Plan’s not going as planned. The original hope had been to ride a mule across Tasmania. Silly me. I never bothered checking whether or not Tasmania had mules before I showed up.

Bugger. They didn’t. Seems Tassie’s a Mule Free Zone. But it’s not bike free. Which is exactly what I bought at the junk store. And just hit the road with that.

So last week I’m standing on the Southport dock talking with a fellow called… Continue reading

Meet the Ashlands

Meet the Ashlands: Yee ha! Nothing finer on a spring day in Tasmania than an oar, a crayfish pot and a parked boat. If you think kids these days are all hooked on cell phones and the internet, you haven’t met Melissa and Judd Ashland’s family. They’re keen!

Slowly, I’m coming to grips with the notion that I may be touring Tasmania by bike and boat instead of a horse, as I’d hoped. Like Mick Jagger sang, you don’t always… Continue reading

South East Cape – The Farthest South You Can Go In Tasmania

South East Cape, Tasmania

Recently, to get a better sense of what Tasmania’s southern coast looks like, I biked to Catamaran on the southern coast. There, I picketed my bike (you can tell I miss my mules because most people just refer to parking their bike) and hoofed it cross-country to the shore of the Southern Ocean.

WIthout getting all geographic on you, South East Cape is the the southern-most cape in Australia. Along with Cape Horn and the Cape… Continue reading

The Exploded Life of Tiny Orchids (Part 2)

Last time we spoke, my bike was spilling its guts across Deborah Wace’s doorstep deep in the Tasmanian bush. Deborah is an orchid expert. Luckily she and her husband Laurie are resourceful folks, used to making and mending what they just can’t run into town to buy.

Deborah Wace with one of her orchid prints

And so it went with my bike repair.

On a bike, the bottom bracket is the unit that helps the crank spin freely. On older… Continue reading

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