Thanks to the 40 good people who braved torrential rain to enjoy the fuggy warmth of Bogong Equipment for the Melbourne launch of The Overland Track guidebook.
What do they say about the best laid plans? The wild weather prevented the guest speaker, Adam Croser – 25 time Overland Track veteran – from making it to Melbourne. Fortunately Andrew Kelly, Red Dog Books’ publisher, stepped into the breach with his stirring – and completely unbiased – opinion of the book. Thank you Andrew! Then I did my bit, showing a few slides and discussing some of the track’s highlights before we were all released to enjoy the wine, champagne and cabana. Good times!
It was great so many people could make it to the event, and that so many people are considering doing the hike. Do it! You only regret the things you don’t do.
Also, hearty thanks to that king of independent hiking shops Bogong Equipment. Being surrounded by tents and backpacks made it the perfect place for the Melbourne launch. I am now all launched out and are in the process of wrapping myself up for posting to Queensland.
Warwick, December 9th 2010 |
I’ve had some queries about the book’s weight – I understand hikers are loathe to carry unnecessary grams. The book only weights 280g. Minimising the weight was a large factor in the book’s size (18.4×12.5cm), weight considerations also dictated the font size, layout, paper type and number of pages (188). Hopefully I have got the balance about right in terms of information verses weight.
In the past I had been a bit obsessed with pack-weight too. When backpacking around Europe I tore out whole sections out of my Lonely Planet ‘Western Europe’ as I finished with them – goodbye England, Auf Wiedersehen Germany, Adios Spain. These days I’m a bit easier going, figuring a bit of extra weight means a bit of extra exercise. Anyhow, now I’m an author I can’t bear tear out pages, the loss of a single page seems like a terrible crime that leaves a book fatally crippled. At 280g, I hope I don’t see too many pages of my book dumped in dunnies or drifting like tumbleweeds along the track.
Warwick, December 7th 2010 |
It’s strange sending a book into the world, I can no longer edit the content or ease its passage – it is out there on its own. It’s exciting, if not a little odd to see it on bookshelves ready to be bought by complete strangers. I feel like I need to chaperone the text, escort it home and hang around, helpfully explaining the background and thinking behind each paragraph. Too late, the book now needs to stand alone.
Yes, The Overland Track guidebook was launched at Fullers bookshop on Thursday 2 December. Thank you to the 30 or so fine folk who came for the occasion. Adam Croser generously did the honours of foisting the book upon the public, reflecting on the significance the walk has played in his life and the deep, spiritual pleasure wilderness hikes like the Overland bring.
At the launch I had the opportunity to chat with quite a few guests, and a good-looking bunch they were too. One older gent, Derrick, has completed the walk 80 times. Eighty! I’m thinking of calling the next edition of the book, Derrick’s Track. It was also great to meet Mike Thow, the herpetologist who kindly contributed his snake photos for the book, and who had drove clear across Tasmania to be at the launch. Mike has won a stack of prizes for his amazing snake photos and you can see why if you get your eyeballs around a book or check out his website http://www.allaboutreptiles.com.au/
I’d also like to thank Fuller’s bookshop, frankly the best bookshop in the world – full of people so friendly they’ll make you blush.
I had a great night and hope others did too. Next stop for the launch jugganut, Bogong in Melbourne!
Warwick, December 5th 2010 |