Another Camp at Majors Creek

Another trip to Majors Creek! After the year we’ve all had, including myself; I have been itching to get back out among nature and the camping group I belong to was heading back to the same spot I went last year so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity!


4 Days along the backwater of the Goulburn River. Kayaking with friends and encircling campfires was soul-enriching. The weather was hot in the mid 30 celsius range which made my thermoregulation issues challenging but loved every moment of the trip. Got to share all the good news that’s happened to me since the last trip and the group leader announced my little achievement to the group, where my name is on the Mars lander that successfully landed on Mars at the same time we were camping.


My NDIS support worker drove me up on Thursday, helped me install the tent poles and dropped off all my stuff. I had been practicing at home and was able to put up the gazebo and the rest of my setup independently. On the Sunday I was able to take-down and pack up all my gear all by myself, a new achievement for my stubborn independence. haha.

Got to go Kayaking up backwater and into the Goulburn River, first time I have been using muscles in my back that I injured and went to hospital back last November. But ironically its my wrists that are near-immobilised today as the nerve pain is intense. It was only a 90min kayak trip and I definitely want to do more, so tweaking my workout routine to try to improve that strength and look into a small electric motor so I can explore even further next time and the next river,


This past winter and summer had been particularly wet compared to past years and was worried that the dusty enviroment was going to bog my wheelchair down but it was just as accessible with its firm, compact and flat group. The campsite has a wheelchair accessible long-drop toilet and easy access to the water-line so I had all the amenities I needed.

Kiwi, my new Red Heeler puppy got to come for a visit on Sunday when a friend came to pick me up. Got to start socialising with other dogs for the first time since his vaccinations. He was terrified and it was quite funny. But he will be joining me on all my future camping trips now that he’s old enough.


Gallery:
Click Photo to Zoom In


3rd Wheeliversary

Late January around this time is what I call my Wheeliversary, which i put it to the last date i ever took a jog. It was a very painful and sad day for me. I love physical activity, and i was spending the day as a coordinator and photographer for the local pride march pup float (so no pictures of me of that day) finishing the event in agonising pain as one of my classic ptsd coping mechanisms of “focusing purely on helping others to the detriment of myself.”

Three years later my life has flipped over several times, from being alienated and made to feel unsafe in the local scene, which meant the ~20% of my income I was donating to the community could go back into my own self development and other larger community projects.

While I kept my new year resolution last year of reducing my social media interactions for 2020, this is a new year and I’ve never been afraid to answer genuine questions 🙂

Last year had many positive changes and upheavals and my diagnosis changed to MS. But this turned into a good thing, I have more understanding of what my body is doing, better supports and coping mechanisms in place now and what little walking I do do around the house has me in less pain with the right physical supports.

Since coming out of the trans closet and beginning hrt last year too, I’ve been able to flourish into more of the real me even with a pandemic lockdown. No more smirk and rejections of compliments to me. Doing more of my hobbies and continuing to do my community work because I will always love inspiring people to pursue their own dreams, their own path in life and can overcome their demons. No matter what toxic people say about me, if I can rise above them and my demons so can anyone else with theirs.

2021
2020
2019
2018

First Week With Kiwi

This bundle of energy was welcomed into my life last Sunday and this whole week we have gotten to know each other. He is a farmboi from a registered breeder outside of Ballarat, Victoria and out of the whole litter, he was the one who couldn’t stop licking my face and with my soft spot for mohawks, just felt like he was the one.

I named him Kiwi and he’s an 8 week old Red Heeler or also called an Australian Cattle Dog. He loves straw and his chicken (see gallery below) I chose his name because its a nice one I can call out well if he runs into a forest and sound like a bird, a nod at my New Zealand heritage and because he is brown like a Kiwi (Did you think I was going to start avoiding puns?)


It has only been a month since Kiro passed away, and while I expected myself to take a lot longer until I get another dog. I got reminded of Kiro’s attitude to upset things, he would take a nap and then be all right, and like the stubborn old dog he was, it was another reminder of his chill dog style. I have a few months spare to focus on his training, I’m taking a break from the big fetish community book writing project for a bit so I can get back into its final polishing stages refreshed, and before I start uni later this year part-time. It was an opportunity to mother hen this little one.

The two have such different personalities, The old boof was a gentle giant, only ever interested in his family and what he can see under the gate, not even toys could distract his chill mood. However, this boy is my FarmBoi and I’m his girl. Looking out for each other from big noises and nosey kookaburras in the backyard and of course helping him build a big stick and toy collection. With always wanting to sleep in the same bed.


Over the years I have helped train and teach many of my friends dogs and been looking forward to the day I get to train my own. It’s only been the first week and he already responds to his name well from opposite ends of the property and very toilet trained.

He is already mostly learnt the sit command and returns toys to my feet most of the time, growing and putting on weight well and has gotten used to wearing a harness most of the time. He is getting used to my pet birds (good training to not chase wildlife) and his heeler instinct to nip is subsiding. Already spent time getting used to sitting in a kayak and next week will start practicing with napping and using tents.

He has his first camping trip near Nagambie planned for late February. Got training school and possible assistance dog training so he can help me out at least to grab things off the floor. He’s shows already to be a loyal guard dog on the lookout for me, and as a transwomen and the risks that demographic have for assault or worse, he will help keep me safe when out exploring.

He’s also been so well toilet trained that he gets to sleep on the bed with me most nights! And as a wheelchair user I have a challenging job ahead but I’m glad I have my NDIS supports to help out too. He has a life of adventure ahead!.

Majors Creek Campsite

A 90 minute drive from Melbourne, Australia you have campsite that can be accessible for the active wheelchair users and those with minor mobility issues. Situated directly next to the water and Puckapunyal, accessible by a good quality dirt road. It’s a great dark spot to enjoy the stars and calm water to get wet and/or fish.

Terrain

In good weather conditions the ground is quite compact, firm and flat. With my off-road tires on the chair, I had no issue traversing the campsite area. The water nearby is good for fishing and very calm for beginners to learn waterways. Before my weekend trip here, I had been an avid kayaker before the wheelchair and this was the first time I had been in one since hospital. It took some adjusting, learning a new technique to suit my mobility, but i’m really glad I got to experience it somewhere like here where the water was super calm and boat users were courteous enough to slow down around the kayaks.
There is no concrete other than the boat ramp into the water, so be prepared to spend the trip traversing gravel. I found with the off-road tires and no freewheel attachment, that I was fit enough to get around. But I will recommend to still bring a puncture repair kit.

Facilities

  • 1 Wheelchair Accessible Non-Flushing Toilet (Not Sanitary for continence Issues)
  • Boat Ramp for traditional water entry
  • Recycled plastic bollards in regular interval to not let vehicles get too close to the water.
  • Water is quite calm and easy for persons with disabilities to enter the water with assistance (Kayaking etc)
  • There is no definite walking tracks from this campsite, but there is a dirt road the continues along the water.

Grading

I would give this campsite a Grade 3 as it meets all national legislation on accessibility. My only note is that if you require sterile/sanitary conditions for continence issues, come prepared to have your own space for it.

Other Notes

The campsite is full of tall gum trees and you need to be cautious if it gets windy due to risk of falling branches