markers

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I’d been thinking about territory and access to land – the implications of “ownership” and the circumstances of being excluded from ownership. Being in a National Park is the nearest I can get to legally rightful access to land right now. Then I came across these markers (and others like them) while I was out in Namadgi lately. Exactly what they mark and for who I do not know. They mark a walking route yes, since I was following a worn footpad at the time, but it is not actually a National Parks walking track as such, and not really the way to anywhere in particular – other than the sort of semi-random ramble I was doing. Do they mark something else of significance to someone? Was the footpad created by someone checking on whatever the markers indicate? What was also interesting was that if you know a little of the recent history of the site then there is a clear marker of time in the paired old and new stakes – obviously before and after the fires of 2003 that devastated much of this region.

A little earlier I had climbed a hillside up away from the river, then kind of suddenly decided the days’ exploration had reached it’s zenith and it was time to turn about and angle back towards where I had started. I sat on a log to rest a while and just as suddenly thought I should build a cairn of sticks – not initially really sure why. I’d been looking at Richard Long and Hamish Fulton books you see. I think I was marking “territory” – the furthermost point I had so far reached in this part of Namadgi. Thus part of my personal “territory” – even if I was the only one who knew it.

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