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Beyond the Bale : Aug - Sep 08
20 outdoors beyond the bale John Pike (back row, second from left), sporting his driza-Bone® Activ t-shirt, with his trekking companions and ovuru Ndiki, one of the last ‘Fuzzy Wuzzy Angels’. australian Merino hits the Kokoda track NsW woolgrower John Pike makes an active effort to promote Australian wool on his challenging eight-day trek in high humidity and torrential rain by Robin taylor W algett woolgrower John Pike decided to do his bit to promote Australian wool by wearing a Driza-Bone® Activ t-shirt when he walked the Kokoda Track in April this year. He had the slogan ‘Cool Aussie Wool’ embroidered on the shirt, which he wore on every day of the eight-day trek. John, who recently turned 60, has now completed the walk twice without any special training – apart from his normal routine around the farm. He decided to wear the pure wool Driza-Bone® Activ t-shirt this time because he thought it needed more publicity. He was so impressed with its performance that he has now sent some shirts back to one of the large groups that organise treks along the Kokoda Track. After an arduous walk each day the trekkers would have a bath by jumping into a cold stream. John says he would jump in – t-shirt, boots and all – and wash everything in one hit. Although the t-shirt would not dry, due to the high humidity, John had brought another Driza-Bone® Activ t-shirt to wear at night. He would put the wet shirt on each morning and it would dry out with his body heat – in time to get wet again from rain or sweat. “It was pointless trying to keep anything dry,” he says, but found the breathable shirt was very comfortable to walk in, and it was quite a talking point among the walkers – especially since there was a cotton grower in the group. John says the shirt was comfortable to wear next to the skin, either wet or dry, with no prickle or itch. It did not crease and was easy to wash in any type of water. He walked in a group of 10 and says the most memorable aspect of the trip was seeing the evacuation of an injured walker by the local porters. “They were incredible: they are only small, but very muscular. Where the track was steep they would piggyback him or put him on their shoulders. They would walk seven metres along a single log over a fast-flowing creek, with him on their shoulders, with no trouble at all. “Because it was getting dark, they had to get along pretty quickly. Where the track was flatter or wider they made up a stretcher out of two branches with their singlets or t-shirts and six of them would run along to make up lost time, most of them in bare feet.” John says he was fully able to imagine what these people went through during World War II. “They cleared, by hand, a little helipad, but there were no helicopters available, so they carried this guy for seven hours to the next village, which had an airstrip.” John hopes the shirts he has sent to the leader of a well- known trekking group on the Kokoda Track will help spread the word about Australian wool. “Hopefully people will then wear them on planes so they will become more widely recognised. John Pike freshens up his trusty Merino t-shirt along the Kokoda track. “I also wore this same t-shirt on a cruise and quite a few people wanted to know where to get one,” he says. The Driza-Bone® Activ range was developed in collaboration with AWI. More information:www.merinoinnovation.com; www.drizaboneactiv.com ú Bomana War Cemetery, where thousands of Australian and New Zealand servicemen killed during World War II are buried. Photo: dreWLAMBert Photo:GAry ButLer Photo:dreW LAMBert
Jun - July 08
Oct - Nov 08