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Tararua Tramping Club

Celebrating 100 years of tramping

Tararua Footprints Quotations

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Note. None of the following were used in edition 1.

Note that Winnie-the-pooh copyright is held by C R Milne.

"It is easy for a person to find courage, when he has law and assistance at his back, but be alone and beyond assistance, near the camp of savages, you will find how fleeting courage is."

Patrick Q Caples, on being the first European to reach Martins Bay, solo, and seeing the smoke [of Tutoko's camp] across the river.

"I returned to my camp, on the 14th being 4 days without provisions, except, what I obtained, by thinning the ranks of a numerous, and destructive little animals, and to modify the name, I must call them Māori Rabbits."

Patrick Q Caples, a few days later, returning up-valley.

"on the 6th April came to the Nokomai to take a considerable spell after carrying a swag for three months, through some of the most difficult country, that can be imagined. The hardship endured from the rugged nature of the country, was not equal to that felt for the want of provisions."

Patrick Q Caples again, fourteen days later.

"After supplying ourselves with a pack-horse and a set of carpentry tools for the purpose of boat-building, we started for Te-Anau early in May." [Makes planning a trip today seem a breeze!]

Patrick Q Caples, at the start of his Te Anau explorations.

"Our cooking utensils consisted of two billy cans and a frying pan. Our baking was done on the ground, a hollow was made and over it a scrub fire was kindled, the ashes raked back, the dough was then placed in it and covered over with the hot ashes to bake - the result called damper was not very sightly, but it passed for good bread when there was nothing better. A baking of damper would sometimes last three weeks, so that in such a case, one's digestion was not impaired by eating newly baked bread."

James McKerrow, Pioneer explorer-surveyor of Otago.

[This reminds me, Merv, of the tale from Hector's trip up the Matukituki, where they had prepared sun-dried jerky from sheep they had driven many miles, then killed and smoked. "And it was remarkable how little of it sufficed to satisfy a man!"]

"'When I use a word', Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean – neither more nor less.'"

Lewis Carroll

"I've been able to see farther than other men because I've been able to stand on the shoulders of giants."

Isaac Newton

"Someone unfamiliar with the mountains and forests cannot advance [the team].
One who does not employ local guides cannot gain the advantage."

Sun Tzu The Art of War c500 B.C.

"With sufficient planning, you can almost eliminate adventure from an expedition."

Roald Amundsen [slightly paraphrased]

"I don't think we are in Kansas anymore"


"And what is the use of a book" thought Alice "without pictures or conversations?"

Lewis Carroll

"Serve God daily.
"Love one another.
"Preserve your victuals.
"Beware of fire.
"Keep good companie.

[Sir] John Hawkins, 1564, who re-built the English navy to ultimately defeat the Spanish armada.

"Will you walk a little faster?" said a whiting to a snail"

Lewis Carroll

"It's the fresh air that does it,' said the Rose: "wonderfully fine air it is, out here"

Lewis Carroll

"In one moment I've seen what has hitherto been
Enveloped in absolute mystery,
And without extra charge I will give you at large
A Lesson in Natural History.

Lewis Carroll

"If you're not getting injured, you're not playing hard enough"

Old sports aphorism

"Learn to smile a lot – Humour is the process by which we accommodate discomfort."


"There are three certainties in life - Death and Taxes and Change. And the greatest of these is change"


"In an extremis situation, any decision will prove better than no decision."


"You don't go that way - it is much too rocky. Come this way with me."

R2D2 to C3PO

"Chaos Theory is the branch of math/science in which it is proposed that a butterfly flapping its wings in China, will cause a beautiful day in the Tararua. We need more butterflies."


"Be nice to people – Newton tells us that for each action there is an equal and opposite reaction."


posit 1. If the world doesn't react to your presence, you're not there.
posit 2. You're only in this park for a short time,

– leave it in better condition than you found it.

"Happiness is a decision. "


"Once upon a time there were four wise men. One of them knew of a shortcut ..."

Old Bushcraft saying

"There are old mountaineers,
and there are bold mountaineers,
but there aren't many old and bold mountaineers.

Old Bushcraft saying

"The first question of course was, how to get dry again: they had a consultation about this, and after a few minutes it seemed quite natural to Alice to find herself talking familiarly with them, as if she had known them all her life."

Lewis Carroll

"... and as she was getting quite chilly with sitting still so long, she got up and walked on."

Lewis Carroll

‘But wait a bit,’ the Oysters cried,

‘Before we have our chat;

For some of us are out of breath,

And all of us are fat!’

‘No hurry!’ said the Carpenter.

They thanked him much for that.
Lewis Carroll

And now the tale is done,

And home we steer, a merry crew,

Beneath the setting sun.

Lewis Carroll

"How funny it'll seem to come out among the people
that walk with their heads downwards! The Antipathies, I think –
..."but I shall have to ask them what the name of the country is, you know.
Please Ma'am, is this New Zealand or Australia?"

Lewis Carroll

"Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?" Alice went on.
"That depends a good deal on where you want to go," said the Cat.
"I don't much care where –" said Alice
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat.
" – so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

Lewis Carroll

"Begin at the beginning," the King said gravely, "and go on till you come to the end : then stop."

Lewis Carroll

"and still the Queen kept crying "Faster, faster!" but Alice felt she could not go faster, though she had no breath left to say so."

Lewis Carroll

"I'm afraid that he'll catch cold with lying on the damp grass," said Alice who was a very thoughtful little girl."

Lewis Carroll

"... the Queen said. "The rule is, jam to-morrow and jam yesterday– but never jam to-day."

Lewis Carroll

"I wish I could manage to be glad!" the Queen said. "Only I can never remember the rule. You must be very happy, living in this wood, and being glad whenever you like!"

Lewis Carroll

‘IS there frost on my hair, comrade?

is there frost on my hair ?

’Tis the rime of the midnight wind that chills

my hunter's couch on the starlit hills,
crown for my youth to wear.

’Twill be gone with the morning light, comrade,

when I wind my morning horn.’
Geoffrey Winthrop Young, from Glamour of Life

LIVE life at the full ;
blend dream with the deed ;
drink deep of the draught.
The men who moved before us,
the mountain maids who bore us,
dared the roar of the pool,
raced from the hills of speed,
hunted the high winds, and laughed
as they drove their sea-freight home
slant to the fall of foam.

Geoffrey Winthrop Young, from Motion

In this short span

between my finger-tips on the smooth edge
and these tense feet cramped to the crystal ledge

I hold the life of man.

Geoffrey Winthrop Young, from The Cragsman

There is a hill that stands for me

beyond the sunset and the sea,
a ladder of light ascending :
when I have crossed the evening ray
and lost my comrade of white day,
it beckons me, bending
a mountain-way of wind and rain
to draw my feet from the dark plain :–

Where stars of slumber kindle on its crest,

my hill, the high hill, from wandering to rest.
Geoffrey Winthrop Young, from Beacons

What if I live no more those kingly days ?

their night sleeps with me still.

I dream of feet upon the starry ways ;

my heart rests in the hill.

I may not grudge the little left undone ;

I hold the heights, I keep the dreams I won.
Geoffrey Winthrop Young, from Wind Harp

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 New Zealand License.

"Happiness is a decision. "


Page last modified on 2014 Feb 17 19:40

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