Tired of the endless stream of pissed away dreams missing her bucket list, Tara finally makes the decision to live her best life and finally climb Bluff Knoll.
She enlists the help of her pisswreck bestie who is stoked to escape the prison of her own terrible lifestyle choices for a weekend. So they take some annual leave and head down to sunny Albany to set up basecamp.
Before they leave, however, Tara absolutely rinses her credit card at Kathmandu. Sure, crusty South West locals hike the knoll in thongs a singlet but Tara is a serious mountaineer. The Edmund Hillary of half-arsed climbing hobbyists so she needs to look the part.
On the way down, Tara soon learns that the hardest part of climbing Bluff Knoll occurs many 100s of kms away from the rocky formation – Albany Highway.
The two lane highway is an absolute smorgasbord of atrocious boomer driving and her little Suzuki Swift lacks the guts to punch it past on the occasional overtaking lane.
She could measure her trip down in steering wheel slamming fits of rage. Nevertheless, they arrive in Albany and get an early night. They must prepare to get higher than a Spencer Park light bulb party.
They leave early the next morning and make their way to the Bluff Knoll car park aka the honey pot for ticket-happy rangers. They unwisely decide to skip the ticket thinking no one is going to bother checking this far out, this early in the morning. Absolute farken rookies.
Climbing poles in hand, the pair begin their ascent. It’s a bit damp and they scoff at a group of tourists attempting the climb in regular runners. They give each other a nod to acknowledge how pro they look in comparison. It’s a good start.
Disaster strikes a mere 10 minutes into the climb when Tara realises that she has no reception. She was going to essentially live stream the entire journey to show everyone what an inspiration she was. Alas, the kudos will have to wait.
In a fit of digitally-deprived anguish, she muses about turning back due to the waste of time before focusing on that summit selfie. All the likes she’ll get. She’ll crack 75 for sure. It’s all that matters in her life right now.
It’s not long until Tara begins to regret not prepping for the climb. It’s by no means the Kokoda Track but for legs more suited to walking around a farmer’s market with a latte, it’s a bit of a grind.
After getting overtaken by several groups of old legs, the pair finally reach the summit and can finally stop complaining about the burn to start their photoshoot. As luck would have it there was even a light dusting of snow.
After all, being underwhelmed by Perf powder is a quintessential experience every millennial needs to have. They laugh, they cry and they celebrate conquering both a figurative mountain and a literal knoll.
What they really didn’t bank on was the fact the journey down is arguably harder than the journey up. Especially if one doesn’t wish to recreate the crocodile mile experience down a ravine or some shit.
Hours later, they arrive back at their car to spot a parking ticket. It doesn’t faze them though. They have beers, uploads and burgers to smash in Albany. They are filled with a rare sense of legitimate pride.
Tara had proven she wasn’t all talk and her friend hadn’t woken up in a strange bed covered in fake tan and infection juice from some shweaty Scabs turbo she met at The Lookout.
Their celebration goes well until Tara is struck down by the cruel build-up of lactic acid. After popping off to the loo she finds herself unable to find the strength in her legs to hoist herself up.
Having to enlist her bestie’s help to haul her off the can was less of a valiant mountaineering experience and more of a late-life Elvis Presley predicament.
Not to worry, her posts are absolutely crushing it on socials. She’d die for that kind of engagement so sore legs ain’t no thang. That’s until she needs to use those legs to drive back to Perth. Uh oh, why didn’t she do even a little stretching and preparation for this?
Documenting the Human Zoo is thirsty work, so if you enjoyed what you read how about buying Belle a beer, ay?