Bush Lemons, the lesbian bushwalking group located in the Blue Mountains, is proudly celebrating its 10-year anniversary with a special event on Saturday 13 January.

Bush Lemons first came into existence in 1996 when a few local lesbians began to organise an occasional bushwalk in this beautiful area, Bush Lemons organiser Jocelyn Williams explained.

The name Bush Lemons came to an inspired member who was trying to distract herself from her fear of heights at Wentworth Falls, and it has stuck since then.

The walks gained in popularity and a number of years ago Williams put together an email list and a regular calendar of walks so women knew which walks were coming up and could plan for them.

We have members who like to come for the challenge of a full day of walking in the wilderness areas of the Blue Mountains, and members who specifically like the easier wanders. But of course all of our walks are social and filled with the unique beauty of the mountains, Williams said.

The highlight so far for the group has been entering a team into Oxfam Trailwalker Sydney 2005, where teams of four walked 100km in 48 hours.

We achieved our goal by finishing as a whole team in 41 hours with no injuries, just painful blisters and suffering toes, and we plan to put another team into Oxfam Trailwalker 2007, Williams said.

This year Bush Lemons have held a beginners bushwalk, numerous full-day walks, an overnight walk, walks to waterfalls, two special walks that included gay guys, and had the added challenge of bushfires.

Plans are afoot in 2007 for more easy and hard walks, a beginners overnight walk and attempting the Six Foot Track in one day and night.

I’d really like to thank those who come along on the bushwalks, and particularly those who lead the walks, Williams said.

I’m very proud that we’ve been bushwalking for 10 years. The devastation of the Grose Valley during the recent bushfires has been a big blow, and reinforced why we try to get to the more isolated areas in the Mountains.

All past and present members are invited to the 10th anniversary celebration. For more information contact bushscout@bigpond.com or see the Bush Lemons page under Social and Support Groups on www.pinkmountains.com.au.

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