Keeping Up With The Joneses
Morgan Jones may only be one year old but she has just completed a 102 day, 1,100 mile trek through central Australia. Granted her parents Justin and Lauren did most of the heavy lifting, pulling their daughter on a cart from Dockers Creek in the Northern Territory all the way to Port Augusta in South Australia over difficult terrain including desert and scrubland. Not only did they carry all their food and water supplies as well as their camping equipment in carts which, despite weighing up to 270kg (600lb), they pulled by themselves, but the family had to battle through extreme temperatures that oscillated from below freezing to as high as 41C. And if that wasn’t enough they also had to contend with wild weather. Aside from stopping at a station or visiting an indigenous community every few weeks to pick up pre-arranged supplies, the Joneses were very much on their own. “Every single moment we were together as a family. In modern society, that’s fairly rare,” said Mr Jones. And it seems baby Morgan took to life out in the bush like a baby duck takes to water: “Lauren and I wanted to raise a strong, resilient, nature-loving girl. In Bondi [in Sydney], it was harder to do that in the confines of our apartment,” added Mr Jones. “It was amazing to see her flourish and develop in the outdoors. She adapted to it faster than we did. The environment just became her normal.” As well as raising around A$7,000 (£3,900; $5,300) for an indigenous health service, Mr Jones, an experienced explorer who had thought becoming a father meant having to hang up his hiking boots, explained to the BBC what drove them to undertake such a tough challenge with a youngster in tow: “When you have kids, everyone tells you the walls get really close and you can’t stray out too far and you have to keep everything safe. It’s hard enough to just get out of the house when you have a kid… It was amazing when Lauren turned around and said, ‘why don’t we go as a family and try to challenge that idea that you can’t have an adventurous life’…It was about us proving to ourselves we could actually live an adventurous life with a family”. Point proved.