Very few people know the Mountains as intimately as John Low.
The Leura man has been honoured with the Order of Australia medal for his tireless research into the history of the region and an undiminished passion for spreading that knowledge throughout the community.
It was 30 years ago that John moved to the area to build a local history collection on behalf of Blue Mountains City Council - a job he would hold for 25 years - and he has never since thought about leaving.
The history enthusiast was a perfect fit for the local studies librarian role.
"It was wonderful having a job that overlapped with my interests as well and I was able to then share it with other people who have the same interests," said John.
Despite retiring in 2007, his commitment to helping compile the Mountains' story has continued through his work with Blue Mountains Historical Society and Blue Mountains Conservation Society - leading historical walks, giving presentations and writing columns.
"Now, as my daughters say, I'm retired and I'm still doing the same job and not getting paid for it. But it's fine . . . I just enjoy it," said John.
While Blue Mountains history begins and ends at Blaxland, Lawson and Wentworth for many, John said there was an incredibly rich story that often rwent untold.
He said the upcoming bicentenary of the crossing of the Blue Mountains was an opportunity for people to rediscover the region's bushranger past, prisoner escapes and the sheer danger and difficulty faced by those travelling through the area long after the trail was first blazed.
As a guardian of the past, John said it was often difficult to accept the changes constantly happening in the Mountains.
"I have to keep telling myself that change is good and bad but I will miss things, other people won't miss them at all," he said.
"I do find myself grizzling and grumpy about the changes and all that at times, but I try not to be a real recidivist about it."