Australia, Hiking, Mountains, Streams, Creeks & Rivers
Comments 15

Cloud Avalanche: Green Mountain Haiku #2

Hi, folks. Some cool news: yesterday my recent post about Korean kitty-kats was featured on WordPress’s Freshly Pressed page, where posts from a handful of W.P. blogs are hand-chosen each week by the editors for a bit of extra exposure.

It’s really gratifying knowing that my words and pictures were deemed Pressed-worthy. This is the third time a post of mine has been selected in the three years or so I’ve been grinding out T.G.T.W. — roughly one feature every hundred posts! Each time it’s reinvigorating — with the walking, the picture-making, the uploading, layout fine-tuning and editing, one post can sometimes take 6-8 hours, and inevitably you find yourself asking if it’s all worth it.

Guess it’s worth it!

Best of all, it introduces the blog to a vast and diverse group of new reader-bloggers. It’s a real blast watching the wave of commenters and followers rolling in! So, welcome, new readers!

Now, it’s back to the jungle with its strangler figs, vines, waterfalls, whip birds and pesky rainforest haiku poets, and the final part of my Lamington National Park celebration…

(Haiku, again, by Chris Lynch.)

*          *          *          *          *

6. Dawn

Always knows

A strangler.

I wish dawn also knew a good masseuse. Just as on the previous morning, I woke early with back trouble — an old injury that’s often exacerbated by a night on hard ground (and minimal sleeping gear!).

But despite having aged 30 years in the night, I hobbled to the nearest viewpoint, pausing once or twice to stretch backwards over a convenient log or boulder — more relaxing than it sounds.

The Echo Point lookout, a few minutes from camp, was outstanding, a rocky outcrop perched on the edge of a deep drop-off, home to a little group of ancient grass trees. The view stretched over verdant valleys to the gnarled and ancient caldera of Mt Warning, which in its volcanic youth had shaped this entire landscape — and over to the south-east where I expected a glimpse of the sunrise, the first spot in the entire country to be touched each morning by the sun’s rays.

It all worked out as planned:

mmm

THROUGH THE WINDOW. The rugged terrain of the Mt Warning caldera through a gap in the forested wall of the Lamington Plateau…

mmm

THE FAR EAST. ..and an open view from the edge, with Mt Warning on the extreme right, and the first stretch of coast to see a sunrise on the Australian continent.

mmm

CLOUD AVALANCHE. Eerie: cloud spilling over a far-off rim.

mmm

GREEN VALLEY. A glimpse of prime grazing land below.

mmm

SUNLIT VALLEY. The valley revealing itself as the sun climbs higher.

mmm

LAMINGTON CANOPY. Back in the rainforest as we broke camp & resumed hiking.

7. At the falls

Something about negative ions

Apple crunch.

“Negative ions are odourless, tasteless, and invisible molecules that we inhale in abundance in certain environments. Think mountains, waterfalls, and beaches. Once they reach our bloodstream, negative ions are believed to produce biochemical reactions that increase levels of the mood chemical serotonin, helping to alleviate depression, relieve stress, and boost our daytime energy” ~ Web MD.

Breakfast next to a delightful waterfall: ions were flying around like a cloud of love-crazed mountain midges. I believe I may have smiled, perhaps twice. My back, comfortably girdled by my pack’s hip-belt, was soon jiggled back into working order by the walk.

mmm

TREE FERN FRONDS & MORNING SUNLIGHT.

mmm

A PEACEFUL GLADE.

mmm

BREAKFAST STOP. What better spot for a nice cup of coffee? My little beer-can stove doing what it does best (actually doing the only thing it does).

mmm

SEDGE BLADES & CASCADES.

mmm

TRAILSIDE VERDURE.

mmm

CASCADE BELOW THE PATH.

8. Black face

Rivulets furiously sketch

Every crease.

I thought Chris really captured the enthralling play of water down a gorge face here.

mmm

GIANT COACHWOOD. “Its timber is light and easily worked. It is used for flooring, furniture and cabinetwork, interior fittings, turnery, gun stocks, wood carving, veneers as well as spars and masts for boats. Courtroom number three of The High Court of Australia is beautifully furnished with coachwood timber.” ~ Wikipedia.

FERN LEAF.

FERN LEAF.

mmm

ANCIENT BEECH TRUNKS. Antarctic beeches clothed in moss. See the previous post for details on these incredible trees.

mmm

BIRD’S-NEST BATTALION.

mmm

CLOSER TO THE CANOPY. The Treetop Walk back at O’Reilly’s resort, one last sort detour before we reached the car.

mmm

LICHEN NEVER SLEEPS. A rather moist environment prevails up there in the Green Mountains.

9. Treetop walk

Remembering that girl

I never kissed.

 I really didn’t want to ask, but it is odd what you find yourself dwelling on when you have nothing to do but walk, think, and try not to think…

~ And that’s all the Goat wrote

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15 Comments

  1. jessiemartinovic says

    Love Mount warning when living in byron I would seek its pointy nose whilst swimming in the crystal seas 🙂

    • It’s a fantastic sight, isn’t it? I’ve climbed it a few times but am due for another. As with the Glass House Mountains north of Brisbane, I love imagining the area millions of years back when great beasts roamed through that fantastic landscape.

  2. Dearbhaile says

    Simply stunning! Another item added to my bucket list for Australia next year. Thanks! 🙂

    • Great idea, do ensure you spend some time in far-northern New South Wales and just over the border in South-East Queensland. Rent a car if you can and try to do some walking in the rainforest. A lot of people associate Australia with desert or beaches, but the rainforest and mountains are amazing as well.

  3. Heading off to Lamington on the weekend but just for a day trip to celebrate a birthday for a relative. Unfortunately, I won’t be up there early enough for beautiful misty dawn mountain views like these. It’s a magical spot and you’ve captured it perfectly with your photographs and words.

    Ah yes, walking can make one ponder many things in life… Sometimes it can be a struggle to keep certain memories or thoughts at bay!

    Congrats again on another Freshly Pressed Post.

    • Cheers, Jane. It would be hard to match that dawn. In one of Ray Jardine’s (ultralight hiking guru) books he talks about “changing channels” when you find yourself dwelling on dark thoughts. I had to remind myself of that approach just this morning! But I’m better now!

  4. Good work, Goat! Sure do appreciate your Goat’s-eye view of everything. Today it’s the cloud avalanche that stands out for me. A few days ago it was the exotic (to me) birds of Australia. And flying foxes! A while back it was you and your muse, Kate, and the girls at home in upstate New York. Before that it was seeing South Korea up close from your perspective as a walker and a teacher. I remember you noting recently that Kate had encouraged you to post more often. Yay Kate! Yay Goat!

    • She’ll be delighted to read that. She’s definitely earned a dedication if/when I ever get something published on paper! As have you with your very encouraging comments, cheers! Speaking of flying foxes, I am way overdue to put up a few attempts at pictures of them (I fail a lot more than I succeed).

  5. Gee, it looks like dinosaur country. I must say, you’ve reminded me I should be making a beer-can stove as well. It may take a few cans to make it right though!

    Great pics as usual…

    • You’d better buy yourself a slab, Greg. I tried to make my own a little while back and it was all going well till I tried to push the two halves together. No dice. It works but is not as slick as that first one — which was made for me by another hiker on a beer-fuelled assembly line in an Appalachian Trail shelter in Pennsylvania. Hard to believe I could have so much nostalgia about a couple of beer cans sliced up and squeezed together…

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