Random thoughts on gorge hiking, Stormtroopers, thorns and such
The other day we camped in a beautiful national park by Porcupine Gorge in Queensland. This was nearing the end of a nice stretch of bush camping for us where we really set out to get dirty in Outback Queensland. The hike was too strenuous for the little guys, and just steep enough that I couldn’t alternate carrying them on my back, so this time I went solo and took a camera. Well, almost solo. I took this action figure from the kids with me. I call him Outback Stormtrooper.
Despite the scorching heat, I’m a hiking enthusiast thanks to the early influence of my buddy Drew, so this was kind of a treat. I love hiking down these Australian gorges because it’s like the ground suddenly opens up in the middle of a vast arid space and then all of the sudden you have life again – water, flora, animals. One funny thing was that even the flowers in Outback Queensland are out to get you – thorns on a flower in an oasis at the bottom of a gorge- come on!
Gorge hiking is also fun because, as long as you check with the ranger or locals to make sure there are no deadly Australian reptiles or critters in the water, you can usually swim or at least dip your feet in and cool off when you get to the bottom. This was the case at Porcupine — NO CROCS —so I took advantage and took the closest thing I had had to a bath in a few days. As was the case with other gorge hikes, it was easier going down than returning, so when I got back up to the fam I was dirty again!
I didn’t get a photo of the main animals we saw at Porcupine Gorge because I was too busy trying to defend our supper from them! Looking like darker coated little wallabies, the “cheeky” rufus bettong had been fed by too many prior campers and was so unafraid of me it was pathetic. Think me holding a shovel arms outstretched upwards, trying to make myself “look big” shouting “scram” and the bettong just peering up at me – giggling, hopping a marsupial hop forward, and very getting excited to get a chance to taste some of Miranda’s fine chicken curry!