One of the things I intended to write about in the perils of the american bush was the purple poodle-dog bush. I know, sounding a lot like a joke, however it is in fact another insidious american plant lying in wait for ill educated hikers. initially there was a note left lying on the track, describing it as far worse than poison oak. I don't think I took it entirely seriously, actually I didn't even read the note properly... days later I spent 15 miles bashing through this plant growing all over the track. The following day someone suggested it was the poodle plant. This didn't seem likely until I saw the flowers. Apparently the sting, itch and blisters can last up to 2 weeks. Craziness. Fortunately it seems it's only vicious when in full bloom, and looking pretty like you might want to pick it. These americans have this bizare concept that the australian bush is really dangerous. But really, there are so many perils of diabolical evil over here, including cheese in a can (not necessarily found in the american bush).
I still get excited about squirrels. Squirrels and chipmunks. Chipmunks dart across the track when I'm up in the mountains, they're a little like the lizards of the high country, cautious and stealthy. Squirrels on the other hand are flamboyant exhibitionists. I suspect this is because they're so impressed with their tails - which is fair enough, they're pretty amazing - they seem to float behind like separate entities. But the squirrels, they'll race up and down the tree trunks and dart around excitedly as if they're saying 'wow, have you seen my tail? Have you ever seen anything that marvellous?'. And their hands look so demure and precise when they eat, like they haven't just been racing around like adolescent quolls.
Wow, as I'm lying here on a couch by the fire at casa de luna, a crazy amazing place I'll write about when I get to a computer, rambo, another hiker, has picked up a guitar, and is serenading us with the most fabulous sounding tunes. Makes me feel so tranquil and content - grinning-whimsical...
Yesterday I walked further than my previous longest continuous journey - I'm at 478.5 miles here - about 770 km.