Sunday, May 1, 2011

Not quite an authentic hobbit

Yesterday I finally went and walked about Mount York, at the western end of the Blue Mountains, where the original European route went down into the western plains. I walked up Lockyer's Track and then back down Cox's Road, the latter being the path that coaches used to descend on their way to Bathurst, with logs tethered at the back to slow them down on the steep slope. I'd read accounts of early travellers before, one of which can be found here, and was keen to experience the terrible descent described in them, and while it must have indeed been quite terrifying in a coach it was fairly easy going for a walker.
It was rather cool and drizzly for most of the walk, with the occasional glimpse of rolling hills below appearing as the cloud and fog parted momentarily. As often happens, I felt very much like I was a hobbit walking through the Shire in Three is Company and A Shortcut to Mushrooms from The Lord of the Rings (and maybe a little portion from around the Withywindle for good measure). As a dutiful disciple of Sam Gamgee I had, as usual, "an apple for walking", a stick for the climbs and a pack filled with vittles. The track rose out of the farmland into pleasant woodland up to a rocky ridge, with a great multitude of mushroom varieties springing up everywhere, from extremely slimy but beautiful purple ones to huge, plate sized monsters to delicate pink coral types. If I was a true hobbit, of course, I would have been in seventh heaven, but the Australian tradition is to suspect most wild mushrooms as either deadly or at least rather naughty, and I left them to decorate the landscape instead of using them to fill a basket for my lunch.
Anyway, with the natural beauty, the solitude and the Tolkien nostalgia I feel very refreshed for another week of jewellery making before the next Canberra market. I can feel a mushroom pendant coming on for sure, and maybe one with trees and rolling hills. Our next stall is on Sunday 8th May.

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