I have to be back in Canberra by the 30th, as I have an appointment on the 1st of May, that's why I'm being good. Plus it means I won't take far too long to get home. I'm making minor judgement calls as I go, occasionally skipping one small town that I wouldn't mind investigating like Doodlakine, only to turn around and come back to another, such as Hines Hill.
My gut also got me to pause and take a photo at the right point though. I don't know if it will turn out, but I was trying to get a shot that showed multiple vanishing points - the train line, a dirt road, power lines, the big water pipe and the main road. Won't know if it worked until I have it on the comp.
I love that water pipe, always have. It comes from Perth to provide water to Kalgoorlie. I've always wanted to have a comely woman pose scantily clad or naked on it in variation of all those pulp images of women astride huge phallic missiles and the like. One day perhaps. I'd do it, but somehow I just don't think it would have the same feel.
Between the ants I mentioned in my last post, and my experience of Meckering, I'm not doing well. At this rate there won't be much of me left to make it home. There I was, wandering around Meckering's rose garden memorial to the 1960's earthquake, when suddenly, pain! Scattered on the path were some of the nastiest cowtrops I have seen. They had mown the area near the garden and these had found their way onto the path an into my bare feet. Now I've stood on plenty of things like this before, it's a hazard you accept if you want to go around barefoot, but I've never had so much blood drawn! Each one I'd pull out of my foot left me leaking my precious bodily fluids.
I've been wearing shoes for the rest of the day to give my feet a break. I'll go back to bare-footing in a day or so.
Cunderdin has an Ettamogah pub... odd.
Kellerberrin welcomed me by introducing me to one of its inhabitants as soon as I parked, a rather old and overweight blue healer went waddling past sedately.
It's a place I want to spend more time at, preferably a Thursday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, since that's when everything is open. However One of the more interesting things it has going on is the art gallery for IASKA - International Art Space Kellerberrin Australia. International artists are put up for three months while they work on art projects. The gallery had a couple of nice pieces in it, from what I could see through the windows.
Amusingly, next door to the gallery was a shop being renovated. All you could see in its windows were a pair of gumboots, giving it the look of a separate and odd piece of art right next door.
Hines Hill has a pub and a petrol station. I bought something to drink and a muffin, and sat on the bonnet of my car, watching a dragonfly.
The dragonfly was wandering a fairly specific area of land between the shop and the pub. It would zip, hover and dart about as dragonflies do. Every now and then it would chase off some other dragonfly that wandered onto its turf, but most of the time it simply wandered about eating smaller insects.
I paused at the rabbit proof fence, too. There are three that together total over 3000km of fencing. And while the rabbit problem isn't what it once was, the fence is maintained to deal with the emu problem. Apparently emus tend to invade the farmers crops during drought period, so the fence restricts them too.
In 1932 there was the Emu War. Machine gun emplacements were set up to wipe out the emus. It didn't work, their numbers were too great to be reduced through simple slaughter, and the idea was eventually abandoned. I'm glad. It's a bizarre and somewhat horrific idea.
Some of the trees along the way have been interesting. One variety in particular has a deep browny-red bark that looks gorgeous. Another gets a sheen like spun gold when touched by the rays of the setting sun. Magnificent.
Not much else to report. I continued on past Southern Cross, where all the streets are named for stars and constellations, and found a nice rest stop that took me well off the road. I was dark when I pulled up, the milky way looking so beautiful I almost wept.
I've set up the tent tonight. I wanted room to eat and type, not to mention cover in case the clouds on the horizon turned to rain. I'm almost tempted to sleep in the open air, and may still do it, though I'm feeling tired enough I may just crash out in here. Plus while this is a good spot to stop, it doesn't inspire me to sleep in the open.
Speaking of sleep, it's calling me now. G'night.