Does anyone hear it?
Yes.. yes they do!
Greetings all from Erwin Tennessee, a town of around 5,000 people (Katherine size) which is about where the similarities end as I don't know if Katherine has ever publicly executed an elephant.
I will get around to writing up an entry about the towns I visit and my observations of the brief snapshot I have had of them but that isn't going to happen tonight as it's almost 11pm, it's been a long day and I have a couple of other stories to cover with my last 4 days of hiking.
Those last few days have been almost a cross section of the trail so far, rain, sun, pasta packs and probably the best summit view I've seen (on top of Big Bald mountain).
We also had an interesting opening to the day on the first day out of Hot Springs. We were just starting to stir out of camp when we heard thunder. That was a general sign to get back into tents as no-one really wants to start the day with a wet pack. The thunder was quickly followed by a fierce localised lightning storm which managed to blow down a sizable tree about 30 metres from the camp.
At the time it really wasn't that distinguishable a sound as there was howling winds but there was a loud whoosh and the sound of cracking timber.
After the storm had passed we inspected the tree and took photos of us standing on it making sure we got the tents in the background, and I can say for sure over the next few days I was inspecting the fallen down trees and potential campsites with renewed zeal.
Whether or not it was my new interest in the woody carcasses, there definitely seemed to be a lot of them in the surrounding area which made me wonder whether it was a design fault in the local flora. I mean I know that the woodpeckers would weaken them but the local firs and pines grow very tall and thin which makes them very susceptible to blowing winds. I guess they can grow that tall and thin due to the good soil, rainfall and temperate weather. The eucalypts back home however have no chance to grow that tall due to the poor soil and extreme climate... another victory for the tropics!
We may kill you with poisonous snakes, crocs, dropbears and a myriad of other bitey things but at least our trees are safe.
Aussie Aussie Aussie, oy oy oy