Towards the end of the trail, where the road is at its worst it breaks into this wonderful space of pagoda rock formations.
Words to walk with: God’s Grandeur by Gerard Manly Hopkins THE WORLD is charged with the grandeur of God. It will flame out, like shining from shook foil; It gathers to a greatness, like the ooze of oil Crushed. Why do men then now not reck his rod? Generations have trod, have trod, have trod; And all is seared with trade; bleared, smeared with toil; And wears man’s smudge and shares man’s smell: the soil Is bare now, nor can foot feel, being shod.
And for all this, nature is never spent; There lives the dearest freshness deep down things; And though the last lights off the black West went Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs— Because the Holy Ghost over the bent World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.
There is a strip show going on in the forest at the moment. Some varieties of eucalypt do this each year.
Words to walk with: From Gum-Trees Stripping by Judith Wright "Say the need's born within the tree and waits a trigger set for light; say sap is tidal like the sea, and rises with the solstice-heat - but wisdom shells the words away to watch this fountain slowed in air where sun joins earth - to watch the place at which the silent rituals are."
When I am out and about among the trees. Just about every specimin delights me. This one was leaning over the track which, by the way, is gravel and gets quite rough towards the end so best to be in a 4WD.
Words to walk with: A few minutes ago every tree was excited, bowing to the roaring storm, waving, swirling, tossing their branches in glorious enthusiasm like worship. But though to the outer ear these trees are now silent, their songs never cease. Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings, while incense is ever flowing from the balsam bells and leaves. No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord himself. ~John Muir
Through the Glow Worm Tunnel, Gardens of Stone National Park
I feel a little like Alice, having gone through a dark tunnel to a different world! Enjoy the ferny wonderland.
This is the end of the walk. However, 10kms through the forest following the old train track you reach the ruins of the shale oil works at Newnes. You can get there in 50Kms or so by car, back tracking through the forest, following Blackfellows Hands Trail to the Wolgan Valley Road to Newnes. I'm going to take you there by car.
Words to walk with:
Opening lines of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol. Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, `and what is the use of a book,' thought Alice `without pictures or conversation?'
Entrance to Glow Worm Tunnel, Gardens of Stone National Park
The second tunnel is a walking tunnel. Take a torch, the tunnel floor is wet and very rough and not far in it's pitch black.
Sorry, no photos of the glow worms. I don't know how to take photos of pin pricks of light in deep dark black.
Words to walk with: A Clear Midnight by Walt Whitman This is thy hour O Soul, thy free flight into the wordless, Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done, Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best. Night, sleep, death and the stars.
By the walking track to Glow Worm Tunnel, Garden's of Stone National Park
Words to walk with: The beautiful is in nature, and it is encountered under the most diverse forms of reality. Once it is found it belongs to art or rather to the artist who discovers it. -- Gustave Courbet
See how the eucalypts have changed again. This type of forest reminds me of the Fredrick McCubbin painting "Lost"
Words to walk with: Lost in the forest by Pablo Neruda "Lost in the forest, I broke off a dark twig and lifted its whisper to my thirsty lips: maybe it was the voice of the rain crying, a cracked bell, or a torn heart. Something from far off it seemed deep and secret to me, hidden by the earth, a shout muffled by huge autumns, by the moist half-open darkness of the leaves.
Wakening from the dreaming forest there, the hazel-sprig sang under my tongue, its drifting fragrance climbed up through my conscious mind
as if suddenly the roots I had left behind cried out to me, the land I had lost with my childhood--- and I stopped, wounded by the wandering scent."
Pagoda rock formations, Gardens of Stone National Park
Words to walk with: From Pagoda Country by Mark O'Connor "The rock's strata erode like stacked plates, with rounded tops, or grey, scalloped cisterns -- an erratic pagoda, somehow blunt and disappointing as the tops of mountains often are; the highest peak a mere jut thrust out obliquely reaching anywhere but up, one of earth's lumpy hobgoblin children, squeezed out and abandoned, broken with boils and eruptions, a half-home to small furry parasites, and pry to ceaseless sun and air."
I know I'm taking a while getting to the glow worm tunnel but the journey is as interesting as the destination. Some of you commented on the narrowness of the tunnel in my last post, well as you can see, the road is quite narrow some of the time ... fortunately there are not many cars on it so not too much pulling over or backing up. There is also very limited parking at the end of the road so you don't want too many people to be out and about on the day you are there.
Words to walk with: If you don't know where you are going, any road will get you there. Lewis Carroll
Old Railway Tunnel, Gardens of Stone National Park
The glow worm tunnel is one of two old railway tunnels constructed in 1907 for the railway that served the Newnes Oil Shale mines. The first tunnel (this one) is now a passage for vehicular traffic but the ghost of the old trains remain with the soot still marking the rock.
Words to walk with: To A Locomotive in Winter by Walt Whitman "Thy black cylindric body, golden brass and silvery steel, Thy ponderous side-bows, parallel and connecting rods, gyrating, strutting at thy sides, Thy metrical, now swelling pant and roar, now tapering in the distance. Thy great protruding heat-light fixed in front, Thy long pale, floating vapour-pennants, tinged with delicate purple, The dense and murky clouds out-belching from thy smoke-stack, Thy knitted frame, thy springs and valves, the tremulous twinkle of thy wheels, Thy train of cars behind, obedient , merrily following, Through gale or calm, now swift, now slack, yet steadily careering;"