Outing #39 Shuddup and lick, skunk-apes!

We all know they don’t *really* exist, and although I’ve only had a few strange happenings while I’ve been out here, let me assure you some of the stories I’ve heard… woo-ee make your skin crawl, they will.

It’s raining again, and while the surround-sound of droplets pattering the tent around me is nice an’ all, it also has me yet again thinking “I’ve gotta move to a new camp”, but the same dilemma remains: If I move, I’ll have to leave the animals I’ve grown so accustomed to, yet after a year in the same spot it seems just a bit …whatever now.

Too familiar, redundant.

I wanna go out further. Faaar out in the valley.

Far enough that there are wild dogs and pigs around the camp; far enough out that I might have a chance at seeing some of the less common animals that live out here; far enough, that I might even have a chance to spot a Tiger Quoll – or any of the threatened species – and photograph the sucker(s) and yes, that includes the infamous, unknown creatures rumored to exist in these parts.

Panthers, Yowies, Bunyiiiips.

Anyway, let’s weight a few pros and cons about changing to a new camp.


REASONS TO MOVE:

  • New campsite, new animals, new environment.
  • There is no shortage of other Possums within the national park, any of which would be thrilled at the chance to taste just one single buiscut – once in their lifetime.
  • The creepiness factor, yessir; creepy keeps things interesting.
  • I might get to see a Panther.
  • I could find myself being the alpha of a pack of wild dogs. They’d bring me carcasses and – although I’d kick them away initially – I’d get a taste for it sooner or later: I can eat spam now remember, so maggot-infested rotten meat can only be an upgrade.
  • I may meet some Yowies. Sure it’d be awkward to start with, but once I show them I have the power to carry fire in my pocket they will worship me like a god. They’ll pile meagre gifts before me – made of bone and fur – and I’ll show them the *magic pocket-flame*. If they start to get lippy or rebellious or just grunt more than usual, I’ll whip out my phone and remind them all of the little people I’ve trapped in there – threatening to make them next: thus confirming my status as almighty ruler of their stupid, pointless little group. Of course the Yowie chicks will be lining up for a peice of my godliness, and once I get over their terrible smell and sharp teeth I’ll pick myself the least furry of the bunch to be my first Yowie bride. I’ve had an Italian woman so I’m comfortable with hairy chicks.
  • Once I’ve got my clan of skunk-apes under my control, I will command them to give me daily tongue-baths; alleviating the need to wash in the cold creek water.

REASONS TO STAY:

  • Said Yowies may simply slam a boulder down on my head while I sleep, popping it like a grape or worse still, Said Yowies may not exist: thereby ending any aspirations of becoming their Supreme Leader as well as those daily tongue-baths they were going to give me.
  • Same wild dogs, one day, upon discovering I’ve absconded with two of their puppies before fleeing the area on foot, may hunt me down and tear me apart before eating my body.
  • I might get eaten by a Panther, or several: Ironically at the exact moment I lose mobile reception so cannot upload their photos to Facebook and confirm that they are indeed real.
  • A small but non-zero chance I’ll wind-up being an unidentifiable, bloody corpse with no dick and no head. Hey, it’s happened out here before.
  • Bla bla, bla bla.
  • Etcetera.
  • The phone reception might suck more in the new spot.

To setup a new camp I would also need a new tent; picked, ordered and delivered before I set-out to the new place; which I of course need to scout-out and locate first.

And on a more serious note regarding the creepiness thing: the further out you go, the more eerie things become. Past a certain point, you get this inexplicable feeling you’re being watched by something. It’s a feeling I’ve felt before on the other side of the large dirt clearing near Mount Solitary, and others have mentioned feeling the same just over the other side of Leura Falls Creek – just before the Kedumba River.

Rationalizing the feeling is easy enough: you’re out here slap in the middle of fucking nowhere and isolated from society, so you start getting the spookies. Fair enough.

But the truth is you are being watched and although the multitude of animals hiding in the scrub around you aren’t going to cause you any shit, there are also people out here.

What type of people? How long have they been out here? Are they sane nature-loving hippies, camping like I am or completely unhinged violent lunatics?

Are they the ones watching as you make your way deeper into the valley; knowing you’re alone?

How many people are actually out here? WHERE are they?

There’s absolutely no way of knowing the answers to any of the above questions without actually bumping into these semi-feral hermits, and that’s what makes it creepy.

The National Park itself has this feeling of ‘unknown’ everywhere you go.

I’ve been walking through the scrub on my way to get water and nearly jumped out of my skin when I’ve suddenly seen a dark figure out the corner of my eye just a few feet to my left. Instantly my skin started crawling and I felt someone there, but the second I turned my head to look it was gone.

I remember just standing there – hair standing on end – frozen for a moment, then looking around for shadows that might have played weird with the light: there weren’t any shadows anywhere as dark as that.

Anyway, although most people scoff at the notion of mysterious creatures roaming the woods, it’s far more disturbing – and realistic – to consider the kind of human beings who may be completely mad and living out here.

Though once I’ve found my cave filled with dim-witted Yowie peons I won’t have to worry about stupid bush crazies or hermits.

Outing #39 Shuddup and lick, skunk-apes!
4.2 Guidos (132 ratings)

Jason Riley
Animal-lover, part-time feral.

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