The bush was green and wet, and alive with rivulets of runoff that occasionally crossed the track. Raindrops still clung to leaves and gleamed in the sunlight, and the occasional gust of wind would shake them off the soaring tree canopies and onto our heads.
We set off under a thick blanket of fog, which made for some spectacularly eerie views through the dense native forest in the early morning. As we ascended the first hill of the day, an ominous droning noise pierced the mist, escalating from a drone to an almighty din as we climbed.
I was looking forward to the achievement of walking into Albany, and completing my longest hike yet. I was looking forward to showers, hot food and a real bed, but I knew I’d miss the spectacularly uncomplicated nomadic lifestyle I’d been leading for the past couple of weeks.
I was sad to leave the majestic karri forests behind me, as both the Vanderbijls and the guidebook had warned me there would be no more tall trees between here and the finish line. Still, I was glad that the weather was holding up and I was managing to stay cool and dry.
Within minutes of leaving camp I nearly stumbled over an enormous tiger snake, who either didn’t seem too fazed by me or was deliberately playing it cool. Eventually, the snake slithered off into the grass in front of me.
The dramatic weather only enhanced the wild, exposed feel of the coast, particularly as roaring winds whipped up even bigger waves to crash against the shore. The whole experience was loud, uncomfortable and awe-inspiring.
I made it to Boat Harbour shelter in the mid afternoon, and headed down to the harbour for which it’s named for a refreshing swim. When I got back, the early signs of a spectacular sunset enticed me to head back up to the cliffs to witness it. To say it was worth the effort would be an understatement.
I rounded a corner past a tall bush only to startle a kangaroo, who had been snoozing right next to the track. He propped himself up with his arms and stared at me bleary-eyed while I tried to frame a photo.
This massive tree is so big there’s a boardwalk running through its hollowed base. It’s the centrepiece of a pretty spectacular walk trail you can access by car.
I’m an Australian long-distance hiker, a journalist, a proudly average baseball player and a big fan of all things Western Australia. I’ve walked the entire Bibbulmun Track, and have my sights set on a thru-hike of the Pacific Crest Trail. I run this blog to record my adventures and help others go on their own. My three favourite things in life are hiking, sugar and the Green Bay Packers.
Kennedy Meadows (my mile 1465, trail mile 702) to Mount Whitney (my mile 1530, trail mile 767) I got a dose of Southern California’s searing August heat the second I stepped onto the air bridge at Burbank. The sun beat down on me as I crossed the street to the rental car garage, but I was thankful for it. Those warming rays had spent the past two months slowly thawing the huge… Read More
Charlton Lake (my mile 1296, trail mile 1925) to Santiam Pass (my mile 1465, trail mile 2000) “The trail provides” is one of the many sayings often uttered by PCT thru-hikers. Nowhere has that been truer for me than in Oregon, which I pieced together in sections after getting forced off trail by an Afib episode at Charlton Lake. Exiting from a dirt road with no transport connections in the middle of… Read More
Crater Lake (my mile 1192, trail mile 1821) to Charlton Lake (my mile 1296, trail mile 1925) Our day off in Fort Klamath was sorely needed, as both Tidbit and I could feel our bodies protesting against the longer days we’d been hiking since the Oregon border. By the time we reached Crater Lake it felt like we were both running on empty. After a night at the Aspen Inn we walked… Read More
Seiad Valley (my mile 1027, trail mile 1656) to Crater Lake (my mile 1192, trail mile 1821) Independence Day in Ashland was like a city-wide party. Tidbit and I walked along the main street as we watched the miles-long parade, then enjoyed hearty lunches at an English pub (the irony). At a street fair, we watched pro-choice protestors face off with pro-life protestors welding signs with pictures of aborted foetuses, until the… Read More
Dunsmuir (my mile 872, trail mile 1501) to Seiad Valley (my mile 1027, trail mile 1656). My own poor organisation caused me to spend nearly two full days in Dunsmuir while I waited for a package with my new odour-proof food bag. In hindsight I’m glad it worked out that way, because Dunsmuir is delightful. It’s an historic railroad town on the Sacramento River in the shadow of Mount Shasta, tucked away… Read More
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