Bibbulmun Day 10: Saturday April 14, 2018

Km 267.8 – 299.6 (31.8 km)

Possum Creek – Harris Dam Campsite

The hooting of an owl woke me this morning. Quite a pleasant alarm clock really. The sky was studded with stars and it was quite, not a breath of wind. Simply beautiful to sit in the stillness and the quite of the morning and just breathe in the stars and the sky. It was so perfect I did not want it to end. I took a couple of pictures before the moon came up and then the clouds rolled in and covered up the sky.

The landscape away from Possum Creek Camp was quite beautiful. The trail was lined by little shrubs crowned in profuse cotton bud like flowers. And paper daisies long past their prime but still beautiful. The air was cold and with the cloud cover I found it difficult to take many pictures.

A little after leaving camp I met a northbound hiker. He was on the phone as he had phone service, I tried but no luck. He is the first person I’ve seen since leaving Dwellingup. I stopped to chat to Janz who lives in Mandurah, on the coast south of Perth. He is a veteran on 10 through Bib hikes (or end to end as they are called here – e2e for short). He was a fountain of useful information which he was happy to share. He is hiking the Bibbulmun again this year because he loves it.

The morning was pleasant to hike. The terrain not too demanding. It was interesting to see the vegetation change as I approached Yourdamung Camp. Flat open expanses of almost coastal heath plants with banksias and paperbarks. I almost expected to hear the sound of surf crashing as I moved closer. Saw some emu footprints in the sand here which I thought was was quite unexpected.

Everything in this landscape seems to be a shade of briwn, green, blue-green or chared back. So it is always nice to find a pop of colour, whether it is a flower or a seed pod.

It was almost lunchtime before the sun burnt off the clouds. And then it started to get really hot. At Yourdamung Camp I found another northbound e2e hiker. I stopped for a longer break at this camp and met Matt who was contemplating staying there. He is from Albany and is a husband and a father of four young children. He’s been on trail for a month now and in his words was in a bit of a mid-life crisis. He spoke about what prompted the decision to hike and some of the struggles in his early weeks on trail. From the sound of our conversation he was well on the way to working through what he needed to do in order to become who he wanted to be – a better husband and father.

As I walked through the dappled shade of the forest and my feet crunched through the dried up gum leaves I thought about my conversation with Matt. It prompted my own musings about what we learn from our parents. How good were my parents? What behaviours – good or bad – have I absorbed from them.

As my mind rambled my hiking progress also became a slow ramble. Whilst the landscape I passed through was really quite pleasant, there wasn’t anything that really stood out. The terrain was a gentle grade and I made my destination with plenty of daylight left.

I had just put my bag down when I arrived at Harris Dam Camp when out of nowhere pops up a dog. Its owner was not far behind. She was out for a walk – parked near the dam which is only 4km away. Now that I know it’s a short hike in from a carpark, near a town and it’s Saturday night I thought there would be other people at this camp before sundown. I put up my tent away from the shelter and just as I was settling some people arrived and proceeded to build a fire. All quite for now as I’m finishing writing this post. And quite it stayed, before I fell asleep.