Bibbulmun Day 16: Friday April 20, 2018
Km 469 – 510 (41 km)
Tom Road – Beavis Campsite
The rain continued to come in squalls through the night. Rain falling rain on a tin roof always makes it sound a lot heavier than it actually is. As I was packing up I noticed two holes have been chewed in my pack. I left it hanging on a hook but it looked like that was not enough. Damn bush rats. Lou-Seal was in one of the chewed pockets but survived, still smiling.
It wasn’t raining when I left camp. I turned off my torch to have a good look at the sky and I could see some stars. I hoped that it may turn out to be a clear day.
As I walked in the darkness a bright halo of the light of my torch startled a bird sitting on the trail. It took off before I could see what it was. Soon there was another one which also took flight. And a third one which stood still just long enough for me to work out it was a small owl. What a pleasant surprise – I’ve rarely seen owls. I had a feeling it was going to be a good day.
It was beautiful walking on trail that’s been softened by the rain. I could see mist hanging low on the trees as it started to get light. I crossed a small dirt road and looing over towards the east it looked like there may be a visible sunrise this morning. Soon I was walking uphill I turned around to see the most glorious sunrise and blue sky. I was so uplifted already by the owl sighting and the sunrise just added to the fabulous start to the day.
For most of the day the trail followed the Donnelly River, departing briefly after the Boarding House campsite. It was simply beautiful hiking on easy trail with birds singing and sun shining. The towering forest around me was a continual wow moment – I kept stopping and craning my neck to look up at the perfect trees which seemed impossibly tall.
I made it to the Boarding House campsite.around 10.30 and stopped for a break. It’s a beautiful located campsite. After leaving camp the trail wound up and away from the river. There were glimpses through trees back down towards the river valley.
Here I met another northbound e2e hiker David from Colorado. Interestingly he is doing the Bibbulmun as a training hike. He plans to hike the Pacific Crest Trail when he returns to the US in mid-May, almost straight after finishing the Bib. He will certainly be trail ready when he starts on the Mexican border.
The section of trail from Boarding house Camp to Beavis Camp was particularly tough. The trail route closely follows the Donnely River. There were at least four steep descents and climbs back out of the river valley. Although they were steep, none were all that long. A steep climb back out of the river valley would have been immeasurably harder had the weather not been so nice.
Even the huffing anf puffing efforts of the steep climbs out of the river valley were quickly forgotten when I looked and saw the sun dancing on the leaves of the huge gums towering over me.
The last few kilometres seem to take long and it was a great relief to reach Beavis campsite. I decided to stay in the shelter in case that the predicted storm started overnight. But the mosquitos were insane. I was trying to write this post but found it impossible. My hands and face were being eaten alive. As there is no one else staying here I ended up putting up my tent on the shelter platform. It’s dark as I’m finishing writing this, there are all kinds of strange sounds. But the overwhelming sound is the croaking frogs in the creek in front of the shelter.
It was a sensational day because of the sunshine and the beauty of the forest. I felt recharged and ready to takle tomorrow, whatever the weather brings.