Boarding House Campsite(325)-Beedelup Campsite(351.9)
First off, it didn’t rain at all today! I can’t remember the last time that happened! Yay!!! I got going at 6:20 this morning and said goodbye to Steven as he was making breakfast. It was good to get to sleep early and rest. I have not rebounded yet, but the rest helps. I knew today would be a tiring day. It was longer than I would’ve liked to double hut. My sweet spot seems to be a 25mi/40km day, which most of the shelters have coincidentally landed right at that point lately. Today was a bit longer, and to add to it, it was going to be quite a lot of up-and-down. This trail has pretty much turned me into a wuss and I have been totally spoiled. I have grown accustomed to flat trail now and if there is an elevation change, there’s been such subtle ups and downs that I don’t even realize that they are happening. Today seemed to be wanting to make up for all the flat out here, so it put in all the ups and downs that were missing the last two weeks. The section this morning was even called the Donnelly River Rollercoaster. It was just a lot of short steep ups and downs one right after the other all day. It was like I was on the Appalachian Trail. There were a couple that were significant and much longer, but mostly it was small stuff that when done consecutively over a full day is pretty tiring. I counted how many times the word “ascend” was in the guidebook today, and it was in there about 21 times. Of those 21, there were many that said “ascend steeply.” There were just as many descents.
I am still feeling pretty lethargic from my period, which I know will pass, but I am pretty much like a zombie right now. To add to the hilly day, it was also a claustrophobic kind of forest with few times when I could even look up and see the sky. I get claustrophobic, but enjoy forests that are spacious that I can look into. The forest today was so thick that I couldn’t really see past the immediate surroundings of the trail most of the day. This actually might be the only day I didn’t see a kangaroo now that I think of it. It made the day go by pretty slowly. I felt like I wasn’t moving because the scenery was just one repetitive long tunnel. Usually climbs pay off with some kind of view or at least phone signal, but I got neither today.
It was quite cold today. I wore my down jacket and beanie for the first hour and a half of the day. The river valley holds the cold air and it stuck around through lunch. I was actually cold during lunch because I had sweated going up some of the steeper hills. As soon as the climb was over, it became a cold sweat and I was chilled. At lunch, I needed my beanie and jacket back on.
I had lunch at the Beavis Shelter, which had a little stream and swimming hole in front of it. My back just wants to lay down in the state that I am in. It is tight and tired and did not even want to sit up at the table for lunch today. I took advantage of the nice wood chips on the ground and sat down on the ground so I could have something to lean back against.
Yes, I was just looking at the picnic table rather than the view outside, but I did not want to go out by the water where it was slightly colder and muddy. While I was eating my lunch, four men drove by on a four wheeler that looked more like a golf cart and waved as they drove by. I’m pretty sure they weren’t supposed to be there, but there was a camping area nearby and it seemed like they were exploring the area.
This trail has been pretty perfect for me in matching the distances I like to hike with the distances of the campsites while also giving me a shelter midday to have lunch in. There’s been so much rain and mud that it’s nice to be at a table and under a shelter midday. Normally, I would want to sit at a viewpoint, but in the last week or so, there hasn’t been a midday viewpoint to stop and take in.
What I’ve noticed is that for people going hut to hut, which is most people out here, they don’t have that luxury of a midday shelter like I do. It would suck on these rainy days, and now the mud, to have to stop somewhere in the middle of a brushy trail and just plop down and eat with nothing really to look at or a dry spot to sit. It would really suck on the rainy days with nowhere to get a break from the cold rain.
There was still a lot of debris on the trail with fallen trees and branches probably from the recent storms. With my being so tired, I caught my leg countless times on things trying to step over them and not lifting my leg high enough. I had a couple close calls with stumbles catching my foot on things, but fortunately nothing happened.
The trail is not as hard as it has been because of all the debris that falls off the trees. It is softer on the feet and that has been nice. I have been having issues with the long bark pieces that fall off the karri trees. Apparently, the karri tree sheds its bark annually or something like that. When I’m walking, sometimes I can slip or catch my foot on one. Also, sometimes I unknowingly stab one with my hiking pole and then when I swing the pole forward, the bark stuck to the tip of the hiking pole hits the back of my calf, then startling me that it’s a snake. This happens all the time. I have been told the snakes will become a lot more prevalent from here on south.
The temperature has not gotten as warm as I thought it would, but in the afternoon I was able to wear my short sleeves for a bit. I alternated between music, some of the David Sedaris book, and nothing to pass the the time. I was just looking forward to finishing all day today and lying down. There was a nice touristy area just before camp and the trail went by an obstructed lake and over a waterfall on a nice walkway.
I got to the Beedelup Shelter at 4:40pm. The energized version of me would have kept walking and camped in the woods at least an hour later, but there wasn’t a single part of me wanting that tonight. I know that tomorrow, the reception desk at the hostel I plan to stay at will be closed 11:30am-2pm. If I were energized, I would’ve hiked further tonight and gotten up early tomorrow so that I could get there before 11:30am. In the state that I’m in, I just don’t care to do that. I will get up when I get up and walk in a non-rushed manner into town.
I have been wrestling with whether or not to take a zero in Pemberton once I get to town. I planned to do a zero there even before the hike. A few days ago I thought I wouldn’t want it, but now it’s very enticing. I’ll just have to make the decision and see how I feel after I spend an evening at the hostel. There isn’t wifi and it would be a share dorm unless I splurge on a private room, which I may do the second day if I zero. If it was a spot just like it was when I was in Collie, it would be a no-brainer and I would be taking a zero. Man that place and Collie was perfect! There are better places in Pemberton, but they are really expensive and not worth that much. We’ll just see how it goes tomorrow and how I am feeling.
Today was the first day that I went a whole day without strong enough signal to be able to post the blog. That saved me a good 30 minutes today and I got to Beedelup Shelter early at 4:40pm. It’s one of those shelters that is low to the ground with no bunks. It is also right next to a stream. I love the white noise, but it’s a damp cold and it’s the perfect place for animals and rodents to frequent. I decided to pitch my tent in the nice wood chips under the shelter. There are other camp spots, but I have it to myself and figuring that it could rain hard any night, it’s good to be under the shelter. There are plenty of rodents walking around and making noise, so I’m really happy I made this decision to be in the tent. One even tripped on one of my guy lines. I’ve missed my tent and the cozy warmth it gives me! The rodents seem to have calmed for now so I’m hoping they’ve moved on to something more entertaining elsewhere. Again, it’s well before 8:30pm and I keep falling asleep typing this. I’m so ready to sleep!