BT Day 11: Mt Chance to Dog Pool 282.3km (19.0km)

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It bucketed down overnight. I’ve been really lucky with the rain so far as it has tended to fall at night with only the odd scattered shower during the day. But raining or not around 15 minutes in for the day my bottom half was soaked, brushing past scrub and collecting all the rain held tight on the plants.

The rained coated foliage and spiderwebs made for some nice photo opportunities. At times I wish I had my large camera to do the scenery justice but then again I don’t want to be lugging around 2 pound of camera gear.

It was an uneventful day. Most of the day was spent walking through a series of thick heathlands. The scrub was above head high and offered few views. The heathland giving was to tall forest as the track followed a forest road to Dog Pool.

Arriving at the shelter was probably the highlight of the day. It is situated right next to a flowing stream with some mini cascades and rock pools offering an invitation for a swim. Having arrived with plenty of afternoon left it was great to be able to take the time to have a wash down, dry so gear in the sun and read a couple of chapters from a book left at the shelter. I wouldn’t say I swam, way too cold for that, more like splashed around.

This is the first shelter with a fire pit as well with all previous shelters banning fires and requiring fuel only cooking. And get this, not only is there a fire pit, the parks service supplies wood. Wow. Just think about that for a second – all provided every 20km roughly speaking – a shelter, tables, water tanks, toilets and now fire pits and wood.

I had to get a fire going, if nothing else than to immerse my shirt in fire smoke to take the edge off the sweat.

They say if you want company to spread your gear around the shelters and you are bound to get a crowd. Of course that is exactly what happened. Thinking I would have a vacant shelter to myself, along comes a south bounder, Andrew, followed shortly after by a north bounded, Evan. He has caught up with me after taking a day off and we get to meet for the first time after two weeks of following each others entries in the registers.

Three is a crowd but five is party right. Not long after Evan arrived, two more south bounders section hikers come in, Jenny and Chris. A full house tonight.

…. trust my luck, of the five of us there at least four were snorers, maybe five – I can’t hear myself.

Through the night my thermasrest continued to burst more buffles increasing the bulge and shortening the useable length even further. At some stage, while tossing and turning trying to get comfortable I relented, releasing the air from it one final time and condemning it a piece of trash to be carried out. Lucky I carried out the old foamy from Mt Chance.

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