BT Day 27: Collie to Yourdamung 660.3km (35.0km)

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My pack was loaded out of town, the extra weight very noticeable carrying a few additional items I didn’t think I’d be able to source in Dwellingup.

Many of the smaller towns lack sufficient food options in their limited stock, particularly breakfast items, like Balingup where I had to pack out cereal in lieu of my standard breakfast bars. I hate having to pull out my pot in the morning for cereal, preferring the simplicity of breakfast bars in the morning and I am completely over cooking up oatmeal or porridge from previous long distance hikes – I just can’t stomach the stuff anymore.

One of the other towns, I forget which, maybe Walpole, Belvita cereal bars were my only options which are bland and basically just terrible. So it was that I was packing out way more breakfast bars and pop tarts than I needed for this next leg but would require beyond Dwellingup.

The walk out of town and through much of the morning was really flat and easy. Alas it was in the depths of the trees again with few views or any real change in forest type.

The one reprieve was passing by Harris Dam during the morning.

Along the way I bumped into Walter, a southbound hiker from Queensland. We stopped to chat for about 15 minutes, both lamenting the lack of views from our respective paths taken over the last few days. The section ahead wasn’t shaping up to be enticing at all.

I double hutted today to make up some ground. While I’m enjoying the track I am getting bored with this section and the mental game has had to really kick in to spur myself on and not quit or skip a section. I’m a stubborn bastard and keen to finish the full length of track just to say that I have and to know what I’m talking about later when summing up the track to others with full high and lowlights of the journey. You have to take the bad with the good.

I reached Yourdamung late in the afternoon to find a young hiker, Ryan, reading quietly while lounging on his thermarest. He’s out for a week long section along the Bibbulmun.

No sooner than boiling water for a cup of tea Mike strolled into camp. I thought he may have single hutted out of town but like myself he had gone the distance and doubled. He usually just walks between single huts which is evident in that I’ve had full rest day off trail and our paths have crossed again.

This is the first time we’ve caught up since staying at Grimwade and we immediately have to debrief our encounter with John a few nights back. Mike’s reading of our Grimwade hut mate was exactly the same as mine. We fill in our new hut mate Ryan on all the details and have a few laughs at John’s expense.

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