Heysen Trail Day 6 - Mount Compass to Kuitpo Forest

I’ve finished my first map sheet! Only seven more to go! I’m writing this all snuggled in my tent in Chookarloo campsite in Kuitpo forest. I’ve now walked 160 kms since I left Cape Jervis six days ago (official distance, I’ve actually walked more - side trips, getting lost, etc). I’m finding 30 kms is a good daily distance for me. Keeps me walking (did I say that I like walking?), seems physically manageable but tough, and gets me into camp around 4pm which is a perfect time to allow for camp chores and still have light. I might need to refine this as days shorten further. Today was a nice walking day. I hand washed out my sweaty hiking clothes and found them still wet when I woke up to a chilly morning (clear skies last night and amazing stars). I’ve learned that my carefully chosen synthetic fabric clothes will dry quickly on me if I’m active. So I gritted my teeth and pulled them on and went out from the heated cabin to a crisp morning. Yikes!! But as expected, I quickly warmed up and the clothes dried. I started the day with a lot of walking. through paddocks and grazing land. Some farmers cull the kangaroo population by shooting males and leaving them where they fell. I passed through one such roo killing field with half a dozen rotting carcasses. Eventually I wound myself through the lovely gum covered hills until I entered Finniss Conservation Park. I found a lovely spot to have a leisurely lunch - something I intend to do every day but have actually only done twice. I had all my stuff out of my pack and spread out on the ground by the gate on the far side of the park. Just then, another backpacker appeared heading south and I had the gate blocked! It turned out that Jasper was section hiking the Heysen and doing his final section of Kapunda to Cape Jervis. He started a number of years ago to do the entire trail from the Flinders south but had to pull out at Melrose due a family crisis. He started again a couple of years later but fell and was injured near Kapunda. I hope third time is charmed for Jasper! After lunch I soon entered Mt Magnificent- now I was back onto section of the trail I’ve walked before and it won’t be until after Cudlee Creek that I’m back on new trail. While road walking just before Kyeema Conservation Park I met a lady who said if I was quick I would see an echidna alongside the trail. Well, I was speedy but no sign of said echidna. Shame but plenty of time left for wildlife encounters. Before long I was walking through the pine plantations of Kuitpo forest. After a stop by the Info Centre to pay a cheap $5 self-serve camp fee, I got to Chookarloo campsite and made camp. I scavenged enough small downed wood that I was able to enjoy a brief 45 min fire that was pleasant and warming while I ate dinner. Tomorrow is another ~30 km day into Mylor which is close enough to my home to get picked up. I’m several days ahead of plan so I think I’m going to break the next 30km section from Mylor to Norton Summit into two days and slackpack both of them (slackpack is hiker vernacular for walking a section with only a light daypack as you are getting dropped off and picked up). Anybody wants to hike these shorter sections with me, shout out! Then I’ll take my first zero (more hiker slang meaning a rest day). It also means four nights in my own bed! Ah, it’s the glamping life for me!!

Hiking/Backpacking

Alexandrina Council, South Australia, Australia
gstreet photo
time : May 22, 2019 7:38 AM
duration : 7h 53m 39s
distance : 30.8 km
total_ascent : 525 m
highest_point : 389 m
avg_speed : 4.6 km/h
user_id : gstreet
user_firstname : Carl
user_lastname : Greenstreet
I’ve finished my first map sheet! Only seven more to go! I’m writing this all snuggled in my tent in Chookarloo campsite in Kuitpo forest. I’ve now walked 160 kms since I left Cape Jervis six days ago (official distance, I’ve actually walked more - side trips, getting lost, etc). I’m finding 30 kms is a good daily distance for me. Keeps me walking (did I say that I like walking?), seems physically manageable but tough, and gets me into camp around 4pm which is a perfect time to allow for camp chores and still have light. I might need to refine this as days shorten further. Today was a nice walking day. I hand washed out my sweaty hiking clothes and found them still wet when I woke up to a chilly morning (clear skies last night and amazing stars). I’ve learned that my carefully chosen synthetic fabric clothes will dry quickly on me if I’m active. So I gritted my teeth and pulled them on and went out from the heated cabin to a crisp morning. Yikes!! But as expected, I quickly warmed up and the clothes dried. I started the day with a lot of walking. through paddocks and grazing land. Some farmers cull the kangaroo population by shooting males and leaving them where they fell. I passed through one such roo killing field with half a dozen rotting carcasses. Eventually I wound myself through the lovely gum covered hills until I entered Finniss Conservation Park. I found a lovely spot to have a leisurely lunch - something I intend to do every day but have actually only done twice. I had all my stuff out of my pack and spread out on the ground by the gate on the far side of the park. Just then, another backpacker appeared heading south and I had the gate blocked! It turned out that Jasper was section hiking the Heysen and doing his final section of Kapunda to Cape Jervis. He started a number of years ago to do the entire trail from the Flinders south but had to pull out at Melrose due a family crisis. He started again a couple of years later but fell and was injured near Kapunda. I hope third time is charmed for Jasper! After lunch I soon entered Mt Magnificent- now I was back onto section of the trail I’ve walked before and it won’t be until after Cudlee Creek that I’m back on new trail. While road walking just before Kyeema Conservation Park I met a lady who said if I was quick I would see an echidna alongside the trail. Well, I was speedy but no sign of said echidna. Shame but plenty of time left for wildlife encounters. Before long I was walking through the pine plantations of Kuitpo forest. After a stop by the Info Centre to pay a cheap $5 self-serve camp fee, I got to Chookarloo campsite and made camp. I scavenged enough small downed wood that I was able to enjoy a brief 45 min fire that was pleasant and warming while I ate dinner. Tomorrow is another ~30 km day into Mylor which is close enough to my home to get picked up. I’m several days ahead of plan so I think I’m going to break the next 30km section from Mylor to Norton Summit into two days and slackpack both of them (slackpack is hiker vernacular for walking a section with only a light daypack as you are getting dropped off and picked up). Anybody wants to hike these shorter sections with me, shout out! Then I’ll take my first zero (more hiker slang meaning a rest day). It also means four nights in my own bed! Ah, it’s the glamping life for me!!
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