Heysen Trail III - Day 17 - Murray Town to Go Cart Shelter

Some days you are the dog. Other days you are the fire hydrant. Today was the latter, as I walked through cold wind and rain until early afternoon. Still, it was a good opportunity to practice the most important thru-hiking rule: “accept what the trail gives you.” Adaptability is as much an attitude as a trait. After a big yack with Bovey in camp last night, I went to bed as I was downright cold and wanted to get under my down quilt. As soon as I got into the tent - POP! There went three more ribs on my sleeping mat as the glue fails. Another rib let’s go in the early morning. It’s a race to Spalding to pick up the replacement mat - will the current one completely fail before we get there? Cold sleepless nights if it does! 😬😬 Although I went to bed under bright stars, I awoke before midnight to rain splattering on the tent and it kept up, off and on, all night. I get up at 6am in light rain and carry everything into the kitchen shelter so I can pack out of the rain. I even try using a couple of chairs to hold my tent up inside the shelter in the hope it dries - I don’t think it helped much! We will leave unspoken what I think about packing a wet cold tent! Bovey gets up after me but skips brekkie and beats me out on the trail. I talked him into staying in Melrose overnight and now he has town fever - can’t get there fast enough!! I put on my rain shell but leave off my rain skirt and head out into the rain and start walking. The BOM forecast is for only 1-2 mm rain up here but I’m convinced that I got much more than this over the course of the morning, perhaps minimum of 5mm. My walk starts along farm “dry weather only” roads and I’m soon either slipping in the mud or having it clump heavily all over my trail runners. I am forced to get strategic where I walk - is there rock or vegetation so I won’t sink or slip? I finally walk in the knee high grass along the fence verge; it soaks my feet and lower legs but at least I don’t have to be constantly alert for a muddy slip and a fall. There are a few respites now and again where the showers break, and I even enjoy a faint rainbow, as the sun tries then fails to shine through but these moments are fleet and uncommon. Mostly, the day was about just trudging along in wind and a consistent light rain. I’m happy to leave the muddy farm roads for pine forest and sheep of White Park(?). The walking is so much better here despite the rain continuing. I enjoy watching the lambs which are so darn cute! I come across the White Park campsite with its water tank and bench and find it surrounded by sheep. I don’t recall this campsite from my prior walks and wonder whether it is new? The rain starts to break up mid-day as I enter the forest adjacent to the coastal ridge where I will spend the night and most of tomorrow. I drop down a steep track for what seems forever. The track is more sandy than muddy so footing is good. The sun is out at the bottom and I decide to strip off my raincoat before the steep climb up to the ridge. The trail up is narrow and heavily vegetated with the wet brush pushing against me and dampening my recently dried clothes. Wouldn’t you know it, it starts raining again only 100 m up the track. I stop and put my rain shell back on. I’m pleasantly surprised to find I don’t overheat in my new Arc’Teryx jacket - between the pit zips and breathable Goretex fabric, I don’t sweat out like I do in other rain shells. Too bad Arc’Teryx gear costs an arm and a leg! I finally come out on the ridge top fire track that we thru hikers often call the roller coaster because of the steep ups and downs. But that’s for tomorrow. Today, I just climbed three kilometres and I reached Go Cart “Shelter” camp. In reality, it’s not much of a camp; just a large flat roof on poles to provide a large surface area to catch rain and a large fire water tank. It’s clearing but still threatening rain so I pitch my tent under the flat roof. The ground surface is a rock shelf where I can’t drive a stake but I anchor down the end of the tent with large rocks. It’s only 3pm but quite cold on the windy ridge. I light an early fire and huddle next to it for warmth until it’s dark (only 6:30) at which time I go for an early bed. It’s cold enough that I decide to wear my rain jacket to bed as another layer. Despite a huge amount of care, when I climb onto my sleeping mat, I hear another large pop as a rib fails. I’m running out of mat! With luck, I can sleep with no more failures but I think it’s unlikely that I can stop this cascading failure. Tomorrow, Shaz joins me for a few days walking together. Brilliant! Carl / Pilgrim

Hiking/Backpacking

Murray Town, South Australia, Australia
gstreet photo
time : Jun 30, 2022 7:48 AM
duration : 6h 34m 45s
distance : 26.7 km
total_ascent : 681 m
highest_point : 633 m
avg_speed : 4.3 km/h
user_id : gstreet
user_firstname : Carl
user_lastname : Greenstreet
Some days you are the dog. Other days you are the fire hydrant. Today was the latter, as I walked through cold wind and rain until early afternoon. Still, it was a good opportunity to practice the most important thru-hiking rule: “accept what the trail gives you.” Adaptability is as much an attitude as a trait. After a big yack with Bovey in camp last night, I went to bed as I was downright cold and wanted to get under my down quilt. As soon as I got into the tent - POP! There went three more ribs on my sleeping mat as the glue fails. Another rib let’s go in the early morning. It’s a race to Spalding to pick up the replacement mat - will the current one completely fail before we get there? Cold sleepless nights if it does! 😬😬 Although I went to bed under bright stars, I awoke before midnight to rain splattering on the tent and it kept up, off and on, all night. I get up at 6am in light rain and carry everything into the kitchen shelter so I can pack out of the rain. I even try using a couple of chairs to hold my tent up inside the shelter in the hope it dries - I don’t think it helped much! We will leave unspoken what I think about packing a wet cold tent! Bovey gets up after me but skips brekkie and beats me out on the trail. I talked him into staying in Melrose overnight and now he has town fever - can’t get there fast enough!! I put on my rain shell but leave off my rain skirt and head out into the rain and start walking. The BOM forecast is for only 1-2 mm rain up here but I’m convinced that I got much more than this over the course of the morning, perhaps minimum of 5mm. My walk starts along farm “dry weather only” roads and I’m soon either slipping in the mud or having it clump heavily all over my trail runners. I am forced to get strategic where I walk - is there rock or vegetation so I won’t sink or slip? I finally walk in the knee high grass along the fence verge; it soaks my feet and lower legs but at least I don’t have to be constantly alert for a muddy slip and a fall. There are a few respites now and again where the showers break, and I even enjoy a faint rainbow, as the sun tries then fails to shine through but these moments are fleet and uncommon. Mostly, the day was about just trudging along in wind and a consistent light rain. I’m happy to leave the muddy farm roads for pine forest and sheep of White Park(?). The walking is so much better here despite the rain continuing. I enjoy watching the lambs which are so darn cute! I come across the White Park campsite with its water tank and bench and find it surrounded by sheep. I don’t recall this campsite from my prior walks and wonder whether it is new? The rain starts to break up mid-day as I enter the forest adjacent to the coastal ridge where I will spend the night and most of tomorrow. I drop down a steep track for what seems forever. The track is more sandy than muddy so footing is good. The sun is out at the bottom and I decide to strip off my raincoat before the steep climb up to the ridge. The trail up is narrow and heavily vegetated with the wet brush pushing against me and dampening my recently dried clothes. Wouldn’t you know it, it starts raining again only 100 m up the track. I stop and put my rain shell back on. I’m pleasantly surprised to find I don’t overheat in my new Arc’Teryx jacket - between the pit zips and breathable Goretex fabric, I don’t sweat out like I do in other rain shells. Too bad Arc’Teryx gear costs an arm and a leg! I finally come out on the ridge top fire track that we thru hikers often call the roller coaster because of the steep ups and downs. But that’s for tomorrow. Today, I just climbed three kilometres and I reached Go Cart “Shelter” camp. In reality, it’s not much of a camp; just a large flat roof on poles to provide a large surface area to catch rain and a large fire water tank. It’s clearing but still threatening rain so I pitch my tent under the flat roof. The ground surface is a rock shelf where I can’t drive a stake but I anchor down the end of the tent with large rocks. It’s only 3pm but quite cold on the windy ridge. I light an early fire and huddle next to it for warmth until it’s dark (only 6:30) at which time I go for an early bed. It’s cold enough that I decide to wear my rain jacket to bed as another layer. Despite a huge amount of care, when I climb onto my sleeping mat, I hear another large pop as a rib fails. I’m running out of mat! With luck, I can sleep with no more failures but I think it’s unlikely that I can stop this cascading failure. Tomorrow, Shaz joins me for a few days walking together. Brilliant! Carl / Pilgrim
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