Bibbulmun Track, Western Australia
Western Australia, Australia
time : Jun 7, 2023 9:00 AM
duration : 7h 48m 43s
distance : 40.2 km
total_ascent : 674 m
highest_point : 331 m
avg_speed : 5.3 km/h
user_id : gstreet
user_firstname : Carl
user_lastname : Greenstreet
Cold night, it was 1 degC when I woke up this morning. Perfect night to be in a toasty bed in my heated room.
I’m not in any hurry today but I find, similar to that I could not stay up last night, that I’m awake well before dawn.
My plan is to flaff around this morning so I’m not on the trail until 9:30 or 10am - a very late start for me.
I reckon I’ll shower again just because I can and then have a leisurely breakfast before walking out of Collie.
So I do just that. Cleaned and packed up, I step out into the cold at 8am which is a late start for me. The rain has cleared and it is bright and crispy cold outside. It looks to be a fine day’s walking once it warms up a bit.
I walk 500m or so to the town centre and have brekkie at a place called Barn-Zees. I would have liked to come here for lunch yesterday but it’s closed on Tuesdays. Brekkie will have to do and it is good!
I head out of Collie around 9 am. I pass a walker coming into town but he doesn’t look chatty so we just say hello and move on. Later I figured out this was likely Marley, a prolific writer of Far Out (nav app) comments.
Once I’ve walked the 3 km Collie spur, I’m back heading south on the Bib. The walking is - wait for it - predominantly open forest.
I soon come to the Collie river and I walk beside it a ways on 4WD tracks. You can tell it’s popular with the locals as there are several swimming hole rope swings and tree jumps plus, unfortunately, piles of rubbish left behind by dump campers. I come along to an old collapsed bridge (railroad?) where the twisted steel girder is poking out of the water.
I cross the river on a local highway bridge and then it’s back into the forest.
I’m enjoying walking today so much that an idea comes to me - perhaps I should double hut today instead of tomorrow per the Slave Driver’s (my spreadsheet) plan. This would mean 40 kms today and only 22 kms tomorrow rather than 44 kms double hut. Plus there are showers predicted tomorrow. Only problem- do I have enough daylight hours?
Okay, decision made. I’m going for it! In personality profiles, I’m what profilers call counter-phobic - rather than run away from my fears, I charge towards them. A big 40+ km day is always challenging, but I prefer to get after the hard stuff rather than delay.
I keep my pace up as fast as I can sustainably go, 5 kph, and race the early winter sunset.
The walk is pretty forest with the trees and terrain changing now and again. There is the occasional climb but this trail doesn’t seem to have the insanely steep gradients of the Heysen.
I walk beside the smallish Mungalup reservoir which is a nice change - I can see the earthen dam across the water to me.
Just before 1pm, I come to Yabberup shelter which is a nice spot. I take a short break there. I’m glad to be walking on as this would be too early of a finish for me.
Then I get back to walking the forests again. After a few hours I come to another reservoir, although water levels are quite low. I walk in the forest near the shore. There are a few car campers set up in the bush.
The trail takes me across the large earthen dam, called the Gavin Mervin Dam. There are huge concrete spillways on one end - it must be quite the sight when they need to spill water!
At the spillway, I meet two young northbound thru-hikers, Frasier & Fizz. They have been ~30 days on trail and are having a blast. They ask if I was going to stop at the Mumby Forest Tavern, some 5kms from here. They stopped for burgers and beer. We are both racing sunset so we say goodbye.
I had forgotten about the Mumby Pub. I’m probably going to arrive at 3pm, outside mealtimes, so food isn’t an option. I consider stopping for a beer or even a take away beer but decide that I just don’t have the time.
There is a big downhill section in the forest approaching the pub and the path is covered with large gum nuts making for treacherous and uncomfortable walking. It’s like walking on a slope covered in large marbles! I’m glad for my poles once again.
I have to do a short road walk past the pub. It looks a bit run down with a For Sale sign out front. I wonder how much longer it will be enjoyed by walkers?
Passing the pub, I walk along a disused railway line. On one side is a pecan (?) orchard and the leaves on the trees are a bright autumn yellow. There are scores of noisy black cockatoos in the trees.
I’m running out of daylight as I have over 7 kms left; a bit under two hours. I may have to finish by headlamp!
I leave the railway line and have my first sustained section of road walking where it looks like I have to follow a dirt road three or four kilometres up into wooded hills well above me.
I’m stuck into it when I hear a car pull up behind me, stop, and a lady asks if I want a ride up the hill! Trail Magic! Do I ever - yes please.
Alison is a local farmer who had just picked up her two teenage sons from school. She often gives rides to hikers. She took me as far as she could to where the trail re-enters the forest. Only 2-1/2 kms to the shelter - beauty!
After more climb, I arrive at Noggerup Shelter just before 5pm and only 20 mins before sunset. I quickly see that I have the shelter to myself.
It’s in a pretty spot but there has been a burn here recently so the trees and ground are all blackened.
So, big day done and tomorrow will be easy-peasy! I set in to making camp and preparing dinner as the light fades away for the day.
Carl / Pilgrim
Weather: near freezing start but warmed to a pleasant clear day, then clouding up before sunset
Calories burnt: 4041