Day 4 :: Beraking to Brookton
Another double-hutter, this time we're planning to lunch at Mt Dale after checking out the view from the lookout on top of Mt Dale. Alec up and away early in his usual way, and we made a much more leisurely start to the day and walk after getting up earlier to catch the sunrise.
Day 4 Google Earth Track
Beraking Mt Dale Brookton
|Length||22.4 km||Day Length||7:13|
|Ascend||1180 m||Descend||1058 m|
Quite an early start today but a relaxed morning and got quite sorted. Camera 75% charged so very encouraged and got FUSE into sun as soon as it appeared, had 1 solid light before we set off.
The track initially takes you along Ruen Road (which doesn't sound crash hot?), and then turns off toward Darkin River at a what the book called "a majestic single wandoo tree": we never found the tree (but didn't spend time looking either).
The track through the Dale Conservation Area was often fairly eroded and rutted. The track alignment has changed, probably since the fire, around Darkin River -- but it's well signed (just a little confusing with the book) -- a CMS would be better [I think].
After climbing out of the Darkin River and into the Dale Conservation Area (over some of the worst eroded parts of the track we encountered) we found a nice morning tea spot just off the track on a wee rock outcrop, so leaving our packs and the FUSE on the track headed to our rocks to relax in the wonderfully warm sun. Unfortunately, the wind caught my hat (which I put under the SPOT when transmitting) and the SPOT crashed onto the rocks! After all the bad reviews the SPOT had received concerning the ease of failing after moderate knocks I was a little worried. All the right lights were working, though from memory, non-functional lights was not the problem with the failed SPOTs, so I continued to worry (without being able to do too much). Later we were to SMS Nat for confirmation that the SPOT was still sending and that FaceBook and Twitter were still receiving :)
Able to walk at a good pace, saw some gorgeous yellow orchids along 1st part of track and some bushes covered in a very red flower, just a plain flower but such colour: reminded me of little mini Christmas trees. Such a changing landscape today and some lovely views.
Morning tea a such a spot, though windy and blew SPOT off rock. Seems to be working however.
The book hinted: "The climb towards Mt Dale road crossing is of moderate length, but relatively gentle.", and we found the reality true to its word...
Lovely bright sunny day with quite a cool breeze. Knew we were headed for Dale Road but it did seem a long time coming, even though the walking was not hard; just gently ascending. Lots of evidence in 1st part today of harsh bush fire damage.
We'd decided that the climb up Mt Dale was worth a go (the common excuse: "we may not be back here for some time"), but looking up the road, even with packs off, was a little daunting.
Mt Dale lookout was well worth the climb (after a lolly): just stunning. The changes in the vegetation seemed quite sudden -- go over a hill and it's all changed!
After a relatively relaxed time up Mt Dale (except when the GPS decided that that would be a good place to run out of battery and all the spares were with the packs down the hill), where we tried to find Mt Dale Campsite (unsuccessfully) and we circumnavigated the summit (successfully - though the views from the other side are not developed), we wandered back down to the packs and off to Mt Dale Campsite and lunch, and a chat with Chris who was walking North.
A hard quick slog up Mt Dale, without packs, did give fabulous views out, maybe Perth? and maybe a line of pylons. Then actually rushed on to Mt Dale hut as I was hungry. Chap there from Orange who was end-to-ending from Albany. Man: what a lot of awful experiences with rain and wading chest high and wet and cold and infected toe nails. Man!!
Lunch seemed very small. Boots off very welcome.
Mt Dale Toilet had toilet paper.
With the boots off, Sandi also attended to her heal. After Sandi's previous experience with blisters I made her bring as much expensive treatments as we could find!
Rather a suspect heal? so have applied fixamul to right heal to be sure. Knee gave some painful tweaks after I rolled on my ankle a bit. Freaked me out, have tried to be more careful and put it into God's hands.
Mt Dale campsite was nice and settled -- somewhat like Ball Creek -- only stopped for lunch and a chat with a fellow just finishing his South to North End-to-End. He'd had a interesting walk with wading up to his chest through one inlet, lots of rain down South and swollen knee. 65 days all up including a rest day in each town -- a great idea -- where he pigged out on fresh meat and vegies! Made me think longingly of Threeways Roadhouse in 4 days.
During lunch, as per our developing habit, we read the introduction to the next section with the promise of "lovely open Wandoo": both of us were very much enjoying the Wandoo woods. After lunch we said our farewells to Chris, who was very relaxed in the sun, and headed off to Brookton. We both found the afternoon's walking more tough than we would have thought: It's a very flat section and extremely short (for a whole section).
Really do like silvery barked Wandoos. Saw two eagles today, Alec said probably Little Eagles.
Afternoon pretty straight walking: Seemed quite long. Kept up a good pace, P flagging a bit: used some lolly oomph to good effect. Discovered he'd finished his water so was relieved to give him some of mine.
A sign saying "Camp 1km" was the spur we needed to finish last wee bit. Some lovely flat rocky cleared areas, very pretty and a great huge old casuarina, with a soft path around it with its needles. All rather nice.
It was an easier day on paper, but it felt harder in the legs. After finishing, behind my right knee, in particular, was very sore and hard to straighten. Felt very weary for the last bit.
Mt Dale to Brookton felt like a trudge in the afternoon, an afternoon of digging deep and lollies. Felt like we dragged ourselves into the hut to find Alec saying he thought it was an easier day (maybe I stole the tent from Sandi too soon?)
In explanation: I was carrying the food (~1.5kg per day), and as we ate our way through it I thought it was only fair to relieve Sandi of some of the weight in her pack. During the planning stages I'd weighed everything, so after a couple of days eating I knew that I could start taking some of the gear from Sandi's pack: Day 3 I'd take the NeoAirs (1kg), Day 5 I'd take the tent (1.7kg) then on Day 7 I'd also take the sleeping bags (1.3kg), after which there was not a lot left in Sandi's pack apart from her clothes! The hardest thing was convincing Sandi that it was the right thing to do: but numbers never lie, and armed with all my numerical facts it was an impossible position to argue against. :) Some of the harder days I did wonder about the sense of it though ;)
Glad to get to camp. Alec showed us a massive tick he'd found and we then found 2 on me and 2 on clothes: so glad of warning. Good to eat, etc.
|Beraking Campsite||0.0||8:45 AM||0:00|
|Dale Road||10.5||10.5||60.5||12:12 PM||12:48 PM||3:27||3:27||18.9||3.0||3.0||3.2|
|Mt Dale Campsite||3.5||14.0||64.0||1:20 PM||2:29 PM||0:32||3:59||19.4||6.5||3.5||3.3|
|Brookton Campsite||8.4||22.4||72.4||4:23 PM||1:54||5:53||21.3||4.4||3.8||3.4|
Created by • Last edit by on November 20th, 2018
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