The Heysen 30: Crystal Brook

Monday, October 03, 2016

I spent a few days in Adelaide waiting for the weather to improve and the floodwaters to recede. Today I took the bus to Crystal Brook, which is the next trail town heading SOBO after Melrose. I had to stop in Crystal Brook before returning to Melrose because my bounce box was in danger of being returned to sender. The weather is supposed to get better any day now (the mantra of Canadians in spring) but when I arrived it was still raining, so I wasn’t enthusiastic about the caravan park. The gas station employee told me that the Crystal Brook Hotel has cheap rooms, then she phoned the hotel for me, then a friendly random customer drove me the few blocks there. I explained my situation to the post office employee (that I don’t actually need the boxes yet) and he said that if the hotel won’t hold them, the post office could keep them despite the delayed arrival. The hotel owner agreed to hold them though, so all is sorted. Thank you kind inhabitants of Crystal Brook! The only problem is that I visited the hardware store and they don’t have gas canisters… not sure whether my current canister will last until Burra, or whether they’ll even have canisters there. The hardware store employee asked whether I was a Christian and I said no and he said ‘who protects you, then?’. I said ‘me and my knife’. Considering all the bad things that happen to good Christians every day, I’ll take myself over God any day.

Regarding the shelter, Zpacks hasn’t emailed me back yet about the strength of PVC tubes versus carbon fiber. I should have investigated the tubes at the hardware store in Adelaide, but didn’t because I’m suspicious that anything other than metal will be a bust. I looked up carbon fiber and apparently it’s incredibly strong when stress is applied from certain directions, but weak when stress is applied from others, so I’m going to conclude that the extenders are weak to the levering motion of a hiking pole inside the tube. For now I’ll use the repaired extender or just pitch the tent without it in accordance with wind speeds.

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