Heysen Trail

The Heysen 37: Birds in a Hut

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 – 22.9 km

The Heysen left Crystal Brook via road walking, then followed fences across grazing land to the Rocky River.


The river wasn’t wide or deep when I arrived, so I was pleasantly surprised when the HT directed me to a small cement bridge for the crossing. A ford would have been unwelcome in the cool and damp weather, moreover water flowing through agricultural land is gross. Yes, I drank some cattle water in AZ, but I doubt that contained traces of pesticide. It only tasted like how cattle smell (bad!!).

The ever-present flies

After the river was some walking through preposterous waist-high grass. A new insight into the term ‘bushwhacking’.

Two birds were inside Hiskeys Hut, and that’s apparently not uncommon since bird droppings were everywhere. I continued 3 km down the road to Georgetown, where I was planning to spend the night, only to discover that the hotel is just a pub – the current owner no longer offers accommodation. A customer offered to drive me back to Hiskeys Hut, so bird poop was my destiny, but at least I didn’t have to walk to the bird poop. Since the weather was unpleasant and I was hoping to save gas by cooking in the fireplace, I decided to build a fire. I had never built a fire before, but I thought in that traditional provocative way ‘how hard can it be?’. As it turns out, not hard at all when you have a lighter and paper. Hurrah for technology.

Hiskey’s Hut

In the logbook, I read that the Rocky River was a raging torrent when encountered by Gregory, who didn’t take a break after the major storm like I did. The bridge must have been underwater, since he describes crossing the river with a friend using a piece of rope borrowed from a local. If I were in that situation, I would have just gone back to Crystal Brook and eaten pie. My documentary would be boring indeed…

By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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