Wednesday, October 19, 2016 – 17.55 km
After a night of sub-zero temperatures outside and warmer temperatures inside, thank you potbelly stove, I picked up my resupply package this morning. The Hallett post office was originally located in the town store, but sadly the store closed several months ago and the PO is now located in the pub/hotel. I had vaguely envisioned going up to a bar and asking for my package, but the PO has its own separate room with an outside access door. According to Neil, the pub is a nice place to stay, but I believe that it’s only open from Thursdays to Sundays. Going into Hallett from the HT adds about 1.6 km.
The HT was fabulous today. It began with a road walk (naturally) but quickly changed to follow-fence when crossing onto private property.
Ascending through the Mundy Valley, it reached the summit of Mt. Bryan, which is basically a big hill but offers a great view of the surrounding countryside. The weather was clear and the visibility was perfect, which was lucky timing considering the rainy weather of the past few days and the next few days in the forecast. On the summit was a TV? tower and a technician was there when I arrived, but he was initially inside the building and left the mountain/hill while I was eating lunch on a rock outcropping, so I didn’t end up talking to him. I regretted that when I found a weird medieval-looking stone chair and had no opportunity to convince him to take pictures of me looking pretentious on it. I had fun posing on it anyway, because I’m lame.
Further along the path were a monument, logbook and informational booklets. I skipped reading them, eager to move on. That was all done in the wrong order, no? ‘Booklets -> chair to read booklets on -> lunch to have on chair and spill on booklets’ would have been the ideal. A plaque on the monument stated that it was commemorating the expedition of Edward Frome, who climbed Mt. Bryan in 1842.
The trail wasn’t marked well at the base of the mountain, but you just have to head east until you reach the road.
The Mt. Bryan East School ‘hut’ is as novel as the railway station: an old schoolhouse with one classroom, three rooms for the teacher’s quarters and a ramshackle church nearby with a dodgy floor. Inside I found spices, canola oil, an empty bottle of olive oil (unfortunate since I ran out), dish soap and books. Most are romances, unfortunately. I like old school romances like Rebecca and House of Mirth, but new school is not my thing. I tried reading one of the other books, but skipped to the end after 140 pages of sickeningly sweet child-rearing stories.