Wednesday, November 16, 2016 – 24.7 km
Forest walking this morning, including nicely built single-track. I’m getting spoiled I think, since I would have raved about this sort of walk during the soul-death from Melrose to Hallett, but such is the way of human beings.
The trail shifted onto road for awhile, reaching an old re-route now marked as the route on the map. A car stopped and the driver said hello, introducing himself as the leader for this portion of trail. Later I encountered him doing trail maintenance and we talked for awhile. He was dripping with sweat and I felt sorry for him working all alone in the heat; on the other hand, trail work is probably keeping him in great shape. He shared some interesting info, like that the bushy roadside areas are places where the government was thinking to build roads but never did. He asked where I was planning to camp and I said Mount Compass. There’s a Heysen water tank and shelter near Finniss Creek, but the landowner cut off access mere weeks ago, according to the Friends’ website. I was also considering camping in one of the conservation parks, and was carrying enough water for that contingency.
There were nice views from Mt. Magnificent, which is really just a hill. I saw a very active sleepy lizard eating yellow flowers. A few spots looked okay for camping, but it was too early in the day, so I continued to the southern edge of Finniss Conservation Park, where I found an established campsite with logs to sit on and evidence of a campfire. Score! Unfortunately the nice campsite isn’t in the shade. Even by Australian standards, today was killer hot, and I retreated to the cover of the trees. The sun seemed to take forever to go down… it had the interminable quality of a man mansplaining a sport to you even after you’ve already told him that you know the rules and who all the players are.