Saturday, November 19, 2016 – 8.44 km
I was still undecided when leaving Mount Compass about how far to walk today. The next campsite, Mt. Cone, is only 8.44 km from Mount Compass, but there are no established campsites for 35 km after Mt. Cone. I decided to decide upon arriving at Mt. Cone.
Road walking, fence walking. I was walking through a pasture containing a small group of cows when… THEY CAME AFTER ME! Maybe they were expecting me to open a gate that you’re indeed supposed to open, but instead I climbed nimbly over the chain before they got close. And that, my friends, is the real reason why you should keep your pack weight down.
Despite arriving at Mt. Cone campsite early in the day, I chose to stay. It’s one of the better Heysen campsites, with a pretty view and reasonably flat spots for pitching a tent, though I’m cowboy camping on the tank bench to save time tomorrow morning. A few cows are milling around below, grazing and brushing against bushes and making demented-sheep noises.
I was thinking today about what I was expecting from the Heysen and what I’ve received. I thought about how it’s been almost three years since I injured my foot, and that maybe it will never recover to how it was before, and though I’ve thought those things many times before, I felt for the first time today that I had accepted them. The realization was emotional, but neither happy nor sad. I just felt relieved to be able to move on. I realized that while I had thought that coming to Australia was ‘doing something’, I was still just waiting for the pain to go away, as I had been doing back home ever since the injury. I feel free to look forwards now. A great feeling.