The Bibbulmun: day eight – Gringer Creek -> White Horse Wells

In September and October 2016 I did the 1000km Bibbulmun Track Solo, North-South. Here’s a few excerpts from my journal.

Another difficult/little bit shitty day. Just so much pain. Mr Deer’s friends came into the hut last night which was fine – they cooked amazing food and gave us some. (Sweet potato cooked in foil on fire, avo, sour cream, tin corn. Amazing). They had a battery powered ‘ceiling light’ on though and I noticed I wanted to go to bed so much later! 8pm haha. Amazing the difference a bit of light makes – just instantly disrupts the circadian rhythm. I slept OK. It rained. Achilles so so sore starting out. Put rolled up TP under heel as a heel lift/wedge which helped. New shoes maybe a bit better but not solving all problems. It’s already so aggravated. And now have to carry heaving fucking boots (around 1kg altogether).

Got about 3km into morning’s (painful) walk and realized one of my boots had fallen off from where I had tied it to my pack. As I was tying them on, I literally thought about whether or not they could fall off. And I thought, well, if they do fall off, they’re heavy enough that I’ll definitely hear them. Obviously I didn’t. FML. Just stood there in the middle of the track, bent over, with my head resting on my sticks, not sure whether to cry, go back, leave them behind. None of the options were appealing. I finally decided to suck it up and turn around (sans tears). I turned back and only went about 100m when Eddie appeared on side of Albany Highway (I’d left before him this morning). ‘I’ve lost one of my fucking boots!’ I greet him with. ‘No you haven’t’ he says – and pulls my boot out from underneath his pack cover. He saw it and picked it up. Bless him. (After the last thing I dropped which he walked past haha). I didn’t walk with him as he was legging it to double or maybe triple.

I felt good going up the hill (it’s written about in the guidebook as kind of, warning, very hard hill), went the extra little bit to the top of Boonerring – was windy and a bit rainy though so didn’t stay long – would probably be a nice view on a good day. There were a couple of burned out sections today where I nearly got lost. All the ground cover was gone so it was really hard to see the track. And lots of markers were missing. There was a boot cleaning station that was just black and burned. Just a scorched empty tin box in the middle of the bush. They had actually put up coloured tape to mark the track but it took me a really long time to realise that the track is actually what was being marked. I thought it was related to something else. D’oh.

Left foot joints also very sore today, as well as left toe. Carrying boots plus restock of food, of which I have way too much. Eddie did a shake down of my food bag yesterday and chucked out some peanut butter (1 and a ½ jars!), coffee, gatorade powder and some soy milk powder. Gave it all to willing recipients. Have spent my time since I arrived here at this hut just eating to try and get through some of it so it’s not so heavy tomorrow. Couldn’t bring myself to throw out the stuff I slaved over making – almond butter, granola, chocolate slab…but I’m fucking sick of it anyway. May bury it.

Also my left hip was hurting today, a first. Not sure if actual hip pain or maybe sciatic. Took about 5 km for Achilles to warm up and stop burning – right at tendon/bone junction. Would have liked to double today but left camp too late and too sore. Did a solid poo this arvo! And didn’t have to stop to poo all day for first time. Now I feel a bit crampy and farty though. One or the fucking other eh. It’s super fucking cold. Tony is here too. We’re both bummed about sore feet holding us back. He’s got really bad blisters. We’re both lying down inside our sleeping bags, at 3pm. No other way to keep warm.

Have to keep stopping myself from jumping ahead with track planning and just focusing on now, this step, this section. It’s tempting to start planning maybe I’ll do a double here, maybe I’ll separate this planned double into two singles. But it’s so hard to predict how my body will feel. Is it stupid to push myself to do a 30km double tomorrow just to afford a rest day in Dwellingup? When I could single instead and then maybe body would need less rest? Who knows.

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