tues 17th July
I packed up fairly quickly and I was on the trail by 6.30
Today I wanted those miles.so set off at a good pace .I started by decending down and in the distancd I heard traffic and possibly it was dustbin day.
eventually I emerged out on to a freshly tarmaced road to my right was a sort of builders merchant. The trail took me left past do me rather lovely homes that I would like to own. As I walked down the road I noticed a road sweeper and a man in hi-vis with a stop go sign. I guessed that they were still sorting out the road. The trail took me past the workmen. there was a lorry dumping soil over the freshly laid road. I asked one of the men why he was doing this.
He was actually dumping in on the edge. this stops the new edge from cracking. Okay !
I walked on par the guys and continued up the road, untill the trail turns right into a huge wet land bird sanctuary. the trail took me completely around the edge. In the morning sunlight it was really picturesch . I kept stopping to watch the birds. herons fishing. some other birds that kept diving . I walked on then met another hiker coming the other way we gave the usual greeting and went our separate ways . once in the forest i was walking On duckboards. But Omg these went on for miles and miles in the forest. Lucky wood is cheap here. they just went on and one and on.
eventually I emerged onto another road that I crossed over. then I had my first climb which of course is steep oh so steep once at the top there was a sign for the shelter. znut it was too early do I pushed on. most of the morning was rock climbing. bouldering, or scrambling in fact I was getting fairly exhausted. st last I left the rocks and began to work down a well mowed path. again in the distance I could hear workmen . They hot louder as I got nearer and again I emerged into bright sunlight . These guys were patching the road so I waited until I was waved across.
The other side had signs for the At and nature reserve. As I walked down the path I was one a huge wooden walkway that snaked across the wetlands for miles. it most of cost a fortune us the logistics of putting it together. Omg it goes on and on . Then I crossed over a bridge and it still went on . This is totally amazing.
Eventually I said good by to this amazing structure and crossed into a field of cows who were all sheltering under the trees as it was do bloody hot in fact my watch said 97.
As I crossed the field in the top left across the road looked like a burger van or similar. As I climbed the stile to get out of the field I noticed a table in the car park. Do you need to rest said the man and introduced himself Moose. On the table there were grapes, plums, peaches, strawberries, pineapple, watermelon . apples and crackers oh and water. I grabbed a water and chugged it
Then tried most of the fruit. As we were chatting he mentioned ice cream at the garden Center across the road and the van that I saw did hotdogs.
Leave your pack here if voice and to go sample the ice cream , oh and they will top up your water.
They had many flavours of ice cream . but I chose a pint of pineapple. plus 3 apple vinegar doughnuts and a sprite. I sat outside in the sun to devour my treats whilst my phone charged.
Once full I wandered around the shop then made my way back to Moose. ignoring the hotdog van. When I got back there were several people chatting as I hoisted my pack.
your going to get hit by the storm . I thanked them and set off it was now roasting. Omg it’s hot ..although the clouds did look threatening and the Thunder was rumbling in the background. There was about 1/2 mile approach then it went up there were switchbacks and it was stone steps to climb. Omg I struggled . maybe it was the ice cream . I met about a dozen people coming back and they all looked so fresh. not puffing and panting like me . it took me the best part of an hour to reach the top. I stood puffing trying to get my breath back . Then I realised I was stood with a bear.i quickly grabbed my phone but as my fingers were wet I couldn’t take a video then I realised that there were 2 cubs with mum so I backed again swearing at my stupid phone I hoped that I had some footage but sadly not. it was really weird I almost tried to follow them ..Not a good idea
But I was so excited really really pleased and it’s when I’m.not looking for them .
I continued on the forest getting blacker and blacker. so I stopped to put my rain jacket on my pack. and as I did whoosh. it was torrential rain I walked on as there was nothing else I could do. Your told not to shelter under trees and as I was still high on the ridge I ought to get lower. .By now the trail was a river a d my rain jacket was probably at the bottom.of my pack. I prefer to hike wet but only put it on if I get cold . The rain just kept coming . my shoes now squelched and I was soaked so pushed on no pint stopping .
Shall I stop and put up.my tent ? but the rain was just too heavy so on I went for almost an hour I slugged through the rain
Finley it began to ease and then it was only the wi d shaking the trees . so pushed on as needed water to camp.
As I crossed another road there was a cold box. and whoop it was full of lemonade, orangeade and other cans .I glugged a sprite. wrote in the book then packed another out
after almost an hour I came to a sign saying shelter. I called in. There were 2 hikers here sheltering from.the rain.
But I didn’t like the shelter as it was dark. But I took a break emptiedmy shoes wrung out my socks and ate some snacks.
I was mentioning water when one of the hikers said there is water in this bag. Trail Angel left it.
Brilliant. I topped up my bottles . that made me relieved .
With that I hoistedmy pack and said bye to my fellow hikers as I wanted more miles. especially as the rain had stoped.
dad I made my way down the trail and crossed another road there were several more water caches. Thank you so much for these .
I pushed on as the rain came back . bollocks I said to myself. I wanted to go till 6 pm but this wasn’t working for me at 5.30 I spied a spot and got my tent up as shocking as I could in the rain.
i lay on my pad listening to the rain eventually it stoped again so I quickly made tea. With my bear encounter I emptied all smelly things from.my pack and hung them properly.
Not far to town tomorrow