This section of the Bibb took me from sandy white coastline inland to karri and jarrah forests. I said goodbye to the ocean for the last time since the remainder of the trail works inward towards the interior as I progress northward. The three-sided huts and picnic areas are sturdily built using locally-harvested jarrah wood, which would likely be reserved for fine furniture anywhere else in the world.
As an American, I feel very welcomed here in Australia like it’s a home away from home. The small towns are very traditional and quaint as if you stepped back into the 1950s. For me, that is a very special thing as it reminded me of the small towns I knew as a young person in southern Indiana. I’ve had some amazing meat kidney pies from the local bakeries and an assortment of Aussie chocolates including my personal favorite Tim-Tams washed down with Milo!
If you can believe it, there are very few end-to-enders out here. It could be the time of year although I think that thru-hiking is not as popular here as it is back home. Most here are traditional section hikers, some of whom take 10 years or more to hike the whole trail! Good for them. I did meet one fellow from Canberra (capitol of Australia) who was doing the trail for the third time. More power to him. From what I see in the logbooks, I’m the only northbound end-to-ender out here, at least within recent weeks.
Autumn here in WA is so crisp and has a poetic beauty evident while hiking the rolling farmlands and walking through the head-tilting karri forests. The other night I hutted with a doctor from Perth who was doing his last section he needed to complete the trail in its entirety. He had started the trail some 10 years ago. As a doctor, he also shared some tips on what to do in the event I got fanged by a poisonous tiger snake. This made for good conversation before turning in for the evening!
I’ve also started some pre-dawn hiking with my headtorch, sometimes breaking camp as early as 4:00am to arrive in towns before they close (sometimes small towns here close up as early as 3pm). One of the shelters (Dog Pool) I stayed at was rebuilt with rammed-earth block after being destroyed by bushfire a few years back. So, as it stands, I’m a day ahead of my 40 day itinerary to complete the Bibbulmun Track. Feelin’ strong and not taking any of this for granted. Till next post.