250 miles down. 350 to go!
The animal life is abundant down here in Western Australia: kangaroos, emu, kookaburras (laughing birds), ring neck parrots (28’s), tiger snakes, and wild pigs just to name some of the sightings I’ve had while hiking the Bibbulmun Track. This section, although comparatively shorter from town to town, was no less interesting than the previous sections.
In fact, arriving in Pemberton, I was able to make a daredevil climb up one of Australia’s highest fire-lookout karri trees, known as Gloucester Tree. The tree stands almost 60 meters high and there is nothing to prevent you from falling to your death other than your hands gripping for dear life onto rebar rungs that have been drilled into the old tree. I had unknowingly gathered an audience below to cheer me on as I ascended each rung. It made a nice little side trip and took my mind off the trail for a short while!
Pemberton is a comfortable little town with exceptional fish-‘n’-chips, a traditional butcher shop, chemist (pharmacist), and an IGA grocery mart.
Gloucester National Park has towering jarrahs and karri trees that are so peaceful in the autumn as they rustle their dry, brownish leaves. I really am fortunate to be here and experience this side of Australia and explore the diverse ecosystems found here.
Rain has held off for the most part; however, for a few days, I did get caught up in some sudden rainstorms that required hiking in sopping, wet gear. No fun but a reality on the trail, especially when your 10 miles or more to the nearest shelter. I find that out here on the trail you have to look for the positives in things, otherwise you’d drive yourself crazy and get miserable really fast. I tell myself as I’m ascending calf-burning hills that there is probably a rewarding view at the top that will make it all worth the effort. And there usually is!