Boarding House to Beavis
20th June 2017
The Hike - Day Three on the Bibbulmun and this is the one I had been looking forward to. Nicknamed the "Donnelly River Rollercoaster", today was going to feature some of the hardest hiking on the whole track with plenty of steep hills dotting the elevation profile. Having entered into a good trail rhythm I was up as the sun was rising and laid in my sleeping bag like a toasty burrito for a bit. Bag packed, blisters taped up again and drinks bladder full of powdered PowerAde (say that five times), I set off from camp fully motivated to tackle a challenging day’s hike.
Before I made my way off towards the Beavis campsite, 20km into the distance, I wanted to backtrack and take some morning shots of Boarding House Bridge. I wasn't sure if my photos from the previous day were going to turn out in the afternoon sun and with it being so close to the 4x4 track, I decided to drop my bag and head down for one last look. I think the morning photos are closer to how I wanted them, perhaps with a colder morning and an earlier start I could have seen fog or mist rolling off Donnelly River. With some different photos now in the bag I climbed back up the stairs to retrieve my pack and set off properly. Having looked at the map before leaving I knew the first hour or so was a fairly gentle incline so put some relaxing music on the speakers and got into a rhythm. The skies were very grey as I hiked along the fairly wide trail that showed recent activity of trail bike riders. I reached Palings Rd in no time at all and reflected on how bleak it looked.
Normally I love grey and overcast skies but with the road cutting a large opening into the forest and power lines nearby it didn't feel very nice so I moved on and followed the trusty waugyl into the bush on the other side. The gentle incline isn't the most interesting part of the day but you can make good pace here and walking among the Karri trees is never a bad thing. Occasionally I came across a cool fungi or three but for the most part I was zenned out listening to music and breathing it all in. About 5km in you come to the first of the hilly parts with a descent down to a real surprise, Wirraway Bridge. Much like Boarding House Bridge, it is built from a single Karri tree with chicken wire and steel rods for support. Unlike Boarding House, this one kind of pops out of nowhere as you descend down the steep hill on switchbacks, finally getting a good glimpse from above as you round a corner.