Yourdamung to Harris Dam
7th June 2018
The Hike - Our penultimate day on the track between Dwellingup and Collie and it was also our shortest full day at only 14km. My goal when I first starting thinking about completing my sectional end to end was to enjoy as much of the track as I could and not to rush things. If that meant I had a few 14km days then so be it, the slower I could take it then more I could absorb and enjoy along the way. In my younger days I used to be about pounding out the kilometres like they were badges of honour but these days I'm happy to doddle when I want and smell the wildflowers so to speak. With that in mind, this was one of the laziest mornings I've ever had out on the track. Waking up around sunrise I just laid there for a while in the warmth of my sleeping bag staring out at the misty scenes beyond the shelter.
I eventually got out of my sleeping bag to grab the camera and shoot the sunrise but will all the mist it kind of fizzled out. Returning to my sleeping bag I put on some music and just laid there for over an hour. I could hear that Aron had gone back to sleep so I just laid there in comfort and stared out into the distance and enjoyed the peacefulness. I can't recall why it took so long from that point onwards until we left at 10:30am but I do remember some robot dancing as Daft Punk played over my speakers. I was kind of hoping the misty conditions stuck around today and luckily they did as we finally left camp ready to embark on another wonderful day in the Jarrah forest. The area around Yourdamung is meant to be virgin forest, an area the loggers have never touched and there are some nice old examples of mighty trees still standing. Having confirmed the previous day that the prescribed burns that took place the year before had begun the recovery process, it was still a little sad to see massive fallen logs burnt to basically ashes, something that shouldn't happen in a controlled burn as it robs the smaller inhabitants of shelter and food.
Despite this though, the area in the misty conditions was epic and was some of the most peaceful walking of the entire trip. Practicing some deep breathing exercises, I was at home in the forest and completely at ease. Something that would be a theme of the day was the sounds of the birds, both large and small as they went about their morning business, occasionally fluttering near us as we made our way to the first road crossing of the day, Asquith Rd. Asquith Rd is quite a wide road, meant for mining vehicles and one I use quite a bit on my way to do maintenance. This was also the border of where the prescribed burns were carried out last year so when we crossed the road it was like crossing into a different forest almost. The undergrowth was a lot thicker but at an enjoyable level so we never had to worry about getting scratched or making a wrong turn. One thing I was enjoying was how Aron now blends into the forest with his dark rain cover and new Osprey backpack. It only took a few well directed comments about his love for fluoro gear and change occurred so thank you Aron, you can appear in photographs now.
Making an appearance along this section in great prominence was a mixture of sundews in the sandy parts and a plethora of Snottygobbles. Closer towards Dwellingup I remarked that these stringy yet lovely plants felt like kilometre markers as you rarely saw them and they just popped out of nowhere on their own. Now though they appeared in great numbers and this delighted me to no end as I love a good Snottygobble. Not only being fun to say, their bright green foliage adds a positivity to any hike, especially given the dark backdrop of an overcast day of walking through burnt Jarrah trunks. Settling into a good rhythm we were powering through the day's hike and were keeping up a pretty quick average speed for the first couple of hours. Aron stopped every now and then as he became the bird whisperer with a few finches deciding that he was their friend. Being super fidgety they were hard to get on camera so we ended up just enjoying their company, especially the ones that flew on the path and kept scurrying off a few feet and repeating this over and over.