Possum Springs to Yourdamung
The Hike - Day Five of a weeklong trip and it felt like we'd hit our strides after a tough, wet day from Dookanelly to Possum Springs. Hoping for a warmer night with the previous day’s rain, a clear sunset meant we would be in for another cold one and that turned out to be the case. Our reward though was a glorious sunrise that was worth getting out of the warm confines of our sleeping bags to photograph the majestic scenes. With sun streaming into the new rammed earth shelter I thought to myself that the Macklemore song playing right now would be great and voiced that opinion to Aron. Shortly after that he teed up the tune and it became a reality. With a great sunrise we were in a great mood but we then realised our soggy clothing and boots had not dried that much overnight.
Trying to capitalise on the available sun we moved our items all over the shop (including making use of the broom and rake thanks to Aron's genius methods) to best capture the weak sunshine in the hopes of being somewhat dry before departing. This little dance lasted all morning and we figured that dry clothes would make for a better day's hiking and pushed back the departure time to after 9:30am. Enjoying some more tunes and soaking in the sun we eventually packed everything up and got into our soaked boots to begin what would be another wet but enjoyable day. After taking several shots of the sunrise at Possum Springs, I was a little annoyed to find out that my camera had fogged up internally and that all my shots as we left camp were completely useless. Luckily the area leaving Possum Springs isn't terribly interesting, being mostly on 4x4 tracks but we did arrive at a lovely single track through the Jarrah forest that was quite lovely in the morning glow. Our good luck with the weather didn't last though and about 3-4km into the day we were hit with our first shower.
With the camera playing up and not showing signs of defogging I shoved it into a dry sack and put on my rain gear. While the first 5km of the day was all new experiences and unexplored track (for me), we were soon about to cross Dee Vee Rd and enter the "Kingdom of Py", the very first piece of the track I took over as a maintenance volunteer. The Kingdom of Py name comes from when The Long Way's Better passed through and dubbed it that and I'm not one to cause trouble so now refer to it as that. Given I have a bevy of archive photos of this section I wasn't too worried about leaving my camera in time out in my dry sack and instead concentrated on enjoying a section of the track I am quite familiar with. Crossing Dee Vee Rd and up the 4x4 track was like coming home after a long journey away. Everything is comfortable and for the next 9.5km I would be walking through an area I've been looking after for a couple of years.
Having spoken to the previous volunteer that looked after this section at a recent field day, she was quite fond of the area but had to give it up one of her sections after her husband passed away. We both chatted about the various points of interests and flora/fauna that live in the area and looking after it now has a bigger weight of importance to me other than making sure hikers can pass without getting lost or mauled by the undergrowth. Leaving the 4x4 track we headed into the relatively short passage of single track that is found in my section. I love this bit as there is a good range of forest type, from big Jarrah trees to sandy stretches filled with grass trees to open patches that are bright with colour in spring and summer. It is here you will find the famous "Plonkhole" that gets mentioned in the guidebook but due to recent strong regrowth you might walk past it without noticing.
I may build a sign to mark the spot but it is a little dried up creek bed with little wooden stumps for passing along during the brief times of the year when it isn't dry. Someone in the red book had written a little story at Yourdamung about the Plonkhole and their great difficulty in locating it that I found quite amusing. With clearer skies above us I decided that a snack stop at my favourite fallen log would be a good idea so we stopped just after the next 4x4 crossing and enjoyed a brief moment of sunshine. With the rain coming again we moved on and passed through the sandy trails near where Aron and I spotted Charles the blind kangaroo on a previous maintenance trip. Alas we didn't see Charles again (hope you're doing okay Charles if you're reading this) but passing under the crooked Banksia arch was a delight as we once again joined the 4x4 tracks that would be home for the next 6km.