Monday, 16 July 2012

Day 113……………………………Dam and Dogs.

Of course it was still raining when I got up this morning, it had been raining all through the night as well and I could only imagine what the river was doing at the end of the road. Today was the day I would be practicing my kayaking skills and would be surfing the white wash to get to the other side of the river.
Rod the farmer was up and about already and was in his garage, I suspect getting the gear ready for my paddle over. But Rod had been having second thoughts about me kayaking across as the rain just hadn’t let up since having the idea to paddle across the day before. Vickie had also been up during the night worrying about me making the crossing too. It was after all, not just raging, but full of branches and logs getting washed down from upstream.
I was excited about the new idea of getting to the trail the other side; it wasn’t half as dangerous which makes for a poor video on YouTube, but was going to be way more fun! Rod opened his garage door and there on the trailer was a supercharged jet ski. We would drive 4km up the road to the dam I passed yesterday, he would then take me over and I would have to run an extra 2km back down to the river crossing, a small detour and added mileage, but well worth it I thought.
Still raining we launched off from the boat ramp at one hell of a speed, leaving Vickie in a white wake of water with the still camera in one hand and the video camera in the other, I waved her good bye while clinging on tight as we raced across the dam.
30 seconds later I was jumping off at the other side, thanked Rod and waved him off as he left me in the same wake as Vickie got. It was now time for me to get on with my 55km day, now made 57km with the added detour.
JetSkiing the BNT
The track on the opposite side made its way up to the top of the range a fairly steep climb. It then went up and down for almost 4km before I made it to the junction where I would have come to if I had crossed the river. Now a 59km day I needed to get moving as time was getting on and I had a day running through the network of tracks that made up the Good Night Scrub National Park.
I got onto a nice little single track that made its way up in to the forest, it was still raining heavily and visibility wasn’t great. I saw some movement up ahead, as I got closer I realised it was three dingos. After over 3000km and warnings of wild dogs and dingos all the way along the route, this was a first and I didn’t really know how to tackle them. I’m sure that a “sit”, “Fetch” or “down boy” wouldn’t do the trick, so I picked up a giant stick not so they could chase it because I’m sure that wouldn’t work either. I yelled out and whistled, two of them ran straight away and the other hung around for a while, so I waved the stick and made more noise and he was off then too.
The trail I was on wasn’t even on the map or my Garmin, but I had seen a BNT maker so knew I was heading sort of in the right direction.
The trail then took a steep descent to a T intersection, where I needed to turn left, no marker once again I had to head towards where the Garmin would have popped me out if I hadn’t come down the unknown track. I couldn’t really work out where I was, I seemed to be going around in circles, something wasn’t right with my map, either way I went I was going in the wrong direction. I decided that I would take the most logical way, meaning that if the trail isn’t marked at a junction just go straight ahead. It was a mistake, because 10km later I didn’t see another maker and was heading well away from my waypoint for the end of the day.
I had two choices head the 10km back to where I had been and hope that I could figure out where to go from there, but this meant that I would be adding another 20km to what was a 57km day already and it was getting late in the day and still pouring down. Or, and this is what I went with, run the 30km to the highway the way I was already heading and get picked up by Vickie there. That way I would still run the distance I had set myself for the day just in a slightly off course direction.
I sat in the Maui disappointed that I hadn’t taken the exact route, but looking at the hard map I was only a little way off ending up close to where I should have been. It looks like it was a blessing in disguise I later found out that the trail was now missing as there was a new mine site, meaning that I would have had to make a detour around it anyway. Funny how things turn out?

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