Day 11: Cruising into Collie

Tuesday October 25, 35.0km/21.8mi

Yourdamung Campsite (288.5/279m) to Collie Town (320.5/191m) (WA) +3.0 Collie connector trail

It rained steadily through the night and by the time I woke up it had mostly stopped. I hiked out at 7am into a light mist.

The forest has been slowly changing as I hike south, but I did see a spot today that had a ton of those Grass Trees, like I used to see on Day 1.

A couple hours into the morning I ran across another end-to-end hiker (what they call thru-hikers here), his name was “Yeah Yeah”.

He had hiked the Appalachian trail in 2018 (the year before I did) with his son. We chatted for a few minutes and it was really fun to reminisce about that trail, and it turns out we know some of the same people! I hoped a few more minutes to the Harris Dam shelter, where I had a 10am meal (3rd breakfast? Early lunch?). I saw an entire box of food, and got excited — a hiker box with a ton of free food! But then I saw the label, and someone was caching food here for a resupply (which is not allowed). It’s also confusing, because this spot is only a couple hours’ walk from town, so there’s no point in caching food here.

I resisted temptation, and left the box and hiked onward. The Harris Dam was cool to see. This is the spillway:

And this is the actual dam. It’s an earthen dam, so it doesn’t look like much.

Next, the trail passed thru a wet area, and it was fun to walk on the boardwalk for a few minutes.

It was a pleasant walk through a nondescript forest. This trail is kinda like the Appalachian trail, it’s in a green tunnel. And then occasionally you cross a road. This road had a mystery pipeline running next to it.

When I entered this conservation area, I knew I was only an hour from town. It was 1pm, but I had skipped my usual big lunch stop in favor of getting a meal in town.

The park and a ton of wildflowers including these cool shiny purple ones:

And these very vibrant red and green ones:

At 2pm I arrived to the trail junction, where a spur trail leads to the town of Collie.

The trail weaved thru the forest for 15 minutes before emerging onto a nice sidewalk.

This bird was squawking loudly at me and eyeing me suspiciously as I passed.

Welcome to Collie! It’s the biggest town on this entire trail.

Usually these types of signs indicate wildfire danger, but this one was not labelled. I’m hoping this one indicates the quantity of milkshakes available in town.

It’s a cute little downtown area, with many little shops and a covered walking area.

I checked into the Colliefields Hotel just after 2pm, and the room that I had booked was under repair, so they gave me a free upgrade to a larger room.

I went to a nearby deli, and got a chicken sandwich. They didn’t have real milkshakes, so unfortunately I had to go across the street to the McDonald’s and get one there. I don’t usually like going to fast food places but in Australia it seems like the only way to get a real milkshake (aka, one with ice cream).

I used the afternoon to shower, catch up on internet stuff, and do my food shopping for the next trail section. For dinner I went to the kebab shop next door, and got a nice lamb & feta & capsicum pizza.

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