Day 9: Hiking and Swimming the Murray River

Sunday October 23, 36.0km/22.4mi

Swamp Oak Campsite (212.0/192m) to Dookanelly Campsite (248.0/240m) (WA)

There were so many people milling around the shelter at all hours that I didn’t get much sleep, one group didn’t go to bed until 10pm, and another was awake at 5am. I got packing at 6am and said “goodbye for now” to Sam and Tessa.

It was a pleasant walk all morning under partly cloudy skies and perfect temperatures. The path was flat and enjoyable.

Sadly, I didn’t see any wildlife, but after I passed a big loud group hiking just ahead of me, I started to see some lizards and birds. I climbed to the top of a hill, and one of the marker trees had a cellphone signal sign, ha!

It also had a bench nearby too, which was engraved with “Venturers View”. A nice spot to sit and take a rest after that little climb.

I had a snack and posted my journal while sitting there! The rest of the morning was the usual trail thru Jarrah forest with grass trees, and I listened to some podcasts to pass the time.

Just before I arrived to the next shelter, I caught up to Cat, who had left a few minutes before me that morning. The Murray River shelter looked pretty nice, and I ate an early lunch there (it was only 11am).

We swam in the Murray River, which was a great refreshing temperature. It felt great to rinse off my sweat and swim around a bit.

At noon I departed the shelter, aiming to ‘double-hut” today. The rest of the day was on a trail right next to the Murray River, so the brush was pretty thick.

I listened to a couple more podcasts, catching up on the NY times, and some avalanche stuff. I ran into some trail maintainers who were trimming all the overgrown brush from the trail, perfect timing! The ground was littered with trimmings, which were easy to walk thru.

At 3pm I heard some thunder, and started walking faster, and it rained lightly 30 minutes later. I arrived to the Dookanelly shelter just after 4pm, where I saw Steve and Maryanne once again! As I was unpacking and chatting with them, it started to rain…hard. Good timing! We had dinner and I got some good advice for my upcoming trip to Tasmania, altogether a very enjoyable evening.

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