Day 11: Beaches and Boardwalks

Wednesday November 30, 18.5km/11.5mi

Freney Lagoon Campsite (11.7/6m) to Louisa River Campsite (30.2/41m) (TAS)

It rained overnight, but had stopped by the time I started packing up at 6:30am. Thanks to my nice camping spot in the trees, my tent was barely wet. I stepped out onto the foggy morning beach.

Within 20 minutes, I came to Point Eric, a treed peninsula on the beach where most of the other people had camped last night. There was even a trail register to sign!

When I stepped back on the beach on the other side of the peninsula, I had to time my steps more carefully. Even though it was low tide, the beach was much smaller here, and I carefully avoided the waves.

I was on the beach for probably an hour, and even though it didn’t rain, the clouds looks tempted to drop some water.

I left the beach using a brand new set of stairs, and briefly returned to the forest.

Every time the trail enters /exits the beach, there is a post with a trail marker, but also a huge buoy that is much more visible.

As I walked the last section of beach for today, the sun was trying to break out of the clouds. It was neat hiking in the only ray of sunshine in the area.

When I left the beach the final time today, there was a pile of trash people had made from stuff that has washed up from the ocean. Most of it was plastic bottles, which are a completely unnecessary form of trash. Gross.

The walk thru the grasslands was a mix of muddy trail and boardwalks.

The rays of sunshine are still following me, ha!

There was a small 200m climb to a hilltop, and I had a neat view behind me.

Ahead of me looked cloudy, and I was hoping that mountain would be cloud-free by the time I got there this afternoon, since the trail goes over it.

There were dozens of these caterpillars on the trail all morning.

I started to descend, and it started to sprinkle a little bit, but I was too distracted by the views to care.

Still going downhill…

I stopped at a creek to refill my water bottle, and I noticed how yellow the water was. It looked like a weak tea! I think it’s all the tannins from the leaves and grass, and it tasted fine.

It’s still better than the water down low, which is potentially salty from the ocean tides. I had to cross 3 unbridged streams today, all of which had ropes for a handline.

The water in the first two was mid-shin deep, so they were pretty easy. I walked for another couple hours on easy undulating trail, keeping an eye on that mountain in the clouds.

It looked like the clouds were starting to lift…

The last unbridged stream crossing of the Louisa River was almost knee deep, which made keeping my pants dry a little more challenging. I caught up to another group, Sean, John, & Murray, whom had rode in the plane with me yesterday. They setup camp at the Louisa River Campsite, and I paused to assess my options. It was only 2pm, so usually I would keep walking, but Ironbound Mountain (900m elevation) requires clear weather to hike over. I turned on my inReach and downloaded an updated forecast…low clouds and 50% rain. It felt so strange to setup camp at 2:30pm but that’s what I did! Tomorrow should be dry and clear weather.

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