Thursday December 15, 14.1km/8.8mi
Dixons Kingdom Campsite (20.0/1260m) to Fish River Carpark (34.1/690m) (TAS)
I awoke to a tent covered in a dusting of snow, and the hillsides covered in fog. A very different world than last night!
It took me awhile to pack up, as the frigid temperatures (-1C) were predictably causing limited dexterity in my hands. Eventually by 6:45am I was hiking and on my way to getting warm. Lake Ball coming into view:
There was also a Lake Ball Hut, which was a surprise to me. It’s another old historical hut built by fur trappers.
It’s not really ideal for sleeping inside, but if the weather was truly terrible it would make a decent refuge.
More views of Ball Lake:
Most of the hiking today looked like this. This half of the loop is much less scenic than yesterday, but it had its own quiet beauty.
Lake Adelaide coming into view:
Lake Adelaide is huge, and it had a trail junction near here. That trail connects to the Overland Track, albeit with some light bushwhacking involved. It was my original plan to connect to Walls of Jerusalem from the Overland Track via this trail, but I had found out the valley was flooded so I changed plans.
This half of the Jerusalem loop was definitely less maintained, but it did have some nice sections of trail near the Lake Adelaide campsite.
The cloud ceiling was starting to lift!
The final lake on the circuit was Lake Loane, and it looked rather swampy.
A few minutes later, I reconnected to my trail from yesterday, closing the loop. I was near the Trapper’s Hut, so I still had about 2km to go. After an easy 40 minutes of downhill hiking, I was back at the car. It was much warmer now at 11am, but I still started up the car’s heater right away…I had gear to dry out!
After exploding my backpack contents all over every surface in the car, the drying process had started! Weirdly, I had a flat tire, which I had to deal with before I could leave. The damage is covered by my rental contract, but I still needed a working car. A nice couple in the parking lot loaned me their air pump, which I used to restore the tire, only to watch the gage drop from 35psi to 25 pretty quickly. Bummer. I pulled the spare out of the trunk and installed it, finally leaving the trailhead at noon. I drove the 5.5 hours to my next hike, Lake Rhona. Except the last bit didn’t go as planned. The last hour is on forestry roads, and this one road happened to be closed.
I had to take the only other access road to Lake Rhona, which meant backtracking an hour, taking paved roads around to the other side of the forest, and entering from that side. Another 2.5 hours of driving, yuck. I finally arrived at the Lake Rhona trailhead at 9pm, just as all the nocturnal critters start suicidally crossing the roads. Long day!