[Hope everyone is enjoying their holidays with some good laughs, friends, family, and plenty of good vibes — oh and don’t forget laughter … essential if you ask me] After returning from the bike tour I decided I was going to head into the bush for a four day hike on the back end of the Overland Track. The bush-walking (read: hike into the bush/forest) I decided to do was about four days into Pine Valley on the tail end of the Overland Track (a popular track that lots of people do that takes 7 days and heads a long distance from Cradle Mountain to Lake St. Clair where I started).

This adventure proved to be a pretty intense experience for me for lots of reasons. Most of those you’ll see at the bottom in my summary. I kinda wanted to be a bit creative so I apologize for those peeps that have slow connections cause this one is going to be a bit of a picture based story book. Wheee.

Chapter 1: Travelling the wicked path from Lake St. Clair to Narcusses (first hut on the other side of the lake)

I decided that rather than taking the ferry across the lake I’d hike it. Good choice. Perhaps all the real food I took wasn’t a great choice though considering the extra weight (oh shoot!!).

Sometimes I had to DUCK! … And then up and down
tree stairs!
Better duck or you'll never get through Coolio steps
Bridges are always nice rather than wadding through mud/rivers Tree roots EVERYWHERE!
Funk-i-fied bridges for crossing! Watch out for the poisoness Cliffords
Ahh yes the reason I came here! More duckin action or else
get stuck with your backpack
in the groove (no I’m not
speakingfrom experience…
it only happened between
trees that were overhead
— HAA HAA)
Did I already say how much I love trees Duck sucka
Fallen trees Wild grass and moss
Eating area

Chapter 2: Find a spiritual place to chill

Walking through the forest on your own is a test in so many ways. I found myself (in Chapter 1 at least) really questioning if I could make it. No shit I’m serious. It’s not easy carrying a full pack of shit on your back, hiking 15 KM, and also moving through tree roots and stuff. But the experience was a beautiful transition for me because the more I realized that my head was doing all this stuff the more I realized I needed to get more connected with the enviro around me. I learned a lot about myself, nature, and my abilities on these four days. Still feeling kinda mellow from it all. It’s a good feeling folks a very nice feeling!

Start the climb Can you find the trail path (it’s actually marked)
Start the climb Can you find the path? It's marked
Better idea of yesterday’s hike [click on image for more deets]. Essentially the 15 KM comprised of one end of the lake to the other Pretty high and lovin it
A better view of the hike I did around the lake Acropolis

Chapter 3: Let’s go check out the Labyrinth (they don’t call it that for nothin)

Climb some dry waterfalls Follow some markers
Hikin up vertical rivers Follow the markers or you'll lose yourself
Clear lakes ahead!
Ahh smell that air

Chapter 4: You still there? Wow I’m impressed

Love this signLessons learned: It’s great to have fresh food when bush-walking but carrying an extra 2 lb bread (dense bread), and other fresh veggies that weren’t light wasn’t smart. Yep just to much weight wasn’t a great idea. But dehydrated coconut milk and Quinoa made for a good curry soup. Yeeeh!

Things I saw: Amazing trees, tropical forest within the pines, beautiful streams, and good vibes. Yah I complained about the slog but really being out there in nature was what I needed and it did me good. It’s why I came.

Creatures that I saw: Four snakes (the largest being the most poisonous snake in all of Taz…and yes it scared the shit out of cause I came around a corner from a boardwalk and it was laying across the track. I yelled out “Geez dude! You can leave whenever you want…” and then waited for it to slither away), PLATYPUS! [one guy pointed out to me that I was pretty lucky considering the fact that most OZies don’t ever see one in their lifetime — pretty special moment], smaller versions of Wallabies (can’t remember the name?), possums, one baby possum a ranger had rescued, and lots of birds.

Courage: Umm yah when you’re walking in the forest on your own and aren’t used to poisonous creatures lurking about it’s a bit challenging. Well it was for me at least. But at the end of the day I had to overcome that cause seriously here are some thoughts A) what is going to happen B) what could I do but just handle a bite the way that I had learned to deal with it C) no point in stressing about such things.

Outcome: I feel freakin amazing. I was sore afterwards but I feel great for having done it and a lot more centred. It was a good experience to take with me into the new year.

So there you have it! The first hike I’ve ever done overnight where I’ve brought all my stuff in a backpack into the bush. Yep I live 1.5 hours away and never done this before. What a beautiful experience it was really and something I think I really needed.

Hope is all well with you guys!

BIG SMILES

– Shane

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