“You can leave a footprint in a place you’ve never been.”
– The Audreys
Date 16th August
Ash dropped me back at the Mingo Station sign. I was a bit worried about how heavy the pack was, but once I got it on, it wasn’t too bad. I was extremely grateful to have it because my other packs would never have been able to hold, tie down and pack like this one. I even had a little bit of room to spare in the expansion chamber at the top. It was pretty comfortable and carried really well, but there was no getting away from how heavy it was (around 22kg I think).
Evolution Mining bought the pack for me. It’s a Deuter Aircontact PRO 70 + 15 SL. I totally recommend this pack to anyone. The coolest thing about this pack is that you can pack it from the front: you don’t need to shove stuff in from the top like with pretty much all other packs on the market. The harness is exceptional. It can be adjusted to fit anyone perfectly and the way the weight transfers to the hips is great. This pack didn’t rub, bruise or hurt me in anyway. I love it! It’s expensive (around $500), but I reckon it’s worth it. I guess that’s easy to say considering I didn’t pay for it myself! I got it from Wild Earth at Burleigh Heads. They are the best outdoor/adventure store in the country.
Stupidly, I had forgotten to fill my water bottle before leaving home, so I called into Mingo Crossing campsite to get water and have a break. There I got talking to a lady I met once before through a photography group, although she didn’t remember me. She and her husband were really interested in what I was doing and they gave me a $20 donation. She took some photos of me to put on facebook.
Another couple pulled up for smoko and also gave me a $20 donation. They drove past me on the road later on and waved at me.
Today was really hard. I got very tired after Mingo Crossing and had to stop a lot. I got my Helinox hiking poles out and they helped a fair bit….the bag is so freakin’ heavy!
Some ladies from Save the Children stopped and asked me if I was ok. They wanted to give me a lift. At that point I was really struggling, so I probably looked like crap. I was leaning over on the poles when they drove up behind me. I don’t want people to see me like that because it looks bad, but it’s just a way to shift the weight off your shoulders. No one is really going to know that though.
I really felt like crying after they left because my feet were killing me, but I turned on the GPS and saw that the campsite was only 900 metres away.
I set the camp up, had a little rest and went and got water from the cattle trough across the road. I tried reading a book, but it’s the worst book of all time, so I decided to leave it behind in a ziplock bag to collect later. Why do self-published writers do this to themselves!
I didn’t get scared during the night even though something big was crashing through the bush. Really, it could only be one of two things: a kangaroo or a stray cow. I heard dingos howling down the road too. It’s such a mournful sound.
Everyone kept telling me how cold it will be, but I actually got hot and had to loosen off the sleeping bag.
First time with the pack on
The first campsite on the bend
The cattle trough I got water from. Don’t worry, I have a filter!