Up in the dark. It was going to be a big day.

Drizzle. No surprise there.

Not much wind. Warmer.

Yesterday afternoon it had completely cleared with blue skies in all directions, but that didn’t seem to have lasted.

By the time I left the hut, it was raining and that continued for an hour, just sufficient to wet me through.

But I was well wrapped up, and kept plugging on.

By the time I was up on the saddle and looking down into Gore Stream and Willows Hut it was all over, albeit still wintry. Gore Stream was well braided and that was hopeful for crossing.

The snow I plodded up a few days before was almost all gone, and that made for considerably easier passage.

Gore Stream turned out to be quite shallow and easy to splash through, even if it looked like sloppy concrete.

11 am and my second climb for the day was in front of me. I had lunch as normal after 12 pm and enjoyed my first direct sunlight for some days.

Getting down that slope to Seymour Stream was more of an issue. Very sticky with the muck gummed to my boots.

By 4 pm I was sitting at the bottom in some sunshine, contemplating a significantly more vigorous Seymour Stream than the last time I saw it. One crossing was required and halfway through I was wondering why I hadn’t put some things in waterproof bags. In the end, it didn’t matter, but while the water wasn’t over my knees it was certainly much swifter than the last time I crossed.

Now just down Seymour Stream and the climb up over the low saddle. The quick route directly down to the Clarence River doesn’t work anymore now part of the big river cuts right into the cliffs.

I didn’t notice the climbing to the saddle, but coming down I was sharing the paddock with some cattle which had cut up the track surface and it was majorly puggy. Be better off doing a cross-country through the sweet briar.

No one was home when I arrived at Forbes Hut around 5 pm, not surprisingly since the last entry in the hut book was two months before. Plastic filled the woodburner, but at least there was sufficient wood supplies to take the edge off the chill in the hut.

It had been a big day, with the step counter app on my phone suggesting I had been in motion for almost 7 hours, and that’s a lot from me.

Just to Warden Hut tomorrow, but probably via Quail Flat.

Hopefully, Seymour Stream would be lower, as plenty of crossings are required.

+++++horizontal rule+++++

A guide to the night’s accommodation: Forbes Hut

The hut is on a river terrace some distance from the river. | Forbes Hut (renamed Seymour Hut), Clarence River
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