And then there’s the last day of this autumn tramping season that started 10 days previously.

I’m sitting around the hut after a pre-dawn start chatting to a guy who looks somewhat familiar.

He recognises me, we met more than two years ago when I was coming down from Rocks Hut, intent on Mt Richmond, and he had just come down.

“John?” I ask.

Seems my memory is good.

Last night I learned a few things, most from the guy who stated he had nailed the “Track Not Maintained” sign at the back of Roebuck Hut.

“Says from 1 January 1994,” I say, which disturbs both of us. That’s now 23 years ago.

More disturbing, I first went up that track in Easter 1975, now more than 42 years ago.

It could have been a major day reminiscing, after all I’d first come to Middy Creek Hut just after they had enlarged the clearing to create a helicopter landing pad. Back in 1974 about 30 mature beech trees had been sliced up. No shortage of firewood back then.

But eventually the DOC guys went to work, strangely it was Anzac Day, and I peeled off. Still lovely weather as I plodded my way back up to rocks.

No one there at lunchtime, but someone had left after spending the night, someone else was on their way to share with John.

I was making tracks from my own bed, and it was now after 12 pm.

This time with my climbing satiated for the weekend I followed the more undulating route to Dun Saddle. At Coppermine Saddle I stopped for a chat with some mountain bikers on the Dun Mountain Trail circuit, all about to plunge down to the Maitai. I took the more sedate route to The Brook down the old tramline.

I plugged into my iPod, my limbs were starting to feel heavy, and I’d walked this way many dozen times in the past. I needed a distraction for once.

I listened to the latest Serial podcast, S-town, that has seven hours about the story of an extraordinary antique clock repairer, and his allegations about murder in his small town in Alabama. But in the way these podcasts are put together, a huge complexity of issues is covered.

The series starts with a discussion about the mysteries of antique clocks, kind of redundant these days where everything is a digital time readily apparent. Later this passage, where the protagonist is talking/ranting about something while his friend is sharpening the chainsaw blade with the regularity of the ticking of a clock, is one of the most powerful auditory episodes I have experienced. My walking pace kept time with the scratching.

Still, I have learned that the quickest way to lose friendship is to recommend a cultural experience like this, so I won’t rant myself about how intriguing and meaningful I found it all.

Yeah. Biking, walking, and listening to podcasts.

Kinda sums me up these days.

← Day 4 | Back down to Middy Creek Hut