Sometimes Middy feels like home.
I first came here when I was 15. I do remember that the Forest Service had just enlarged the clearing, there were big logs everywhere. Now DOC has just had a hack at the saplings around the clearing, plenty of firewood to be had, all the better to get some sun to a somewhat sun-free hut, well, that’s what it seems like. No point in lighting any fire though, it’s still autumn warm in the evening.
It’s nippy first up, there’s a mist rolling down the valley, my first real brush with autumn which is how the season is currently officially defined. There is blue sky above and by the time I climb up to Rocks Hut, past the wasps nest that stung someone yesterday, there wasn’t a cloud.
By the time I was almost to Dun Saddle, there was an enormous view back to Mount Fell and Richmond, and the big ridge I came down yesterday.
Oh, and the one I went up the day before from Roebuck.
Wow, did I really go around all that?
The top of Point 1496 and Mount Fell both look ridiculously gnarly. I can’t believe I was up there just 24 hours ago.
Returning home after a short break is generally welcome, this time around with three big days, enormous energy expenditure, I’m really looking forward to my own bed.
Going back down the mountain bike track to the Maitai Dam seems harder work than the 900 m climb of the morning, my feet are sore, quads not in any way recovered from yesterday’s 2000 m descent and there’s also the thought that a careering mountain biker could hurtle towards my back at any time.
The car park at the bottom is empty. It’s 4 05 pm.
It’s only around 8 km down the gravel road to town.
I start the plod.
After half an hour a female bike tourer on a training ride up to the dam stops for a chat. I, of course, ask for a double, I could sit on the handlebars. She admits that she has had some recent experience with carting other people, in that case including a few bags of groceries and a slab of beer which must have been quite a sight. Sadly she says she can take either me or my pack but not both, an offer which I must politely decline.
Some more plodding and then another female stops, this time in a van that can accommodate both myself and my luggage. She claims to be a physicist and a photographer, well, a student intending to get into astrophysics. I could go along with that, the planetary system tattooed on the back of her hand and arms seems to indicate that she at least has an interest in the area. I’m dropped off in the centre of town.
Now just that last 120 m climb to get up the final hill.← Day 4 | Back down the hill to Middy Creek Hut, Mt Richmond Forest Park