Day 42: Sabine hut to St Arnaud

I’m sure Upper Travers Hut was neat and everything, but last night’s hut was pretty well situated. I mean come on.

Fun fact: there’s a water taxi from the other end of the lake that would have picked me up and taken me to town if I wanted. This hut is basically a zero walking hut if you really want. There were a handful of people taking the water taxi out this morning, myself almost one of them, but I think most of the folks at the hut were walking at least part of the time.

The trail today was mostly easy. I was able to blast down it and even up it when it had its ups. There were a few places with storm damage, some of which was old and had had the trail cut through it, and some which was newer which had to be worked around, under, or over.

At one point on the way up to the high point for the day there was a good half kilometer or more boardwalk, which is the first boardwalk of any length I’ve seen along the trail. Of course, I’m actually off trail right now, but whatever, I do what I want. It was neat though, and there was a little rest area at one point with a really great view.

About half way in there was a really nice hut, with quite the view. I stopped for lunch and had my first bowl of ramen for a while. I wasn’t sure if I had enough fuel left to make pasta with so I just boiled some water quick and dumped in a package of ramen. It was actually pretty good, I must say. There may be a few more of those going into my pack for the next section if I can find some.

After that I screamed down the track. It was a mix of rooted horribleness and lovely smooth track. Makes me wonder who put “well graded track” in the DOC brochure for this trail. Every time I came across a particularly gnarly section I would say “well graded track”. It’s all good though. Got to the carpark in record time and got to see a lovely view of a different lake and the town of St Arnaud.

One of the folks from the hut last night, one who took the water taxi in, was hanging out at the carpark, so we chatted for a bit. At one point I thought he mentioned giving me a ride into town, it was another 1.5 hour walk down a pretty ugly road to town, but then he disappeared. I waited a while to no avail. Fortunately, it looked like 3 cars were about to leave the carpark so I started walking down the road, figuring one of them would pick me up. Sure enough, a trio of Germans did! Their English wasn’t good so we didn’t have much conversation, but I got into town so that was good.

I had called a place from the carpark to see about rooms and they wanted $75/night for a dorm bed and $180/night for a private room. Whaaaaaaaaat. I called another place and I got a private room for $50/night. Much better. Tomorrow I’m going to try to clean my pack and my shoes. So much mildew. It’s disgusting and I just can’t take it anymore. Spending the time and whatever money might be required will be a worthwhile investment to improve quality of life for the next stretch, methinks. And the next stretch is gonna be a tough one, so I’ll take all the quality of life I can get!

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