Thursday, 24 May 2012

Day 57....................Busy Getting Back into It!

It’s been a few days since I last posted. It’s been busy with school talks, radio interviews and of course running. Since having to take that few days out it also buggered up the routine that me and Vickie had down pat, so we have been trying to get back to how it was, which was running, eating and sleeping for me, and everything else Vickie! ;)

So, here is just a brief of what the last few days have been like.

Wolgan Valley – State Forest.

What a climb out of the Wolgan valley and so worth it to the view as always on the BNT where out of this world. The next 25km form here would be a little touch and go as this part of the trail was very remote any returning injury here would be tragic.

The start of the day down at the Nile ruins was a little confusing. Vickie decided that she would run the first few K’s out with me, but we spent half our time figuring out where the actual trail went. I finally found where I would be heading up and out of the valley and Vickie turned back.
As I mentioned the view were fantastic at the top and there was a new BNT camp shelter set up, I signed the book as always and made my way over the top of the sand stone spur.

After about 10km the trail took a steep decent along the side of the natural sandstone wall. It was amazing this wave like wall on my left and a fern filled gorge on my right, I was in trail heaven as I took off at pace.

The trail then left the Wollemi National Park and headed in to Coricudgy State Forest where I met Vickie parked at the lock gate the far side. It’s funny I often wonder if she will be there. I know she will do everything in her power to be there, but with the roads sometimes not being there and all the lock gates that we encounter, I never know if the end will be the end or if I will have to trudge another 30 odd kilometres to get out!

State Forest – Widden Valley

I thought the Wolgan Valley was beautiful and then came Widden. To get there was a little less fantastic, but once at the gateway which was Keith’s lookout the drop down into it was a trail runners delight.
The day started at Dunns Swamp and headed out in to the forest for the first 12km. That 12km became 22 and I wasn’t even lost. It seems either the guide book was wrong of the trail had be re-routed as I followed the BNT markers all the way. It made for a longer day than planned, but being back in action I was up for the challenge of now getting to the pickup point before sunset.

After the 10k detour the trail was in more open land and the trail reasonably flat, this was good as I could keep a steady pace up and catch up on the lost time.
The trail was then going to head back into the Wollemi National Park, but before that I had to tackle a 9ft locked gate. Easy for the runner, but, not so easy for the normal way of traveling the BNT, which is by horse back. After squeezing through the gap in the fence, the thought crossed my mind that perhaps someone was trying to keep me out, or worst keep something in!

It wasn’t long before I came across the Livery Stables, funny it’s called that as it’s a cave with aboriginal art. I was looking forward to seeing it all day, but apart from the cave being pretty cool, there wasn’t much to see. I signed the book and moved on to the next highlight of the day, Sandy Hut.

I find Mountain Huts a little scary at the best of times. I always approach them with caution, thinking that some weirdo might be living in it and when opening the door have my guard up ready to punch whomever that may be. Stupid I know, there is never anybody around just me….now who’s the weirdo? Again I sign the book and move on into what was a perfect afternoon in the sunshine.

Saving the best till last, I came across Keith’s lookout and the gateway to the Widden Valley! There was 10km of downhill gorge running through waterfalls, ferns, streams and amazing rock formations, before hitting the bottom of the valley floor, with 360 degree views…….Simple amazing!

I ran through the valley for a further 10km to meet the Maui Mothership, how Vickie had got into this private property was a different story, but it was an amazing place to camp then night, and I look forward to the mornings run out!

Widden Valley – Phipps Cutting
The 25km run through Widden was simply breathtaking, the weather helped as it was blue skies and sunshine once again. The terrain was super flat and it gave me time to open up the stride a little and crank out some mileage.

A simple day with great views for the runs entirety.

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