[Trailwalker] Tales from the trail – episode 06 – Not so Little Joe?

“Hey Joe, I said
Where you gonna run to now where you gonna go”
— Hey Joe (Jimi Hendrix)

Training this week involved checking out the last 2 sections of the Trail, the 30 km between Woori Yallock to Wesburn. This is a 22 km flat, straight section, followed by a fairly hilly and steep 7 km to finish. As we met at Woori Yallock to start walking at 6:30 am (who’s big idea was that?!) there was much grumbling and cries of “you’ve got to be kidding!” before settling into the walk. Stories were told, songs were sung, feet were taped as blisters started to rear their ugly heads, and we just kept walking. At one point, we discovered that, between us, we were carrying a veritable pharmacopeia … with drugs for pain, hayfever, colds, nausea, etc, and all without breaking into the first aid kit.

Our support crew were training this week as well, so we were looking forward to meeting them at Warburton at 11:00 before starting on the final leg of the journey. After being plied with cups of soup, toasted sandwiches, water bottle top-ups and checking for blisters, we were ready for the most daunting part of the trail, Mt Little Joe. Deep breath everyone, let’s go!

Backstairs-tk

For those who had done it before, it was a lot less scary than we remembered. That being said, it took us 2 ¼ hours to walk the 7 km, so it still wasn’t an easy walk. Around, UP around, DOWN, take a breath, UP, rest, DOWN. At the top of the final downhill bit, you can see the finish line, you get closer and closer and then turn right, … but but but, it’s just there! And then, you sneak in from the side through the bushes, ninja like, to suddenly appear. Yay!

Being met at the end by our fabulous support crew again, this time with coffee and biscuits, we proudly realised that we had finished quicker than we had expected, and that we were finished in plenty of time for Bec to make it to work on time.

SupportCrew

A few reasons we came up with to stop and have a rest, without admitting to being tired:
• Watch the snails mating, do they really both get pregnant?
• Tie your shoelaces, this can achieve two rest breaks
• Admire the local architecture, such as a well-made bridge
• Toilet stop
• Admire the scenery, particularly from the top of a hill
• Ring a family member to tell them to ‘come and check out this walk, it’s really pretty’
• Fall over, try to make it look impressive without hurting yourself too much
• Rig one of your walking poles to suddenly get shorter, you’ll need to stop and fix it

Cheers from the ‘100 Reasons’ teams,
Team 169: The Veterans – Darren, Chris, Gwen, Frances
Team 171: The Tenderfoots – Tracy, Sherry, Cristy, Rebecca

Oxfam Trailwalker Melbourne – 100 km – teams of 4 – 48 hours

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