October 19th
1km before Irwin Inlet Crossing (528.7)-Parry Inlet Camping Area(546.2)
Mileage: 17.5mi/28.1km
Campsite Elevation: 74ft/23m

The goal of the day today was to get as many miles in as I could before it rained. The forecast said it was going to start raining by 2pm. I figured I wouldn’t have all the miles done by then, but by going later last night, I knew I’d finish pretty early today and hopefully be in less rain. The morning started off with something unique. Irwin Inlet is 200m wide, and the Bibbulmun Foundation has provided canoes for people to row across. There are 6 canoes total, so the hope is that there would be three canoes on each side as hikers are crossing from both sides and it can naturally even itself out. If you arrive and there is just one or two canoes on your side, it is the hiker’s responsibility to paddle across, attach one or two canoes to your boat, then paddle back to even out the numbers on each side. Knowing of at least four other people coming from my side this morning, someone was going to have to paddle across three times to make sure all the canoes didn’t end up on one side. Fortunately, when I arrived, my paddle across evened it out to three on each side. 

Canoes and Irwin Inlet.

It was intimidating for me with the small waves, as I’ve done very little with water transportation. It ended up being quite smooth. and the actual paddling only took a few minutes. That was a big relief for me. Those canoes are a cool thing to have, and a great idea. I buried all my electronics in a dry bag in my pack, so I wasn’t able to photograph anything while in the canoe crossing, just a shot looking across. 

Irwin Inlet crossing.

Immediately after the crossing was a descent stretch through an area inundated with kangaroos. It was great to see the mobs all over and watch all of their quirky behavior as I walked by. I love watching them bounce so fluidly. I was even able to Skype with my nephews so they could see the kangaroos. 

The rest of the day was up and down sand dunes and in and out of beaches. It was a great scenic day that required a lot of taxing sand walking. I’m really glad I lowered my daily average for this section, and was really happy that I went further yesterday to make today shorter. I took a ton of photos and really enjoyed the whole day. There are names for all these beaches and such, but I just like hiking it and taking it in without paying attention to names. What I really loved about today is that I had it all to myself. How often can people go to such incredible places and have it all to their self!? Such an incredible feeling to have that. 

Morning reflections.

Looking back.

I wasn’t sure how far I was going to go depending on the weather and my energy, but by the time I got to lunch, I knew I was going to stop at the earlier option. I had lunch at the Boat Harbour Shelter, and was glad I chose that over a viewpoint for lunch because it rained steadily while I was in the shelter. Whew, close call!

Boat Harbour shelter is on the right. Rain approaching for lunch.

By the time I finished my lunch, and hiked out, the rain had cleared for the moment. It really was the best timing I could have asked for. 

Boat Harbour

The rest of the day was more of sandy walking, ridge walking, dunes, and beach walking. I did see two tiger snakes (super poisonous!) and a copper colored snake that was a big one. Today’s scenery was a really great day! The clouds were great too. Love the clouds!

I’ve never seen waves as forceful and large as the ones here.

I’ve been in touch with Dave, who I walked out of Walpole with, and who will be sharing the pricey shuttle with me out of Denmark in a couple days. He and I have been texting, and he has been right behind me the last two days. We are on very similar schedules doing about the same mileage each day. I just was a little bit ahead because of that day with the treetops tour when I had to push ahead to make the tour. Last night, Dave was just 5km behind me and we thought we both might end up at the same campground today. I managed to drop the guidebook (again) and knew Dave would probably see it, so I didn’t go back to find it. If not, I was on the last section and was about to move onto the next guidebook, so I wouldn’t be missing much. There was a ton of phone reception today, so I texted Dave and let him know to keep an eye out. 

Looking back on where I’ve been.

Love the clouds!

It was a miracle that somehow I made it all the way to the destined campground (Parry Beach) before it rained. I came in at 3pm, just as it started to rain. I quickly got the tent up before the harder rain came and it was pretty consistent with a somewhat steady rain for the next two hours. 

Heading down towards Parry Beach.

I had all these visions of what I’d accomplish with over two extra hours, but somehow, I did very little, and before I knew it, Dave made it in around 5pm and did find the guidebook! Dave does smile and is awesome, but is one of those military guys that’s apparently trained to not smile in photos. Cracks me up. 

Dave found my guidebook!

We are all set to hike to the town of Denmark and camp at the Caravan Park and then head out early the next day. We were just in town and it’s a short stretch to the end, so there isn’t a big pull to town. I just need to charge things up overnight and I’ll be all set. 

Well, that’s about it. It was a great day and I love that I completely dodged rain and got done early. There is a slight bit of rain possible the first half of tomorrow. Since it was raining, I totally forgot to take a photo at the campsite. It’s a small campground with RVs parked and a beach at the end of the wooded camping area. For most, a spot in the Parry Beach campground is $7.50/person. The camp caregiver was super kind and told me she was allowing Bib hikers to camp here for free (sweet!). There are even showers and a kitchen area. Here’s a shot of the beach next to the campsites. Once again, I’m going to sleep quite well tonight!

Evening rain approaches Parry Beach.

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