Finish: Longwarry Station
Today went as I had planned it, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a challenge.
The weather forecast called for severe thunderstorms with possible hail beginning around 1:00 in the afternoon. At my normal pace I’d need about 6 hours plus some lunch time to walk my 18 miles. So to beat the bad weather, I headed out the door at 5:45, stopped for a quick breakfast, and started east. The bike path I’ve been enjoying finally ended after about two miles. After that, I was walking on the side of the road facing traffic.
After about the 10 miles mark, the train track started running along the side of my route. My plan for the day was to walk to the little town of Longwarry, which has no motel but does have a train stop, and take the train forward on my route to tomorrow’s destination, Yarragon. Tomorrow, I’ll take the train back to Longwarry and walk to Yarragon. Since the train track was right by the road, I saw the trains coming by about once per hour. I knew there was a train leaving Longwarry at 11:52. If I didn’t make that train, I’d be waiting an hour for the next train at 12:52. As I walked, I started calculating my time and with three hours left to walk it looked like I’d just miss the 11:52 train. So I started picking up the pace. With one hour to go I would just make it, but I needed time to figure out how to use the ticket kiosk and buy a ticket. By the time I got to the station I had 10 minutes to spare. However, the ticket kiosk and I were just not communicating. I had no idea how many zones I was traveling through, what a Miki card was,…you get the picture. So I decided to just forget the ticket and get on the train and if there was an attendant on the train, explain the situation.
I got on the train, and sure enough, there was a very nice attendant who was more interested in where I was walking to and why than he was in collecting my money for a ticket. We talked for a few minutes, then he left and came back with a couple of his train security buddies who also wanted to talk walking instead of ticketing. One of them even issued me a free ticket for my return ride back to Longwarry Station tomorrow to pick up my walk where I stopped today. Super nice folks.
This little town of Yarragon is Australia’s version of Fredericksburg, Texas. I’ll save my discussion about Yarragon until tomorrow since I’ll be here again tomorrow night.
Overall, a good day. It’s 3:21 PM as I’m typing this and there’s not a thunderstorm in sight. JB.