11th October, 1997
Stage 3 of Maclehose Trail
"Light on the fizz so you can slam it down fast". So goes the slogan of the Solo Man (familiar to Aussie readers) and solo was the order of the day on my night hike this evening (somehow that doesn't seem to make sense). With Chris out sick, and Peter opting for an easier walk tomorrow to "work up" to this hill stuff, I set out on my own to conquer my most unfavourite of stages. The walk was a far cry from the planned stages 3, 4, and 5 but after my 2 hour and 5 minute trek through stage 3, a check of my water supply found me sadly lacking in the quantity required for taking on Ma On Shan and the rest of stage 4. Extremely humid and balmy would best describe the weather and I was wet through after only 20 minutes of walking. I drank well over two litres of water in the first two hours, far more than I had expected at night.
Even though the distance was not there, I did manage to try out my new lighting arrangement with the extension lead built into my headlamp so I can store the battery box in my pack. This is a great setup, very successful and I think it will serve me well come the 21st of November. There is one drawback of using a headlamp that I discovered on this night walk though. When walking through cloud (as was the case at the top of stage 3), a lot of light is reflected back from the water in the air, and visibility is remarkably affected. Something to keep in mind...
Late last month (on Sark's final walk actually) I found a porcupine quill whilst walking along stage 10. This evening about midway through the walk I managed to stumble across a whole porcupine (well apart from the bit where the dogs have had a chew). Lucky I had my camera on hand hey!
Speaking of wildlife at night, how about those cows. I could tell there were cows in the area from the aroma, however when I walked around a blind corner and almost stumbled right into the middle of 20 of the beasts it was a bit of a shock (particularly those big glowing eyes staring back at you).