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A public holiday (Monday) added to my ‘day-off’ on Fridays.  Space for a plan – we’re both aware that there’s an opportunity, but the actual process gets put off.  Hope is bolstered by a sunny (but chilly) weather forecast…

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The evolution.  Start with maps – side by side; the Bibbulmun and Munda Biddi – walk and bike respectively.  The kitchen table – a fermenter of ideas (mad or otherwise).

In contrast to Cass and Nancy who’ve got it all mapped out, our route only takes final shape hours before we start.  The process starts with the approaching weekend; continues with Bryn’s and my introductory first overnight foray onto the Bibbulman Track (this a 1000km walk from Albany to Perth that Sarah did solo in 7 weeks a few years ago); then searches for the ‘shuffle’ to close the loop.  The night before we leave I add the final touch.  I spot the chance to fill-in a bit of Munda Biddi (the mountain bike version of the Bibbulmun) that we’ve not done – Sarah’s eyes light up and we’re hooked.    Minor details slot into place:  how will we carry the back-packs? (I’ll ride the Big Dummy, not the Twenty2 Fat-bike as I’d thought) and what will Sarah ride? (is this a good time to get back onto a normal bike, rather than the Greenspeed Trike? – try the mtb and see!).

The plan:

Drop the bikes (my Surly Big Dummy and Sarah’s Rocky Mountain ETSX) plus the Chariot CX1 at the Brookton Highway junction of the Bibbulmun Trail.  Drive round (via Kinsella Road – dirt) to the Sullivan’s Rock carpark at the Albany Highway junction with the Bibbulum.  Walk north and connect with the bikes after 2 nights on the Bibb-track; then do a highway section before turning south on the Munda Biddi and a further highway section to finish.  The back-ups: there are huts on the Bibbulmun if we get to them at the right time (or at least for water pick-ups), and if it comes down to it (and a normal bike isn’t going to work for Sarah) I can take the direct-cut to pick the car up while she and Bryn enjoy the view somewhere on the return leg….

As an afterthought we pack food (some home-dried) and clothes/nappies.

Sullivan Rock - not far from the road, but the distinction's lost on Bryn who's decided that it's meal-time.

Sullivan Rock – not far from the road, but the distinction’s lost on Bryn who’s decided that it’s meal-time.

We're a bit out of their league - the smaller of the local carnivores

We’re a bit out of their league – the smaller of the local carnivores

Grass-trees

Grass-trees

Bryn snoozing on the front - pack on the back

Bryn snoozing on the front – pack on the back

Monadnock Hut - arriving with the sun falling it's too good to leave.  We're alone too

Monadnock Hut – arriving with the sun falling it’s too good to leave. We’re alone too

The huts on both trails (Bibb and MB) are vital – as water points more than as places to sleep.  There’s not often much in the way of ground-water even in winter, so the rain-tanks make following the trails possible.

Space for a fire too (in the right season) - another spot for a meal

Space for a fire too (in the right season) – another spot for a meal

And second-helps

And second-helps

mm

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Breakfast in style.  A certain pleasure in remembered routines is swelled by home-dried fruit and welcome coffee

Breakfast in style. A certain pleasure in remembered routines is swelled by home-dried fruit and welcome coffee

Sarah's version of last-minute.  Scott and I are lucky to have her helping with the food-logistics when it comes to carrying 35 days worth.

Sarah’s version of last-minute. Scott and I are lucky to have her helping with the food-logistics when it comes to carrying 35 days worth.

under foot

under foot

Bryn awake and bundled - coffee-warmed
Bryn awake and bundled – coffee-warmed

Later, asleep (still) and allowing us to lunch

Later, asleep (still) and allowing us to lunch

Sometime wooded, and here more open; the trail passes under our feet.

Sometime wooded, and here more open; the trail passes under our feet.

Camp o'clock.  The Big Agnes Flycreek Platinum 2 is for the Canning Stock Route trip in a few weeks - it did have to be vetted though.

Camp o’clock. The Big Agnes Flycreek Platinum 2 is for the Canning Stock Route trip in a few weeks – it did have to be vetted though.

It's just under or a bit more under a kilo, even with a groundsheet. for a 2 person double-wall tent

It’s just under or a bit more under a kilo, even with a groundsheet. for a 2 person double-wall tent.

Compared to a '4-season' tent, the fly doesn't come down so far.  For our local use - not a problem
Compared to a ‘4-season’ tent, the fly doesn’t come down so far. For our local use – not a problem

Darkness

Darkness

The inner's fully fine-mesh.  Perfect for summer camping and sky-views (and top-ups)

The inner’s fully fine-mesh. Perfect for summer camping and sky-views (and top-ups)

Bryn waits for the off - just under an hour to the bikes.
Bryn waits for the off – just under an hour to the bikes.

The full 'train' loaded up.  After the last off-road chariot-pulling experience, I've put better mtb tyres on.  The rear 26x2.4" Maxxis Ardents only just fit the Big Dummy frame.

The full ‘train’ loaded up. After the last off-road chariot-pulling experience, I’ve put better mtb tyres on. The rear 26×2.4″ Maxxis Ardents only just fit the Big Dummy frame.

A back-pack on either side nicely weighs down the back wheel.  Progress once we're onto the Munda Biddi is not fast by any stretch of the imagination: but there's a certain 'zen' to finely controlling 5km/hr wheel by wheel by 2 wheel passage over/round trail features.  Bryn just lies there avidly taking in the view.

A back-pack on either side nicely weighs down the back wheel. Progress once we’re onto the Munda Biddi is not fast by any stretch of the imagination: but there’s a satisfying ‘zen’ to finely controlling 5km/hr wheel by wheel by 2 wheel passage over/round trail features. Bryn just lies there avidly taking in the view.

We reached the car just as dusk turned to dark having taken a dirt-road shortcut prior to a somewhat unanticipated 12km on pavement to finish.

The verdict: a success in all aspects

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