In terms of toil, Day 65 was actually a pretty light day. I was still plagued by nasty weather (which my Magnificent Mallacoota Coat resisted well), but I’d been invited by Jodie & Graham to come to the Cann River pub and stay overnight.
I briefly considered pushing through, getting further down the road toward Orbost, and looking backward, I really regret that urge to push forward, to ‘get it done’, I think I would have better served myself and the charity with a different approach.
But the goal I had started with was healing. That ‘muscle memory’ of Hope – the simple idea that if I took the pilgrimage I’d be able to overcome the crippling after-effects of my fight with stage four cancer. Even though the walk was becoming very much OUR walk (not just Captain Australia’s), I was still protective of that, but looking back I think it was a mistake. I should have bathed in the country, the gorgeous places and people, and done a better job of sharing both.
I was up and out of the hammock at 5:00am, and packed up and ready to go by twenty past.
And since it never gets mentioned in movies, books, or superhero comics, I’ll mention that I did briefly need to … do a little poo.
I was incredibly scrupulous with the country-side, burying my biological waste, and fastidiously NEVER leaving garbage or anything behind.
(Although hand on heart I did lose a couple of pairs of glasses, so let’s add that to the list of things that I stuffed up, at least a little bit)
Protein bar, chug of cold water, and the old boofhead was on the road. (again)
During a day, I’d often build up tremendous fatigue and endurance debt, but waking up in the morning I almost always felt refreshed. I think a big part of that was mental attitude, I was resolute and steadfastly REFUSED to allow tiredness or grumbling at the start of the day.
But it was also .. gratitude, I think.
I was on a great and special spiritual quest (as goofy as that may sound), and it was succeeding, and I felt deeply blessed and grateful.
Eager to do my part. For myself. For my wife and children. For you and anybody else watching (especially those writing in and saying they were touched, inspired, and had benefited), and last but not least, the charity (The Kids’ Cancer Project).
In this long, rainy, hilly stretch, that’s where my mind would turn when I struggled.
To the kids, little kids, like Archer, barely starting out at school, just into minecraft and superheroes and my little ponies.
If it was early in the day and I was walking through horrible conditions, blazing sun, torrential rain, bleeding or pain in my feet – that’s where my mind would go.
No mate. Do it for the kids. Keep going.
But I also carried the notion that other people were quite enjoying it. People were even writing in starting to complain “its going to be over soon, what am I going to do, I feel like I’ll be losing a brother when you stop streaming!”
(I loved that so much)
That morning, I heard three tremendous cracks as trees (killed by fire and waterlogged by relentless rain) came crashing down. An important warning about where to set up camp.
The walk to Cann River was very pleasant, and I was starting to feel GOOD most of the time. I’d let go of grief and sorrow, and those empty places inside me were filling up with joy.
(You’ll see an example in the video to the right – GET DOWN TONIGHT, UH YEAH, GET DOWN)
The road was pretty isolated, and I only had one encounter that day (not counting logging trucks or the chats and giggles I had with people at Cann River).
I didn’t really get any video or photos from my stay at the pub, I guess it was just this relentless hospitality, I spent the whole afternoon going from chat to chat, having beers and snacks pressed upon me.
This flat-strap lovely bloke was working there doing some painting, and he took me under his wing a bit, met his family, they were all just great.
Jodie and Graham (the owners of the pub) were absolutely delightful. Kind, interested, forthcoming with their own stories and struggles.
It’s a lovely little community, and I look forward to visiting there again. (Still thinking about permanently relocating to somewhere on the South Coast or into Victoria)
While I was relaxing and socialising, I also heard from Vera in Morwell. (This was great, people were starting to promote the walk FOR me, compensating for my old boofheadly shortcomings)
She’d conceived of the “Morwell to Melbourne in March” (MMM) challenge, getting people to walk that distance (about 150km) across the next 30 days, and the $10 buy-in goes to The Kids’ Cancer Project.
As I drifted off to sleep that night (storms striking outside), it blew my mind. I’d looked at a map, and it sunk in .. that 150km that people were spreading out over 30 days .. that represented the last 5 or 6 days of the BIG WALK.
I’d be home soon. I’d see the faces, those much adored faces, of my family again in just a couple of weeks.
It was basically a long, boozy afternoon wandering around Cann River and in and out of the pub. I did start to get a little bit ‘under the weather’ mid-evening and needed to lie down, but after a short power nap was back and good to go.