The days are getting shorter, and for me that means my hiking windows are getting smaller.

You see, while theoretically any trail on the East Coast Trail can be hiked within 8 hours, I always take twice as long to do it because I stop for every single thing I see. Squirrel in a tree? Takes me 5 minutes. Another squirrel? 5 more minutes. Another squirrel? OK, I’m not stopping for that one, but you get my point, right? Hey, is that a bunny?!

Anyway, like I said the days are getting shorter, today we had a little less than 10 hours of daylight and I spent 9 of them on Motion Path. I didn’t hike the whole thing, since I parked my car on one end and I had to get back to it.

What I did was hike in over Shoal Bay Road, hike up north to Burkes Head and then back to Goulds via Pipeline Road. I started the hike feeling confident and invincible, but when after 20 kilometres I was once again staggering towards the finish line, I realized I was quite vincible after all.

Here are some shots of my ‘short day’:

Muddy puddles everywhere – Shoal Bay Road

Shoal Bay Road was as wet as ever. These trail-wide puddles are everywhere and while most of them can be avoided by carefully squeezing by on the sides, some of them are just too big so eventually the easiest way to get past these things is to just walk right on through them. Closer to the end of this road the trail basically becomes a river anyway, so you might as well get your boots wet early because there’s no avoiding it later on.

Raymond Gulch Falls – Motion Path

Once I finally reached the coast I was greeted by these two gorgeous waterfalls, they were still pretty active processing last week’s rain. Further up the trail the colourful coastal scenery was the main attraction:

Colourful waves near Miner Point – Motion Path

Cobblestone beach at Hartes Point Cove – Motion Path

The view from Burkes Head is great, you can see all the way to the Cape Spear lighthouse and beyond. This next photo shows just a part of all the things you can see from up there:

The view from Burkes Head – Motion Path

At the end of the day I hiked back to the Goulds over Pipeline Road, which wasn’t as bad as Shoal Bay Road but still pretty lousy. All along the way pipes poked up out of the ground, you could smell them before hearing or seeing them, and they made a buzzing sound from water rushing through the main pipeline down below.

Buzzing pipe – Pipeline Road

Shortly after sunset, I arrived back at the car and I was glad the day was over.