Start: Red Hills Hut
Finish: Porters Creek Hut
Distance: 12km

We decided last night that our start time for the Richmond Ranges should be 7am instead of 8am and this morning I was regretting that decision as my body struggled to get out of bed.

We left the hut and walked straight into a field of wet tussock. Within minutes I was cold and my entire bottom half was saturated but I was in a good mood. The hills were shrouded in mist and the sun was just peeking over the hill, casting cool patterns over the ranges.

As the tussock ended we walked through a little bit of bog and I have a tradition that whenever I walk through bog I have to adopt a Scottish accent and say something like ‘into the bog we go.’ So while Jacqui was way ahead of me I casually talked to myself in a Scottish accent before the bog ended just as abruptly as it started.

From here the track undulated along rocky and sometimes scary terrain but I was quite happy to plod along and let my mind wander away from my sore shoulders.

Today’s thoughts were about age as I suddenly remembered that I’m now 24 and not 23. I thought to myself ‘I don’t feel 24’ but then quickly followed that up with ‘how old do I feel?’

Age is a funny thing, it can change the way people view you and I don’t like that. Some of my closest friends are 10 years older than me but then I enjoy building forts with my 12 year old sister. And then even my friends that are the same age as me are all so different, one of us is settled with a house and 2 kids and I’m out here trying to run from the responsibility of the real world.

Everyone’s life pace is different and age has nothing to do with it. I think assigning expectations to age groups and telling people to ‘act their age’ is stupid and outdated. So the real question is, how old do I feel today? And I don’t have an answer to that.

Eventually the terrain started getting trickier so I set my attention back to the job at hand and started climbing the first steep hill.

As per usual I got to a point where I thought I was at the top but wasn’t but then thankfully we started descending again only to cross a rocky riverbed and start climbing again.

I knew the hut was at the top of this climb so didn’t find it too bad and then there she was in all her bright orange glory.

We had originally planned on trying to get to Hunters Hut today but after a tough 6 hours we decided to stay here.