Day 430 | further along the Denmark/ Nornalup Railway Trail: loving riding off that highway

59 km | Heading west total: 15,395 km

Yesterday I had a chance to test my cycling philosophy. You know, that Moderate Effort one.

There was a hint on a local map about a rail trail that started east of Denmark.

I’ve had some experience of rail trails in Victoria. Trains never moved well up steep hills so the usual mild gradients work well for a touring bike.

No traffic.

You get to see a different, less travelled, part of the countryside where nature is closer.

So. A choice.

A quick zoom on a wet day down the highway to Denmark about 15km away. Or, take the path less travelled? A shortcut to civilisation or a venture into the not much known?

When the sign appeared on the roadside after crossing Hay River I didn’t even make the choice. The bike seemed to steer itself across the road and onto the rail trail.

In Victoria they are well built and well used. The sleepers are removed and a smooth clay topping is applied so the chunky railway gravel is avoided. Maybe they recycle that.

Here there was no gravel but the trail started, umm, rugged. But it soon improved after a few kilometres and I was biking around the enormous Wilson Inlet scaring the 100s of black swans tucked up with nose under wing against the inclement weather.

After passing through Denmark, that’s the town not the country, I found a sheltered spot to camp as the weather cleared.

Today had a fantastic sunrise through the morning fog and the day, sunny skies and best of all, no rain.

I did venture off the rail trail to take in Greens Pool in William Bay National Park, one of the noted crowd pullers in this generally impressively scenic territory. By the time I left two dozen swimmers were jumping off rocks and generally splashing around in the still not cold autumn water of the Great Southern Ocean.

Back to the rail trail for the rest of the day, well I stopped just before it’s termination.

Yes, it seems I will naturally choose that non highway experience. It’s certainly slower, average speed today 11 km/hour, but I prefer the teenage sense of a little adventure on those lesser travelled paths.