2019 This Solo Hiker’s Not So Solo Year!

This year I could have changed the title of my blog to “not so solo hiker”! My sister challenged me to do the Bloody Long Walk charity event, a 35km route from Palm Beach to Manly NSW so that meant training walks! I also joined the scouts on a walk, volunteered to take kindergarten kids on a teddy bears picnic and had lots of smaller adventures with my kids. Fortunately I did find plenty of opportunities to head out on my own until the horrendous bushfire season brought all my plans to a sudden stop.

January: After a massive hailstorm all but destroyed the house I lived in I moved to a new home and immediately set out to explore the nearby trail entrance. https://solohiker.blog/2019/01/24/new-home-new-walks/

New views

February: This was a month for geocaching! It was too hot for anything else! https://solohiker.blog/2019/02/28/february-a-month-for-geocaching/. I also wrote a post about the Goods Line trail in Sydney, which connects central station to the Powerhouse Museum – a perfect day our for the kids!https://solohiker.blog/2019/02/28/february-a-month-for-geocaching/

Massive geocache
The goods line

March: This month I designed my own walk to take in all of the known engraving sites between Berowra Heights and Berowra Waters. I really enjoy this one. https://solohiker.blog/2019/03/31/the-wonders-of-berowra-engraving-tour/. Whilst working on this I decided to write up how I plan my walks in the hope it can be of use to others. https://solohiker.blog/2019/03/22/planning-a-walk/

Berowra engraving tour

April: I revisited an earlier Berowra walk with the intention of looking for historical artifacts that I had learned were in the area. It was like an entirely new walk! There was so much I had missed the first time! https://solohiker.blog/2019/05/04/woodnutt-and-windybank-history-on-the-berowra-track/

Windybanks
Sea turtle

May: The first of the group walks, I took my kids to climb a peak in Kuringai Chase National Park. https://solohiker.blog/2019/05/20/we-name-this-mountain-butterfly-peak/

Intrepid explorers

June: For the first of my training walks for The Bloody Long Walk I explored Manly North Head with my sister and her friend. https://solohiker.blog/2019/06/25/manly-to-north-head-sanctuary-a-bloody-long-training-walk/

North Head views

July: Out solo again, I walked length of Stockton Beach to visit the amazing Tin City, an off grid community hidden in the dunes. https://solohiker.blog/2019/07/18/go-north-to-tin-city/

View from Anna Bay along Stockton Beach

August: A busy month! First I walked with my sister from Watson’s bay to Coogee beach. https://solohiker.blog/2019/08/04/sydney-coastal-walk-watsons-bay-to-coogee-beach/. Then I went exploring to find a rumoured waterhole. https://solohiker.blog/2019/08/15/the-lost-waterhole/. Then, I joined my brother, sister and her friend on a walk through western Sydney parklands – a surprisingly enjoyable walk https://solohiker.blog/2019/08/18/walking-western-sydney-parklands-track/. I somehow found time for a little solo adventure to visit some caves that someone on my local community page had shared. I’ll head back again one day to explore deeper. https://solohiker.blog/2019/08/28/the-caves-off-alston-track/

Hornby lighthouse. Watsons Bay to Coogee Beach walk
Waterhole at Cowan
Nurrangingi reserve – western Sydney parklands walk
Caves

September: Palm Beach to Manly – The Bloody long walk! This was it! We did it and it was heaps of fun! It was also the first time I had walked with my niece. https://solohiker.blog/2019/09/11/the-bloody-long-walk-2019-palm-beach-to-manly/. I also joined my son at his first scout camp and walked the Yuelarbah track with his group https://solohiker.blog/2019/09/26/yuelarbah-track-scout-hike/. Lastly I managed to visit a small engraving site in Mt Kuringai that I drove past every day. It was quite impressive. https://solohiker.blog/2019/09/29/mt-ku-ring-gai-aboriginal-area/

We did it! The Bloody Long Walk
Yuelarbah track
Engraving site

October: Teddy bears picnic! I spent a delightful day at Muogamarra walking with my son’s class and going on scavenger hunts before setting up for the teddy bears picnic. Best day ever. https://solohiker.blog/2019/10/22/teddy-bears-picnic-at-muogamarra-nature-reserve/

Muogamarra views

November: fire essentially shut down my walks. I went on a couple of geocaching adventures with my kids but didn’t post anything. I was concerned about the number of people still hitting the trails so posted this https://solohiker.blog/2019/11/11/catastrophic-fire-conditions-forecast-for-greater-sydney-greater-hunter-regions-tuesday-12th/

December: Lots of little adventures. There was geocaching, I took a National Park Ranger down to the waterhole I found to inspect the graffiti I had reported. I also joined the Friends of Berowra Valley group and participated in the Aussie Bird Count event. https://solohiker.blog/2019/12/12/mini-adventure-month/

In there was a dusky Moorhen- The Great Aussie bird count
Geocaching in the Berowra bush

I became a little introspective with this post https://solohiker.blog/2019/08/21/standing-still/ and a little retrospective with a trip down memory lane to Wadi Rum and Petra .

Wadi Rum – Jordan
Petra

Here’s my sites stats for this year if that is of interest. I have realised I’m not reading as many other blogs as before so I intend to read a little wider next year. I like the little relationships that form in this medium and I’m missing out. Thanks to all who have popped in and said hi or read or liked my posts, it really does encourage me to keep going.

I hindsight I accomplished an incredible amount! I very much enjoyed the walks with others. My sister is starting a coastal walking group with her friends so I’ll join a couple of those walks next year I think. I’ll write up my plans for 2020 soon – I’m getting a little excited about the possibilities so I can’t wait to share.

3 thoughts on “2019 This Solo Hiker’s Not So Solo Year!

  1. Nice wrap up of the year, Nathan! We’ve been watching the news reports about the bush fires, and hope they can be gotten under control soon. Best of luck to you in 2020, and keep on hiking (solo or accompanied)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you had a fantastic year of walking, Nathan! I enjoyed revisiting all your posts and admiring all your fabulous scenery.
    I hope all is well with you and your family. The bushfire news coming out of Australia is horrifying! Happy(?!) New Year 🙂

    Like

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