After more than two months and 1600km, a former Hedland resident has finished walking the length of the Canning Stock Route.
English and art teacher Pam Armstrong set out from Wiluna in May to achieve a long-held dream to walk the iconic trail.
When she arrived in the remote Aboriginal community of Billiluna, at the northern end of the track, Ms Armstrong had walked an average of 33.5km per day for 47 of the 64 days she was away.“I finished at 2.45pm on July 9 at Billiluna, ” she said.
“It’s about 1660km from Wiluna (but) both maps are a little different…there is a discrepancy of about 20km of what I walked in my legs to the maps.
“I probably walked 12 to 20km more… but that doesn’t matter, I’m here now.
“People said that GPS didn’t always co-ordinate with the maps… because (the track) has been realigned, the original route has changed alignment from the survey markers that are there now.”
Heading off to the local pub for a well-deserved glass of red, Ms Armstrong said she felt in good shape.
“I think my body was so in sync with walking that I am actually sore stopping still, ” she said.
“The only thing that is actually aching are the bones in my feet — my big toe bones, would you believe. I feel physically really good … I was walking but I wasn’t doing any other exercise so I could have done with some push-ups.”
Before setting out on her epic journey Ms Armstrong had spent months training and preparing her supplies as part of the Certificate IV in Project Management she was studying.
“I made the walk my project … I wanted to see that logistically it worked, ” she said.
Although her trip had its complications, Ms Armstrong said a highlight was the unexpected interactions with the people she met along the way.
“It turned out I was about a week in front of myself getting to Kunawarritji, ” she said.
“When I got there they needed some help at the home and community care … and the CEO said to me ‘can you cook?’ I said ‘yeah I’d love to’.
“The oldies needed a feed so I went over and I cooked for a week for them. I made lunch and dinner and breakfast for them and put it all in the fridge and cleaned the place up.”
After a two-week stint travelling solo on the route, Ms Armstrong said she was grateful for the two angels who offered to help her.
“I went off on my own from Kunawarritji and did the walk by myself … I thought I can do this by myself, I’ll go forward and park the car up forward 30km and I’ll walk back and do my kilometres that way, ” she said.
“(At Well 45) this other couple turned up in a Troop Carrier and their names are Jess and Pete and they’re teachers from the UK. They joined me for the last part of the trip… they were such a big help.”Ms Armstrong would like to climb to the base camp of Mount Everest as her next adventure.