Day 3 consisted of the rest of the Demon Trail to Hokuri Hut, almost at the northern tip of Lake McKerrow, and apart from a couple of breaks in the bush, it was mainly tricky and slippery track, undulating along the lakeside, but totally enclosed by thick forest. Hokuri Hut was a welcome sight, and here I met Bill and Gary, who had just come from a trip anti-clockwise round the Pyke Loop. They looked in a real state, with scratched legs, raw elbows, and some serious stories. Gary kept on going south, but Bill stayed the night and kept us all entertained with tales of places like Lake Wilmot and the Black Swamp, both evil spots by the sound of it. And that's when I caught the glint in Rick's eye.
Gary, you see, had got the wrong end of the stick. When I'd met him on my arrival at the hut, I'd told him that I'd have loved to try the Pyke, but I wasn't equipped, and besides, I was on my own, off he went, leaving me and Bill in the hut. But when Gary bumped into Rick, who was still on his way to the hut back on the Demon Trail, they'd also got talking about the Pyke, and Gary told Rick that if he wanted to do it, he should talk to this guy with a beard in Hokuri Hut; me, in other words. So Rick told me this, and we laughed and dismissed it out of hand, but as Bill unfolded his story of a living hell, we started looking at each other in that 'whaddya reckon' way. And so was born the germ of an idea that grew, and by the time we went to bed we were seriously considering the Pyke Loop, against all common sense. It all depended on the weather, and it turned out we could get a weather report from the Lodge at Martins Bay the next day, as the Lodge is a private hut for guided walkers, and they have luxuries like radios and food.