Ninghan Station 2010

Trip Leader: Paul & Matt

When: 4th – 7th June 2010

Location: Ninghan Station

Participants: Richard King, Keith Parker, Helen and Richard Kingston, Sam and Pasc Vasile, Paul and Matt, Viv and John ‘Stamps’ Stampalija, Trish and Malcolm Harrison, Nancy, Rick and Blake Ellis, Glenn Bignell, Tony and Stella Weldon, Bruce and Judith Brinkley, Piers Marmoy, Martin and Karen Archer.

Friday morning… a normal start, a grouping, a check off and we’re off.
Goomalling for a leg-stretch, then on to Dalwallinu to refuel the cars and the bodies beautiful.. in that order.
Richard’s Toyota had used 3/4 of a tank compared to the Mitsiʼs 1/4 ! And he blamed it on the caravan !!!!
Keith joined us there after he had completed a little ploughing and seeding at his nearby friend’s property nearby. Also Helen and Richard had caught us up… if Tail End Charlie had been listening really hard he may have heard a faint ʻCharlie 2ʼ echo on our leaving Goomalling… apparently they were driving into town as we were driving out the other side.
Premises noticed across the way from our lunchtime park… on the right side of the tracks perhaps?…
ʻWendy J’s… ʻOpenʼ sign, flashing lights, no other advertising… so of course Sam and Richard went to check out just what was on offer! Recycled clothing…… if we could believe the men.. ! Well .. something was being recycled.. ?

Off again Overcast skies. Watery sun, and apparently, per Sam, a dire warning from the lovely old lady at Wendy Jʼs, of the coming rain to rival the 100 year records.
Later a little precipitation on the windscreens… not enough to use the wipers but the 100yr rain had arrived.
We drove up to Ninghan Station Homestead shaded under three magnificent Moreton Bay Fig trees. Off to the right were some amazingly gnarled horizontal tree trunks with years of soft leaf litter beneath for dogs to lie on, and hanging hessian curtains for warmth… doggy hobbit homes.
We found our spot off in the bush, circled the wagons and set up camp. 
High priority was the campfire.
Over the next two days campers could be seen either creating culinary delights for camp oven competitions, or driving off to explore the local terrain, or pitting fitness against Watheragabbing Hill behind the camp.
Camp group dynamics means that those away miss out on the doings of those at camp and of course vice versa. The features and benefits of various camp ovens were discussed, along with the ideal properties of welding gloves, tongs and lifters (hooka mooka’s), and most essential … the intensity of the coals.
Misting rain brought an end to the campfire conversation Saturday night, but left three diehards, in dripping ponchos spread to cover their chairs too, still sitting beside the fire, though with unprotected jeans and shoes still very warm and very dry from the much stoked campfire. There’s definitely something about a fire.!!!

Sunday and those who hadn’t been before, left to find Payne’s Find via GPS and the tracks and “roads” of Ninghan Station.. with a small diversion in clambering over another of W.A.ʼs incredible rocks “Wardagger” that arise from the flat plain.

Then a bit of tree scraping here. A bit of water crossing there. A short foray sidewards along a very new fence line, looking for a gate at the end of the road, that should have matched the gate we could clearly see on the other side in the OLD fence line.  Luckily the new fence only started 200m further along. Could have been 20km !!! Would have been a long trek back to find another way to the main road.
 
Payne’s Find Gold Ore Battery Crusher is definitely worth the stop. Sometimes we are so involved with our new technology, to see old technology still being employed is heartening… probably more so because of the characters who maintain these old ways.
After the tour a vote was taken on going back via boring highway or checking out Wave Rock Other. Wave Rock Other .. playground of goats plus strange people driving cars. 
A couple of us discovered that we really won’t go A over T if we drive down a vertical cliff face… Well !! It was vertical !!!! Almost.
 
Another discovery was why the vegetation around the base of the rock was so verdant. Fertilized by Goat Poo !!! Millions and millions of pellets .. a natural Dynamic Lifter… which of course feeds the greens, which feeds the goats, which feeds the greens… and so on.
The 4pm o’clock track was found and duly attempted and conquered by Paul & Malcolm, devoid of panicking passengers. All well and truly over by  4.15pm and no further pioneers stepping forward we returned directly to the campfire..
 
The Cook-off was still going strong but the samples for the absent judge were eaten long before his return. “Oh but they tasted great, Paul.. believe us.!! “ Never did find out who won.
Camp Ovens had produced over the weekend… Pasciʼs Citrus Cake, an Apple Pie (burnt on one side … sorry Glen) Lamb (Ram) Shanks, Butter Chicken, Red Wine Goulash (Stamps called it ʻstewʼ.. boring.. goulash sounds better) and The lightest Olive, dried tomato, pesto savoury damper, also a cake by Richard with carefully weighed and blended ingredients. There were definitely other dishes…. but Alzheimer’s has kicked in.
Blake and Matt seem to have perfected the art of toasted marshmallows.. and Blake…his cheese on toast.
 
Sunday night and the low burble of laughter and of people comfortable with each other round the fire sounded like a party… helped maybe by Sam and Tonyʼs offerings of port ?.

Time to head home …campers dispersed at different times and in different directions. Those last to wander out about 1.15pm learned the consequences of being last. The flies, instead of having multiple targets, now only had two !!!
But it was a great weekend.
 
Bruce & Judith

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