Wheatbelt

Trip Leader: Paul & Keith
Tail End Charlie – Richard & Helen in “4”
When:  6th to 9th April 2007

Location:  Moordamulling Rock, Elachbutting WA 6479, Australia


Friday 6th
Beep beep I received a message from Wes at 8.10am that his alarm did not go off and he would be running late (meeting time was 9.00am). Luckily he had packed the night before and was ready to jump into the batmobile and head off into the sunrise. I told Louise to message him back the 2 words that we all fear (trip notes) but Keith decided since it was a multiple day trip we should all contribute.
It all started at the Lakes BP Roadhouse, the car park was quite full as there were a few other 4WD’s going on a tag along tour. Traffic was very light on so we decided to travel in the one convoy (minus Wes) and not split into two groups. 
First stop was El Caballo Blanco for emergency repairs to Peter & Denise’s flap. We then continued on by passing Northam but turning right to go left (a turn that Wes would miss). Wes eventually caught up with us prior to us meeting Tony & Stella in Goomalling (ask me for the origin of the name Goomalling at the next meeting) for Morno’s.
Lunch was in Trayning (you’ll never guess the origin of that one) at the local rest stop which I must say was very well maintained and welcoming, the facilities were spotless. It was then off to Merredin for a refuel and play on the playground for some of our more junior members.
 We finished up at the Westonia Caravan park with everyone setting up in record time and settling in for our usual ritual of happy hour and of course secret men’s business that went well into the night. We were all a bit tired and some what lacking energy from the day’s drive until Denise came out with her secret weapon (Jelly Beans) this boosted the festivities to a new and exciting level. “Mesmerised” was chosen as the word of the day for the Saturday drive, a prize would be awarded for the best use of the word during radio communications.
Paul & Louise
Saturday 7th
It was up and at ’em but at a leisurely pace this morning, Tony & Stella were dispatched to the visitors centre to obtain more information on the surrounding areas but returned empty handed as they were closed. Once we all packed up we stopped at the local supermarket and sent the checkout operator into a frazzle. A short drive out of town lead us to the Edna May mine site which is being prepared to start gold production shortly.
 
Morno’s was at Sanford Rocks and some bright budgie decided we should all walk to the top and enjoy the view. great idea if you remembered a hat, water, good hiking shoes and to do some training in the weeks leading up to the climb. It was well worth the trip as the rocks were very unusual and had several small caves and water holes etc. There was a cairn at the top and as you can see, some of the kids added to the pile.
 
Lunch time found us at Baladjie Rock Nature Reserve, which would also make a nice camping area. Some of the more energetic people climbed the rock but most of us opted to make do with a nice quiet lunch. We were joined by the second battalion of wheat belt flies and I elected to finish my lunch inside the car as the battle to keep the flies at bay and get my food in my mouth at the same time was going south pretty quick.    A few of the members drove around the base of the rock to see the lake on the other side.
 
Onward  we went to our camp site at Elachbutting Rock a drive that took us past Chidarcooping and Yaneymooning but given the time we had spent at Sandford Rocks and the lack of daylight saving we decided to press on. 
As it was after 2.00pm the quality of the radio jokes was getting worse until we found Greg’s place and later his little brother’s place (if you weren’t on the trip you’ll never understand).
Upon arrival at Elachbutting Rock we found we were not alone in our quest to find refuge. The main camp site was taken by a group that had obviously been there for a few days and were quite settled in. Fortunately we found a spot further along the track that would accommodate us and we were all set up well before dark. 
We had two camp fires as some of the members couldn’t face the walk with camp oven in tow to the other side of the camp site. Happy hour eventually brought us all together after dinner. There were several discussions regarding the slight amounts of precipitation falling from the sky with a few false alarms forcing some to pack up and turn in early but the die-hards ensured that secret men’s business went ahead as planned. Wes was taunting Richard about the rain and Richard was refusing to concede that it was actually raining and that it wouldn’t until 4.00am. Needless to say that it did drizzle from 3.45am for a few hours.
Paul & Louise
Sunday 8th
After overnight rain (that didn’t start until 4am…..it was a ‘heavy dew’ before that, or so Richard claimed during the previous evening’s ‘Secret Men’s Business’!) Sunday dawned, overcast but dry. Nobody was in a hurry to rise and as we were somewhat scattered over a wide area it was some time until we got together for the mornings briefing where it was decided to spend another night here in order to give the tents, etc time to dry out. 
A short drive took us to a lookout on the rock itself where our valued President tried to ‘rock-hop’ in the Paj but forgot about the load leveller on the back so carved his mark for posterity.  The clouds were pretty dark but no rain fell so after a few group pics we drove to the other side of the rock to see the main attraction of the area.  Elachbutting Rock is a mini Wave Rock as it has the same pattern displayed. A short walk away is Monty’s Pass where a slab of rock has parted from the main body forming a narrow passage some 30 metres long. Some interesting rock formations made for an enjoyable walk and the weather started to improve so a group meeting was held which after 5 or 6 votes resulted in us deciding to stay at the camp for another night.  
However, once back at camp and with rapidly improving weather this was changed as it would have made a very long final day and as fate would have it, it was a good decision.
 
After lunch we headed for Lake Brown and Eaglestone Hill via part of the Rabbit Proof Fence Road.  Unfortunately the name “Road” is a misnomer as, what started off as a reasonable track deteriorated into a narrow one which didn’t trouble the camper trailers but Peter & Denise’s caravan was too high for much of the route (which was cut short to 8km from 20km) but it still took a long time to negotiate and to have done it the following day would have made for a very late arrival home!
Once the track was negotiated it was plain sailing to the campsite and a camp fire was soon burning and happy hour started.  This is a great campsite and we are seriously considering another visit to the area.
Keith & Chris
 
 Monday 9th
It got pretty cool overnight and it was only 8°C at 7am but we soon had the fire going and the early risers stayed close.
We were camped close to the lake and as it was bright and sunny most went for a walk. The lake only had a little surface water towards the centre and the rest was a brilliant white as the sun reflected from the salt. It was like walking on snow and ice and if we had been really rugged up a photo would have looked as if we were in Switzerland, although no mountains visible!
Much to Karen’s horror Martin decided to walk to the centre and claimed it to be perfectly safe but a hard stamp with the boot broke through the crust to reveal liquid below….the rest of us didn’t follow. This is a really pretty area with rocks of various shapes that often resembled animals, as can be seen in this picture. 
Back to camp and with a good bed of coals Karen set about baking scones in the camp oven for us all to enjoy.
 
At 12:30 we broke camp and started off home. I don’t think I will lead again as I was constantly berated by those with better GPS set ups stating that I was going the long way round. However we didn’t get lost and were soon in Merredin where we all filled up in preparation for the next 300 km to Perth. 
As we didn’t see any traffic on the way up on Friday using the Wyalkatchem road I decided to go home via Bruce Rock as the highway was pretty busy. This worked well as once again we were able to maintain a good speed and saw very few cars. A stop was made in Shackleton to visit WA’s smallest bank that operates on Fridays from 3pm to 4:30pm.
This was our final stop and shortly after we split into two groups with those living south side going via Beverley and the Brookton Hwy, whilst the northerners went via York and the Lakes.
This was a great weekend but we only scratched the surface so the general area is wide open for whoever wants to organise another visit.
Keith & Chris

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