Julimar State Forest

Trip Leader:  Craig Perry

When: 31st July,  2011

Location: Julimar State Forest

Participants:17

 Wow what day… And it rained and rained but how good was that!!!
Added a different dimension to everything we did… like the big mud puddles…puddles?… more like mini dams with tracks through the middle and  4Wdrivers trying to look experienced? proficient?  Nah…just wet and having fun.

We started out at the Bullsbrook Tavern about 9.45am. All seemed to arrive very early so there was a large group of people milling around looking like they were waiting for the pub to open!
We must have all been very eager to go bush for the day.

Craig led us north east to our air down spot…. past some  exotic wild life… woolly  bovine creatures with very long, very pointy horns.

Scottish Highland cattle …but living in the wilds of Chittering

On into the magic forest..
Air down area  was shared with a few utes and trailers offloading bikes..a fun place for them too.  
Julimar is such a huge area we didn’t run into any of them on the tracks…and perhaps that wasn’t the best turn of phrase.!

First lesson of the day.. with so many cars getting underway and with the immediate distraction of negotiating our first waterway right outside the carpark, a basic rule was overlooked  (apart from the one where Bruce kept forgetting to turn his lights on) 
Mark the corner till the next car hoves into sight. 
(‘Hove’ being a nautical term was very appropriate for the day!)
One left turn took us out of the carpark but the next left turn took some of us back into the rear of the carpark…too many lefts… and a lesson learned.

Trip leader Craig didn’t seem to need a GPS.   Apparently he’s been driving these tracks for years and was able to give us some commentary on some of the areas we went through. I hope someone marked waypoints on a GPS. It’s an outing we’d like to do again and we really were just following the leader… totally no sense of direction…. and didn’t think to bring our own GPS.

Mornos time came and went unnoticed.  We were enjoying ourselves too much.

First big hill we had to negotiate, Paul Ryan called for us to come up one at a time. No one felt pressured then by having another vehicle right behind when it got a bit slippery or when we had to slow for the rocks right at the crest.  And another lesson in calling each through.

This part of the countryside is awesome in the wet.
Lots of water on the track that, because Craig had been through them very recently, didn’t need to be walked or sounded before driving through.  Just your average very satisfying big splash.

For us to sample was a deep water crossing, a deeply rutted climb, and steep hills, all if we wanted to participate.   But who said 4WD’ing can’t be a spectator sport?  Videos are on the club web.
And all this before lunch!

Lunchtime we had to wait a moment for earlier patrons to vacate the eatery area before the next sitting.  Explanation.. another 4WD group Craig knows were also enjoying  Julimar and they were just leaving.    Awnings appeared on the sides of vehicles,  rain sort of held off for a while, kids had a chance to stretch their legs and even the sun  shone warmly for a brief few minutes.
Chance for a chat… though the airways chatter had been fairly prolific most of the drive.

Up to now we’d done the car park, the eatery park and now it was time for the fun park.
Craig showed us where then each participated in their amusement of choice.

Paul found the hill to go down and Richard King followed, gears only, no brakes as braking had little effect. .. and then back up the other way… while others traversed steep banks through creek crossings.   More lessons learned and more experience gained.   To get the feel of aiming down a bank through relatively deep water and up the other side is essential for building confidence in oneself and one’s vehicle.
An opportunity was missed when no recording was made from the top of that hill looking down on all the little vehicles scurrying around in the arena.  The Julimar  equivalent of Lancelin.

Eventually Rick Lazar produced his length of orange conduit and sounded the depths of the ‘challenging’ water hole… the one that just sat there still and untouched.   Piers ? where were you?
So Rick drove through or was it dived in??… but only after connecting his recovery gear first.. just in case… and came out the other side.. Pity. That could have been another learning experience for the rest of us? Pass? Rick?  (Video on the Website)

Time to move off.  It was after 3.30pm and we still had to drive out of here,  through further  lovely sections of the forest.  Aftereffects of 2009 bushfire were now just a counterpoint of black trunks against very green foliage. The bush was recovering well.  We went through more water across the track, up and down more hills,  quietly passed the local farmhouse,  to the narrow air up track before heading back home.  Of course it started to rain just as everyone dug out their compressors.  Why wouldn’t it.
A good day.    Some were a bit mournful though.. not that the day had ended .. but that the Bindoon bakery would, by then, be closed !

Trip Notes: Judith Brinkley

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