Trip Leader Paul Ryan
It was due to extreme intelligence, good looks and forward planning that the meeting spot for this trip was the Pinjara Bakery. Now the writer of these trip notes has no financial interest or association with the bakery but boy can I pick ’em. The extra-long departure time (also a stroke of genius) was 8.30 am for a 9.00 am departure and saw many of the attendees partake in the delicacies being offered, one un-named member was able to put away several pies and was fortunate enough to take advantage of the 25% bonus offer that Masters have on their large iced coffees. You may very well be building up an appetite as you read this as I certainly did whilst I was standing in the car park fighting temptations that were flying in all directions, I finally succumbed to a micro sized iced coffee that drew a smirk from the “pie eater” as it did little to satisfy my thirst or my penchant for something naughty.
Anyway enough about food, we went 4wding and what a trip it was, I spent several nights planning the best tracks based on information passed onto me by Craig, thanks for that Craig. Those of you that have been on trips that I run will know that “what happens on the track” goes straight into the magazine and on the web-site so I am the first to put my hand up and say the first potential Piston Broke nomination was mine. It was a lovely little trip down to the dead end. You see, according to the map the fairly major tracks we should have turned onto should have been there but simply they weren’t. I was tempted to try the old “but the nav unit told me to turn there” trick but I doubt driving through a farmers fence would have attracted positive publicity for the Club. So now the dilemma was do we go what seems to be the long but right way around and start at the other end or do we take another short cut and find the elusive track we were in search of? Given there was only one Lady on the trip we of course took the short cut. It started to look like a Wes & Paul gate trip but fortunately we found some really good steep tracks topped off with a few creek crossings. This would certainly be an interesting track after it rains.
We finally got down onto Big Tree road and Richard N took over to show us some of the great terrain down there. Creek crossing’s rutted hills and mud run abound, we were like kids in a candy shop (or 4wders in a bakery). Everywhere you looked it seemed there was an even steeper hill than the one we just tried. Time to put the lockers to the test as I followed Richard up a rather steep side drifting rutted incline, no troubles, except for a slight sigh of nervousness from my passenger (Pilot Paul). We seemed to get up there OK but Troy was getting bored so he thought he would give Keryn a reason to get some good happy snaps. While we were on that hill I suggested to Peter that it might be beneficial to remove his hitch as it got caught up on one of the ruts. “Great idea” he said and set about getting himself a nomination for a Piston Broke Award. He was successful in removing the pin but was unable to get the hitch to come out, well you should have seen them, “a shot of CRC” said one, I actually went off to get my 5 kilo persuader otherwise known as a sledge hammer to dislodge it. One un-named member (no not the pie eater) suggested that a snatch strap and a tree might do the trick (Richard N muttered un-publishable ramblings and cringed so much I think he has permanent wrinkles to show for it). Finally one bright spark suggested we undo the anti-rattle bolt after which the hitch practically fell out on its own accord, more un-publishable mutterings as we all trundled back to our vehicles in with our tails between our legs.
Whilst this was all going on we missed Troy’s call for assistance on the radio, you see Keryn had finished taking photos and wanted to get up the hill but as you can see Troy wanted to get a nomination for a Piston Broke Award. We all trundled back down the hill only to find out Troy and Richard K effected a perfect winch recovery. We all had a go at the creek crossing which wasn’t that deep but would pose a great challenge in the winter months. Lunch was served in what look liked a good place to for Craig to roll his car (private joke). Then it was up a steep and rutted hill climb and another demo for Trevor as to why he should have Diff Locks if he is to transport his family safely and comfortably on an extended trip around Australia.
Another few large up hills and down dales and we ended up at a nice little creek crossing, with the emphasis on little, my only observation is that what looks like the remains of a bridge was constructed by either the Lada or Suzuki club because none of our cars could get through the gap without riding a wheel up on one edge. This brought us to a fantastic picnic spot for next time so the coordinates were duly noted. Given the hour of the day and the need for some of the younger ‘uns to get back to party hard in Fremantle we decided to head towards the highway. Just as we were about to get to the air up spot, there it was, the “4 o’clock track” beckoning like a pie on a bakery shelf “come and drive me” “come and drive me “.
I rallied everyone together and explained the concept of the “4 o’clock track”, it is the track you come across just as you are packing up to go home, it has been a great day and there have been no injuries (pride not included) or damage to vehicles but if anything is to go wrong or someone is to get horribly stuck it will be on the “4 o’clock track”. I gave everyone the option those that wanted to go home could follow Richard N and those that wanted to stay could follow me. A show of hands had me being the only one wanting to do the 4 o’clock track, so I said OK let’s all go home then. One by one the muttering started, how long will it take? it did look really good, perhaps we can just have a look and then after a another brief cringe from Richard N we all went back there. Unfortunately on closer inspection we found the track only went for 50 metres and then stopped, with an extremely steep turn around point. We decided the 4 o’clock track should remain exactly that and will go down in club history as the track that didn’t happen, until next time of course.
A great time was had by all and I still managed to lose half a kilo in spite of the temptations of our meeting point. Thanks to Richard N and Craig for the tips on the tracks and thanks to all of the attendees. There will be more trips down this way stay tuned for the next chapter in the Locked and Lifted series of trips.