Trip Leader Paul Ryan
The day started with a sprinkle of rain on the trip down to Lake Brockman but it very soon turned into a lovely day with an abundance of sunshine, which of course did nothing to dry up the water and mud that was around. Eleven cars in varying states of off-roadness were are the starting point, members George, Linda and grand daughter, Trevor, Lewis & Jamie, Terry, Keith, Piers, Paul, Neil, John with Sister and partner and visitors Nicola, Brad and Matt. After a brief introduction to rules and regulations we were off into the wilderness.
The track was getting narrower by the minute and I was thinking to myself I hope we don’t have to turn around and boom the first obstacle presented itself in the form of a nice little creek with a lopsided bridge, it was evident the only way through was at an almost 45degree angle with a twist at the top to prevent hitting the rather large tree. I looked at my watch and thought we might end up having morno’s here but to my amazement we all seemed to get through using a variety of techniques ranging from expert wheel placement techniques to right foot down look out I’m coming. Piers thought it was all going to smoothly for him so he decide to stop in the middle of the creek and soak up the atmosphere for a while.
It was then a matter of finding a morno’s spot before it became a lunch spot. A clearing appeared that could accommodate all of us with ease and we settled down for a refreshing break. Neil offered up a basket of delights in the form of yummy nut bars from his place of employ, Neil is the most popular guy at morno stops and if you don’t know why then you need to go on a trip that Neil is attending.
Next stop was mud stomp territory I drove up a track that felt a bit soft under foot but I had my muddy’s on and I remembered to select 4WD so it didn’t pose a problem. I kept driving until I came up to another road and stopped there waiting for the rest of the crowd to follow. All of a sudden the radio came to life with all sorts of directions such as, “go that way”, “ you wont make it up there” try getting a straight run at it”. I started thinking hmmmm did I miss something so I went down the hill and came up behind the group, when I got the front of the line Keith (2nd in line) was still trying to get up the hill which by this time was slightly (read very) boggy. We spent some time getting everyone up that hill and I think we would all agree that it was great fun. Many of us learnt how to drive sideways even if we didn’t want to at the time, Nicola needing a gentle tow out of a tight spot but we all got through in the end.
The next hill was a bit more challenging with Stamps leading the way, followed by Terry, Trevor and Neil, now Neil had street tyres on and he made it up that hill like there was no tomorrow everyone was suitably impressed but none more than Neil himself I think he had reservation before the hill but now he is unstoppable and so is his car.
Terry’s tunnel was the next stop on the agenda, last time we went through there Terry got his front diff lodged on a rock and had to be rescued whilst 9 or so Pajeros went through with little or no effort. This time we all got through although the going was slow and tough. We finished up on the other side of the Dam and found a suitable lunch spot where we all joined in a warmed up discussion on marking corners. With our belly’s full and our minds free the trip to the top of Stamp’s hill climb beckoned and as we moved onwards and upwards we were afforded a lovely view of the Harvey Dam in all its glory.
Upon arriving at the top of the hill I decided to venture forward and have a look at Stamp’s hill climb, it seemed OK at the start but rapidly deteriorated and I found myself once again past the point of no return. Stamp’s, Trev, Keith, Neil, George and Terry all guiding and spotting me down the hill, the rest of the crowd had now confirmed that the trip leader was in fact absolutely crazy. I made it but only just so Terry & Stamps did the only thing you could in a situation like this they followed me down. They did of course forget to tell me on the radio so I merrily went on my way back up the hill to find the others (Oziexplorer saved the day). After much confusion and what seemed to be Terry and Stamps heading in the wrong direction we all decided to move on and meet then back at the camp.
We were almost back at camp and I stopped at the bottom of Wes’s hill (see front page of website) and asked the group if they were up for one more challenge. The answer was yes so up I went at first on foot and then the easy way, I can tell you it had my front wheels of the ground several times but nothing too hairy. Of course Stamps came up looking a bit bored followed by Neil in the “Street Tyred Silver Arrow” traction control a blazing lifting wheels and all sorts but making it up just the same. Trevor and Piers both had a go and seemed to make it through with a bit of a crunch but no damage.
After that run it was getting late and with the exception of George & Linda we all had a 2 hour drive home so we went back to the caravan park and aired up said our goodbyes and made our way towards home.
It was a fun day nothing damaged except some pride maybe but we all enjoyed it and I would certainly recommend another run in the area before it is finally closed for good.