Trip Leader: Richard King
Location: Powerline Track, Sawyers Valley
18 vehicles including 6 visitor’s vehicles met at the Sawyers Valley Tavern car park at 0845. Yes the tavern was close so Trip Leader Richard King briefed us on the trip, Troy volunteered as Tail End Charlie and we hit the road at 0900, airing down 10 minutes later and entering the Power Lines Track at the western end. Whilst the track was graded last year there are plenty of sections to test the most serious vehicles, whilst easier tracks and elevated viewing positions were available for those choosing to take it easier and enjoy the action.
After tackling various rutted inclines and declines we stopped around 10am at a large clearing at the side of the track for a quick morno’s break before heading of down the track once again. It was great to see that our efforts to clean up the track last year seem to have worked and did not look like a dumping ground.
Three gung-ho young blokes were stuck at the entrance to our lunch time side track. Their Daihatsu 4wd was stuck on its diffs, winching was contemplated but it was decided to rock the vehicle side to side whilst reversing. A dozen members in a mad max type scene rocked the vehicle and it was soon unstuck. The Young Turks mounted up with one sitting exposed in the topless vehicle’s on the roll bar. Troy moved in and gave them the low down on their likely demise and 4wd safety.
We located a suitable area on the side track for setup up for lunch. Lunch eaten, tales of dare doing told we heading further along the side track conquering a few more obstacles before looping back to meet up with the Powerlines Track.
Continuing along the Power Lines Track we encountered numerous challenging sections and it’s always fun to see the vehicles getting a tire or two off the ground. Visitor Glenn in a nicely fitted out Jackeroo was the winner here with some serious air time accompanied by clouds of dust. Honorable mentions to Guy, Malcolm, Troy and Piers who despite having a beam axle in the front of his Disco always manages to put on a good show.
Daniel and Craig impressed the crowds by driving their Patrols straight up and over a rock step the stood one meter tall. We then moved on to another rock covered hill which was steep and very rutted. Again only Daniel and Craig attempted this. Daniel scrapped and clawed his way to the top whilst the Club paparazzi took key vantage points and clicked away. Craig made it half way up the hill but his rear left-side tire couldn’t get through a deep rut so a rock was thrown in and he tried again.
Unfortunately the rear left tire sidewall was slashed. A winch line from Daniel’s car was attached to help prevent Graig’s vehicle from moving, volunteers sat in Craig and Daniels cars applying the foot brakes and Malcolm and Bruce dove under Graig’s car to place the jack and lift the car. Tire replaced and Craig lamenting the bill for the new tire we approached the end of the track. Craig radioed that his car was vibrating and jumped out to have a look on the way to the air up point. The rubber flange between the intercooler and bonnet scoop was loose and we assumed that was the source of the vibration. Closer inspection at the air up point revealed a broken engine mount. Craig was still able to drive home.
We aired up at Flynn Road, said our goodbyes and were on our way home by 17:00. It was a great day with the right mix of socializing, scenery and challenges.
Our thanks to Richard King for organizing this trip.