Sand Plains – Yeal Nature Reserve

Trip Leader:   Judith Brinkley

Co Trip Leader :  Bridget McPherson

When:   Sunday 24th August, 2014

Location: Yeal Nature Reserve

Participants: John & Ann Kelly, Gail & Kim Graeig & grandson, Kath, Jon & Jacob Standen, Sue & John Bromberger, Sue & Dave Morrison, Sue & Rick Irvine, Chris & Steve Pike, Libby,  Stewart & Marjorie Day with visitors Cec and Mark Hastings, Pat O’Dowd, Gary Izzard, Ian Tooke, Bridget & Bob McPherson, Judith & Bruce Brinkley

All arrived by 9am at Gingers Roadhouse and we left by 9:15.
Coffees, loos, general greeting chit chat and then  Pat, our Trip Coordinator,  presented  the short Trip Leader with an upturned milk crate to stand on so everyone could see and hear the trip preamble.
In total 33 people came along on the day.
All into cars. Pat’s car to position number 5 to relay radio and co Trip Leader Bridget to be Tail End Charlie.    Proposed initially as a traditional Ladies Day,  we ladies decided there are to be no more of them.. just ladies being Trip Leaders.
All in cars and headed north on Great Northern Hwy.
Numbering problems must be a Brinkley trait. I counted 12 cars on the list. One radio was hard to hear so natural to assume the missing car in the middle had no radio?
Pulled to the side further up the highway where it was safe and Bruce walked the file of cars…hmmm… there really were only 11.   I realised I’d counted members on the trip list, not the cars.
We turned left off the Brand Highway towards Pearce Flying Club at the  “no through road” sign…and then turned right directly in front of the locked gates to a newly graded wide straight road where we easily aired down. The track into Yeal Nature Reserve ran straight off the first corner along this road.
We advised all to air down to about 18 since we’d had to reduce further than initial reduction on the pre trip…. A couple of drivers didn’t …but did once they became bogged in a  stretch of deep churned up sand near the start of the track….Pat backed up the track to see if they needed help but restricted forward motion was a more correct description …they removed more air from their tyres and thankfully drove out.
Yeal Reserve is a lovely sand drive through natural bush…with loads of different tracks seen to be explored for a future day trip.     There’s nothing spectacular to see, no major 4WDing….just a lovely route for rain or shine,  windows down …breathing fresh air… no other cars or people to intrude…and only an hour north of Perth.
The tracks vary from firm, to deeper soft sand to very bouncy mini moguls  creating variety and  interest.  This gave the women drivers a chance to feel the control needed to handle the surfaces and the cars. And for their men to learn to control their ‘hands on the wheel’ withdrawal symptoms and to sit back and enjoy.      At 15 – 20km per hour not too much can happen fast… except perhaps for the large  kangaroo that almost made it as mascot for the Irvine’s bonnet.  
We halted along the track and circled our chairs under a really old tree for morning tea.
Apparently some were watching ticks moving on the ground beneath them but didn’t know our history of itches so didn’t know to yell it to the treetops..!
More driving following the blue line on our iPad Hema map as there were no actual track lines in this map, although many named tracks were encountered..green names painted on half buried tyres.    Bridget had our waypoints logged on her GPS in case our iPad died.
For a short while we drove along an open formed ‘road’ where a new  power line is being constructed.
Off road again and through very close soft foliage skirting Quinns Creek.
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Headed west along Wapet Rd (track) and at one stage tried to get a photo of all the cars in convoy appearing among the shrubs and trees .     A hint for other happy snappers.  The trick to get the photo shot of a convoy is first you must announce your intention of stopping  at the top of the rise and ask everyone to stop at the same time..!     Otherwise by the time you get out of the car to aim the camera everyone has caught up and instead of this great image you saw in the rear vision mirror… Headlights spread out shining through the soft foliage…    You now have a car park directly behind you !
Wapet Rd emerges out of the bush without warning onto Military Rd.
We turned left then right on Hombrecht Rd through a pine forest to Wabling Hill fire tower for 360 degree views of the area.
A caravan was camped there tucked among the trees…great free camp. Secluded.
It’s places like that to remember for those times you want to get out of the house and go for a Saturday night bush stopover.
This was the end of the trip with options for drivers to return via Military Road (or as in Pat’s car to go on Gnangara for some real 4WDing)  or to follow us the 800m downhill direct to Wanneroo Rd.
This route gave one driver the best fun she’d had the whole day as the council have deposited truckloads of soil to prevent the locals driving up and dumping their rubbish along the track.  These huge mounds gave us the fun (and learning curve) of careful up and overs and of not bottoming out or being left stuck on the top of one.
All safely turned left on Wanneroo rd and headed home.
Judith Brinkley

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