Sawyers Valley Powerlines Locked and Lifted

Trip Leader:   Peter Nicol
When:    23rd February 2014
Location:   Powerline  Track,  Sawyer’s Valley
Participants: Delides/ Kocken, Peter & Lyn Fry , Michael Gilbert, Murray & Alison Hudson, Richard King, Rick Lazar, Piers Marmoy, Dave & Sue Morrison, Henry Praxmarer, Paul Ryan, Troy & Keryn Shortland, Jon Standen, David & Judy Crompton, Harvey & Janet Hatch, Rounak Zoeb, Yawar Zoeb.
As per usual the Powerlines trip proved to be very popular. At one stage the Trip leader was not permitting any more vehicles to join in as we had 21 vehicles already on the list.   Given the complexity of some sections of the trip, as well as the other traffic,  a 21 car convoy could have seen us spread over a long distance with the 5 Watt radios struggling to communicate. 
The end result was a total of 15 vehicles turning up on the day due to a few late withdrawals. 
Michael Gilbert learned the importance of split pins on castle nuts used in the steering components of a vehicle. For those that don’t know, Mike’s front wheel fell off after the castle nut came loose at the trip leader training the day before the power lines trip. 
He wisely advised us of his intention not to attend this trip
Craig Perry arrived in his new Nissan Patrol which was basically a standard petrol V8 with no underbody protection at all. The sound was every man’s dream and the opening of the bonnet saw a crowd gather around the front of the car. By the looks of it, most were suggesting that Craig consider walking as a first option if the vehicle engine ever ceased to work for any reason. 
At least I know where my spark plugs are in the MK. I can’t get to them but at least I know where they are…..!
Murray’s Delica had a case of “no spare parts-itis” as there were no wheel bearings in Australia for his car. Sadly the he had to settle for the un-locked and very un-lifted Jackaroo which belonged to the Mrs.    Don’t worry Murray we won’t tell anyone.  It’s only damage if she finds it right?
The departure time was adjusted to 8.30am due to a potentially long and hot day, so after a sigh of relief by the Trip leader, as there was now a more manageable convoy,  we all headed off with a mix of vehicles and a mix of driver experience.
As always with the Powerlines trip, there are easy tracks…. and there are difficult tracks. 
Then there are the “oh my goodness!”  tracks.
The track was reasonably challenging but the group made good progress with a lunch break around 12 noon. Just to ensure that everyone was motivated to try some serious 4WDing, the track into the lunch area was between a grade 4 and 5…. with most vehicles having to get some assistance to cross over some significant ruts!
There were some ‘interesting’?  angles achieved and all vehicles had the front wheel about 1m off the ground followed rapidly by the back wheel being in the same predicament. 
Luckily Troy was there to help guide everyone through with a minimal amount of fuss.
Troy, deciding to test out the new FJ Cruiser decided to let Keryn drive down a particularly challenging section of the track. The only way to describe it is to see the picture. Troy was as cool as a cucumber but let’s just say my heart skipped a few beats and it wasn’t even my car.
To say it was a hot day would be an understatement!
A short lunch break was in order with everyone agreeing that the car air conditioning was a much more inviting feeling than sweating under a tree….apart from those in the trusty Jackaroo which had air conditioner problems!
During the lunch break a decision was made to back track to the more challenging part of the track so those with more capable vehicles had a chance to strut their stuff, and those lesser experienced drivers had a chance to look at how to tackle some of the more difficult sections of the track. 
It was a duel of the Nissans and the Toyotas with no vehicle the clear winner.
After some playing around it was back through the lunch area for some more wheel travel demonstrations and then out of the track for air up and the trip home.
Peter

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