Trip Leaders: Ivan Cifuentes and Marie Murphy
Date: 4th May 2019
The Captain Fawcett Track is always a very popular calendar event therefore with so many members registered we had to split the group and run two trips 1 hour apart.
This Track is considered a medium grade track starting at Dawn Creek Rd near Dwellingup.
Much of it runs along old rail embankments where the timber trains once hauled the forest trees into various mills and is now a recreational track. Our Thanks to the various Shires for keeping this track open.
Trip A was led by Ivan and Marie and Trip B was led by Brett Anderson (thanks Brett) The weather forecast was grim but we were very lucky that once we were on the track the rain stopped.
Trip A met at 8:30am at the Dwellingup Visitors Centre and drove about 20 minutes to the start of the track. Aired down first then onto the track then the excitement started. We hadn’t gone far when we came across the first hitch.. a large puddle with water about 40cm deep in some parts but that had a nice firm base. The good news – we all made it through our vehicles nicely painted in watery mud as evidence of the day’s activity.
A steep descending track led us down to the the River – a beautiful spot and perfect place for morning tea. We filled up on yummy treats and warm beverages before hitting the track again.
The track was in very good condition compared to trips in previous years. Continuing to follow the track we found some areas to play. We turned left at Driver Road and then a right turn back onto the track again. The second part of the track was fairly easy as it was gravel and the rain had helped keep the dust down.
Lunch was at a large open area near the Harvey – Quindanning Road. Everyone knows in our club that lunch time is a time to lift bonnets and show off new car accessories and layouts. Bonnets were up, pop up roofs opened and drawer systems on display. Even I enjoyed having a look!!
With the river to our right we headed up the Fireline after lunch. There was a steep rocky hill climb that was a little scary for me as passenger but everyone made it up nicely. After about a 20min drive we came across a place where the river narrowed and we could cross with relative ease. One by one as the vehicles started crossing the river and Tail End Charlie (TEC) was waiting for his turn, he decided to put the Pajero into the nearby mud pit for a play. Needless to say he didn’t get very far when he got stuck! Mud was flying everywhere and the Pajero looked like it was needing a little help to get out. Plenty came to Paolo’s rescue and before we knew it, he was hooked up and tugged to firmer land. He drove a slightly slower water crossing hoping to wash off the excess mud!
(now on the opposite side) We travelled back along the river (river on our right) with beautiful scenery, large trees and a few perfect spots that I’d like to return to another day. We needed to cross the river yet again to head out to the Harvey- Quindanning Rd and I think the place is called the upper Murray River crossing. It had a good firm base and the river level was low so I decided to tackle this one myself. Ivan and I swapped seats and I started the descent ….. I thought I had the vehicle in gear and hit the water.!!! I soon came to a stop in the middle and realised that I wasn’t in gear! (aaarrgghh) rookie mistake! Ivan was shouting instructions at me , though I was sitting right next to him, people were watching….all quite embarrassing… But I stoically put the troopy into gear and got across to drier land fast….what was he worried about?? Though I think our next car will have to be an automatic.
(Ed Note I can think of two “experienced” drivers who selected Neutral in their automatics in the middle of mud and water respectively and stalled.. quite sheepishly)
With that the trip was coming to an end. We all headed back to the Dwellingup pub for a meal and Trip B joined us not long after. We had a enjoyable day and look forward to this trip again.