York to Mundaring Evening Drive

Trip Leader: Paul

Tail End Charlie:  Keith

When: February 25th 2006

Location: York to Mundaring

It was a very hot day in Perth when we set off for York in the early afternoon. Not really the time of year to be going bush but knowing the habits of Trip Leader Paul we looked forward to whatever might lie ahead.
We got as far as Midland before we struck trouble. No gas at the BP Station. Not to worry, a U turn on the Great Eastern Highway, into the first service station that we came across and off we went. We made it over Greenmount Hill without the temperature gauge going too high and then we hit the road works. How many millions of dollars are being poured into the highway would be anyone’s guess. But it is work that has needed to be done for many years. The change in tempo from the highway to the York road at the ‘Lakes’ turn off could not have been greater. The drive from there to York was really quite relaxed.
Why we should have fallen for this task of writing trip notes I do not know! We were the first to arrive in York soon after 3pm. We looked forward to having a look around this beautiful old town. We were thirsty and made it down the main street to where we thought there was a pub that served a tasty beer called ‘Little Creatures’, only to find it closed
Never mind, we set off instead for the ‘bakery’.    Last time we were in York they made and sold the best pies and vanilla slice. But would you believe it too was closed. What would we do.  Nothing to drink and less to eat.  We walked to the other end of the town where eventually we found a café with a footpath sign inviting ‘cider tastings’.
In we went, it was such an interesting and inviting little establishment, selling paintings and olive oil and other delicacies. We tasted their ciders, very refreshing and interesting. Then we realised we could get a cup of coffee and a cake. That made us feel much better.
After spending some time looking through the old town hall we set off again to walk the streets. We were surprised at how quiet the town was but we guessed it was because it was a hot Saturday afternoon. It was then that we saw John and Sue driving towards us. We flagged them down and, after the generous greetings between all of us, we decided a drink was in order. We found a very cool old pub where coffee, beer and cakes were available. We will not divulge who had what but it was all very tasty and enjoyable. 
Soon we realised it was getting near 5 o’clock, the appointed meeting time for trip participants. By the time we walked to where we had parked our vehicle, under the shade of some beautiful trees at the other end of town, we managed to be the last to arrive at the meeting place. Well that was apart from the Trip Leader, but that did not let us off having to do these notes.
So what to say about the trip. All the trippers enjoyed a meal together at the Pioneers Park on the banks of the Avon river. It was a magic evening as the sun went down and the air cooled down. Some suggested they could happily stay there for the night. But no, spot on 6.45 the group was called together and the plans for the trip were explained. After last minute changes of clothes and visits to the loo nine vehicles set off in convoy through the town and onto the Perth road.
Early in the trip we came across St. Ronan’s Well, a billabong that was visited by Governor Stirling soon after the first settlement of the Swan River Colony. After that we detoured to look for some ruins but they were lost, well at least our noble trip leader was not able to find them so we gave up on them and continued on the track. By this time we were well into the bush and the darkness of the night was upon us. That was when Terry’s spot lights lit the night sky. It was a sight to behold, a beam of light that speared through the dust to light every tree and log.
The trip leader saw many wild animals, or so he kept telling us. Kangaroos and Kangaroos.
We took his word for it because any vehicle past number one in the convoy could see nothing other then the tail lights that broke through the dust.  If there were any Kangaroos we did not see any.
We were told that the hill we stopped on was called Mt. Talbot and we all believed the man in front because he had the map. We stood on this hill and could see the glow of the lights of the city and marvelled at the sight of the Southern Cross. 
It was then that one of the participants (J.K.) told everyone, or at least those who would listen, that many years ago, an airliner on route from Perth to Melbourne crashed in this area. No one else had any recollection of this event and poor John was laughed at, told he was losing his marbles and at worst was just making it up. But later investigations by some of the doubters and he was proved to be correct.
Off we went again until it was time to stop for ‘evos’ evening or supper time. Everyone gathered in a circle around the light that another John, surname ‘B’ had erected. It was a beautiful night with some moon and a wonderful display from the stars. Before leaving this place all the lights of vehicles were turned off, and we all kept quiet for a few minutes to listen to the silence of the bush.
The next stop was to decide how much further we would go. It was well past bed time for some of us and the decision was that it was time to say our farewells. Everyone thanked Paul for the effort he put into the trip and the competent way that he led the event.
John and Rosalie

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