Trip Leader: Richard King
When: Sunday 27th June, 2004
Location: Sawyers Valley
We were eleven vehicles in all. The members were Richard & Nicole, John & Rosalie (Senior Royals), John & Sue, Geoff & Maxine, Richard & Helen, Martin & Karen and Rick & Luke. The visitors were George & Linda, Bill & Derek, Paul with son Matthew & Mark with Jordan & Liam, and Murat on his own.
Richard was our trip leader and I think he had hoped for a ‘sloppy’ day and he was right. Geoff and Maxine were tail end Charlies! Road weather alerts were forecast and we knew we were in for a wet Sunday! We started off at 9.45am and soon turned into the forest by the pipeline and stopped at the Big Jarrah Tree. Soon we were at the power-lines and went through a couple of muddy puddles before stopping for morning tea. Someone in our group hung out their Tetley (is that spelt correctly Rosalie?) tea bag to dry from the rear of their vehicle!
We then found a long deep twisty DANGEROUS, near to impossible to drive through, water-filled ditch. Richard took no chances and attached snatchem straps to BOTH front and rear of his vehicle and bravely ploughed into the unknown. With much splashing, gurgling and whooshing (and this was just Richard!) his car got through. The Pajero’s went through with no elastic bands attached at all! We stopped to see a Pajero (not from our club) go through another fairly big muddy area and get stuck in the middle. Silly chap opened his door a little. Luckily his friend dragged him out backwards, BUT when the driver opened his door, a whole load of water gushed out from the inside!
N.B. NEVER open your door when submerged in water.
We drove on a bit further and found another 6 vehicles where one of them was stuck in a deep ditch. By now the rain was bucketing down. Suddenly there were 11 of us, plus 14 other vehicles milling around so it was a busy spot to be. Anyway a few brave members, Richard K, John K, John B and Rick took the dangerous route and got through. Rick told us that two motorbikes were coming through and Maxine replied she had trouble understanding him as her 2-way was upside down.
John B said “THAT is why it is called a 2-way!”
Then the really serious part of the day began. Poor Richard got stuck over a steepish slope with a big log the other side and broke his steering arm underneath his car – the sort of stickie thingie that holds the two front wheels on, not the steering arm attached to his shoulder. The car looked most odd, suspended up in the air at a frightening angle, with the two front tyres pointing INWARDS! It was still pouring down with rain.
To fix his car Richard and John K, along with partners, decided to go and search for a welder in Midland. They left two vehicles guarding the Nissan, Geoff and Maxine and Richard and Helen, who seemed to be the only mechanically minded guys on the trip. Then Bill and Derek left the convoy altogether and the remaining 6 vehicles carried on after about an hour’s delay with Rick now trip leader and John B now tail end Charlie. So we went off trekking uphill and it seemed ages before we found a turn off to get to the bitumen.
We drove as far as the Lakes turn off and most of the convoy stopped there for afternoon tea at 3.30pm. This had been a fairly challenging trip for the new members and visitors and they all did very well. We were all very sorry that Richard had damaged his vehicle. We later found out that they had driven to Tony W’s house in Perth, collected the stick bit and part (!) from underneath Tony’s own vehicle and driven back to the Mundairing State Forest and Richard mended his car on the spot. So well done Richard for being so clever and thanks to Geoff and Maxine and Richard and Helen for being so gracious in standing ‘guard’ over Richard’s vehicle for nearly 3 hours.