Warriedar Homestead

Trip Leader:  Bruce and Judith Brinkley

When: May 30 to June 2nd 2014

Location: Warriedar Station Homestead.

Participants: Archers & Alexis and Locky, Belchers, Bests, Ryan & Mattie and Sam, Brinkleys, Byworths, Chalks, Cole, Days, Fishers, Frys, Gigenjacks, Gilbert, Kellys, King (R), Lehmanns, Nankivilles, Perry, Holbrooks, Bickerdikes.

All those leaving Friday morning arrived at the Chittering Roadhouse in time for the 9:30 start.     Huge area for all caravans to fit comfortably.
We confidently began the weekend with WA out of fuel  and,  just as we decided to leave, one flat battery….  mountains of battery terminal crust.
Those who can do. 
Those who can’t teach …(forensics)

Dalwallinu had fuel and that was close enough so no none pulled out of the trip. In fact it was only Rachel and her kids who sensibly decided not to set out on the Saturday and run the risk of being stranded.

Trip leader talk ensued and delegation of duties. Michael who prefers to travel fast is Tail End Charlie behind 9 caravans ..his worst nightmare? He may just have time to smell the roses this trip!
Belchers were radio relayers in the middle.

An uneventful trip to Dalwallinu for refuelling but, as trip leaders, we learned to set a definite time period  for lunch and stick to it… We were the worst… socialising, sitting, talking, enjoying the company…but then the second half of the trip seemed very long for all. 

Arrived around 2:30-3pm to be greeted by our club signs hung around the homestead.
Driving further in and we realised it was caravan convention at Warriedar!
The Mid West Caravan Club, some independent fossickers, and members of a Gun Club had all set up camp.    It is a very large area and we all spread comfortably.
Luckily our early arrivers had commandeered the Homestead area.  El Presidente had the signs on board so with them in view it cemented our residency.
We tried collecting camping fees from the late arrivals of the Mid West Caravan Club but they only laughed.

With two sets of toilets ..and ours was definitely the non smelly flushing one (thank you again to our early arrivals for choosing the Homestead) and a new Trackcare installed pump to supply bore water, all were easily accommodated. The bore ran out with the high demand but again replenished as demand reduced.

Warriedar homestead is potentially a perfect place to make home base for exploring the area.  Really lovely countryside. The recent rains had turned the paddocks green.
With rain and warmth out came the midges!!!
Virulent ones. Some skins reacted some didn’t.
This weekend has proved there is no such thing as a perfect campsite….there are just perfect times to be there.

Saturday morning and people were ready to do ‘something’ now so with typical ‘go with the flow’ planning we went on the intended afternoon outing.
Radio check and counting to 20 was a challenge.  We failed.  But it was entertaining…to anyone listening in.
Holbrooks Jnr & Snr led us to abandoned Reid’s Ridge mine they’d explored the day before. Fuel conservation made this nearby point of interest a very suitable destination.

What is it about abandoned mines that fascinate.  We spent a long time there.
Never did ask John jnr how he knew the mine boss’s German wife was size 7.
Then found this on Google…

We had left Perth on Sunday, 13 April 2003….. Reids Ridge Mine… This last one was interesting as it had only recently been abandoned. Three utes, a big truck and a front end loader were parked nearby. The kitchen still had food in it and dishes on the drying rack! Miners lamps were on charge (by roof mounted solar panels) and working. As far as we could tell nobody had even been here for several weeks, and even then (from their scrawled messages) they were just looking too.
Taken by aliens? …the vehicles and front end loader especially!
Our intention then was to climb Warriedar Hill.
Following a track south we stopped off at Kings Well on the way.
We really are a trusting lot. 
Richard King had everyone persuaded his great-great-grandfather was the man who dug the well. Richard had everyone engrossed for a long time.. and he had believable answers for every question until he mentioned his relative dug it with a tablespoon !!.  

Then a confused Hema map showed a track to the hill where there wasn’t a track, so all decided it was time to head back for lunch.   Warriedar Hill …next year.

Afternoon naps for some.
Michael used last year’s waypoints to return to a site to collect a couple of memorable rock samples for sending to a lapidary club contact in North Qld.
We also took the opportunity to take our first Microblitz sample.
Back for happy hour which was well underway. Fire high. Camp ovens  in coals and lovely smells everytime someone stirred their pot.
Planned trivia night deferred as all were so relaxed and dinners were still appearing at 8. 
Many had been yawning since 7.     Temperatures cooling, but no cold winds like last year.

On Sunday Holbrooks left as planned. Unplanned were Belchers and Fishers. Reactions to midge bites and flu made their home comforts beckon.
The fuel crisis saw many conserve what they had left so they enjoyed simply sitting around or exploring the environs.

Those without fuel shortages were restless and set off at 12.45 to find the abandoned Rothsay gold mine with good intentions of returning for a 3pm afternoon trivia event.

6 cars headed south along the Coppermine Warriedar Road then took a right fork past a ‘road closed’ sign to head directly to Rothsay.  Nearing the Black Dog mine, we were requested by the blasting controller to move off channel 25 preparing for a blast scheduled for the next day at 1pm.
Rothsay minesite itself has been reopended and and closed to tourists, but up the road is a great campsite complete with large spreading trees and concrete pads for patios etc.
We had a standing lunch and the Brinkley’s oven worked. Hot steamed spring rolls were offered around. Except they were supposed to be crispy.  At least it worked this time.

Lyn, Wendy and Judith went to a natural ground space across the road to take a second Microblitz sample.

Map confusion again as the trip leaders had a map that showed roads that again weren’t there, resulting in a reversal of car order and in Bruce Brinkley practice, he led from the rear.
Crossed a wide haul road not on any map.
We passed the historical Government Well but by the time Charlie (Bruce) passed it, the government had changed and the well it had been privatised !!!

Confused maps again and Paul Ryan ..who was now leading..  was home cooking dinner before the trip leader.. still Charlie.. had passed the haul road.
Go with the flow was the theme for the weekend.

3pm had long since come and gone but with everyone still eager to engage in mind games, lots were drawn to determine teams, chairs were grouped around the fire, dinners were cooking, and the quiz master, ably assisted by Sam Ryan, started questions round 1. Matty and Locky helped  raised the IQ levels of their team.
Sun went down. Firelight and an occasional headlamp in use and thinking time cut back to 20 seconds, but no-one wanted to stop.
First prize.. Tim Tams.
Second prize… Tim Tams… you get the idea… a win/win situation.
Bedtime was a lot later Sunday night as energy levels had risen markedly.

Monday Leaving time Bruce announced 10am -ish. but many missed the ish!!
He was leaving time for canvas to dry!!!! ?
Another example of the fluid style of trip leadership.
Members left as they were ready… with no pressure, personal time frames and another dead battery for the Day?
Warriedar Homestead was tidied. The toilet cleaned. Bucket refilled. The fire raked.
Last convoy of 3 left at midday leaving the Bickerdikes to enjoy serenity for a further day.


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