Trip Leader Paul Ryan
Participants: Ryan(Trip Leader), Perry (Co Trip Leader), Hearn, Lazar, King, Holbrook, Marmoy, Theunissen, Stampaleja, Nicholls (Charlie)
What a glorious Saturday is was, 27° and not a cloud in the sky. The ever eager group of ten met at the (JK sanctioned) Harvey Bakery for a light snack and a few other tasks which are unmentionable in present company (let’s just say, lucky there was a park with lots of trees across the road). LandCruisers 5, Patrols 3, Prado 1, Land Rover 1 and Mitsubishi’s 0. I guess the more adventurous Mitsubishi owners were either away or busy that day.
Once we were all “pie-eyed” we ventured off towards the beckoning mud hills at Brunswick Junction. We turned off at Sandalwood Road and left the bitumen at the power line track. We aired down all the while engaging in the usual “my toys are better than your toys” type of banter that we all know so well. Our first treat was a rather wet and soggy track which allowed us to get our wheels dirty. We had finally arrived at our favourite “starter hill” known as ‘enry’s ‘ill, (ask Mr Cheetham) which usually gives us a good indication of what is to come. Now the trick with this hill is the further back in line you are the more trouble you will have getting up it, hence the reason I am leading this trip J. Most of us got to the top without too much trouble however there was one long standing member who did get stuck before he even got started. I am loathe to mention his name to stave off the embarrassment he might suffer but if you must know his name rhymes with clever. If you ever guess who it is he will tell you that reversing off sloppy, slushy slippery mud onto long even wetter, slipperier and sloshier grass is not a good thing when you are trying to gain forward motion.
More meandering up hills and down dales a bit of track clearing…chainsaw or winch? Once it was established the chain was on correctly we decided to go with the chain saw. Those of you that weren’t at Kadji Kadji might have missed the part about the backwards chainsaws, I am loathe to mention their names to stave off the embarrassment they might suffer but if you must know one of their names rhymes with ping and the other one shoots arrows.
After a failed attempt at completing the apprentice Bob’s Hill (unanimously decided that we would all get down but not many of us would make it back up and it was still only morning we decided to head for the next creek crossing. Upon arrival at the creek crossing that is normally about 2 cms deep. We found stuck right in the middle was an exasperated Father trying hopelessly to start a mini bike that his son had managed to drown midway across (I bet he won’t do that again). Most of us got across without too much trouble but another long standing member did get stuck at about the same spot as the mini bike. I am loathe to mention his name to stave off the embarrassment he might suffer but if you must know his name rhymes with cheers and cheers there were once he was towed free.
We had now all arrived at Treasure Bridge and under Craig’s guidance we were to have lunch in a clearing down by the river. I drove down to the spot to check it out and managed to flood the whole area by driving through a huge puddle to the side of the clearing. Luckily we found a dryer but less attractive spot a few metres along and we all sat down to enjoy a hearty feast.
After lunch the real fun started, a wrong turn was made by a long standing member, I am loathe to mention his name to stave off the embarrassment he might suffer but if you must know his name rhymes with tall. Anyway we travelled along and came to another creek crossing which was a little deeper that the others we had found so far but it was an easy crossing. The water was flowing at a fair rate and so clear you could see the bottom, but my training and better judgement knows that I should get out and check the depth and base etc. There were several reasons I didn’t do this, 1. although the weather was nice and warm the water was not, 2. I didn’t have any kids in the car as they don’t care about the temperature of the water they are just worried about getting out alive after you throw them in, 3. Trevor’s car was too far back in the convoy to use one of his kids, 4. The water was fast moving in theory meaning the base would be fairly firm and 5. I have been eating too much of Mum’s cooking and my waterproof overalls don’t fit any more. So I decided to go for broke (a theory that would almost prove very costly later).
We were now at the base of what has been a really challenging hill in previous times but today only the first 10 metres proved to be troublesome. We all managed to get up this hill and some of even did it facing forwards. This hill looped back down to another hill which although severely rutted was quite easy to traverse.
Piers had rolled a tyre off his rim and was busy putting his spare on as the tyre was so full of mud there was no easy way of getting it clean enough to reseat it. I took this opportunity to check out an interesting little track that was on the low side of the hill and very close to the creek (read very wet and muddy). The airwaves were alive with the sound of “Where are you Paul?” I assumed I would pop out onto the track that they were waiting on. I just had one more puddle to go and I would be on the track again. At this point of the story you should refer back 2 paragraphs to the water crossing theory and note that item 4. doesn’t apply to long water puddles. Off I went through this puddle that couldn’t be any deeper than the five I had just driven through and then suddenly thud and whooooossshhhhhhhh, I was now up to my door handles in the deep end….aaaargh, no problems I still have forward momentum……..at least until the diff got stuck on the rut in the middle, the exhaust was bubbling under water like a V8 ski boat and I could see the water bubbling up on the back window. Now whilst not heading the training I received had got me into this mess that very training kicked in and I was in auto mode, ease on the accelerator, turn the steering from side to side, no luck, hit the magic button and brrrr the lockers come to life, yes I am in low so the centre diff is also locked, do the steering thing again, a bit of throttle, a bit more throttle….feel those Mickey’s flick out the goo and the side biters take hold……success albeit slowly forward momentum had returned and I popped out of the puddle and out onto the track where everyone else was waiting. The longest 30 seconds of my life, you’ve heard the term “pucker up” well that was one place that water wasn’t going to get in J.
Another creek crossing and we ended up in mudlark land, most of us got through ok but one not so long standing but very active member got stuck and needed a winch out, I am loathe to mention his name to stave off the embarrassment he might suffer but if you must know his name rhymes with polebrook. Cheers gets another honourable mention as he was so stuck it took him 10 minutes to dig through the clay to find his winch hook.
More uphill and down dale and a nice play in the forestry area a nice drive down “Big Red” which was extremely dry considering the weather we had in the past few weeks. Some of the crew decided to call it a day. Clever lead the first breakaway group and although he probably doesn’t realise we could hear them for some time which enables me to tell you they took a wrong turn and got lost and error we would mimic later on. The rest of the bunch had a bit more of a play and went looking for the dreaded 4 o’clock track, fortunately all we found was more fun as anyone that was or had been stuck today had already left so we were safe. Time to head for the bitumen and air up, fish and chips in Brunswick were consumed and that concluded the trip.
All in all it was a good day, some came away with minor damage, some came away with pride intact but most of all we all came away with huge grins on our faces and a penchant to do it all again soon.
Thanks Guys & gals for coming along looking forward to seeing you on the next one.