Trip Leader: John Stampalija (Stamps)
When: 19th April 2009
Location: Mundaring WA
Wow! What an awesome day. After an educational talk and handy hints from Stamps, we let the tyre pressures down to a recommended 25, alighted our vehicles and hit the beginning of the track around 10am. From the start we could tell this was going to be a hell of a day. With the damp from the thunderstorm the previous day, the dust was kept to a minimum but the adrenalin was on high!!!
The first challenge presented, launched us into a breathtaking onslaught of fun and high spirits. A steep incline presented itself and with deep ruts and slippery mud it proved to be a difficult one, but all who tried succeeded.
We stopped for morno’s and a well-deserved breather for the drivers. There was much laughter and comradeship as we compared notes. And we all agreed this was proving to be a great day. The weather was spectacular, sunshine and warm, yet with cool breezes and pleasant reprieves in the shade.
After morning tea we proceeded to the first of many water crossings, there were enough puddles left from the rain to make it interesting and as wet as we chose. At one stage the lads in the hilux had water up to their windscreen. At every challenge there was the chicken track, but with the guidance and experience Stamps provided, most of us challenged ourselves and benefited greatly from his knowledge. And some of those challenges were hairy!
Early afternoon saw us at what proved to be quite the playground, not only for us but also for countless other vehicles out enjoying the perfection of the day. There were various inclines and declines with mud and ruts everywhere. Those that challenged themselves ducked and weaved making it as intricate and difficult as they desired. Tyres left the track, diffs were in danger, and people were squealing and laughing.
There were times when we all held our breath and almost prayed as drivers were faced with some scary moments. Yet all the while we were thrilled to part of such a great day.
Stopping for lunch atop a hill that afforded us a fantastic grandstand to the aforementioned playground we watched as other groups traversed the arena. Some as well as us and some not so fortunate, had to admit defeat and move on. All were cheered on by our group, even the less successful ones. Not their fault they didn’t have a troop leader as experienced as ours!
We regretfully left the playground, even though we could have watched the antics of the other drivers all afternoon. We were on our own mission to challenge ourselves further. Heading west along the track we came across a well worn, heavily rutted and water filled few meters that proved to be the icing on the cake. Side mirrors were pulled in and there were scant millimeters between the rut face and our side windows. Stamps made it through with difficulty. A few attempts were made by ourselves yet we pulled out and admitted defeat after nearly losing the right hand side of our vehicle to the 2 metre high mud face on each side of us. Needless to say we headed back around the easier way and continued.
Not only were there ample opportunities to get some amazing photos but even the videos were recording as some parts were so amazing we will all need proof these moments happened without dire consequences. On quite a few occasions wheels left the track and vehicles looked like they were bucking their way up hills. So you can imagine our delight there were no major dramas throughout the day.
All those who made the trip had an absolutely amazing day and for those who did not, you certainly missed one of the best times of your lives!!
Kym and Darren xo