East of Armadale

Trip Leader: Keith P

Tail End Charlie: Paul & Louise

When:  March 26th 2006

Location: East of Armadale

Participants:  Keith, Wes, John & Kath,  Richard, John & Sue, Paul, Louise, Matt & Sam and visitor Gerard & Robyn and Glen & Amy.

The morning started with a mad rush to get the kids in the car so we could get on the road and not have to do the trip notes, well guess what? Those of you with young kids will nod your head in understanding and those of you with older kids will have a nostalgic episode whilst grinning madly.
It was a fine morning but with our initial meeting spot being up in them thar hills it was somewhat brisk. 
Keith addressed the crowd, a fine looking bunch consisting of members; Keith, Wes, John & Kath,  Richard, John & Sue, Paul, Louise, Matt & Sam and visitor Gerard & Robyn and Glen & Amy. We all then had a very close look at Richard’s new vehicle which was glistening clean and scratch free and ready to face the tracks.
Keith then decided to do something a bit different and gave out the order in which the cars were to travel prior to our departure, which worked quite well. A quick radio check ensured we were all ears and away we went. A short run on the tarmac took us past Boulder Rock which has been closed off to traffic due to the few idiots that ruin it for everyone else. We were now in dieback country a disease brought in from overseas about a hundred years ago and is reeking havoc in our forests. Most of the surrounding roads have been closed off to prevent further spread. This makes the whole area very much a dry season only affair.
Keith had his laptop and GPS blazing in all it’s glory but he still managed to miss a turn off, despite having also travelled on this trip a few times in the last 12 months (sorry Keith I said I wouldn’t tell….I Lied).
Morno’s came about later rather than sooner and it was after a few hints from the gallery that Keith should pull over in a nice spot big enough to accommodate us all. 
Coffee, cakes and biscuits all the low fat kind of course were consumed with a passion.
Never have I seen as many trees across the track as I did today, it seemed that the fires and storms of recent times had taken their toll of the local fauna. One thing I didn’t see was the abundance of  kangaroos and emus being reported from the front of the line, it seems to be a trait of tail-end charlies to never see anything that is pointed out by the leader. Many comments were made that it was an incentive to lead a trip as you get to tease everyone else.
We came across a spot that was dry but covered in very deep boggy tracks, John Mc mentioned this spot looked familiar, John B concurred and suggested it might be the spot that has come to be known as Rick’s spot. Something about snatch straps and mud and bogged and Rick but I never did get the full story.
It was time for Luncho’s and we asked Keith if there was a spot coming up that we could all fit in as we were travelling down a rather narrow scratchy track that had Richard cringing. 
Keith admitted (you’re a bigger man than me) that he indeed marked some waypoints on his last trip as possible lunch areas but he had forgotten to save them.
As we headed off after lunch someone asked about roo whistles and their effectiveness, Keith mentioned he had some on his car and had never hit a roo so they must work, I mentioned I didn’t have any on my car and I have never hit a roo either. Wes suggested Keith turn his around to attract the kangaroos rather than repel them then we would all get a chance to see them. It was from this point forward that the jokes got worse and worse until the eerie afternoon radio silence settled in. You know when the radio that has been blaring all morning suddenly goes quiet until some says something like “are we all sleeping”? 
“Yes I was” says John B much to everyone’s horror until Sue clarified that she was in fact driving.
Towards the end of the run we started to come across some nice little hills which were quite steep but easy to drive up in the dry, however one vehicle got stuck half way up and it wasn’t a Mitsubishi. Plenty of banter and excuses about not being in 4WD or being too light in the back but we were there, we saw what happened. (No name and no brands). Just as we were thinking this might be a nice little part of the track to visit when it is wet, we come across a sign that says Summer track only please take alternative route in Winter…..AAAAAARRRRGGGGHHHH!
We finished up at Xmas Tree Well but not before seeing some Emu’s….Emus…yeah right they must run really really fast, those buggers, otherwise Keith was having a lend of us again because we didn’t see any… nor did we see any water in the well… but there was a leprechaun running around…..
It was a good trip and enjoyed by all. We hope to revisit the area with a permit from Calm which will have to wait for the next dry season but we saw some tracks that will be worth the wait and so close to town as well.
Thanks Keith. Looking forward to the next one.

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