Gnangara Plantation

Trip Leader: Pat O’Dowd

When: 22nd July 2012

Location: Gnangara Forrest

Participants: Pat O’Dowd & Gary, Joyn Byworth, Brett and Tavis, Peter Knox, Piers Marmoy, Rick Lazar, George Smargiass, Steven Holman & Norma, Paul Carey & Anne Ristrom,  Bob & Ron Gigengack

Piston Broke nomination: Bob Gigengack for getting lost even prior to the meeting point.

Nine cars assembled at the Peak Service Station in Pearsall with Pat being the trip leader. The day was designed to be a moderate trip with some 4wdriving involved. Towing or winching was not required and it was to be suitable for all levels of experience.
The day started at 9am and since Bob was last there he got to be the lucky one to be Tail End Charlie and to do the trip notes. The convoy headed north and took a short cut to Neeves Road to enter the plantation at Bardie Road and to let the tyres down slightly. The group headed North and then East to follow the transmission lines. So far so good!

The trip leader then mentioned that there was a mud crossing coming up and that any takers could go for it. The right hand path was taken by most, but then George in car 8 driving his Medicar Nissan Patrol decided to take the left hand path via the mud crossing. His car bottomed out on the chassis. He lost traction with his left hand front and right hand left wheels. He was stuck!

Rick came to the rescue and there was an attempt to winch George out, but as George suspected, his car was sitting on a centre hump with his chassis and the attempt was unsuccessful.
Tail End Charlie Bob, who observed George from the rear, came out with his mighty Pajero and on his second attempt pulled him out of the mud using a snatch strap rescue.

Once the rescue was over the group continued following the tracks and had mornos about 11.15. On the move again they travelled past the Pinjar Power Station, which many did not realise was there. Further North East along the tracks there was a slightly steep climb. Four tracks were on offer. The tyres were further let down to suit the hill climb, which looked easy from afar, but proved to be quite rutted in places.

Most of the group made it up one of the tracks except for John, who took the chicken route around mainly because his vehicle didn’t have sufficient ground clearance, and parked at the top of the hill, which afforded great views of the city.
Once everyone had taken the hill challenge, the group stopped for lunch just over the hill in the shade, as it was a beautiful sunny winter’s day. After lunch the convoy travelled south along tracks which were slightly overgrown, which initiated Steve’s new Pajero with pin stripes down the side of his new black car… almost made him cry!

From here they headed west following the tracks. It was disappointing to see the volume of rubbish that had been dumped by others around much of this track. The trip leader took them to Little Coogee Swamp, which was like a big magnet for most. Pat, Rick, George and even Piers had a play there. Bob decided that his car wasn’t going into the swamp, but enjoyed watching the big kids play, realising from experience that there was a big clean up coming for some.

Three vehicles, including Bob’s, decided to depart for the day at 4pm and the rest of the group went over to a deeper swamp for another half hours play. It was a great day out. Many thanks to Pat and all of the participants.

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