Trip 98 – Jo Clews Camp Oven Cooking Weekend
Trip Leaders: Bob and Bridget McPherson
Participants – Bob & Bridget McPherson (trip leaders), Rob & Julie Nankiville, Martin, Karen, Locky &
Alexis Archer, Bruce & Judith Brinkley, Peter Cole, Eddie & Robin Chalk, Peter & Lyn Fry, Bob &
Teresa Gigengack, Paull Laidlaw & Sandra Higgins, Glenn Bignell, Rick & Nancy Ellis, Malcolm & Trish
Harrison, Derek Biddle (visitor)
Friday 7th August
McPhersons, Archers, Brinkleys, Harrisons, Paull & Sandra, Chalks, Derek all met up on Wanneroo
Road and had a pleasant trip up via the Indian Ocean Drive. Our lunch stop at Jurien Bay was a bit
wet and muddy underfoot – possibly an omen of the weekend to come.
We’d made a mud map to Jo’s place from Greenough for those travelling independently and as we
got within a couple of kms, I decided to take a short cut down Short Road which was gravel but
looked fine. A few “words” were exchanged between Bob and I regarding not “sticking to the map”
(hey, who’s the navigator here??) Which may be why we missed the “road closed” sign!!!! Pleased
to report we all crossed the fast flowing Greenough River without any dramas and the Archers
caravan must be higher than they thought (did I hear a cry go out from Karen – we haven’t got a
Arriving at Jo Clews’ property we were greeted by Nankivilles, Peter Cole and Jo Clews. Frys,
Gigengacks and Ellis arrived not long after, then Glenn was last to pull in – they all followed my
mudmap and avoided the river! Paull and Sandra had booked the “Glamp” at Jo’s place, which was a
bell-shaped tent all set up and ready with a queen sized bed and outside decking (still had to use the
long-drop with the hoi-polloi though!!)
Jo had the fire going for our arrival and stayed with us from the time we arrived until we all
disappeared to bed about 9.30 with the first spit of rain.
Sat 8th August
Jo was back at our camp and had the fire lit by 9am, ready for cooking up some morning tea. Whilst
the fire was heating up, she took some of the more energetic members on a walk to the top of the
hill for a beautiful view of the surrounding area and pointed out a lot of fossils in the stones up on
the hill (no Peter, not referring to club members here!).
The weather at this point was cold but beautiful.
Cooking started late morning with dampers, cakes, scones all being eagerly created and
even more eagerly consumed. At some point during these gastro delights the weather took an
about turn and it poured with rain – but we were fine weren’t we (??) as we had two club shelters
up and the Frys’ kindly put theirs up too ……………. where did that wind come from????
knew it both club gazebo’s were mangled wrecks of metal and ripped on the trees, we held onto the
Frys’ but it suffered some damage too .
We salvaged what we could of the Frys’ gazebo and moved
it alongside Jo’s shelter. Later the Brinkleys set up their Ostrichwing shelter around their car and Jo’s
partner Ken setup his car with a good tarp out the back. With all this extra shelter we were set to
cook up a storm for dinner, it rained on and off but mainly didn’t hinder our attempts at the
equivalent of Outback Masterchef, Mitsubishi Club style. Some of the fare on offer that I can
remember (there was lots more, so apologies to any I can’t put a name to!) – Stuffed Cob Loaf, Roast
Pork, Roast Beef, Beef Provencal, Beef Strogonoff, Pork Belly, Onion Bombs, two different Curries,
Mexican Lasagne, several sweets.
Jo was on hand the whole time to help and answer any queries –
is this oven hot enough? How do we know if this is ready? etc etc . Wow, there was sooo much
food, I can’t speak for everyone but I know there was much moaning and groaning from stomachs
that were waaayyy too full!
Sun 9th August
Jo was up and with us again by 9am, ready to give a bread-making demonstration. Peter Cole
cooked up some scones on his ownsome as most members were happy to sit back and just watch
today. The weather was beautiful and coffee was flowing. We were all impressed with both the
loaf bread which looked so easy to cook (but needed time to rise) and the flatbread (which could be
done straight away) sprinkled with herbs and garlic, it was delicious.
This was a great weekend for a club getaway and also to learn at the same time. I know it gave
those of us unsure of camp oven cooking a lot more confidence, especially with cooking in the
backyard using heat beads/charcoal to get some practice in. Those with experience also learnt and
picked up tips. Many thanks to Jo for the amount of time she spent with us and for her patience.
Five of us – McPhersons, Cole, Harrisons, Chalks, Gigengacks didn’t have to rush back to Perth on
Sunday, so took a leisurely detour via Ellendale Pool to ‘recce’ for future camps, then stopped at
Mumbida Windfarm to get a close up view of those things our Prime Minister doesn’t like. Arriving
at Coorow for a night stopover late afternoon. We all had quick showers, then headed to the local
pub for a Sunday dinner and beer on tap – a nice way to round off a weekend firmly centred around