Trip Leader:  Pat O’Dowd

When: 29th November 2009

Location: Lancelin  6044 WA


Assembly at 08:45 at McDonalds Joondalup – 09:10 left for Lancelin via Wanneroo Road – 90kms north to our destination.
This trip has been long awaited for by the ‘sandy’ people as we have seen enough rain and mud for the year – it was nice to go home with a clean car for a change.
We had 8 vehicles with mums dads and kids with Pat and Piers in the lead and Paul Ryan as tail end Charlie. All up there were 3 members and 6 visitor vehicles with passengers on this trip. Unfortunately Pat’s Pajero was out of commission so he shared a lift with Piers.
Our destination was the sand hills and beaches around Lancelin but naturally the first stop was at the …. yes …. bakery of course!
We had our fill and then headed for the sand hills – about a kilometer away. Paul addressed the group and first established our first aid people, our accredited 4WD people, safety aspects of the day and some general tips regarding sand driving and the perils that are waiting for the unwary.
We then headed off with hard tyres up into the dunes for our first lesson for the day – bogged – hard tyres and soft sand don’t mix. We all let our tyres down to varying degrees depending on vehicle size, weight, and tyre size etc – a learning exercise to suit different conditions.
Then, the big kids in their toys started to play. Rick claimed the prize for the first to get bogged – gently balanced on the apex of a sand hill. Paul took this opportunity to explain the options to mobilize the vehicle and the pros and cons of each maneuver. A bit of digging and a good old fashioned ‘people push’ (Piers’ suggestion) back down the hill saw Rick back in the action again!
Half way through the morning a young unsuspecting motor cyclist rode over a hill that did not have a backside – unfortunately he broke his ankle and was taken by ambulance to Lancelin and then on to Joondalup. This incident raised all of our awareness to never go over a hill without knowing what is on the other side. Thanks to our helpers who put part of their own fun day aside to assisted the young man.
The next attraction was sand hill descents, first the kiddy slopes, then as the day drew on they got bigger and bigger much to the amazement of the uninitiated. Pat and Paul were instrumental with instructions to guide us all down safely. Confidence grew as the day went on – this was great to see.
I suppose then the next thought was ‘what goes down must go up!’ We didn’t want to stay down there all day. Looking back at the monster we all just descended was daunting but what the heck; if you go fast enough you should get to the top right? 
Well, our first attempter launched his vehicle into space – well that’s how it would have felt I’m sure – join the flying paj club?. We then all took notes about how to keep the wheels on the ground…
We all stopped for a lunch back in Lancelin on the grass under a nice shady tree and had a well deserved rest accompanied with the usual banter. Regrettably two vehicles had to push off for other commitments after lunch – I’m sure they’ll be back for more.
The rest of the day was filled with cars up, cars down, cars bogged, following tracks all around, some sand boarding with Pat’s spectacular woopsie half way down the hill and not surprisingly Piers’ ‘on your tummy, head first and see what happens’ approach – no injuries. The real test was walking back up the sand hill – lots of puffing. As expected the kids triumphed at this and showed the oldies how to do it!   The day drew to a close and by 5:30 all the tyres were pumped up again but not on the road until ice-creams were consumed.
From the look on the faces throughout the day and general comments I’m sure the day was enjoyed by all – and looking forward to our next adventure – thanks for organizing the event Pat. Also, thanks to ‘tail end Charlie Ryan’ and all who attended for their enthusiasm and good humor.

Glenn Bignell

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