Trip Leader: Martin / Roger
When: 25th November to 28th November 2005
Location: Margaret River
Day trip to Yeagerup Dunes from Big Valley.
The first important point to make is that the reason for me doing these trip notes has absolutely nothing to do with being last to the meeting place.
We had all camped at Big Valley (Margaret River) the previous night, and after breakfast we all gathered around for trip brief from Martin. The formalities were soon covered and we were on our way by around 9am. Because there was 14 vehicles a list of participants had been prepared and given to each of us to help maintain convoy order. Dot and Reg decided not to come on the trip and were duly delegated to ensure the chip heaters were lit and the water hot on our return.
Jeff and Maxine were tail end Charlie. As we left the gate a quick radio check confirmed that only one driver had his radio off, and we were all in order.
We headed a little way south on bitumen before following a series of dirt road that took through some state forest alongside the Blackwood River, and in some parts we followed a powerline track. Even though it was end of November many of the wildflowers were still in full blossom and provided some picturesque scenery along the way. We also saw some emus with chicks and many kangaroos. Some parts of the track were overgrown with shrubbery which was a concern for Wojciech because he had picked up his new Pajero only the day before and was trying not to scratch it within the first 1000km. Lisbeth was delegated to hold back some of the more bushy shrubs.
This was considered a good chance for those in front of him to stop for Morning tea while he (and those following) caught up. We continued along the powerline track until we came to the bitumen. We followed the Stewart Highway and Vasse Highway for a while before turning onto gravel near Carey Brook and headed west. Only 1 wrong turn on a skinny track which saw the convoy turn around and regain correct order with precision.
Before reaching the dunes we stopped for Lunch and before we had time to say grace, we were bombarded by what seemed like every single bush fly south of Perth. Needless to say lunch was a short stop before we were on the move again.
Soon we approached the dunes. (This area is part of the D’Entrecasteaux National Park) The first incline tested a couple of drivers, but most made it with ease. From the top there is a terrific view of the surrounding area and the rolling dunes. There are a series of posts in the dunes to form a track that you are to follow to the beach. Most of this part was relatively straight forward as there are no steep inclines. (You get them on the way back). We arrived at the beach just north of the Warren river mouth. It was incredibly windy so we did not stay very long, some remained in the comfort of their vehicles. A customary photo shoot of the vehicle lineup and we were on our way.
On the way out we found some of those hills that we had come down so easily and a day in the dunes would not be the same without someone getting bogged. First was Ricki and Mary (friends of Chris P.) in a Subaru that had otherwise done very well. Keith also lost forward momentum and loss of ground clearance in the Terrano. Chris P and Lester were soon on hand and the bogged vehicles recovered without incident. Sue B stopped to collect some beach sand for sand and shell display box she is making. Once we were out of the dunes we made our way to the Vasse highway and followed the bitumen home along the Vasse, Stewart and Brockman Highways.
This part of the trip was a memorable one for John and Rosalie because when we were travelling back on the Vasse Highway, their Nissan reached maturity as it ticked over 200,000 kms. The convoy marked the occasion with the sounding of horns and flashing of lights. Radio conversation continued and we were back at camp around 6.30. We were greeted by Reg and Dot who had ensured the water was hot, and that the campfire was alight. It was not long before a crowd gathered around the fire and were reminiscing the days events.
Many thanks to Martin, Karen, Roger and Jan for a well organised weekend
A good time was had by all.