Mount Dale

Trip Leader:  George & Linda Bickerdike

When:  Sunday the 20th July 2008

Location:  Mount Dale, Flynn. WA 

Participants: Ten Cars
Ten vehicles assembled at the Gull filling station on Welshpool Road East, Wattle Grove by 9.30am 
It was a gloriously sunny but chilly morning (8 degrees C) and we were soon on the road.
It was pleasing to welcome three guest drivers and their partners, and arrangements were made to intersperse them amongst members in the convoy, after George had given a pre-start intro talk. 
Off we went at 9.35 with George and Linda in the lead and Neil acting as tail-end-Charlie. 
Peter and Denise having made a special effort to be early which was successful still drew the short straw and were awarded the dubious honour of writing trip notes.
Making our way from Welshpool Road via Canning Road we soon found Dale Road and left behind the bitumen (or tarmac if you have Pom ancestry). A minor delay while George replaced a flat GPS battery and we were on our way again through some very green and fresh looking scenery. The track was punctuated with the occasional splash through puddles left by the preceding Friday’s storm but there was only relatively minor tree damage which caused no inconvenience.
We arrived at Mount Dale viewing area at 11am and just about filled the car park whilst we admired the view and had mornos. The view was admired by all – beginning with a view looking down onto the morning mist and cloud with the sun just breaking through, and by the time we had all enjoyed a drink the sun had won the battle and driven the clouds off leaving a spectacular view over the now visible hills and even to the city skyline just visible in the far distance.
11.30am saw us on the way again , travelling north east on Dale road and then on minor tracks to an area with a nice boggy stretch which after George had first driven though with only minor difficulty tempted most to do the run through – again and again. Attempting to traverse one of the side gullies Bob, a visitor for the day, got himself well and truly bogged in quite deep mud and after three or four attempts was snatched successfully by Neil. 
To lessen Bob’s possible embarrassment Neil then proceeded to drive into the exactly same channel and get bogged himself – it was only right and proper that Bob should return the favour and snatch Neil out of the mud which he did in only a couple of tries. 
As we were about to leave the area it was invaded by another group of 4WDrivers this time form The South Side 4WD club, who proceeded to drive the mud run at breakneck pace and with little concern for their vehicles or safety. Hopefully the extra damage done to the track will not upset DEC too much.
By this time having spent a bit more time in the mud than planned everyone was feeling hungry and thirsty so leaving the area via Reservoir Road and then Berakin Pool Road leading to Dakin Road we headed to a lunch stop. The first spot that our leader had pre tripped for lunch proved to be too wet after all the recent rain but he soon found his planned alternative spot where we could all pull off the track and form the obligatory circle of chairs and have lunch at 1.15pm. As well as enjoying our repast it was pleasant to be able to get to know our guests better and eating and chatting  soon used up our allotted time, George calling us to our cars at 2pm to continue the drive. Neil had to leave the convoy to return to Perth for a previous commitment so Martin and Karen took over as tail-end-Charlie.
A little while after restarting out travels a sharp eyed Sue spotted a trailer with six Portaloos on it a short way off the track. Having read that there had been a report of stolen loos in the newspaper she was convinced that these would be the one and the same ones. To that end she convinced the police member of our party to take details and promise to check further when he returned to work the next day. Needless to say the next half hour was spent rehearsing all the toilet jokes one could find!
Winding our way through a few more puddles and only once more having to turn round and back track (not our leaders fault as the track had been closed off by the Water Authority due to dieback) we eventually come out on the Great Southern Highway just east of the Lakes Roadhouse from where the Great Eastern Highway took us back down to Mundaring.
It was time to separate to make our way home and so farewells were made in the car park opposite Mundaring Hotel. 
Everyone had enjoyed the day’s events and made new friends.
Thanks George and Linda – a great day out.
Peter & Denise                                   

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