Trip Leader: John & Sue
Tail-end Charlie – Richard & Helen
When: Sunday 25th June 2006
It was a glorious Sunday morning as 14 cars – assembled at Ginger’s Roadhouse on the Great Northern Highway mostly by 9.30 am – we arrived five minutes late so that we could do the trip notes!???
Our fearless leader gave the usual pre departure pep talk and we were on the road by 9.55am.
Paul volunteered to act as tail end Charlie.
Going north on the Great Northern Highway the first half of the convoy missed the turnoff and after doing a U-ey we filtered back into our order and proceeded, getting off the bitumen before confidently taking the turning marked “ no through road” All was well until a few turns later we ended up outside some closed farm gates and we were on a narrow track so we did a complicated manoeuvre worthy of the shunting procedures in a busy rail yard in order to get our convoy going in the correct order in reverse direction!
Everyone was perky and the radio buzzed with good humour.
Paul came up to near the front of the convoy so his gps could be put to full use and Richard took over tail end Charlie duties. The soft sandy tracks soon led to a power line track, also very sandy, and by 10.45 we were all ready to stop for mornos in the shade of the nearby pines. Everyone let their tyres down at this point, the recommendation being down to about 15 Psi. And by 11.15 we were on our way again heading north up the powerline track south west of Muchea.
After a few kms we came on an area marked as subject to flooding but due to the lack of recent rain the only wet patch was a mud hole in which Lester’s friend in his new Jackeroo was the first to get bogged – a quick rearwards snatch and he was on his way again, followed by Glen and Ami who splashed through and Pat who needed a pull through.
Suggested theme song was “Dust bowls and Mud holes”
After the exertions of the mud hole we were ready for lunch which was taken at 12.20 at the top of a rise with a soft difficult bend to negotiate before parking up and setting out the chairs. Suitably refreshed we set off after lunch at 1.20 pm
The tracks became softer and the corners more difficult to negotiate, the secret to success being keeping up momentum round the bends. The highlight of this section was the hill on a cul-de-sac known as McKinley road. Going over the top and down the other side was a test of confidence as we knew the only way out was to turn round and climb back up the steepest part again.
Wes enjoyed the view so much he decided to go back down for another view. He was later copied by John, Glen and John B. The rest got over the hill in one attempt, providing some good photo opportunities. Restart from the bottom of the hill was difficult due to extremely soft sand but eventually all were mobile and after quite a few dust bowl corners we assembled on Archibald Street outside of Muchea where we re-inflated our tyres and said farewell to most of the group. All had enjoyed a happy day and thanked our intrepid leaders John and Sue for organising the trip.
All was not yet said and done for the remaining four cars set off down the Brand Highway and Great Northern Highway when Paul noticed that John’s rear tyre was going down – sure enough he had a puncture and put enough air into it to get to Ginger’s Roadhouse again where the seven of us changed the wheel, or at least some helped and others gave moral support.
A round of icecreams made a fitting end to a most enjoyable day out.
Thanks John and Sue
Peter and Denise