We were so fortunate to me able to enjoy this weekend due to the dedication of Aleisha and Evan our amazing President and Publicity officer.
We arrived at the office around 9:20, all went through the administrative formalities then it was off to the camp area and pick our plot for the weekend. Camps set up and lunch had we left for the clean-up at 1:00pm. First area was Camp Road, there was quite a bit of rubbish spread over the lovely rolling hills, collected a few bags then onto the Pig Pen where there was quite a bit more rubbish to be collected, then by 3:30 we were at Cowan Falls, not a lot of rubbish found here then back to camp, quick showers and happy hour by the fire with a few games and nibbles
The games consisted of balancing a donut on your nose, perfected by Terri and Leanne then ping pong balls in bowls which Lyle absolutely owned, then jig the balls out of a tissue box tied to your back, well somehow I got roped into this one against a more capable contender Lilly. A couple more games, then it was time for the sausage sizzle supplied by Crofter’s in appreciation for our clean-up efforts. Once dinner was over it was back to happy hour around the fire which of course went for a few more hours as people peeled away 1 by 1 for some well-earned sleep and to look forward to the planned drives the next morning.
A new dawn and it is foggy, drizzling and overcast. Breakfast and clean up and we were off at 9:15am. Evan was taking 1 group to play through Test Track and Aleisha took a group to the Rain Forrest, and down Rav Ridge
EAs we set off Evan was in the little black jeep and had to abandon it along the road due to an unidentified noise
in the front end. (didn’t want to risk breaking wifie’s car he might not make it to the next morning). Into another car and on to Test Track. Tiny gave me plenty of warning as did a few other members and sure as day turns into night it held up to it’s name and claimed me as it’s victim for this day.
First injury was the tight turn up a hill over some rocks and I hit a mound on the right and de-beaded our front drivers’ tyre. First fail for our Patrol on this trip ….. haha ….. so it was reverse back and get into a position to assess the damage, all good just the outside bead, jack the front end up and pump up the tyre until it "pops" then air down and off we go again, thanks Tiny and boys. Very rocky terrain with lots of consideration to wheel placements.
On to the next challenging section, crawling over lots of rocks and boulders and up to a hill climb. Watched a couple of cars crawl up and have their little challenges then it was our turn, 6 attempts later it was time for our Patrol to back out and take the easy way. It is very interesting to note the differences between the vehicles and performances, from automatic to manual, short wheel bases to long wheel bases, locked and not locked, diesel or petrol, so many differences to understand and learn about. Just love the learning and sharing of information that comes with being part of this club.
Onwards through Test Track watching every car in front as they walked through and over the rocks. Reached the last pinch point just as we were at the end of Test Track, got out of the Patrol, did a reccy of the track watched a couple of cars in front manoeuvre their way through, yep all good and then it was our turn to navigate through the most challenging part of the whole track.
"Go left go left" was the direction but it didn’t seem to matter how much I thought I was going left that sound of side steps crunching on solid boulder you just know the boulder wins hands down. So the guys filled some holes with more rocks for traction and with every little inch of movement was the sound of my driver’s side step scraping and folding over the boulder.
The sound you know means uhuh that’s gonna need attention and repairing. The greatest things about this whole experience is the learning to be had and the support and help that surrounds you when you find yourself in trouble. Drivers’ side tail lights, both step treads and squashed exhaust pipe and we are great.
Back up the other side of the mountain to collect Aleisha’s injured Jeep and we continue on back to camp arriving back at 2:20pm. Aleisha’s group had been back since about 1:30 and had a couple of challenges to report but nothing too damaging or more challenging than a few spotters to help through some tight uphills and rutty tracks.
Another group gathered to go to Telecom Hill and Camp Road. Lea Lea’s Jeep tried a hill on Camp Road but it proved too good and they had to give in to the earth this time round. Back to camp by 4:30 and start preparations for Lyle’s birthday celebrations and our camp oven cook off, and another night of extended happy hour ahead.
Aahhh yum yum, the sharing of some great camp oven cooking, lamb roast, beef strog, tuna bake, lamb shanks, veges, birthday cake ……. great effort everybody, thank you, I know a few of us certainly ate our fill and a bit more.
Once again extended happy hour saw those who sat up late the night before went early leaving just 3 of us by 10:00pm very quiet night. Mind you the last of us went just after midnight.
Up early Monday morning and the view is foggy and overcast once again. Some pack up and leave early, and the rest of us have brekky and start packing up once the sun has come out and dried everything and we head down to the office to sign out at 11:15. Stopped at Kilcoy for lunch and 1 by 1 peeled off back to reality until next trip….
Another enjoyable weekend in the elements with a great group of people, thank you all …………