Connie Sue/Lake Rason Trip (aka Dingo Stole my Undies )
David J – Patrol; Shane -Triton; Bill and Christl – 76 series LC; Ivo – 76 series LC; Spence and Penny – 76 series LC
This trip was meant to happen in May, but the ‘Rona stopped us. It also prevented us travelling the whole of the Connie Sue as the Aboriginal lands are still not accessible. The August trip was a compromise. The route took us half way up Connie, into Plumridge Lakes for a side trip , a few Km along Anne Beadell and then through to Laverton along Naries Point/Rason Lake Rd.
This probably gave us a much better drive, the northern part of Connie has the most corrugations, and I have yet to find a driver who enjoys those! Nothing on these roads gave us any trouble, but they were pretty tracks through desert, forests and rocks, and round salt lakes – and best of all for over a week of the trip we only saw 1 other car. I can’t describe the entire trip day by day in one trip report, so this is just some highlights.
The only place the cars got really dirty was on the way from Hyden to Norseman. Clearly that was a good thing – would have hated to go all the way and come back with clean cars.
The Nullarbor is never much of an interesting drive, but it was made more interesting by the rainbow, avoiding Victorian truckies, wondering whether we would get the $4,000 fine for not wearing masks and seeing the entire group wearing rubber gloves to fuel up at Cocklebiddy. That was my fault – I provided them all with very fetching blue gloves – after all if you wanted to catch this thing where better than a roadhouse only a few hundred Km from the border with Covidland.
The Cocklebiddy to Rawlinna section was not the nicest drive. The first section was OK except for dozens of gates. We took the fence line road for the second part. A grader had gone through and kicked up a lot of sharp rocks / dug big holes – and we had dozens of roos jumping ahead and literally bouncing off the fence as they tried to get through, and after that the excitement of arriving in Rawlinna.
Finding the start of Connie from Rawlinna was not easy and we began to realise that this really is a ‘road less travelled’.
Once we set off on the Connie Sue proper, north of Rawlinna, we drove some beautiful tracks: Connie Sue ranged from stony cattle country to sandy tracks, the tiny track into Plumridge Lakes was overgrown and lovely, the Spackman track was isolated, with large burnt areas and trees overhanging our path, Lake Rason, Lake Giles, and Plumridge Lakes gave us some stunning tracks around the salt lakes.
With the exception of the first night’s camp on Connie, where we huddled behind some bushes to get out of the wind, and camped amongst the cow pats, we stopped at some great spots. Just flat areas in the middle of nowhere with a few essential trees and bushes, space for a fire, some stunning scenery and a bunch of people having a chin wag.
OK, so the main activity other than driving and endlessly putting tents up and down was seeing who could make the biggest (but of course entirely safe) fire.
No contest – hail Ivo the fire lord!
Then the challenge was trying to find a stick long enough to roast the marshmallows.
Then there was the compulsion for the fit people to climb things, mostly rocks, but cars will do, and in the absence of the fitness required for rock climbing the need to clean the car?
Or perhaps a bit of golf practice, courtesy of the Lake Rason shack.
The rest of the group were very patient with David and I putting the drones up pretty much every time we stopped, although people were a little nervous about disappearing into the bush when they could hear the drones buzzing.
I am pretty amateur but a first try video compilation is here.
I am expecting some decent footage from David once he gets that together.
There was one drone crash – but no damage, and they do give an amazing perspective on just how much we really were in the middle of nowhere.
Lake Rason Shack
This shack, also known as 7 Millers Hideout was built by 7 shooters. It is at the west end of Lake Rason, and they don’t mind other people using it as long as you look after it. Its an amazing spot, although the numbers of targets, fake guns etc could make you a little nervous if you were anti-gun!
We camped nearby rather than at the shack, but had a good look around.
People I have spoken to, those sitting in offices who think of a holiday as cocktails by the beach, think that the Australian desert is like the Sahara. They cannot understand why we would want to go somewhere with no water, fuel, toilets, showers, shops, bars….
They don’t know what they are missing.
Even during the trip, it is apparent that there is massive exploration out in those areas. Roads suddenly turn into huge gravel highways, occasionally you can hear distant machinery, and once you get past Laverton, the ore trucks thunder past. There is gold out there, and everyone wants to find it.
We came back to ‘civilisation’ at Laverton, there was no connectivity at all, internet and all phones down. The pub had closed all day but kindly let us in for dinner. There were 6 different type of Parmie on the menu, and damn good it was too – that’s real civilisation for you.
Ah.. but you want to know why I subtitled the trip ‘Dingo Stole my Undies’. On the final night in the bush just out of Laverton the dingos could be heard howling at 2am, and so when Shane’s undies mysteriously disappeared in the wash at Laverton, we could think of no other explanation.
Postscript: They have never been found.
This was one of the most enjoyable trips we have had out there, great group of people, all well prepared, no stress, we all just had a ball.
From Ivo’s point of view
CONNIE SUE TRIP 15.8.2020 – 28.8.2020
It is with a lot of satisfaction and happiness that I had the opportunity to see and experience the beauty of the interior of Western Australia on this trip
We saw and discovered places where incredibly tough people once lived and worked and now where they rest in peace
Each day we experienced different remote roads, different lakes, beautiful hills from where one saw amazing scenery which took one far away from the hustle and bustle of city life
Fire at night and good friends with happy faces and laughter talk about that day’s events in the desert and await the next day that will bring new adventure
This is what it is all about – remoteness, beauty and an amazing country .
Awesome trip report by Penny and Spence.
The following is Shane’s trip report
This trip had so many beautiful moments from the onset leaving Perth to our return journey on the last day, but one day in particular stood out the most for me and it started on the 24th of August at 5:48 am, watching a stunning sunrise.
After a quick entry in the visitors book and a quick photo opportunity at the shack we departed and began our adventure for the day.
Along the way there was many photo opportunities with some beautiful flora and scenery that seemed to present itself at almost every bend and breath.
stopped along the way to take in some of the beauty and of course the regular coffee intake which gave opportunity to explore some caves and climb some rocks giving us numerous photo opportunities.
Around 2 o’clock we turned off the main track and headed a couple of Km to another one of Penny’s gem campsites, where we made camp with a roaring fire made by Evo, which made the night even more enjoyable, with great company, a few more fizzys and a another beautiful sunset.
The next morning I woke early to capture once again a beautiful start to the day from a nearby outcrop. While taking in the stunning sunrise dingo’s howls could be heard in the distance.
(These were not the dingo’s that evidently stole my undies, they somehow turned up behind my passenger seat)
This was such an enjoyable experience I was blessed to be a part of. I would like to thank Penny and Spence for organising this amazing trip and would encourage all to attend one of these breathing taking trips, well organised journeys.
Another great report by Bill and Christi
The Connie Sue Trip
This was simply the loveliest trip into the unknown!
Yes unknown as Penny couldn’t find much about the Connie Sue Highway and it is definitely the road less travelled.
With this in mind, and to be told that everyone was tenting, we decided to leave the trailer at home and tent as well. Over 40 years since we tented, but we were very comfortable with some very helpful suggestions from Penny and Spence.
We were very fortunate to join Penny and Spence, Ivo, Shane and David on this trip and the tracks were easy and no cor-cor-cor-igations and we made some very good friends along the way.
The scenery was constantly changing and we went through thousands of acres of recently burnt areas and saw the carcasses of hundreds of camels, obviously after a massive cull.
It was quite some time in when David announced that his sister had given him a Pavlova, something so delicate we wouldn’t normally think of taking on a 4WD trip! Well the Pav was in perfect condition and fruit with cream and custard. There was enough for desert 2 nights – yum! Thank you David, would have to be on the best desert list and so easy to prepare.
Ivo – well what can we say – the trip pyromaniac for sure and I think his fires were seen by the satellites passing over. Ivo always kept us warm and entertained by his stories of his homeland. Penny often choose to stop at interesting spots so we could have a look around while Ivo had his lunch, during which time Bill was putting free-loading rocks into the car faster than we could use the water and food and we definitely came home heavier than when we left! Yes, you read right, rocks and those that have been on trips with us would know Bill collects rocks from all over and brings them home!
Shane definitely was the food connoisseur and was offering cooked breakfasts on occasions and other morsels announcing he had plenty of food. Think the food supply was getting a little thin by the time we got to Laverton as he was stocking up at IGA. He did have a bit of difficulty cooking his marshmallows with Ivo’s bonfire one night.
Penny and Spence added a little decorum to the group and probably kept us all in line, and were very well organized with the trip and tracks.
This trip was so enjoyable as it wasn’t rushed, mainly due to easy road conditions, and we were all very quickly into routine and the starts were getting earlier, but usually made for an early camp setup and time to have a look around and not be rushed.
We would like to thank Penny and Spence for the trip and to Ivo, Shane and David for their wonderful companionship and friendship.