Motoring in Muchea, October 2021
- Geoff – FJ (Trip Leader)
- Richard & Naomi – Pajero
- Matt – Pajero
- Ivo – Landcruiser
- Dave – Prado
- Lin – FJ
- Alex – Colorado (Visitor)
- Steve – Navara (Visitor)
- Keith & Kath – Ranger
- Craig – Landcruiser
- Simon – Perentie
- Don, Jane & Roger – Patrol
I got an early start to be the first vehicle to lead what was to be a 14-vehicle convoy.
The event was meant to be an evening of GPS night navigation through some sandy hilly designated 4wd tracks, many with street signs. Just another example of 4wd tracks being marked as a loose surface road.
All vehicle lined up in a single file format, being I know the conditions I aired the FJ down to 14psi and made recommendation to those arriving.
Lighter the vehicle, less pressure, heavier the vehicle a bit more. The recommended tyre pressures as a suggestion. Everyone knows their own 4wd vehicle better than I know theirs.
Lyn was the last one in due to being caught in a traffic jam (couldn’t be helped), all vehicles were ready to engage into a gear by 9:30pm after a brief driver meeting.
Richard and I did do a bit of a reccie a couple of days earlier in the opposite direction. We’d gone and checked on a couple of huts the club has under an adoption and then I wanted to head to a mate’s place to give the undercarriage of the FJ a good clean on a ramp that was built purposely as a vehicle wash station.
I’d hoped to get out of the bush near Muchea but there were all these very high fences put up to the road I needed to get onto. This forced us to travel out to a road a fair way south to get out of the bush which ended up being the entry point to get in for this event.
You might notice that I don’t name roads or tracks in trip reports, there is a perfectly good reason for this.
Being I’m fairly familiar with where were heading, I thought I would add a few more POIs along the way to make it that bit more interesting.
Half an hour past departure we stopped at an old transmission station I knew about, perfect spot for morning a good look around and maybe even a photo shoot of all those participating.
This station I’m led to believe help track the US Apollo missions.
The first few kilometers were relatively easy, almost achieved in 2wd to be honest, but I promised some soft stuff and some hills. No one was disappointed, I think.
As the day progress, the driving got that bit more challenging, especially with quite a sizable convoy in tow.
At one point we needed to move a tree off the track, thanks to those giving a hand as it was too big for one to shift, then on to one of my old favorites, straight up.
Nowhere to get everyone to stop at the top so I got everyone to continue to we could all regroup.
From the feedback on the radio, only one vehicle needed to have a second shot at the hill, not sure who was but whoever it was, you know who you are.
We all got going again after we re-grouped and headed or a bit of an S Bend Hill where those that wanted a bit more of an extra curriculum challenge activity could have a go.
Little bit of traffic management at the bottom of the hill and with Richard at the top spotting everyone, me being on the handheld.
A Ranger and a Shorty petrol Cruiser after resetting tyre pressures did make the summit to say hey to Richard and Naomi who were getting rather lonely up there or they were getting up to no good, hmmm… which was it?!
After a bit of a wait maneuvering vehicles back into convoy the lead vehicle was again mobile north bound.
There were a couple of deviations I threw into the mix from Richards and my reccie two days earlier and I wasn’t sure this north bound track would end up back on route as I had planned to stop for lunch at a specific locale. To my surprise right on lunchtime we arrived exactly where I’d planned to stop for a lunch break, I just love it when a plan comes together.
The suggestion was that we stop and take a breather for 15 to 20 minutes and then move on to a 4wd track that had a bit of water over it a couple of days previous. Water not deep but there was enough over the track to make a bit of a splash.
Two day later, all the water had already dried up.
The water does drain away and soaks into the track quite readily there, only good on very rainy days but we were hopeful.
Driving on the last track out, I saw what took to me about 12 foot of back sealing rubber across the track, not thinking anything of it, I was simply going to drive straight over it… well, this but of rubber started moving, onto the emergency brakes and managed to stop just in the nick of time.
The snake was out of sight just in front of the FJ and I didn’t quite see where it went as all it did was rear up in an attack formation. It looked as if it was turning about face, heading back into the bush in the direction it came from, but wasn’t 100% sure.
It’s been well documented that such snake has ended up in the engine bay of a 4wd vehicle, so I need to know.
Asked Dave in the Prado to back up a tad to make sure the snake had gone, fortunately it did.
Anyway, this is exactly what it looked like…
Yes, those that know their snakes, that one would be a Dugite.
Oh, there was a Kamikaze Kangaroo reported by Mr. Perry (aka Spottie) wanting to be a bonnet ornament on the front of his 200 Sahara. No drop bears this time 😉
A timely reminder of the dangers in the great outdoors, aye?!
So those that are married would know that a happy wife brings with it a happy life.
So, I had promised to be back home before 2:00pm so Sofia and I could swap 4wd’s and head down to Bridgetown to spend the next few days on my sons Winery to help do some work in the vines and assist with some wine bottling, that afternoon.
To end the magnificent day, here we are in beautiful Bridgetown.
Thank you all for being part of a great day, without participation it would all get rather lonely out there.
Hope you all enjoyed a few sandy tracks and several hills up and down and around and around.
What an awesome bunch of people, loved your company.
Might have to give up a few more of my secret places someday, who know but not sure about these trip reports.
All the best, have a wonderful week.
Cheers from Bridgetown Winery.
Awe, I better thank my tail enders, Naomi and Richard. Sorry mate, Naomi comes first 😉
Now, there was an incident which was unfortunate that had nothing to do with the 4wding itself.
I’d just like to make a special mention to those that rendered medical assistance without hesitation and well done to Don finding his way back out again.
Thank you to all that got engaged in the medivac.
I’m not going to go into details of the incident.
Look, its Murphy’s law out their guys and some days, it just happens for whatever reason.
For me it’s about how well the club membership responds to incidences that I take value from and you guys were just AWESOME.
I think I speak for everyone in that we ALL wish you a very speedy recovery Jane.
Signing off now.
Trip report by someone that cares and trying not to be too intimidating 😉.
Ps and there is always a post script… the two vehicles that made the mighty S Bend… Onya guys, good effort 😉