Moitch Overnight

Moitch Overnight

November 20, 2021 Club Magazine 0

Sunday 26th – Monday 27th September 2021


Richard & Naomi – Pajero (Trip Leader)

Matt – Pajero (Saturday only)

Lin – FJ

Keith – Ranger (Visitor)

Jon – Pajero Sport (Visitor)

            As quite a few members were heading away on the Murchison Station trip for the September long weekend, I put my hand up to offer to do a quick local trip out to one of the huts we have adopted on the Sunday night. I had actually been up at the DBCA Yanchep offices on the Friday so I called in on Ridges & Moitch Huts on my way home.

The plan was to watch the AFL Grand Final at home on the Saturday and then bring whoever wished to come camping out in the arvo. At the usual meeting spot, we found Matt all eager & waiting, even though he was only coming out for the Saturday arvo.

Once everyone had arrived, we set off for what, at this point I believed, would be an uneventful trip. No sooner had we started down the fence line we came across a tray-back Dmax bogged to the chassis. Full road pressure in tyres, no weight in the tray and no recovery gear of any sort and to make matters worse the driver braked hard in the really soft/rough bit as she wasn’t happy being bounced around! After getting them to let their tyres down and trying some Maxtraxs to no avail, I asked Keith if he wouldn’t mind coming up past us and winching them back out of the hole they had dug. Keith was happy to oblige as he hadn’t had a chance to use is new winch in anger before and wanted to give it a go. Nice and easily we pulled the Dmax backwards and then refilled the craters they’d dug.

It was then a simple case of three of us pushing with instructions to floor it once moving. The Ladies we helped were from the local Riding for the Disabled Australia division, and were heading into Moitch to see if it was suitable for them to hold a morning tea in the upcoming school holidays, I advised them to contact Parks and Wildlife Yanchep office to discuss this as there is no legal vehicular access to the hut unless by agreement.

After getting to the turn off and unlocking the gate so I could get through with the trailer, it was time to go in and select a camping spot. A certain dummy had easily driven in on the Friday and found a nice level spot to set up the trailer with the new awnings. Said dummy did not realise the little mound to the right of the firepit was enough for the shiny new awning on the drivers’ side of the trailer to make contact with the end of the rafters on the hut. Pretty sure Kings wouldn’t honour a warranty claim that their awning fell apart after two uses given the long gouge in it. Oh well just adds to the trip story!

So, after this everyone had selected a spot to set up, and we had the obligatory campfire going.

Matt headed home after dinner as he had stuff to do in the morning, so the rest of us settled in for the evening.

The next morning was a fairly laidback start, I suggested that since it had rained in the last few days, the track around the gun club shouldn’t be too bad (big underestimation) and we could head that way to Ridges. Both Keith & Jon had done very little soft sand driving. The run around the gun club was chopped up in places as usual, but drivable right until I rounded the corner. Even though only lightly loaded, the drag of the trailer was enough to sink the Pajero.

At this point I was truly thankful Keith was there with a winch, I then set about using this as a practical training exercise (my story & I’m sticking to it) on how to recover a bogged vehicle and trailer.

As this trailer is not strong enough to recover with the car attached, I had planned to unhitch it, spin it around using the winch and then winch it out from the drawbar .

Right! next it was then the cars turn to be dragged out backwards and onto firmer ground. We reattached the trailer and planned to head north, tried and meet up with Perry Road, we only managed about a hundred meters before getting bogged again.

So, again we recovered the trailer and then the car. With everything now pointing back where we came from, it was decided to scratch going up to Ridges and just get back to the bitumen. By now I was getting a bit frazzled. I applaud Keith, Jon, Lin & Naomi for their help in the multiple recoveries and for smiling throughout, apparently in some sick perverted way they were enjoying themselves! Naomi even managed to get some wildflower photos.

Now back under way, we found ourselves back at the gate to Moitch hut. In the 2 ½ hours since I locked the gate at the hut, it had now been cut open.

Unfortunately, as I was towing, having two ladies & two visitors with me,it was not safe for me to head in and confront the morons which were probably still in there. A full report has been made to DBCA of the incident, and we have discussed about how we can better deal with issues like this in the future.

After leaving the gate for the second time today, we proceeded west back to our meeting point the afternoon before. In less than 24 hours (since we first went down the track),this track was absolutely cut to buggery from multiple cars obviously not letting their tyres down. This was evident by the new brackets holding the awnings on the trailer, bending from the stress of the bouncing trailer.

I have now fixed this by welding in braces to strengthen the brackets. After reiterating that I wouldn’t be heading up to Ridges due to soft sand at the approach from the pines, I assured Keith and Jon that I would take them up there another day soon. We all aired back up before going our separate ways.

In the meantime, Naomi & I had to shoot up to Yanchep to return the key to the now destroyed padlock.

At the end of the day, it was a much different trip to what I had planned, but no one got hurt and we came out the other side smiling. I trust Jon and Keith felt the same way as both have now joined the club.

All the best

Richard Cooper


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