For a change we are not having a weekend out of town, this weekend is about catching up with friends, having some us time and getting out in the dirt which is what we are good at.
I went looking for a bike on Saturday, Andy and I have been talking about getting bikes again, so I thought I would do some homework and there is a good bike shop fairly close by, but with lots of bikes on display it is hard to figure out what to get, so a chat with the guy in the shop soon has that narrowed down for me.
Saturday night we had a great dinner with our friends Glenn and Natalie and probably a slightly later night than anticipated, as we had an early start on Sunday morning planned.
So it wasn’t much of a lie in, but getting up half hour later than I usually would for work, something I don't like in the winter months as it is dark at 6am and it feels like getting up in the middle of the night. As always my alarm call arrives by way of a
cup of tea landing on my bedside cabinet, I don't really mind getting up early (despite popular belief!) especially when it comes to having a day out.
Now, I am thinking that I still have plenty of time, but at 4 minutes to seven Andy said we are going at 7.00, I was not dressed, I thought we were going at 7.15, so I got a wriggle on and we were out of the gate just after.
We arranged to meet our friends for breakfast at Macca's, they were already there when we arrived, both of us still full from last nights dinner meant we did not want any breakfast so coffee would suffice. We had a good catch up, Andy B was unfortunately not coming out for the day as he had to do work stuff, so with Peter and Leigh in behind we made our way over to meet up with Trev and Peta.
Once we had hooked up with everyone we hit the road, Trev and Pate started their day with a Muzz Buzz coffee on the way out and we headed up the back roads to Sawyers
Getting a Mud Bath
Changing Sherman's wheel, that's the name of Peter and Leigh Wakers Truck
Valley and the start of our day in the dirt.
So the adventure ahead of us on the day, was to drive up the Mundaring Power Line track, by all accounts it seems to be a busy track, groups of friends out for the day to enjoy the environment, as always everyone today is being friendly.
At the start we air down the tyres, this is to make sure we have enough rubber in contact with the terrain to assist with having plenty of traction where needed, along with the other benefits of having a four wheel drive.
The first problem of the day arrives, for some reason a valve was stuck on one of Peter's wheels, so they boys had to do a quick wheel change because the air was fast escaping and no way of stopping it.
We set off and the first part of the track looked rough, we tried to pick our way through and thought we would try and take the easy route, unfortunately despite, low 4, diff lockers etc. we could not get through so Andy reversed, oops we lose both of
our mud flaps, that makes 4 mud flaps lost since Christmas! (I lost one when we were at Cape Arid).
We made our way to the top and caught up with Trevor, Pete followed on behind, next stop we found a whole group of vehicles and a lot of people standing by, we joined them.
Overlooking another vehicle try to do a climb through some really thick deep ruts, we pondered which way we would go, the track did not look difficult but more so could do some real damage if you were not careful. I asked some guys where the "sissy" track was located, they indicated it was up and to the left, also stating that’s where they were going too. We all wanted our vehicles to get to work on Monday, unlike the wreck that was lying at the bottom of the track that had obviously been there for a while. Just a reminder that 4 wheel driving can be dangerous, but was I about to eat my words?
I wanted to get to the top to do some photographs, but before Peta and Trevor went, we headed up
Getting a Mud Bath
Lots of Bumps, it was like the surface of the moon
the sissy track to do some photographs of everyone else coming up to the top. We parked up and had an amazing view of what was to come, in fact it was easy as, everyone made it to the top with no trouble at all, well ok, Trev took a shot at one of the difficult tracks, but had to back off and choose another route. Nonetheless I did get some good shots!
We moved on, the tracks were mainly dry despite the rainfall from last night, but there were some very large muddy puddles around begging for people to drive through them. Fortunately for me and Andy, Trev was mostly up for giving everything a try, so we would watch and wait. I am very glad we did, Trev found himself in quite a deep puddle, the water was almost up the side of the doors. I radioed ahead at one stage thinking he might need a winch, so did he, while Andy manoeuvred into position Trev reversed and managed to move forward and out of the puddle.
Seeing how deep it was, we diverted. I joked about it later on, it is
usually the navigator that gets out and commences with the rescue of the vehicle and as Kangaroojack’s senior navigator I wouldn't be getting into that muddy puddle!
So far so good, pretty uneventful but that is ok, uneventful is good. we arrive at a bitumen road, we decide to push on, the whole point of the day to do a recce for a club trip in a couple of weeks, so testing the track further up is a good idea.
We head off, the track undulates through some slightly narrower tracks, every now and then the track gets rough and an offshoot appears to the side, we ignore those and pass by several other people out on the track, sometimes a pair of legs stick out from underneath the vehicle and sometimes with heads under the open bonnet.
We reach the top of another hill and pull over near another couple of vehicles, the rear door is open and they are barbecuing their lunch, it smells delicious and reminds me that we have not eaten all day, but I am not too worried as we will be having lunch at a
Getting a Mud Bath
Back down the Track
We spot a wheel cover on the ground, I jump out of the truck to pick it up and put it in the back, doing my good deed so that litter is not left in the bush. Unfortunately on my way back to the truck, I loose my footing on some gravel which has me falling on my left side which my knee takes the brunt of the fall. Next thing I know I am rolling around the dirt in agony.
It didn't take long for Andy to appear followed closely by Leigh, some of the guys who we met on the track earlier shoved a folded up coat under my head for support (I don't know who they are but I am truly grateful for a bit of comfort while lying on the very pea gravel that made me lose my footing). By now Peta had appeared with an icepack which Leigh duly applied to my injury, Andy and Peter strapped it to my leg with duct tape.
I remember Peta making a joke about my footwear not being suitable for this environment, I glanced at her heeled
Getting a Mud Bath
Trev and Peta taking on a deep water hole
boots and my hiking boots and suggested next time it may be more apt to wear thongs (flip flops). Thinking about it now, how many times have we worn thongs in an environment like that, I also thank my lucky stars that today I was wearing denim jeans which also served to offer some extra protection from taking any more skin of my legs.
Leigh seemed to be well organised firing instructions to people around her and helps me out to see if I could straighten my leg, then she instructs the guys to grab an arm each and see if I can stand, at this point it would be a case of deciding if I can stand and at least bear weight then I may be able to get in the truck, and if I can get into the truck then Andy would be able to drive me to hospital.
So when I said about 4 wheel driving be dangerous, what I meant was, getting out of the vehicle is dangerous!
Unfortunately our day out is now cut short and we leave Trevor & Peta and Peter and Leigh to
finish the recce whilst Andy took me to hospital. We turned around and now we were faced with a 20 minute journey down a dirt track which was going to be one of the most painful journeys I have faced, fortunately we were using the "sissy" tracks to by pass the rough terrain, but that did not make it any less painful and then at the head of the track, Andy had to re-inflate the tyres.
It was fortunate at this point that we also bumped into some dirt bikers that we knew, they were talking to me while Andy reinflated the tyres which helped keep my mind of the pain.
Soon on the road again and an hour later pulled into the hospital, where we spent the next 5 hours waiting to see a doctor. Fortunately nothing appears to be broken, my knee is cut, grazed, swollen and bruised so a couple of weeks on crutches and some good painkillers should have me back on my feet again soon.
By now it is 7pm and neither of us have eaten so we grab a pizza on the way home, which
Getting a Mud Bath
The challenge ahead
makes things feel a whole lot better.
Whilst waiting for our pizza Andy called Peter and Leigh to fill them in on the news, they had an eventful afternoon, I am sure they will have a laugh about this one day, but certainly not today. Further down the track there was a big puddle that Peter avoided and took the track by the side of it, what happens next should only happen in the movies, another vehicle suddenly drove into the puddle and out the other side without the slightest bit of concern of other people in the vicinity.
A huge wave leapt out of the puddle and engulfed Peter and Leigh’s truck, what was even more unfortunate, Leigh had her window open, not only did the truck get a mud bath, so did Leigh and her camera, their mobile phones, upholstery, carpet, inside the windscreen, you get the picture.
The other problem is this is very muddy water and the mud tends to be smelly and sticky, Leigh was soaked and so was everything else. They caught up with the guy further down the track and gave him a verbal
dressing down, Leigh said she was so angry she couldn’t get her words out.
Peter explained that he could only have been about 18 years old, he was probably trying to impress his girlfriend and did not realise what the outcome of his actions would be. Well it backfired big time.
Although apologetic he had offered to come and clean the truck for Peter, he would not have realised how much cleaning that meant.
When the mud dried it was caked on, they had to bail out and also missed out on lunch. Leigh’s clothes were ruined and not really suitable for sitting in the hotel for lunch. She spent a long time cleaning the interior on Monday, the seat covers needed washing twice and the interior of the truck still needs another going over. This is one day that some of us wont forget!
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