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Published: July 12th 2014
A Perfect Storm
Storm the Kelpie
My Alarm was set for 4.00am and as usual I was awake at 3.00am in anticipation of our journey today, we were due to rendezvous with our friends Leigh and Peter and Andy and Karen at Cockburn, on route to Mukinbudin, which is in the wheat belt some 5 hours from where we are currently residing.
When I first heard the destination name of Mukinbudin, I thought Andy, the trip organiser, was joking. I asked why we were going there and Andy’s simple reply was “because we can.” That is a good enough reason and as you all know we really do not need any excuse to go bush!!
Today is Good Friday and the long Easter weekend rolled out ahead of us, we had Gypsy prepared a week ago and the truck was equally prepared in plenty of time.
This trip came about at the four wheel drive club when Andy and Karen asked us what we were doing at Easter and if we had nothing planned then we would be welcome to come along and at Caroline’s Birthday party, we passed on the invitation to Leigh and Peter and they jumped at
The Mukinbudin Crew
Peter, Caroline, Karen, Andy B and Leigh
So the meet time was set at 06.30 and it was 45 minutes away from where were are living so that meant we had an 05.45 start, just so we could all meet and at least get a coffee before we get the trip underway.
We were well on our way even before the morning had put an appearance in and we all made the meet point in plenty of time, for our planned departure time of 7.00am.
The journey was great, it was a gorgeous sunny day, taking the great eastern highway, breaking off and taking a rural route from Northam, Meckering and Koorda where we stopped had some lunch and filled with fuel.
As it was Good Friday, nowhere was open and in this tiny town there was a single pump fuel station, deserted but amazingly enough the fuel pump had a credit card swipe access so you could have a maximum of $150.00 bucks worth of diesel, which was amazing.
So with body and mind filled up and our vehicles full of diesel we set off again enjoying the very picturesque countryside, it was evident rain
Caroline and the camp oven gloves
had not fallen for a very long time.
Andy and Karen took us off road and eventually we arrived at an old homestead or what was left of it, the original homestead was owned and run by the Pergandes family in the 1920’s, gosh I reckon this would be tough country to farm in back then, It was scorching hot so we had to have a quick team photo then on our way.
We arrived in the twee little town of Mukinbudin, where we basically used it as a navigation way point then just drove straight through, as our exact final destination was Beringbooding Rocks.
Mukinbudin, comprised very little, however we find a John Deere dealership, (Agricultural, Tractors etc.) a café, butchers and a post office, oh and an IGA supermarket. What seemed like a quiet town, eventually became obvious this was quite a busy little hub for travellers and local’s alike.
When we pulled in it was around 4 pm and this tiny little camp site seemed so busy and we thought we would find it hard to get a spot, even just for our three vehicles, but once we scoped it out,
Somewhere to sit
Storm takes a seat on Andy
it soon became evident that there was more room than originally appeared so once we all agreed on our pitches we start setting up our beds for the night.
Excited to be sleeping in Gypsy again, as it is was Australia day when we last used it and we love nothing better than getting away from it all and get back to the simplicity of camp fires and star gazing, in between having a bit of a laugh and a few beers.
Once we were all set up, the girls set about scouting for some smaller fire wood, whilst Peter and I (Andy) grabbed the chain saw and our Landcruiser and went off to find an old tree that had already fallen which we could saw up.
The wood was nothing short of spectacular, a wood called Jarrah, a very dense red hard wood that seemed a real shame to burn but it was already dead and we were not in the position of making any furniture at this time.
Arriving back at camp with the cruiser full of wood and proceeded to stack it around the fire
Camp fire food,
pit in anticipation of the forthcoming fire.
Soon the fire was lit we set about all getting a combination of nibbles together and set them out on the tables for everyone to tuck in to, problem was we had eaten all day and didn’t feel like a full meal, so nibbles were the happy medium.
The night sky as we have described 780 times before (That’s how many Blogs we have published) was amazing, black with a billion specs of silver shining over us, Andy our trip leader and friend is an amateur astronomer and we all sat at just stared at the night sky whilst Andy tried to answer our questions, like what’s the name of that star and how far away is that star?
Soon as always, natures anaesthetic took hold and we all crashed, it was time for bed, the evening was warm and without the need for a hot water bottle we wandered off to Gypsy slipped into bed and quickly into the land of nod.
I woke really early to a nice warm morning and the obvious thing to do was get the
They build them big, so they don't sink
fire going and boil the billy for a morning cup of tea, how easy was it just to get some twigs place them on the fire and a couple of good blows and off it went, probably 10 minutes later the billy was boiling. I do accept that it would not take so long on the gas, but that is no fun is it.
Noticing how unusual it was for Caroline to be up at this time, she had hurriedly went past me with her camera and could see her scramble into the distance onto the rock, she was slightly too late for sunrise, but it was still a good time of morning to capture some photographs and enjoy the first light of the morning.
Returning from the rock in intervals, we were all soon enjoying the camp fire and our morning tea.
Beringbooding Rock's, this is a place of significance its value as a water source for this area is noticeable with a huge water tank strategically placed next to the rock. The great expanse of the Beringbooding rock acts as the water catchment; the low wall built around the
The Town of Hats
perimeter of the rock catches the rainfall run-off and channels it across an aquaduct into the tank, a roof over the tank preserves the precious water from evaporation during the long dry spells, but it is vastly in need of repair or replacement, which we are told will cost a good $1m.
Beringbooding Rock has the largest rock water catchment tank in Australia; it would be amazing to see enough water flowing over the surface to fill the humungous tank, it does happen, sometimes. When the rock catchment and tank were completed in 1937 the water played a vital role in the opening up of this dry corner of the wheat belt to farming, and throughout the weekend we see tankers filling up at the massive tank, assuming that they are local farmers.
I don’t know if there is too much of sitting around the camp fire drinking tea and watching the world go by, it may not be possible, but with the morning underway we eventually decided to get off our bums and go and do something.
So a drive back in
Kiss me Andy
Andy Bayley and Storm, getting to know each other
to Mukinbudin was in good order to have a better look around, grab a cup of coffee from the cafe, it was about 60k’s back in to town, it was a pretty drive through some lovely farming country.
We parked the trucks and had a scout about, the John Deere dealership beckoned and once us boys had had a good look around it was time to find some coffee. As it was a scorching hot day we thought it would just be nice to sit in the shade and watch the world go by, there was a lot of world that went by in this small town, we saw locals come and go, we watched plenty of travellers come and go.
Once coffee was done Caroline and I wandered over to the paper shop, we noticed it was a lottery outlet, we had a ticket to check and blow me we won 30 Bucks, pleased with the result we bought another ticket with the promise of sharing it amongst our small group if we were winners (I did say that we would call and let them
know if we won, but from somewhere like an unknown island in the Caribbean!).
Andy suggested we should take a drive up to the Brown Lake as it was well worth a look We parked the vehicles and got out, why on earth do they call this lake Brown when its pure white, the whole surface area of the lake is Crystalline Salt and walking out on to the surface there was a lovely crunch as you walked and a definite crisp sensation under foot.
We spent about an hour there, took some photo’s had a cold beer then all got back in the trucks and drove round to another part of the lake where we stopped and had lunch.
After lunch it was time to head back towards camp, Caroline at the wheel and the rear of the convoy, hanging back because of the clouds of dust, enjoying the drive and the spectacular scenery along some fairly straight roads with the occasional turn. At one stage we could see the others had turned, but it was too late
33 Degree's Just nice
for Caroline to take the turn so with safety in mind drove straight past!
We got back to camp at around 5.30pm and set to getting the fire going again and getting our evening meal going and tonight’s delicacy was a combination of every ones efforts, Chilly Curry and steak, and as the night before, once our dinner was eaten and those minor chores completed, we just sat around the camp fire having a good laugh with our friends until once again bedtime beckoned.
Another beautiful morning arrived, Caroline and I were up before sunrise, I made a cup of tea and we headed up to the rock to see the Sun come up. It was pretty spectacular, there were a couple of other people up there taking photos.
Back at the camp fire Peter had set about making breakfast for everyone over the camp fire followed by copious cups of tea, we were sitting, chatting and larking about when a lady came over with the most beautiful Kelpie, who decided to jump up and sit in Andy’s lap,
the lady looked a little embarrassed and she said this is Storm, named for obvious reasons as we thought a whirlwind had come through camp, she was busy making herself comfortable with Andy. We talked for a while, Storm played with everyone
Again we thought we had better go and do something so with the afternoon on its way, we decided to go and take a drive to Elachbutting Rocks which is a spectacular natural rock formation similar in shape to Wave Rock. It has numerous large cavern areas. The name Elachbutting is thought to mean ‘that thing standing’ which is quite feasible as Elachbutting is a prominent landmark standing out from the surrounding countryside.,
The great thing about Elachbutting rock is you can drive to the top, you do need a capable 4 wheel drive and it can be a bit tricky and a good test of driving skills, but once at the top, it was defiantly worth the effort. I said to Caroline that we could organise a trip for the Toyota Landcruiser club in the future.
Billy on the boil
One the way back to camp we came upon a fallen tree or two so we stopped, whipped the chain saw out and cut some wood for tonight’s camp fire (just also to point out that we were just out of the fire ban season so we were ok to have a fire).
Back at Camp we unloaded all the timber and as the evening was drawing in , it was time to get the fire going, do our dinner then get in to bed.
The following morning it was time to pack up and head home, we had a long drive ahead of us, but we had all day, so an easy start to the day with a cooked breakfast and then we set about packing up, one by one we watched other people leave and eventually we were the last to head out.
Taking a slightly different route home to enjoy more of the rural views, stopping for lunch on the way back and then eventually as we came back into Perth one by one we split off to our respective
homes where normal life resumed with filling up the washing machine and getting ready for work tomorrow.
Sleep came easy that night! We had just an amazing weekend and would recommend a trip to the wheat belt at any time.
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