The plan for the Xmas trip was a weekend at Wee Jasper (Micalong Creek), followed by a drive through the Brindies on the way home.
Sat Day Trippers
- Ivan and Lea - 100 series
- Steve and Sandy - 90 series
- Ian and Helen - 100 series
Sun Day Trippers
- Richard - 90 series
- Dick and Nelson - 100 series
- Craig and Jo - 100 series
Trip Report - Saturday
- Pete and Vanessa - Hilux Surf
- K.P - 80 series
- Schooner and Dan - 100 series posing temporarily as a Range Rover
- Kevin Read - 120 series
- Peter Leach - Hilux Surf
- Juergen and Karen- 105 series
- Grant Morey - 90 series
- Kym and Cindy - 80 series
- Mike and Michelle - 80 series
- Johnno - 100 series posing temporarily as a Landrover Discovery
- a tribe of 19 kids belonging to most of the above
Well, we were going to leave straight after work on Friday, but with 20-40 mm of rain expected overnight, (and the fact that our last eight camping trips have been wet!) we decided to leave first up on Saturday morning. The weather still wasn't looking entirely flash, but when you're all packed up you can't just unpack without using it!
We met Steve and Sandy on the road and got out to Micalong Ck about 10am. For the third day of summer, it was still pretty wet - drizabone and hat in order to get the tarp up so at least we had a dry base to work from. In a couple of dry breaks Cameron got the fire started using an electric lilo pump to get the airflow going over the wet wood. It was a two steps forward, one step back affair, with five minutes of no rain followed by 15 minutes of heavy rain - but we were going to beat it! Gotta have fire ;-)
Craig and Jo arrived just as we were setting up, and only being there for a day trip, were in for a good time and not a long time - out came the wine, cheese and dips - at some point, the rain stopped but we were no longer watching ;-)
The kids were off, and before too long they wanted to explore the river - white water rafting style - we had a small rubber boat and lilo, so with lifejacket on, safety crew on the bank, rope across the river at the end etc etc, off they went. With all the rain, a pretty wild ride was had (see below), and the hoots of laughter certainly had the other kids looking on with envy. Those looks only got more envious when we used Steve's Tirfor to set up a flying fox for the kids.
Richard was in from Junee with three in tow, and they got into the swing of things with a Pinyada that Sandy had brought - with 11 kids here at this point, it still took three goes each before the lollies spilled out over the tarp.
With the sunshine only getting more, and the rain less, the kids were off exploring, and with pretty reasonable numbers even had a game of cricket going for quite some time.
Dick and Nelson dropped in for an hour, and we gave him a message to pass to Ian and Helen (who were supposed to be camping with us, but had obviously pulled out because of the weather). Message was "You are #$%@$& soft!!" Half an hour after Dick and Nelson left, Ian and Helen rolled in for the night. They have only just joined the list, and still have a relatively standard fit on their 100. On the way home I understand there was lots of discussion - tyres, suspension, lift the rear wheel, drawers, compressor, roof rack, water system, second battery, fridge - that might have been an expensive weekend you just did mate ;-)
By this time we'd seen the last of the rain, and we sat around the fire and pondered the things that you do around a fire - it was a lovely evening, and the stars were out - you wouldn't have known it was the same day considering what we'd had that morning.
Sunday morning, we got the mandatory bacon and eggs happening - kids went for a mammoth walk - to get to the bluff , they had to climb rope walks, iron steps in the rock and quite a mountain to get to the point overlooking the camp. They called us on the UHF hand held to tell us they were at the top - (see photo below) - when we said the bacon and eggs were cooking it didn't take them long to reappear.
We were just in the final stages of packing up when we got Pete and co on the radio - the sight of 10 cars rolling into camp had all the other campers heads turning..
Trip Report - Sunday
The idea was to meet at Uriarra Crossing at 0900 on Sunday. I decided to get there 30 mins early, and did. I was followed most of the way to the crossing by Johno in his Range Rover. To my surprise several of the guys were already at the crossing and I was starting to think that we could get away on time. More of the guys started to turn up and the meet and greet was in full swing. There has been a lot of new members on the LCOOL_ACT list of late and many of them turned up for the Xmas party.
0900 came and went and we were still at Uriarra Crossing waiting for Schooner. Apparently he borrowed Neils watch and its traditionally 20 mins slow. Schooner finally made contact and we started to head off.
My plan was to make a bee line directly to Wee Jasper and meet up with the guys who were camping there, but Schooner suggested an alternate route through a pretty little patch of the Aussie bush.
Wee Jasper is a little town about 60km as the crow flies North West of Canberra. Its situated on the
. There are many camp ground and limestone caves along the banks.
We were heading to Micalong Creek Camp Ground where Ivan, Steve, Ian and their families had camped Saturday night. We knew we were close when we heard Ivan on the CB welcoming us. We got there at about 1030.
After the second round of meet and greet we all started to gravitate to Ivans new wheels, a V8 100 Series. What a come down after the Prado. Discussion centred around the super deal he did with the tyres and how could we get a super charger under the bonnet. There is more than enough knobs, buttons and dials in the cockpit to keep him amused for many years to come.
After lubricating our tonsils we were rounded up and herded down the track in the direction of a waterfall. Now walking is not a normal LCOOL_ACT activity, but we couldnt drive the trucks up this trail. Rock climbing and spiky bush dodging was the norm on this track but the water fall was quite good and there was lots of water flowing as we had had a large storm blow through on Friday.
Back at camp it was time to devour lunch. Some failed to come fully self sufficient and Ivan came to the rescue with a BBQ plate. We were all chewing the fat about this and that and before we know it it was 1300 and time to depart. Schooner needed to fill up so we stopped in town on our way out.
The track Id planned for us to get back to
on had a locked gate so our options were limited. Doctors
offered us a little bit of fun but we wanted more. After clearing a tree from the track we stumbled across a track which was known to us, but not this far north, Webbs Ridge Fire Trail.
Webbs Ridge FT would take us to the McIntyres Hut turn off and on to the Powerline trail. Now that would offer a bit of spice to our trip. We were making good time and thinking about a spot to stop for afternoon tea when the inevitable happened.
The first sign of trouble was when someone thought they smelt burning oil. Wed just about made the top of a steep incline and someone on the CB said they had lost their auto trans and had no forward momentum. We all stopped and sea gulled around Kevins car looking for reasons why. Why would a reasonably new Prado 120 Series TD suddenly loose forward momentum? I slid under the truck to find a very leaky transmittion. Couldnt find any obvious reason for the leaking and after checking the trans fluid level, which was still about right Kevin started it up again and put it in gear
We went for the quickest way out, that meant heading to Two Sticks and out to
. The 120 was doing OK so we stopped at Corree Hut for afternoon smoko and a group photo. A few of the new guys hadnt been to the top of Mt Corree so we split up, I lead the lame 120 and a few others out the quickest way and Ivan would lead the rest up to Coree.
The quick trip down to Uriarra Homestead was uneventful. The 120 was still going and Kevin was keen to get it home. We aired up and wished each other a Merry Christmas. I waited for the others, who by this time were playing in some water crossings and mud holes.
It didnt take long and they were at the homestead. Again we wished each other a Merry Christmas and headed home. It was a great day out and even though we had a little drama I think all of us had a great time,
Great to meet all the new LCOOL_ACTers and I trust we see you all again on one of our trips next year..
Steph and Ben - "we only need one jacket"
fast and furious!!
an oar here, an oar there - this is serious stuff here Dad
That's a half reasonable cricket team over there - the homestead above looked sort of out of place - but we appreciated when the owner yelled out "mate, you've left your lights on!"
The Pinyada - before
The Pinyada - during..
The Pinyada - after...
Hold the fort - that's Steve G with his mits on those lollies!!
Not sure if it's the cruiser or Adam giving the tree a bit of a lean on the flying fox
Iron rod steps in the rock were fun - if you went further, there were ropes to assist - it only got steeper!!
The boys morning walk
A bit of the old chit chat after everyone arrived
More chit chat..
Yep, you guessed it ;-)
Lunch is on..
The water hole is pretty full at the moment - close inspection required
Waterfalls at the end of our little wander
One of the locals we met during our walk
Schooner's refuel at Wee Jasper
On top of Mt Coree - all but 360 deg views
One of the puddles on the way home - we know this one very well ;-)