Sunday, October 12, 2003

Sundown 2003

Fitted the new difflock on wednesday night so its time to test it out
Left home on friday night at around 6 but only got as far as Boonah before the coffee mug was empty , luckily my brother and sister in law live there so i dropped in for a couple of coffee's .
Had dinner at warwick and drove past ballandean looking for signs but after a few K's i turned around and headed back until i saw a sign for some wineries on sundown road and turned down there for a look.
Came to a "T" intersection which had a sign pointing to sundown observitory so i turned left and headed that way, after going past the observitory i finally found a sign saying "sundown national park" and new i was on the right road.
A road on the left had a sign about 20 metres up the road and i checked it and found that it said "sundown national park" so i turned left and drove to a gate with the registration booth on the other side, after paying my money and signing in i checked the time [11.30pm] and headed off on towards the "severn river".

About 20 metres from the gate there was a left turn which looked a bit washed out and as i wanted to try out the difflock i headed this way to see if i could find a hard bit, it joined up with the other track again not long after with no need to take it out of 2WD yet.
The road was very rough and rocky so it was a slow trip to a "T" intersection where i again turned left towards the severn river.
The moon was quite bright and showed promise of some good views in daylight but i didn't stop to look at any of the old mines or ruins although i did see plenty of roos and rabbits and also several herds of deer on the numerous open grassy areas along the ridge tops.
I passed the turn off to reedy waterhole and the road started to drop down into the valley, Hilux99 called on the UHF and not long after i joined him at the campfire at the Burrows waterhole campsite, DQ and Muddie were sleeping in the back of the rangie, Tmum and the Phantom had their dome tent set up on the grass beside the water and Hilux99 with his parents had the camper trailer which left plenty of room beside the campfire for my swag
It was just after midnight and everyone else was in bed so after a quick coffee i jumped in the swag for a very comfortable night's rest.

Saturday morning arrived with a chill, about 1.6 degrees according to the thermometer on Hilux99's fridge under the toneau cover in the tray of his ute, was warmer inside the fridge!!
The sun finally came over the top of the mountain about 7am and since everyone else was sitting around the campfire with their breakfast i thought i should get up and have mine before they all left me behind, it was hard to get out of a nice warm swag even though the fire was keeping the others warm.
We finally got around to putting out the fire and headed off for a drive, TMum got out to hold a tree branch while the rest of us drove past, she then decided to jump in with me....brave girl
We headed for "rats castle"and came to our first crossing of the Severn river, DQ headed across with the water to the top of his wheels and found that the doorseals leave a little to be desired.
The phantom tackled the river in the Jackaroo with no trouble and Hilux99's dual cab hilux also made it ok, TMum had been watching the jackaroo with a worried look from the bank and jumped back into the patrol as our turn came up, we cruised across listening to the water slapping the floor of the ute.

The next river crossing came up shortly after and was not so deep but had two sections, the first was only a foot or so deep and then it turned a corner through some small trees in the middle and got a little deeper on the second section, no problems here so we continued on threading our way through the trees to the next river section.
DQ made his way across the rockslab and across the rapids to the gravel on the other side and Hilux99 went next to show the way for the Phantom, TMum was looking very worried at this stage as it was a fairly tricky line to avoid getting hung up.
Hilux99's mum dianne had decided it was safer to walk across so while she tackled the slippery rocks on foot we checked out the best line for the jackaroo.
The Phantom fired up the jackaroo and edged his way across with the occasional scream of protesting metal as the bashplates slid across the higher sections of exposed rock, he dropped into the rapids and powered across easily.
Our turn came and Tmum and i crossed easily due to the bigger tyres.
We followed the river for a while longer until we came to a steep uphill section that was washed out to expose a large bare rock on an angle with some large holes all around it....difflock testing time and TMum was staying in for the ride
The others moved out of the way and i lined up and locked in.....TMum was looking a tad apprehensive but there was no bailing out as we slowly crawled our way upward until we ran out of traction and the truck started to hop about...TMum was looking decidedly worried by now as i tried to get moving again but had to reverse down again to try a different line.
A couple more tries and a few stifled screams later and we were up only to get an even bigger gasp from TMum as we turned hard left an dropped into a hole which put us on a fair old side lean, we continued on to the bottom and then got out to watch DQ have a go at TMums hill.
DQ had quite a few goes and different lines were taken to no avail, the bullbar and left guard copped a bit of damage though.
We bent the guard clear of the tyre [by those aluminium panels] and went round the easy way to the top of the hill.
The down hill side had some rather large holes in the track, would be interesting driving the other way but we all cruised down and eventually completed the loop, crossed two of the same river crossings and headed back towards camp.
One of the climbs on the way back had the rangie and the jackaroo having to try a different line and not long after we arrived back at the campground where i spied a rather large rock sitting there just waiting to be climbed so before TMum could bail out i drove the front right hand tyre up the rock which had Tmum almost lying on the seat trying to stay vertical all the while screaming out for the Phantom to come and save her...she never going to worry about the terrain the Phantom tackles now he he

After lunch Hilux99 with ted, and myself with DQ headed out to check out a track we had noticed that ran up a gorge in the creek bed.
We turned off the rats castle track into the gorge and followed it until the track dropped into the creek bed and we faced a deeper section of water, being crystal clear it was hard to see how deep it really was so i took it slowly and Hilux99 followed through, i then made him reverse back and do it again so i could get a pic and we continued up the creek trying to follow the sometimes non existant track.
On one little section it was a whole lot deeper than it looked and we had to reverse back and climb the bank where we found the correct track again.
A hidden paddock showed no tracks but we found the tracks in the creekbed again and continued along for a bit until we came out in another hidden paddock which was where the track ended, we searched around for a bit but there was no sign of it continueing so we headed back down the creek towards camp and collected some wood along the way.
The afternoon was spent around the campfire [unlit] or exploring the campsite until it cooled down a bit and the fire was lit, dinner was cooked and tall tales told.
There's no doubt about it, it just aint camping without the campfire and DQ trying to out fire the opposition at the next camp...he did lose the biggest brightest handheld spotlight competition though
We were all in bed by 9.30 as it had been a long day and we were planning an early pack up.

Sunday morning dawned cold again and i stayed in the swag until everyone else had nearly finished packing and then had brekky and packed my gear.
We put out the fire and TMum piloted the jack towards the park entrance.
DQ and i were taking the rougher bypasses and ted [hilux99'sdad] jumped in with me while we tackled some of the harder sections for a bit of fun.
We said or goodbyes at the park gate as Hilux99,ted and dianne were doing a bit of winery shopping on the way home, the rest of us hit the highway for an uneventfull trip home.
Once again i've had a great weekend due to the great company.............
thanks guys