A couple of nights away....

Discussion in 'Adventure, Hiking, Backpacking and Travel' started by Andy the Aussie, Dec 2, 2021.

  1. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    .....still working through the pics and waiting on my mate to send his through to me so I can include them, but with travel restrictions ending here a few weeks ago and me needing the get the hell out of the city my best mate and I decided to head bush (OK I think he thought he was doing the world a favour getting me out of society for a few days if we are being honest here). Now let me start by saying that where I was heading is my home town (he still lives there) and that in the days prior to this trip they had record rainfalls and the most serious flooding in town for the past 30yrs......yep....lots of logic in heading away I know.

    To the east (about 75km) of town is a large area of National Park and State Forrest that was our playground growing up, At the very best of times you can have all four seasons in a single day there. It hovers between 1000m and 1200m above sea level.

    Parked up on the highway about 30kn from my home town....possibly the last time my 76 will be this clean again... :D

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    He had to work the day I drove up so we took off the following morning, this where we stopped to drop the tyre pressure before heading into the NP. Driving out it was amazing to see the creeks and rivers running as strong as they were !! Water was across the road in a few spots but only a few cm deep.

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    .......more once I get editing.
     
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  2. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    So from here it got interesting. We went exploring for a campsite and in absolute fairness it was WET….I mean REALLY wet. Not raining but there had certainly been some weather up there. I will need to wait from some better pic from my mate but we took a couple of tracks and turned around but then he had one in mind to cut across to a different area, it was REALLY wet. It was going along this track that I discovered the absolute joy of differential locks, or “the cheat switch” as the mate calls it. Twice I got to points where all forward motion had ceased but throwing the switch sent me off again. At one point however I did slide (with power on but not holding) backwards into a tree. Crushed the registration plate cover and maybe tweaked the passenger side wheel carrier, but nothing too bad. Once out of that turn around we forged ahead until we came to a large “water feature” in the middle of the track. The mate was leading and he walked a bit of it and did some depth testing and figured out a good line to go through.


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    At this point I shall forever remind him (he will be reading this) that I said “we can turn go out and take a different route” but he was confident……I was confident…..the HiLux leaped forward and promptly clipped a submerged log that speared him sideways into a deeeeep point in the hole he had not intention of entering and left him totally motionless and tilted over to the driver’s side…..oh and yes…taking water into the cabin.

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    Being the intrepid adventurers and men of action that we are !! we sprang forth and started on the recovery process. This then highlighted a couple of good learning points. Like put the recovery point into your tow hitch before you are in the water…bring the pin for the recovery hitch with you…..check to see if the pin on your mate’s truck will fit yours (spoiler alert – mine was too large)…..anyway…. if all else fails improvise, adapt and overcome. As I didn’t want to drive too close to the hole (to prevent me also getting stuck but also to give us space to pull his onto more solid ground) we used a winch extension strap wrapped around his tow bar (noting all the above about the hitch recovery point not being able to be properly secured) and then ran my winch cable out to join it. I only took a single pic of this part of the proceedings…..

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    It didn’t take much till he had traction again and he was able to mostly reverse out. What was not evident just here was that I was high centred due to the depths of the wheel ruts and how wet it was and until I again used the “cheat switch” was not moving….!

    From here we both needed to reverse maybe 80yds uphill till I found a spot that I could do a 10point turn !! and start driving forward again. I will say that on a few of the climbs back up from here I needed to be a little heavy with the “go pedal” and that the sound generated by the LandCruiser while doing so had me grinning like a teenager.

    This pic is back up the track once we had traversed the wettest and were nearly back to a good track again……

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    ….we then stayed on the main track and followed it around to where the track we had attempted would have come out, and pulled into where we ultimately camped for a few days. Time then to check everything over.

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    …..as you can see it got a bit wet in there, high tide is about half way up the speakers in his door.

    Other than some grit in my brakes that made it scream for a bit and the aforementioned rear wheel carrier bump, I discovered that a can of coke ruptured in one of my canvas gear bags during one of the more interesting moments (in hindsight I heard it spraying but actually thought it was just some bushes I was driving through running down the outside of my truck). Fortunately it was in the bag crate that housed mostly cooking gear so I could unpack and just was it all off in the river. Then hang it all over to dry !!!

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    More tomorrow.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
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  3. anomad

    anomad Member

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    You got mud on your car... Just noticed it. :D
     
  4. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    Well it happens... ;)
     
  5. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Administrator Staff Member

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    Nice. Those dual tyres just make the picture pop.
     
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  6. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    ..... yep..... 1 is none and 2 is one !!!! :D :D
     
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  7. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    Once that little bit of tidying up was out of the way we went looking for some timber to keep a fire going for a couple of days, did I mention it was wet ??? Anyway it was a little harder to find what we were after but we did and despite me leaving my saw sitting in the garage the mate threw his in so we were OK. We gathered and cut enough wood up that when we did leave there is probably a day/night’s worth left for the next people that find that spot !!

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    Admin Note: Gentlemen - please note a proper (not electric) saw and appropriate case !

    Once back and unloaded we threw up or sleeping quarters (for me that is a tarp off the roof rack and some poles and the mate runs one of the rack on the tub of his truck with some poles also. Given the propensity of the area for “weather” he also slung up another tarp that became the kitchen are spot to sit while the drizzle fell at different points !! We also got the fire kicked over.

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    Onto dinner, normally we do a night around and first night up was my turn, I had found a recipe for chicken breast with a honey and vinegar glaze that I had cooked at home once already. Anyway, life is a learning curve and a couple of things presented. The chook breasts I got were LARGE, too large for the dish I think and the single burner butane stove just didn’t generate heat to cook the chooks as fast as I would have liked or reduce the mix for the glaze either. I persevered and nonetheless it turned out as a pretty good meal.

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    After dinner it was simply time to drink some beers and stare at the fire....

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    .....before turning in. The river was less than 15metres away and flowing well, a great sound to fall asleep to !!!!!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2021
  8. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    Following morning was pretty lazy, I think we both slept well and it was clear and lovely in the mountains !!! Remember though I mentioned this place can do four seasons in a day..!!

    First up was the mate stoking the fire back to life, setting up the cooking/fire pit and getting breakfast on….

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    And as a result, bacon, eggs, toast, and sausages to start the day….

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    From here it was time to go for a fish !
     
  9. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    My mate just emailed through some of his pics and I have gone in and edited them into sequence.
     
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  10. Bozho

    Bozho Member

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    What an adventure, truly awesome, Andy!
     
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  11. Theo

    Theo Member

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    Looks like you guys had quite an adventure!
     
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  12. DYSPHORIC JOY

    DYSPHORIC JOY Administrator Staff Member

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    Excellent trip report Andy. Cool portable grill.
     
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  13. anomad

    anomad Member

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    What kind of locker(s) do you have? I've only had rear lockers on full size Ford trucks. Even "3 wheel drive" makes a huge difference.
     
  14. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    Factory front and rear, they come standard on this version mate. More than happy they do !!
     
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  15. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    So this particular river and us have a long history, I have camped on it’s banks many times and in fact caught my first trout in it around 1983. So it was nice to be back and throwing a line into it again. It has been toooooo long since I fished for trout and it showed, also this was the first outing for a new reel (on my 1985 rod) and it took a little getting use to. All excuses….just excuses. My “mate” (all friendship and fairness go out the window when it comes to fishing – there is a story about sabotage and intrigue from the 80s I could tell), but I am big enough to say the prick out fished me easily enough. I never got one to the bank (lost a lovely fish right at my feet) and he just kept pulling them in. No bitterness…..none at all….I mean not like I will one day slice his Achilles and leave him there…..alone…..as food for the pigs….never.

    Anyway…..a couple of his fish…

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    I can help but say that this is one of the prettiest places I know….

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    ……..and I have a new money making venture….. that moss that grows on every downed tree…. It’s soft…gentle and will be the basis of my new ecological “toilet wipe” business that I came up with as I ran out of TP up there.

    The days started off warm, a little too warm and humid even but as it went along the cloud rolled in. Not sure how far we actually walked up but it’s hard to tell as it winds and the going is slow, once we started to head back two things occurred to me….my right leg was feeling heavy/fatigued and my left was weird…..no great mystery but simply the result of the final failure of the boots I was wearing. I realised that the right was nicely full of water (we were wading to “family jewel” level at times) and just that much heavier but also I had unconsciously started favouring the left as the sole of the boot was actually peeling off and making me feel unstable on it. More than once it folded right back under in half. I can’t complain too much, these are the boots that failed so badly when we were in New Zealand a few years ago and which were repaired there with super glue !! Incidentally, it is the parts that we didn’t repair them that failed….

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    I wont lie, I was happy to see camp again and start peeling off wet clothes and dealing with my unwanted passengers…. have I mentioned the leeches ? Lots of leeches up there… !!! I had flicked a few off while fishing but once I got my pants and shirt off I had two on my chest (unattached) two on my legs (attached) and two more on my legs that had just finished feeding so were fat while I was still bleeding. I counted another six or so meandering around the outside of my pants.

    I always think it best to let them feed and detach if they are already on…..I watched this one fatten up before dropping off….

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    And this is one of the guys on the outside….

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    And the mate didn’t realise he too had been feasted upon until he changed into some light coloured pants and the blood started soaking through….

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    And despite being back and changed I could not resist throwing a line in a couple more times….still to no avail however….

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  16. Bozho

    Bozho Member

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    Very nice, mate! The weather from these pics is not what I imagine for AUS, what season it is now? Is the trout a native species, or an introduced one?
    These leeches should make a good live bait for some catfish.
     
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  17. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    It is summer here now, that said this one has started abnormally cold and wet (though up in that place you can still have cool weather year round). Trout are introduced here but widely. This river use to be solely Rainbow but now the Browns are more common it seems.
     
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  18. Lostviking

    Lostviking Member

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    Outstanding adventure!
     
  19. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    So to finish this up…… once we WERE both a bit rested The Prick decided to have trout for lunch…. salt, pepper, lemon juice and butter… wrapped in foil and onto the fire….I may have added a little spit when he wasn’t looking but that is the risk you take….

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    He didn’t even notice the spit

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    After this I think we pretty much just settled into chairs with some beers. Notable the rain got a little heavier and was continuous instead of rolling misty showers we had been having. As the fire burned we noticed a bunch of White Ants abandoning their log….

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    One fun part was after about an hour of sitting down I went to get up and got a “wonderful” cramp down from my abdomen through into the inside of my right thigh. Took a good ten mins of walk shuffling around swearing and trying to stand upright and straighten out my leg. I also threw down another litre of hydralyte as I was a bit dehyd from the morning walk still (I think). Once I shook it, it didn’t return thankfully.

    While walking the crap off I grabbed my camera and walked out of the area we were camped in and snapped a couple of pics back up on the forestry road we came in on.

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    And of our camp area viewed from back up there….

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    As the evening wore on it was his turn to produce dinner….hot dogs with a Chilian salsa and such, can’t say I could complain !!

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    And then we settled in watching the fire, telling tall tales and finally headed off to our respective stretchers.

    Throughout the night the rain was steady, not worrying but steady. I did wonder about a couple of the crossings on the way out as I lay there but that was for later.

    About the only pic I snapped as the pack up started was this one…
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    ….you can see the ground is showing the signs of the rain through the night.

    We got packed up and started the @85km drive back. It was uneventful but once we got lower down it was obvious the valley had received MUCH more rain than we had up high (about an inch overnight) and in places water was running over the main road. No issues though. Back to the mate’s place for a coffee and adios then I drove the three hours back to Sydney and unpacked and started the drying out process. I must say, I loved every minute.

    One postscript….. the mate pulled the driver’s seat out of his HiLux and got the flooring lifted and drying underway. As of last weekend it was well on the way to dry….

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  20. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Administrator of the Century Staff Member

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    Sharp things that made the trip (look there were also another five blades that didn't get out of the truck) ....

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