Sunday, 14 October 2012

Wenlock Wildies - October 2012

Friday afternoon could not get here quick enough.  I packed the truck up early and headed off to the school swimming carnival for the year with the intention of scooting out as early as possible, picking up the kids on the way out of town.  I tossed up whether to take the quads or not and decided there were too many things in the boxes on the trailer that I would need like the compressor, tarp and camp oven so I thought bugger-me I'll hook it on and hope for the best.

With two other cars with me I was sure we'd manage whatever the track into the Wenlock river had in store.  It got dark quite quickly and the panels of my truck are testament to my lack of depth perception and driving skills anyway but winding through there I felt like a precision driver weaving in and out and around fallen trees and burning scrubland.  A few courage-cans later we were there and I had two options to get down onto the bank - a whopping vertical drop of soft sand OR a windy, jack-knife-waiting-to-happen option two.  I chose vertical.

Rookie error number 1.   I should have taken the quads off up the top. But instead, I dropped it into low gear, lost some air out of my tyres and pushed through the sand until I came to the camp site.  How I was going to get back up was a thought best put aside for another day.

We jumped straight into the clear, running Wenlock river and washed away any remaining travel nerves with cold beers and cocktails in the creek.  We had a few snags on bread with sauce, threw the swags on the ground and we were home.

A beady pair of eyes made there way down to our camp shortly afterwards and judging by his lack of response to anything we did to scare it away, he was definitely a salty.  Dogs had to sleep in the back of the ute this trip much to their disappointment.

Saturday sunrise was spectacular over the river and we hopped up for a cold swim and cooked up some pannies with shaker cream and chocolate sauce.  The kids were keen to "go on an adventure" so I got the quads down and my friend and I (with kids hanging on the back) set off with the rifle to see if we could come across some pigs in the nearby swamps and billabongs.  We saw fresh markings and diggings but the quads must have scared them off.  We pushed a track over the newly burnt ground and found a nice 'secret spot' and wallowed in the shallows for awhile before heading back to camp.  We came across a large stick creature that landed on my friend's arm and the kids got to see him up close. I've never seen one so big and like a white, paperbark branch.  I had a stick come up under my quad footings and spear into my bare sole which required some first aide but it was lucky I didn't need stitches.

We spent the remaining time in the creek, spoilt by cheese and crackers, peach cocktails and ciders.  A few little spangled perch fish were biting our feet and legs in the water, one of which scared my friend a good foot in the air after the crocodile incident the previous night and then Xavie decided he was going to catch one.  Two rods set up with little hooks and a loaf of bread in hand, we set off down the creek and within a few minutes he was hooked up and brought in a nice size sooty grunter.  Not to be outdone, Makayla then threw hers into the crocodile hole and pulled out a very large sooty grunter as well.  They were stoked.

After lunch our friends went on a wood chop mission and the camp oven coals were calling.  For dinner we had a selection from 3 camp ovens with an assortment of marinated sirloin pork, slow cooked lamb and all the vegies we could bring.  We backed it up with some toasted marshies and red wine.  It was like Christmas.

The kids were 'busted' early after their day of swimming and quadding and we weren't far behind them.  No croc that night so he must have gotten the hint.  We woke up early again and cooked up the smorgasbord of pancakes and wraps with coffee and it began to dawn on me about how the heck I was going to get out of this like piece of paradise.  We packed up mid-morning and all of a sudden my friend decided she could stand it no longer and floored it up the vertical incline.  We could hear her scream a few F bombs and adrenaline forced her over the lip with SUCCESS.  She was very proud of herself as were we.  There was also no way I was getting up with the quads on so the kids rode them down and I tried to turn around and head up too but it was a no go.

Rookie mistake number 2.  Don't try turning in a circle on soft sand with a trailer on the back when you're loaded up.....  I thought I might have to be pulled out when the Navara's new turbo proved worth it's weight and I finally got some grip in the sand and turned around.  There was no stopping now, I had to just go for it.  The vertical incline was not going to be possible so I attempted the winding, vertical hill instead.  I got half-way up and my windscreen was facing the sky, tyres thudded back to earth far slowly than I was hoping for but then I had to hook it to do a vertical 3 point turn to get up the last bit and almost jack-knifed but made it without a scratch....just.  My whole body was shaking and my adrenaline was pumping through my skin.  It was after this I also decided that I will definitely be keeping my hubby around - even if it's just so he can do these types of jobs instead of me.
There is no way I think I could ever do that again.  Needless to say we all cracked a beer at the top and checked all our knots before making the last heading for home.

As for the Wenlock river, Thank You for another fun-filled adventure.

Until next week...

1 comment:

  1. Wow- I really get a buzz out of reading about your adventures!! You are amazing and so brave!! Just the excitement, challenges and awesome things you get up, leaves me thinking, "whats next?" Sure hubby is proud of you:-)