are you glad?

stets

New Member
PICTURE THIS regular updates

well ,the day started out perfect, nice and cool, a typical SW WA morning.

i made it to the local petrol station to fill up with diesel, and loe and behold i ran into a modified jeep cherokee owner. got to talking about how his jeep has never been bogged. running 31's 3 inches of lift and twin locked danas. all was great until i gave him the opportunity to prove it, which he quickly declined, so i headed off on my own.

now they say a great artist can paint a picture that says a thousand words and a great author can make a single word paint a thousand pictures, well i am not great at either, but, picture this! open your mind and use your imagination, ;) i forgot my camera ;)


low range 2nd gear idle, down a smooth bush track hardly hearing the little tics of the 6.2 ltr V8 diesel engine turning over, 60 foot tall jarrah trees on both sides, leaves crunching under your tyres as you drive along. the smell of a cool morning gently brushing your nostrils, bringing you all the smells of a centuries old jarrah forest. shadows coming and going allowing enough sunlight through the tree canopy to let some warmth in. ferns lining the forest floor. the morning dew sparkling off the leaves, begining to show signs of awaking for another day. and the screeeeeeeeech of a dead branch along the side of your rig reminding you that your are in God's country now.

now picture the wildlife rustling calmly as you idle past, hardly taking notice of your presence, kangaroos sitting up watching you with minimal interest, emus trotting along the track next to you, just keeping up enough to stare at you through your open drivers side window. rabbits darting across the road in front of you, and birds of all call signs, alerting every forest creature of your position. a majestic wedge tailed eagle flying through the trees under the forest canopy just out of your reach.

breaking the treeline with the wellington weir on one side and the forest on the other, watching the breeze blow small ripples across the surface, as if to try to catch the suns morning rays. birds bobbing on the water top, and the odd circular break in the surface, when a small fish just snagged breakfast.

continuing along, with not another soul in sight or sound, passing empty fire rings centred in long abandoned camp sites, and dodging the fallen trees on a track that has been forgotten.

with all the beauty of nature encapsulating you, involving you, absorbing you, you cannot help but think to yourself, "I'm so glad I own a 4WD"
 
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Grumpy

Moderator
Well said mate I'll think of your words tommorrow while were out on the tracks in the High Country of Victoria.
 

Nickj

5th Annual Victorian Gathering member
Stets

I was waiting for the crunch! or the "that puddle was deeper than I thought" but it didn't come.

Yep, so glad we have the High Country down here!


Nick
 

stets

New Member
ok guys, i have put this up on a few forums, and have written 2 more trip reports in the same fashion. (nt much to do in my free time now i am out of work)

there has been a fair bit of interest on a couple of the sites. and some suggestions that i send them off to a few magazines. i just want to share.

so here they are



Early March, a Sunday mid-after-noon, 26 degrees, slightly overcast with enough breeze to keep the humidity at bay. Leaving your small country town via every back road you know. Your 4wd is packed with just the essentials for a quick over-night camp at your favourite spot. Your dogs in the back, panting and staring out the windows with renewed vigour, excited to be out of the back yard. The hum of your muddies keeping in tune with the surface of the tar. A familiar sign just up ahead, letting you know where to turn.

Once off the road you pull over, have a quick look around through the trees and get your bearings, it’s been a while. You get out and lock your hubs in, just in case. You walk around the truck, pushing the mirrors in and kicking the tyres. Wasting time trying to separate yourself from the grind of the previous week.

You let out a big sigh of relief as you get back behind the wheel, engage low range and set off at idle pace. Reach over and roll all the windows down, the smells of the bush reminding you why you love this place so much. The dogs’ heads out the windows, swapping sides in unison, as if the other one has it so much better.

The sun, high in the sky, its light flickering through the tree tops. You feel the temperature drop as you get further in, a single degree at a time. As each shadow passes, it seems to take with it, a small piece of your hectic working week. The stresses of life being left scattered along the 10 kilometre bush track, you arrive feeling fully relaxed at your campsite.

Getting out and letting the dogs out to investigate, you raise your arms above your head, take in a deep breathe, and let it out, taking with it every last memory of life before that moment. You walk around camp, checking for wood and making sure no one has left a heap of rubbish for you to take with you when you leave. Looking for your dogs, you find a rock to stand on, feeling 10 ft tall, you let out a whoop calling them back to you.

You begin to set up camp, throw the swag out and set up that camp chair, the esky is next, feeling the weight as you pull it out and set it on the ground right next to your chair, you open it up and grab out that first cold beer, the chill of the can cooling your whole arm, you open it. The “hiss” “pop” of the can opening sending the birds of the bush into a frenzy of call signs, you pause for a brief moment, raise your can just a bit and give thanks to everything you have around you then take that first small mouthful.
The flavour awakening a man in hiding since last weekend, you raise your can to your lips yet again, this time finishing the entire can. You squeeze the can, as if to show your dogs you are still the boss before throwing it in your travel bin.

After getting out the can of Campbell’s stew and large spoon you packed, you settle into your camp chair, grab another beer out of the esky and crack the tops.
The first bite of the soup sending a shiver of cold down your spine, you take a sip from your beer, somehow that cold beer warms you up enough to finish your cold dinner. Reaching into the esky, you bring out the fresh meat you brought for your mates, offering it to them.

Off they run, just out of each others way. You watch as they enjoy their meal, looking over from time to time as if to say thank you.

A few beers down, the sounds of the bush and the fresh air has gotten to you; you go for a walk, investigating the old stump, the various fallen logs, and taking particular notice of the odd shaped rocks, (they seem to grab your attention, like a pit bull gnawing on your leg, impossible to ignore) you pick one up, wipe the dirt off with your thumb, and give it a bit of a better look before dropping it back on the ground. You continue on, stumbling on the loose stones blaming the fading light, but knowing deep down that it is those 4 beers you just finished. Your dogs have gone ahead, out of sight, you can just hear them running through the undergrowth when you turn around and head back to camp, whistling for them to follow.

Back at camp you finish beer number 5, roll the swag out and kick off the boots.
Spotting an old stump the perfect height not far away, you painfully waddle on the sharp rocks in your bare feet to get it, bringing it back to camp and placing it a few feet from your chair, you sit down again, brushing the stones stuck in your feet off on its side before putting your feet up, grabbing beer 6, and sitting back to enjoy the sun’s final light disappear. As night falls and darkness sets in, you start to take notice of the stars, sparkling in the distance.

You slowly sip your beer, it’s the last one you brought, you call the dogs over, one on each side of your chair and you put your beer in the little holder in the chairs arm. You rest your hands on your dogs’ heads, gently giving them that rub they so deserve and have that little “discussion” with your dogs, your lips never moving, but somehow, they know exactly what you are saying. A quick pat on the side of the neck, you grab your beer, finish it off, look around camp one last time and crawl into your swag. In the darkness you hear your dogs scratch a bed for the night into the cool earth, you here them circle, then settle down for the night, the 3 of you letting out a seemingly unanimous sign of relief. As your eyes adjust to the continuing darkness and the glow of the rising moon, you continue to look up through the trees into the night’s sky.
As your eyes get heavy, you think about how life would be if Mondays didn’t exist.
 

stets

New Member
i went out again today, i didnt get very far though. here is the report.









An overcast day, the slight smell of rain blowing in the wind, the dim glow of daylight, reminding you of late evening, but it is only 10am. You're in the middle of loading your rig for a mid week holiday, the slump of the economic crisis ending your job. It seems that all you really have is a full tank of fuel and a lot of free time. Just packing the basic things; your swag, a change of clothes, a cooker, a few tins of chunky stew, a small fry-pan, some bacon and eggs, a plate and some utensils. You want to pack a 6 pack of beer, but money is tight, so you fill up a 20 litre jerry of tap water and grab that lemon cordial, being free is better than being drunk.

You call your dogs, they know what’s about to happen, shaking their tails with such force their whole body moves from side to side, madly circling, jumping up on you, barking and howling, as if to “Thank you” in advance. You open the back doors for them; they jump in, stumbling and falling over everything you just packed. Its not a problem, all you want to do is get out of town. You get yourself comfortable in the driver’s seat; you turn the key to warm the glow plugs and wait, those 10 seconds feel like an eternity right now. You hear the soft click you have been waiting for, and start the engine. The low grumble of that Chevy V8 diesel coming to life brings you a sense of relief, knowing that all you have to do now is drive.

Reversing out of your driveway, you wave at the retired bloke across the road. You have admired his set up many times. The new 76 series cruiser wagon fully equipped with “NOMAD” rego plates, a pop-top van parked in the carport. Smiling, you think to your self, “One day, I’m going to be just like him”. You put it into first gear and slowly take off, looking back to make sure you remembered to shut the front door.

This time you decide to go somewhere you have never been, its only 30 k’s from home. Five kilometres of sealed roads then the red dirt starts. It sure is nice to live in a small country town. The driver’s window rolled down, you can smell the rain coming, that’s ok, there’s always a tarp in the tool kit in the back. The first few drops hit your windscreen, and the smell grows stronger, you feel a cold drop hit your arm as it rests on the door.

It’s beginning to come down a bit heavier now, the dust isn’t rising behind you and you need to turn your wipers on. Your dogs catching the scent of the cool rain wrestle each other behind you, which one gets to put their head out your window. Annoyed you reach back between your seat and the “B” pillar to find the winder for the back window and roll it down a touch.

A couple of kilometres further along the road and the rain is really coming down, the sky is dark, and the dogs refuse to put their heads out the window now, the sting of the falling rain has made sure of that. The road is beginning to get sloppy; you feel your rear wheels sliding from side to side on the red clay road. You slow down gently, stop to the side of the road, pull your hat down low and shrug your shoulders, ready for the mad dash to lock in your front hubs.

The first thing you notice is the bite of the cold water as it hits the back of your neck, then your feet sliding in the clay, each step getting taller as the clay builds up on the soles of your boots. You reach down to lock the driver’s side hub, it is already done. You run around to the other side, now soaking wet and clay weighing you down. It is still locked too, what a waste of time, and you got wet for nothing. You run back to your door, scrape as much mud off as you can on the side step, and then get in. You remove your boots; there is still an inch and a half of clay stuck to the bottom.

Engaging high range 4wd, you take off, going no-where, your wheels spinning in the slippery surface. You wipers going flat out, not helping with the rain. The loud roar of the rain drops pounding your car. You look at your dogs in the rear view mirror; they are looking at you like you must be crazy. It is clear they would rather be home right now.

Through your stubborn pride, you swallow that lump that just rose up in your throat. You didn’t come prepared.

You think, “How am I going to get out of this”, you try releasing the clutch again, this time with a bit of throttle. Ok, movement, not much, but it’s movement.
You floor that right pedal, the V8 diesel coming to life, lunging at the opportunity to be set free, and angrily spinning those mud tyres. You turn your steering wheel to the right, you want to turn around. You feather the throttle, up and down, hoping that somehow you will find a rock for your tyres to grab hold of. The left front tyre bites, just that little bit, helping swing the rest of the car around, pivoting on the front right. Excited with your flash driving techniques and feeling proud of yourself, you counter-steer and floor it; you do not want to be stranded out here, not today.

Tyres spinning, throwing red mud all over the place, you see the odd chunk the size of a tennis ball land on the bonnet. Your’ really moving now, the speedometer says your doing 60kph, you’re in second high, the trees you can see along the track tell you, “You’re doing about 5”. The wind changes direction, you feel a cold shiver down your spine, you forgot about the back window!!!

You don’t care; you don’t want to get stuck. You plant it, your right foot is beginning to hurt, you’re pushing that hard, you let off a bit and quickly snag third gear and let every single horse under your control loose on those 33 inch muddies. Fourth gear, frantically turning the steering wheel from side to side, speedo reading 100 k’s per hour, but your barely moving at all, mud flying everywhere, your MTZ’s struggling for any sign of traction. The free rev of your V8 enjoying every second of this!!!

Suddenly, you’re thrown into the back of your seat, the dogs hit the back doors with a yelp, every thing you had on the dash is now in the back. You broke the fastest 0-100kph land speed record, your ass puckered, swallowing the driver’s seat. You just got traction!!! You let off the throttle, momentum is now in control, you’re moving forward and well on your way home.

As you relax a bit into the comfort of knowing its going to be ok, you realise, that you are entirely saturated, the driver’s seat is soaked and you smell of perspiration. The rain eases off enough to warn you just before you hit the tar that you better slow down. Dropping back a few gears, and slowing for the intersection, you disengage high range 4wd and continue onto the blacktop road. Feeling the bite of the cold air, you reach back once again between your seat and door for the window winder behind you and roll that bloody window up, your freezing!!!!

As you pull into your driveway 45 minutes after you left, you see that old bloke in his front room, curtains open, sitting in his recliner chair watching you. Your car covered in red mud. He smiles and waves.
By the look on his face, you realise, that he remembers when he was just like you.
 

gdog

Member
I've got emotional tears in my eyes and I think.... yes... I'm going to go outside and cuddle the 4bie for a few minutes.

thank you
 
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