All was going well with the maintenance
on Ruby Scoo so this trip was on. I also needed it! Packing Friday after work saw me leaving Shepp at 8:45pm and arriving at the campground in Walhalla at 1:30am. I was very glad to see that Venom was here too, I thought he had bailed. After an ok night of sleep, once interrupted by a bunch of drunk rednecks being a pack of, well, you can come up with your own word for that one... We decided we'd have breakfast in town and got an awesome bacon and egg muffin
with a white chocolate mocha.
We got the group together and headed off. First place to go was our favourite and really the only places
we knew – Coopers Creek:
From here we decided to head East to then head North as we didn't really want to back track. Once back in
the bush from Seaton we hit up a stretch of “commuter tracks” - old logging tracks where AWD/4wd really is a good bit of fun. Lined up on Williamson Spur Rd to discuss where to go from here:
Along the way I found this tree in the middle of the burnt out area, to me it looks like it's in shock with what it sees around it:
From Williamson Spur Tk we headed northonto Army Tk:
When we dropped into this area via Army Tk we thought we might be in a spot of bother as this track was pretty steep and the weather was still very light rain on and off.
Once at the bottom of Army Tk we decided to hit up Morning Star track – this track started climbing again up the other side of the valley:
There was a bit of winching involved with my mate's Pajero. I think we had a go at it about 3 times on a very slippery slope. Venom and I got up without an issue. Once the Paj was up Nachaluva was sceptical that he'd make it up – but with his new found “rally style” he had nothing to be worried about. I wish I had my camera for all of this. I also broke a thong while carrying the cable up the hill for the Paj...
From here we hit up the commuter track again to look for a camp site. This was McEvoys Tk where we tried
out the Mt Useful 1434 tower and hut site. You beaut, no one here, there's an industrial portable hut with a car port and the communications tower behind it. Once out of the vehicles it became apparent that this was not a suitable site overnight due to the noise of the portable generator powering the tower!
On we went until we ended up hunting around for “Johnson's Hut” off S14 tk. This was all good but there was no hut to be found and some dodgy tracks going in too. Dodgy in the way that they were not “official graded” tracks of any type. We found a little clearing and setup camp.
Nachaluva and I took a ride in Ruby Scoo to find another nearby hut. It too was on a dodgy track but was already occupied by some young kids that were clearly into the country scene but still drank UDLs and the like (not something I associate with the “country theme”).
We headed back to setup. This is what camp looked like:
While out collecting wood I stumbled across the “Johnson Hut” - it was well hidden with all tracks to the hut concealed from the track we came in on.
Sunday we packed up and headed off to find more tracks like what we found late arvo yesterday. It certainly didn't disappoint! We headed west from our last camp site and were well north of Walhalla at this point. Our aim was an
intriguing looking track called “Trig Tk” that has marked on the map that there's 12 switchbacks due to the steepness!
So we weaved our way in that direction:
Venom on O'Keefe Tk:
Nachaluva coming down O'Keefe Tk:
At the low point of O'Keefe Tk, small river crossing:
I honestly can't remember where this switchback was!
We then headed through Aberfeldy on our way to the next track, Dream Creek Tk:
Once on CMF Tk at the intersection of Trig Tk we had a bite to eat while viewing what was to come:
Before we heaed off we saw Adrian and Lucy off in their Paj from here. It was great to have an old school mate along for the ride – and to see different 4wd in action. Adrian really wished he'd found the time to fit his muddies! Thanks for coming mate!
We then jumped into Trig Tk!
You can see the other side of Trig Tk in the background on the other side of the valley above.
Looking down at Venom:
Nachaluva's foz looking mean at the top of the switchback on Trig Tk:
Nachaluva has some great shots of Venom and Ruby Scoo heading down the hill at this point!
Nachaluva headed down at the lower end of Trig Tk:
I got this shot to have a dig at a mate who keeps telling me to get a real 4wd – he's just got himself a landrover 130 long wheel base ute; I'm yet to see it off road. I've also used it to “annoy” another mate who offroads his Range Rover – some of you might remember that vehicle from a trip to Mt Cole.
Once back at the bottom of the Valley we headed off to see Venom's end to the trip. The section of Trig Tk above CMF Tk was a good climb too!
Nachaluva and I headed back down the hill to camp where we left his car – it seemed we were racing a group of 4wd's that were coming down the switchbacks. We don't know what they thought about seeing a forester at the camp site but they weren't sticking around for a chat anyway. So we setup and got the fire going, with a little bit of drizzle around at times we knocked this up:
The next morning this was bliss:
Once we were packed up we climbed out of the valley to the “main road” - Walhalla Rd where we then hit up Beardmores Tk. This track followed a spurline down the front of the Thompson dam:
Then to the river where we had a lot of fun messing around in the river crossing:
I love the lighting and the detail in this image:
It was now time to head into Rawson for fuel – only to find they didn't have any as their delievery hadn't come through! So off to Tyers we headed, it was about 20 kms down the road and made more sense than heading all the way into Moe.
From Tyres we headed back along some rough old logging tracks to the Old Coach Rd that took us to Bruntons Bridge. We had a quick bite to eat and headed to Coopers Creek crossing where some kids that were camping there took great delight in watching the two vehicles cross the river. Since we'd already crossed it we didn't bother stopping to check it.
From here we took some tracks that we'd only just noticed on the map – they turned out to be a bit of fun with some good climbs in between – there was a 1km long climb to begin with
We then aimed for our intended camp ground on Fulton's Creek Tk. We took Dry Gully Tk that ironically followed a spur for most of the time we were on it. Once it started to drop into a valley we were stoked with the terrain! We ended up
back at the river to have another look around and a play:
We decided that none of the campsites on the river suited our requirements so we headed back up the spur to a bogan camp we passed earlier. And we setup:
Unfortunately we saw too much rubbish on this trip – empty cans discarded out the window of moving vehicles halfway up tracks, water bottles everywhere and some of the camp sites where people had burnt logs and thrown deck chairs,
aerosol cans etc into the fire only then to leave the remains. This camp had plenty of aluminium cans, buried rubbish, broken glass and markings in the bark of the surrounding trees. It's very disappointing to see in this day and age!
Tuesday we decided to follow the full length of Fulton's Creek Tk that we camped on – we were only just below the start of the track. It was interesting to follow as at times it used sections of other tracks to get back onto the next section of Fulton's Creek Tk. Some of the highlights were steep climbs and descents as well as the creek crossing, this one
inparticular was a highlight for me – beautiful rock wall and a crossing that required you to head upstream a little bit:
The next crossing needed a bit of track building on one side, then Nachaluva decided to follow the proper crossing track:
^ Here Nachaluva really needed a bit more speed as his tyres were fighting for grip as the car started to float at one point, but he got the required grip to keep moving forward and got out without issue. He did have a wet engine though!
I took a different line with Ruby Scoo in the second part of the crossing as I didn't trust Ruby to stay grounded and I
didn't want to end up getting the ECU wet if things went wrong in that section of the river in the last pic!
We continued along until we ended up back on Williamson Spur Tk. So we dropped in on Army Tk that we did the other day back down to Donnelly Creek Tk. Since the hut at the bottom of Army Tk (northern end) was now vacant we checked it out... but failed to take the camera!
Following along Donnelly Creek Tk I developed a knocking noise with a distinct clunking through the steering system. After two checks we discovered that my wheel nuts on the front left were barely on anymore. I don't know how this
happened so quick without any noise with any of the ascents or descents we had done earlier. All of my wheel nuts were tightened!
We checked out O'Toole's Flat – a large open and well groomed campground. We then decided that Flats Tk was the go to get us to where we wanted to be. It was a bloody rough track with mutiple options in several sections. Ruby Scoo certainly worked hard to get to the top – where I found that the track became well graded and did a hair pin turn to head down hill, while it continued up in the direction I was travelling! Ruby Scoo at the top:
The problem here was that Nachaluva couldn't make it up, so I headed down on foot to help guide him, then it was decided that the winch was needed (turfor). I headed back down in Ruby Scoo, parked up, go the gear together then headed down on foot to Nachaluva. It must have seemed like an eternity to him while waiting for me!
We ended up getting Nachaluva off the track without the use of the winch, there were some hairy angles his foz saw in the process which he didn't really enjoy, but we got him down safely. Both vehicles headed back down to find the new
“official” start of the track, only to eventually end up passing where Ruby Scoo was parked in the above pic.
We travelled some good tracks from here, checked out Merringtons Flat Campground and ended the 4wd'n part of the trip via Sullivans Tk. We aired up and hightailed it to Walhalla via Walhalla Rd – we passed the start of Fulton's Creek Tk where I had a bit of a chuckle as we looked DOWN this track a few years back thinking “that's epic” only now to
have done it up and down in that section!
Once in Walhalla we pulled up as I was keen for a White Chocolate Mocha. I ordered two white mochas (with a different girl to Saturday morning), Nachaluva and I were stoked when we got them. The first sip was awesome until the brain kicked in and said this isn't white chococlate! Anyway it was a good coffee none the less.
We travelled home along the freeway together talking on the radio – I enjoyed that part of the trip, it was a good end instead of travelling all the way home on my own.
Thanks to Venom, Nachaluva, Adrian and Lucy for coming on this trip. I'm looking forward to our return to this place as we now know where to go! There will be “requirements” for this trip so that everyone has a chance and it's an enjoyable experience :twisted:
Edited by el_freddo, 14 April 2014 - 06:23 AM.