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22 May Trip Report | Comments Off on Rob McPherson’s Dargo trip May 2018

Rob McPherson’s Dargo trip May 2018

Leaving home at 5:30am Saturday we were just coming in to Licola when we were overtaken by a low flying yellow JKU which we later found out was our trip photographer Mat. After a token refuel to make the Jeeps feel better, (the Prado holds 160L), we were on the road again led by Rob in another Other Other with us shepherding all the Jeeps along at the back.

First stop was Facebook Lookout (Benisons) where everyone was soon holding their phones out. Aired down, it was off up to the Pinnacles and the first long drop. We continued on and Lyn was soon struggling to climb a big whoop-dy. After some advice Lyn thanked us and was able to proceed and it wasn’t until later that she took me aside and explained that she wasn’t driving at the time. Then down Billy Goat passing an oncoming convoy of 28 cars. And of all the rotten luck Rob in his wide body Other Other Nissan met another wide body Other Other Nissan and they became wedged together, blocking the track. Eventually they sorted themselves out and we continued down to the river at Eaglevale to cool our brakes, have lunch and another long drop.

Then it was off up Cynthia range and some other tracks until we came to 4 o’clock track, Gradys, which was blocked by a large tree. I heard the sputter of a chainsaw followed by silence and then the ringing of axe blows echoing up the valley. By the time I ‘hurried’ down to the front the log was shredded and axeman Dave was sitting in a pool of sweat and Rob was caressing his chainsaw which appeared to have been saved from damage by the tungsten chain when it became jammed in the log.

Several more logs were encountered and Rob seemed to be real keen to chop them all off and it wasn’t until a bit further up that his plan became apparent. The track deteriorated and it looked like a trap for unwary Jeeps. But everyone bounced and slid to the bottom unscathed and we all headed off to the pub in high spirits and became higher on spirits.

We eventually headed back to Grandma’s house where I think it was David and his family played their boombox on high until after midnight. Then we were all able to get some sleep, with the stillness of the night only broken by the constant rattle of the heater and the occasional thump when Maggie shoved poor old Phillip out of their single bed.

Next morning we shovelled out all the empties and headed back over to the pub for a cooked breakfast and a driver briefing or we may have skipped that bit as Rob was keen to test out the Jeeps again by going back up Grady’s Tk. And sure enough the blue SWB JK, whose driver shall remain anonymous except for her initials LF, barely made it to the top and past Dave’s Log before expiring in a puff of clutch plate. Lyn, whoops, LF was kind enough to let me drive it out to the main road and I had a great time running up and down the gears without a clutch so I didn’t have the heart to tell her it probably needed a new gearbox now as well as a new clutch.

We missed out on a lot of stuff being stuck down the back all weekend but we did some more tracks then had lunch where Tim wandered over with two empty rolls so we more or less had to share our ham. Then off again. We had started to get blase about all the spectacular scenery but Blue Rag took it to another level. Then down to the main road where we aired up and all stood around waiting for Gill M to air up his 14 inch wide 35’s. Luckily he had an ARB twin compressor or we would still be there. At least with our constant coaching he was starting to understand the difference between high and low range, or so we thought, until we got a call on the radio that he had lost 3rd gear??? After talking him through it we were able to work out that he was still in low range, so a firm shove on the little lever and 3rd, 4th and 5th returned.

On the way down the mountain the fog was so thick in places we had to send someone ahead on foot to feel for the road but we eventually emerged into clear darkness and after dropping Gill M off at a motel, I jumped in with Tim and we convoyed it home with a boy car and a girl car. Thanks Rob for an awesome weekend. An annual event?

By Ken Dunnachie.

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