Trip Leader – Heather and Lindsay Groat

We met at the Rangewood Store at a very leisurely 8 am and with only four vehicles taking up the opportunity we easily managed to meet our planned departure time.

Errol realised his error and fortunately didn’t go to Ravenswood where he originally said he would meet the group.

On pulling out onto Harvey’s Range Road we did the usual radio checks and vehicle count off to make sure we had everyone. Uncharacteristically we managed to get the count right the first time (must have been a very intelligent group this trip – nothing to do with the fact that we only had four cars of course).  Simon who had agreed to be our sweep was a bit perplexed there for a while.  He couldn’t quite work out it he was the fourth vehicle or the last vehicle.

We were travelling quite nicely until we reached the base of the range.  The High Vis lady with her bright red stop sign brought us all to a total stop.  All momentum for the climb was lost.  It turned out we had been pulled up for a single pushbike rider to travel from Piper’s Lookout down to us.

Anyway, we huffed and we puffed and reached the top.

All was going well and we made our turn left towards Charters Towers.

Next thing we know we are pulling up at Fletchers Creek thinking – isn’t this a bit far.  Maps were hastily consulted and our error was realised.  Missed the turnoff by about 38 kilometres. 

Now that is a U-Turn.

Back we go.

It was great to see the county looking healthy and green.

Found the turnoff and the dirt road.  There was a couple of nasty washouts to keep everyone alert or wake you up if you weren’t.

Firewood was collected.  A very tame amount I might point out. 

On arrival at the homestead we pulled and scanned the campground below us.  Thick, lush and waist high grass and woody weeds covered the grounds. 

The water however was flowing swiftly over the rocks and looked very inviting.

Down we went with cars, trailers and a weed eater we cleared our sites.  Danie and I were pretty proud of the site we had picked as it offered marvellous views across the calm waters to the red rocks on the other side.  Simon then placed himself very prominently in the centre of that view.  Lucky we are all friends here.

It was then down to the fishing, swimming, exploring and anything else that we cared to do.  Feel free to ask Simon and Lindsay about the fish that they allowed to get away.

Danie and I chose to go for a walk to a fishing spot about 1 ½ kilometres from the campsite.  For two hours we fished and fished and fished.  It was our best fishing experience ever.  Believe me after carrying the three fish we decided to keep back they were getting very heavy.  We did the same again on Sunday with even better results.

Now you will remember earlier I mentioned a U-Turn.  Well around the campfire a few interesting facts came out.  It seems everyone was at fault to some extent.  If you want to fine the trip leader then we will have to fine everyone.

  • Heather and Lindsay were looking for the big brown tourist sign
  • Dani and I discussed camping on the Basalt River when we crossed the bridge (just moments before the turnoff)
  • Howard let his navigation system go into sleep mode and stopped watching it
  • Simon saw the station name on a sign at the turnoff but didn’t say anything to the rest of us

We also worked out that some blame could fall to:

  • Vikki (but Vikki wasn’t even there you say) because the trip notification for Bluff Downs showed the big brown tourist sign that Heather and Lindsay were looking for (we’ll try anything)
  • The road works occurring at the turnoff point that left us all a little distracted

It was a very slow and relaxed Sunday morning with more walking, fishing and swimming. 

We were even lucky enough to be offered some venison by a group of deer hunters who had been on the property for about a week and were flying back down south.

It was well after 11.30 by the time we finally dragged ourselves away from the campsite to head home.

We stopped at Pipers Lookout for a late lunch before the final dash home to clean up in readiness for the next trip.

Thanks to Heather and Lindsay for leading the way and to Simon for making sure we all made it back.

For more information on trips and events check out our “Club Events” page or Facebook.

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