Another night sitting up, I am so over this cold. The weather was overcast again, we decided we would pull out. We got a wee bit distracted by some Emus passing through the camp so went of in chase with cameras in hand. Then Chris saw a Blue Headed Honeyeater nest so we got further distracted. We didn’t pull out of Mt Moffat until about 11.30am
Well what a trip, it seems as if the road out had more rain than we did at the camp ground, as it wasn’t long in the trip out we got bogged (the first time) The road was very slippery in places and the car and van were sliding all over the road, van one way car the next, very hard for the Jackaroo to get traction. Going up a hill we got bogged, the van was being pulled into a bank on the right hand side. Chris was working out how to get us out when I suggested we drive on the bank as it wasn’t high and had nice firm ground with grass. Chris checked it out and yep up we were pulling all the way up, yippee. As we headed off with the car sliding everywhere.
We get to another hill and we got bogged again, this time good and proper. We had to unhook the van which was across the road and to get the Jackaroo out, which was a feat in itself. Once up the top on firming ground, or so we thought, Chris tied up a long rope (3 loops worth) to the car and van. Chris grabbed the last lot of it before we left saying to me never know this could come in handy. I drove the Jack and Chris would direct the van with the jockey wheel. The Jack was sliding all over the place; I was pulled sideways instead of forward. We did manage to move the van several meters and over the right side of the road but also into a bit of a gutter. Oh it started to rain just as we got bogged and poor Chris was out there in the mud, no shoes and soaking wet. We could hear thunder all around us and the sky was looking pretty black. The Van was stuck and after 3 hours of trying all sorts of things and moving the Jack to one spot then another, just churning up the road, a local farmer finally came along. The only car was saw on the road the whole trip out. He had a Landcruiser Ute with mud tyres on and was able to get a better grip. He had a winch but it wasn’t working so we had to tie our rope to his Ute and he pulled us out. We were so grateful for his help. We asked him what the road conditions were like up ahead and what the weather forecast was. He said he didn’t want to say. 40ml was forecast for tomorrow and then another 40ml the next day, he said we would get another 30km before we hit 2 gullies and then 2km of really bad boggy mud he reckon we would not get through. His advice was to find a spot to pull off the road and stay there the week. Well we didn’t like that idea and knew if we didn’t get out today we were going to be stuck.
So we decided to at least go as far as we could and pullover if necessary. Again we were slipping and sliding every where but we kept going, we also knew the road was better up the other end, more sand and less black dirt. We passed a nice spot we could have stopped for the night and looked at each other and said what do we do, it was now or never, or a week, so we went for it. Literally 500m up the road going up a hill again we got bogged once more. We unhooked, took the car up the hill, luckily not a big hill and very firm on top. The van was right across the road on an angle and the road in front was really churned up, pictured to prove it. We hooked the rope up, under Chris’s direction I went for it in the Jack, I was sliding sideways, but kept at it and then the van moved, and moved and up we came. Chris was telling me to keep moving but I was worried about running him over, he said he nearly slipped a few times, Gee that would have been good, him face down in the mud and I take the van right over the top of him. Of course it started to rain at the same time again.
All up and hooked up and we headed off again agreeing Chris would get out and check any suss spots in the road before we hit it. We got to the 2 gullies the farmer told us about. Chris got out and checked out the water going across the whole road and quite wide and nearly up to his knee. He checked out the hill going up the other side and then the other gully and decided we could get through as it was reasonably firm underneath. He pretty well floored it, water went over top of the Jack but up up and through it we went. Then we came across this 2km of black mud the farmer said about. We stopped and had a good look and a good think and decided there was no where for us to go but forward. It was slipping and sliding all the way through, a few firm bits in places that gave us a chance to straighten up, we did it got through, but gee if we had got stuck there we would have been stuck.
We kept moving forward now trying to beat the light, any holes or corrugations we just hit them head on, couldn’t take the chance of slowing down and getting stuck. Cows were on the road in places, we just had to toot the horn and hoped they moved. This road also has lots of cow grids which often seemed to have muddy bits on either side. The van and car would be slipping slide ways and some how Chris would manage to straighten the vehicles up so we could go through straight. It was bad enough doing this in daylight but the even harder in the dark, the only good thing was the road had improved a bit. We did the last 30min in the dark and counting down the km’s. Both of us feeling very stressed. My tummy was in knots. The carpet in the Jack was all muddy and the pedals were a couple of inches higher, we knew by this stage we were going to make it km by km.
Then we hit it the bitumen, we could have got out and kissed it. We stopped and checked the van all seemed ok but gee it was filthy. We had come through the longest 90km of dirt road we had ever been on, took us over 7hrs to do it. We still had another 70km of bitumen to Injune; it was black as black out there, overcast and no moon. Roo’s and other animals were right on the edge of the road so it was 60km all the way in the dark. We went through a few flood ways that served to wash the vehicles down a bit. We eventually made it into Injune, stressed and tired and filthy 8 ½ hrs after we had left Mt Moffat.
We set up camp, found the gas bottles in the mud to turn them on, we lost our little spirit levels somewhere and the clamp for the dolly wheel is bent and now a little suss. Thank goodness Injune Caravan Park has great showers, Chris just about had to soak, mud all up his legs, feet were caked in it, shorts and shirts were muddy and wet. His thongs were a huge mess and took a lot of cleaning up. We just had some pancakes for tea and retired to bed exhausted.