5th, 6th and 7th May, 2018


    (By The Rev – AL ROBBO)

Majority of our Campers arrived Friday – set up camp in our own allocated area at Clarence River Wilderness Retreat.  Truly a lovely spot….   Friday night was a “get your own” with some good cheers around the campfire after din-din.

Others arrived Saturday, due to work commitments not allowing to get away on Friday.   It mattered not, because it was a long-weekend, so we were all staying until Monday.

Saturday was a “lay-day” around the camp anyway – no drive, to enable the “Saturday-ers” to establish their own abodes.   Menial tasks around the campsite were the “order of the day” with the following activities ….

  • Socialising.   The McCallums brought out their “Toss A Sack” thingy-ma-jig game – heaps of skill required…
  • Maintaining vehicles – particularly the brakes, with certain “burning wafting with arrivals” due to very steep and sometimes rough decent into campsite and a need to apply low-range 4WD for safety.  The Rev had a stone in his brake drum – no real damage, and Garry Bowen (Sgt @ Arms) lost his Caravan step.  He had better cop his own fine!!!
  • Collecting Firewood;
  • Preparing meals for the Communal Dinner;
  • The Rev practised his Shower Tent erection – preparing for 11 days at Fraser Island after the Cleanup;

Saturday Night Communal Dinner – What an absolute hoot!!!!  The meals prepared and shared by everyone were simply “out of this world” – from Curry Chow Mein, Roasted vegies with Chorizo, the absolute tastiest marinated chicken, stew, meatballs with American BBQ sauce, and more besides…    Full bellies all round!!!!      The “sweeties” were donated and supplied by Signature Desserts (BIG THANKS Trevor & Etnia) – who were unable to make the weekend for family reasons..

Usual banter around the fireplace at night and a lovely “dedication” to our original foundation members (the reason for the weekend) for starting the Club way back in April 1988…

It was 20 years ago today

Bayside 4WD began to play

Camps & Drives going in and out of style

Guaranteed to raise a smile

Dedicated for all these years, by the way…

(Based on Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band..)

Sunday Drive – Pete Forsyth the Trip Leader.  Set off at 9:30am.  In fact it was 9:20am, much to the consternation of Di Robbo with this lack of Forsyth, I mean foresight!!!   Di was still cleaning up after her and hubby’s (that Me) breakky, ‘cause we were planning for 9:30am!!!!    Very put out…. (not really).

However, we all set off (around 12 vehicles) for a pleasant day’s driving.   DUST- BOY OH! BOY, WAS THERE DUST!!!      The Driving was nothing too serious – combo of scenic and easy.  DUST – BOY OH! BOY, WAS THERE DUST!!!    We visited some noted spots on our activities throughout the Drive – across creeks, up hills, around tight bends, having lunch with a navigational post and Telstra tower – which allowed messages to come and go for a brief time.  Great fellowship.   Poor Jo sprained her ankle badly with the right people there to assist – our First aid officers – Tristan & Chris.   The rest of us gave her heaps of “lovey dovies” (hugs), so she was in good hands…

On our return to Camp, some required supplies from Urbanville, others went to Taloom Falls (so nice) while Chris, Barb and Kathleen stopped off at a suitable site to gather firewood.   Some of us went to give a hand…    Chris Vane got out his Sthil (Chainsaw) and proceeded to trim some old logs into “fireable” pieces to put on top of Kathleen’s beast.   Chris Vane is as mad as a cut snake, you know…..

So there is our Chris Vane

His Sthil on a one-directional lane

Just let him loose and begins to chop

A red-belly snake in half, now a lollypop

Sawed it in 2 pieces and very much in pain…

Yeppity-yep, I was witness to a sight unseen red-bellied black snake reduced to 2 halves (unbeknown to Chis and I) until we saw it slide away in a very distressed condition.    We simply did not see it lying between the two logs we were cutting.     So, so sorry to the “nakey” – which was a decent size and could certainly have done some damage to either of us, if he struck out at being disturbed.

Sunday Night Campfire was an absolute ball of laughs – as usual.   Marshmellows were provided by Graham McCallum and which were used NOT ONLY as beautiful smooth dessert – but we saw a side of one of our beautiful ladies that we have not seen previously!!!!!

Oh! – our beautiful and innocent Sharon

Gets off on “marshies” sitting next to Karen

Loves them when they melt

She says they are heaven-felt

Pull Out!  She says, before they get barren….

(This is a little more innocent that the actual although unintended comments heard by all….)

We all went to have our nightcaps and bed after that …..that simply beats all….We love you Shazza!!!!!

Monday arose – pack up day, heading off home.   That stone in the Brake Drum of the Rev’s Camper was retrieved with the help of Pete Forsyth.    Off with the wheel, off with the Drum casing, adjusting the tension.    What a guy!!!!   That man (Pete Forsyth) is amazing….    Big thanks Pete….     Wheel now turns beautifully and ready for trip home.

Some of the mob meeting on the way to have lunch – where we waited for 2 and half hours for “Pub-Tucker”.   They reckon they were busy, but not all tables were occupied – but they did supply us with a freebie round of drinkies….    The pizzas and pie were great food though….so, we forgive them.

What a fantastic weekend together.   A massive thank you to the 20th Anniversary Sub-Committee for the weekend, headed up by Kathleen, Barb and John L, Susan Mc, Lee & Lucy, Trevor, Nola and assisted by others….

As Ross Valhous said around the campfire –

We are the best folk he could ever wish to share these special times.    Agree Ross…

Until next time folks – See ya’s and Luv Ya’s all…..


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