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Thread: Mid weeks shift workers BARRINGTON TOPS in the April school holidays

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    Forum Enthusiast jtb2879's Avatar
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    Mid weeks shift workers BARRINGTON TOPS in the April school holidays

    WARNING: THIS TRIP IS PHOTO HEAVY
    The old shift workers midweek trips are back!

    Attendees:
    BUCKY and Ms BUCKY – Pajero
    PHILBY – Master of the bling. First time 4wd owner, new to him camper trailer & shiny new Parado.
    RABS, Mrs RABS and RABS junior - Hilux SR5 dual cab
    RON and Master Ron – Pajero
    Jacky CHAN – First time 4wd owner – Hilux SR dual cab table top
    JTB, Mrs JTB, Ms JTB and Master JTB – Dual cab Colorado

    We normally do one big trip a year in the July school holidays. But this year we decided to make a concerted effort to do a few two nighters. Thus far trips this year have been to Bendethera, Yerranderie and Sunny Corner. This trip was sponsored by BUCKY so the meeting place was Macca’s at Heatherbrae.

    Much to PHILBY’s dismay the meeting point and time for the rest of us was decided by BUCKY who set the meeting point for the trip. Sadly for PHILBY, 7am at Heatherbrae equals 5am at Windsor or as PHILBY puts it “Stupid o’clock at Windsor!”. PHILBY’s a sook and some of us get up two hours earlier than this to go to work… this was for camping and even getting the wife and kids out of bed was easy.

    It was dark and foggy!


    The trip appeared to be working out nicely! Jacky CHAN had arrived at my place on time with his Hilux table top. He had offered to take my esky and water on his truck, this was good because it wasn't fitting in mine with the four of us!

    RON doesn't live too far away so I tried to raise him on the UHF, no luck. He's as reliable as a brick, he'll be right. Just as we pull into the servo get ice he rings the mobile, turns out his battery pack and accessory socket don't like each other which blows a fuse and means his UHF now doesn't work.
    Loading the eskies with ice at the servo


    By the time we get ice he and PHILBY are waiting at the meeting point. Power issue couldn't sorted in the dark and we had 200km to cover so we set off. My kids were gob smacked at how many people were out and about at "stupid o'clock".

    As we used the UHF's travelling through Dural we picked up Shane, but not clearly enough to hear him, turns out he's a little behind us.

    A couple of times while heading north on the M1 I heard Master JTB exclaim "I'm feeling sick". The ute was loaded and I've got a feeling I need to upgrade the suspension, but there was some unusual up/down action (compared to unladen at least). We even went off at an exit for one as there was bugger all break down lane. He didn't vomit but got five minutes of crisp morning air, which I think helped somewhat.

    We all rock into Macca's at Heatherbrae roughly within 10-15mins of each other. Except for Bucky who got there at 5.30am, as he didn't want to be late for his first trip sponsorship... so by the time we walked in he was well ready to walk out. A quick feed and we were off again heading for Gloucester.
    Last edited by jtb2879; 14-04-16 at 07:24 PM.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    Ms JTB gets arty farty


    Our little convoy heading north on the Buckets Way


    The Buckets


    View from the Gloucester servo over Woolies... spectacular!


    The Woolies carpark is where it took three grown men and a Pajero owners manual 10 minutes to find the fuse box and then the blown fuse. Took 2 seconds to replace the blown fuse. Ron wasn't trying to get his battery pack and the accessories to be friends anymore so he had comms for the rest of the trip.

    "Cow Creek" as the kids called it, actually Cobark Creek on the Barrington Tops Road


    Cow Creek on the upstream side
    Last edited by jtb2879; 14-04-16 at 08:33 PM.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    Eventually we hit the dirt... always a good feeling. Just a little further on this sign greets us:


    Then eventually


    We pulled into the Thunderbolt lookout car park for a bit of out of car time:


    The walk in


    Young Ms JTB just has "the eye" for photography, her father is certainly impressed at her efforts for a totally untrained 15yo, but he's biased.




    BUCKY and Ms BUCKY feeling the serenity at the lookout


    More work from the daughter




    Master JTB log surfing


    View from the lookout






    We made our way back to the cars and headed off for the Little Murray camp ground.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    Needed to do a little track clearing of some fallen timber


    Little Murray campground is about 5.3km from the main road. The track was rougher than I expected with speeds averaging around 8-10kph

    Spotted a few horses only a couple of hundred metres from the camp.


    As luck would have it, even on the first Monday of school holidays, there was no one else there! So we just spread ourselves out around one of the fireplaces and got to unpacking and setting up. Jacky CHAN remined me of what it was like to be a single bloke camping on your own. Throw swag on ground, put esky on ground, get chair out and set up. READY!



    The rest of us were a little slower as we had more to do. But when it was all said and done we all had a comfortable and dry place to be for the next two nights.



    My camp


    BUCKY's camp


    RON's camp


    PHILBY's camp


    Shane's camp
    Last edited by jtb2879; 14-04-16 at 08:16 PM.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    Soon enough the call went out for the now traditional game of "Boules"! This was started on our Yerranderie trip and looks like it's now a "thing" we do. Lots of fun, but I could tell that RON had had lots of practice since the Yerranderie trip and he took on all comers!


    Soon enough it was time for dinner. Not many, if any seem to show that on here. It's more common on some of the motorcycle adventure touring sites. So I'll show you what a few of us had for dinners while we were away...
    RABS family roast






    JTB family lunches, cheese and baked beans


    Baked vege and steak/sausage


    On the plate


    PHILBY likes his greens!


    Jacky CHAN - The wife felt sorry for nephew and gave him some of our veg to go with his bacon and potato salad, he might have set up like a single bloke, but also ate like one.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    During day two we made a good decision to go exploring around the area, had a look at Junction Pools, thought about walking up to the crashed plane site. We also went over to the western side of the park and had a look at some of the camping sites on that side. There were some great camping sites and creeks/rivers over there!

    Some on track (tame) action:


    Go Jacky CHAN


    On afternoon two I had a feeling that it might get a bit wet overnight. A couple of weeks ago I bought a few tent poles and a tarp from Aldi to keep the swag and stretcher dry if it rained. Time to test the set up!

    Knocked up a cover at the back of the truck. Around dinner time there were a few spits of rain. After dark the clouds rolled in, we were at 1500m after all and then came the misty, annoying rain. We went to bed about 9pm or so. The Aldi tarp kept me dry and left a nice dry footprint behind the truck for the mid morning pack up.

    Everything was just wet enough to be annoying and require everything to be dried out over the next few days while trying to work...

    When we drove off the roads were still very dusty.

    We made our way back out onto the main road before hanging a left and heading down to Pol Blue for a look at the facilities. Not bad, but too many people for our liking. But we would have fitted had we needed to.

    Had a look at some look out I can't remember the name of at the Dingo gate on the road to Moonan.


    Someone is feeling the love, and it's not Jacky CHAN!


    Checking out the suspension bridge at Moonan


    There is a split amongst us about whether or not work attire is suitable on a trip. Some of us wear fluro/hiviz others refuse. So when I saw this on a fence on the way home between Muswellbrook and Jerrys Plains I had to get a picture. It was a "protest without the people" of some type but some of the shirts had "in memoriam" and the had names and dates of birth and death on them. It was very unusual, especially given that there was a mine on the other side of the fence.
    Last edited by jtb2879; 14-04-16 at 07:18 PM.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

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    We eventually arrived home just on dark and spent hours unpacking the truck and hanging wet tarps about the place. The tent had to wait until I got home from work this arvo, weather man says its going to be 28 deg tomorrow, so I'll get home promptly tomorrow after work and get it down all nice and dry.

    You know it's been a good trip when the kids don't won't to leave and the wife says as we're driving away... "I could have stayed another night." I have a very strong feeling we'll all be back to the Barringtons.

    Thanks to all the other blokes and their families for great trip. Thanks Bucky for being the sponsor. Next trip is sponsored by me down south around the Brindabella's in May... get the winter woollies out boys!

    Where my GPS says we went:


    The blue flag is the Little Murray campground.
    Last edited by jtb2879; 14-04-16 at 07:21 PM.
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

  8. #8
    Seriously Hooked
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    Very entertaining read. I'm heading up there tomorrow, and might even stay at Little Murray.

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    Thanks Gary.

    The place could do with a good drink. The driest we saw was between Scone and Barrington Tops, it was well over due for rain. Lucky you! With a much shorter transport than we Sydneyites to get there!
    On days like this I'd rather be west of the Darling!

  10. #10
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    Yes mate, it's the driest I've ever seen it here at the moment.

    Those work shirts hanging on the fence was a show of support for all the workers at Drayton Coal mine, which lost its appeal to expand, and who will all lose their jobs shortly.

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