At least, that was the intention when we started out.
I had a photo shoot on the NSW south coast, so Doc decided to come along as my assistant and then take me out for a 4wding lesson afterwards.
We finished the shoot (which went swimmingly) around noon, then went to find some not too difficult tracks for me to practice on. Through some sand, and over a couple of creeks, and things were going great. I even did a steep entry to and exit from a sandy creek. I was feeling quite proud of myself.
Then we came across a very rocky part of the track.
You might think the sensible thing to do at this point would be to turn back and find somthing easier. And you would be right. But for some reason Doc decided that he’d take the Cruiser (yes, the same one I’m not allowed to drive on my own for fear of damaging it), up the rocks himself. Maybe because the Cruiser hadn’t been out for a while, maybe because I keep giving him a hard time about locking it up while I go adventuring, who knows. But he got that stubborn look on his face – the one that says “this little thing isn’t going to stop me”.
A short-lived sigh of relief.
As we drove along we seemed to be getting deeper and deeper into the bush, and the track closed in closer and closer. Doc gritted his jaw and swore every time the branches scraped down the side or over the top of his baby.
Then we came to a tree fallen across the track. Another logical place to turn around you might think, but then we’d have to go down the rocky bit again. So he piled rocks and smaller logs up to make a ramp and off he went again.
First he approached from one way, then from another, he went faster, then he went slower. And finally he made it over – half way at least. The approach ramp had helped him to get over, but there was nothing on the other side to ease the way down. The Cruiser bottomed out half way over the tree. The only thing to do was to winch out.
And the track got worse from there. But we weren’t going to give up – no sirree! I was singing in my head as we drove “I think I can, I think I can”. Of course, I didn’t sing out loud – by this stage Doc was in no mood for singing!
When we bottomed out half way across the second fallen tree I couldn’t get out of the car. There was a steep drop of around 3 metres right outside my door. I was too scared to move!
Finally, the track started to clear and we reached the top – to find another fallen tree across the exit path. I’m not even going to tell you Doc’s reaction, but we finally did manage to get out, quite a few hours after we started. And I was very restrained – I didn’t point out that I’d missed the Waratahs game on TV even though we won! I think I deserve some brownie points for that.
And for capturing some of it on video!