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AGM 2021

The AGM was held on Saturday 27th March with 36 members in attendance at the Traveller’s Rest Motel, Mundaring.

The meeting ran successfully and all positions were filled with most office bearers maintaining their positions.

The meeting was followed by a very enjoyable BBQ in the motel grounds

2021 0327 An enjoyable evening at Mundaring

An enjoyable evening at Mundaring


TEC AWARD

The 2020 TEC Award was presented to Bill and Helen Taylor by Ron Bywaters

in appreciation of their many years of service to the Club

2021 0327 TEC Awardees Bill & Helen Taylor

TEC Awardees Bill & Helen Taylor

 

TEC Replica Award for 2019 presented to Ross Smith.

TEC Replica Award for 2019 presented to Ross Smith.


15 YEAR MEMBERSHIP BADGES AWARDED TO: 

Daniel Smith, Mark Buchanan, Barry & Helen Hall, Les & Carol Mauger,

Paul Scorgie, Don Smith, Robert & Irene Butler and Scott Brooks.


UPCOMING EVENTS

2021 TREK FROM TEMORA TO BYRON BAY AND RETURN TO DONGARA

The planned reverse trek of the 2000 Steep Point to Byron Bay is hopefully still on track.

Three WA tractors are still in Temora, having been left there in preparation for the 2000 trek which was unfortunately cancelled due to Covid19 restrictions. It is planned that these tractor crews will be joined by 6 tractors and 2 support vehicles from the Eastern States Branch and another 2 tractors and 8 support vehicles from WA for the start of the reversal trek from Byron Bay in July.

For WA and SA participants, the 2021 Trek will commence in Temora, then proceed to Byron Bay to join other Eastern Branch members and travel back to WA via Alice Springs where they will visit the Alice Springs Hall of Fame before the official end of the trek at Steep Point, then concluding in Dongara.

There are proposed plans A and B for the up-and-coming Trek from WA to Alice Springs.  Also Plan C for a trek throughout northern WA if our Byron Bay to Steep Point does not go ahead.

Our Trek Itinerary for the 2021 trek departing via Coolgardie then from Byron Bay to Steep Point.  Proposed dates are as follows:-

A Members will depart 1st August Coolgardie, via Connie Sue under the guidance of

Cedar Armstrong, Jeff Fordham and Allan Faulkner.

11th July:  

Depart Temora 5-7 days Travel to Byron Bay (flexible)

18th July:

Arrive Byron Bay, and set up camp for 3 days where we meet up with ESB Members who are travelling with us to Alice Springs.

25th July:

Depart Byron Bay via Birdsville en route to Alice Springs, which Cumber & Neville are organising for this part of the Trek with 28 days of travel.

22nd August: 

Arrive Alice Springs where accommodation is booked at Alice Springs Tourist Park, 70 Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs for 8 days. We will be joining with the Army fraternity that is passing through on their way to Darwin before they return for the Transport Hall of Fame celebrations.  They have organised events for that week in which we will join.  Some WA Members will be arriving at Alice Springs at this time.

31st August:

Depart Alice Springs for Steep Point for those travelling there, otherwise the ESB Members will be returning to their homes in the East.

 

 

Ravensthorpe Wildflower Trek

A group of enthusiastic members met at Dick and Barb Garnett’s Willemenup property in Gnowangerup on Wednesday 2 September. After enjoying a few pre-dinner drinks around the fire we moved inside for a delicious meal kindly supplied and prepared by Barb.

We set off to travel through the Stirling Range the following morning, stopping off to visit the old Toolbrunup School along the way and also Red Gum Springs. Although there was some beautiful scenery as we made our way through the Range, it was obvious that the bush was still recovering from the fire that had passed through twelve months ago.

We arrived at Mt Trio Bush Caravan Park at approximately 3pm. This was a great little park offering very comfortable facilities and is a wildflower, birdlife and walking hot spot. Some members took advantage of this and booked in for the wildflower/orchid guided walk the following morning. After leaving Mt. Trio we headed for Tozer’s Bush Camp, stopping along the way to visit the ‘Lily’ Dutch Windmill then later stopping off for lunch at Amelup.

The bays at Tozer’s Bush Camp were nestled in amongst natural bushland. There was a very spacious and spotless ablution/camp kitchen area which we all made good use of. Some members took advantage of another guided wildflower tour while others were able to go on a self-guided tour along the path on the outskirts of the caravan park.

From here we continued on to Bremer Bay. Prior to booking in to the caravan park we visited the Wellstead Museum for a tour and an excellent lunch. We were welcomed by Max Wellstead who then gave us a guided tour of the museum. There was such a huge variety of items on display it was impossible to see everything in the short time we were there. A second visit is definitely on our list of things to do.

Soon after entering the Fitzgerald National Park we made our way to Pt Anne where we tried to photograph the whales (you have to be quick!) We continued on and camped at Fitzgerald River Camp Site. Several more members joined the group at this camp site (just as the rain came down).

We awoke to a damp morning however we were all soon on the road and heading in to Ravensthorpe. There was a quick stop on the outskirts of town so the homemade wildflower decorations could be attached to the tractors.

There was no shortage of things to see and do in Ravensthorpe and Hopetoun and everyone was free to choose how they spent their time while there.

We attended the official opening of the Ravensthorpe Flower Show along with special guests Will Yeoman and Sabrina Hahn. We had a choice of tag-along tours available, sightseeing and wildflowers in the Fitzgerald National Park, Farm Gate Art and lots more.

While in Hopetoun we all joined in to another tag-along tour kindly organised by Allan Faulkner, with Moira and Peter McMahon as our guides. Apart from visiting some great locations, Peter explained the process of collecting the wildflower seeds (under licence). We all appreciated Moira and Peter taking the time to share their knowledge with us.

On Saturday 12th we all went along to visit another place of interest which was the Rusty Relic Open Shed on the property of Colin Hughes and Sue Leighton. Great collection of vehicles and collectables.

After a busy few days we left Hopetoun and made our way along the Southern Ocean Road to our next campsite at Starvation Bay. From here we headed to Lake King via Lillian Stokes bush camp site. This camp was a devastating sight, having been totally burnt out. Such a huge contrast from a previous visit when it was all very lush and green.

We stopped off the one night at Holland Tank campsite after leaving Lake King.

Pingrup community was very welcoming and it was here that we caught up briefly with Jack Bock. Tim and Vicki O’Neill, Mick Creagh and Butch Lutley travelled across from Ongerup to join us around the camp fire for tea.  A member from the local Lion’s Club, made a special trip in to town to cook us a fantastic damper the following morning (for morning tea) before we left to travel on to Nyabing. We decided to stay the night in Nyabing and had our last camp fire for the trek.

The following morning we travelled to Katanning to attend the Tracmach field day. Although the weather was extremely cold we had a wander around the many displays. There was a great variety of food available in the pavilion so we made our way there for lunch by the fire. By mid-afternoon our group had dispersed and we were all on the road again returning to our various homes.

Thank you Dick, Allan and Cedar for again being so generous with your time and for organising such an interesting and enjoyable wildflower trek.

AGM 2020

The AGM was held on Saturday 22nd February with 29 members in attendance at Cumber’s beach shack at Knobby Hill near Dongara.

The meeting ran successfully and all positions were filled with most office bearers maintaining their positions.

The meeting was followed by a very enjoyable shared meal and the opportunity to view the memorable sunset.

Members camped overnight and enjoyed a hearty BBQ breakfast before returning home.

Some of the members relaxing before the commencement of the 2020 AGM.

Some of the members relaxing before the commencement of the 2020 AGM.

TEC AWARD

The 2019 TEC Award was presented to Ross and Patsy Smith in appreciation of their many years of being part of the club and their ongoing attention to the Well 5 on the Canning Stock Route, especially their organising the Well 5 Shelter in 2019.

Ron presents Ross & Patsy with TEC Award

UPCOMING EVENTS

2020 TREK FROM TEMORA TO BYRON BAY AND RETURN TO DONGARA

The planned reverse trek of the 2000 Steep Point to Byron Bay was split into two treks:

Starting in June of 2019 some members from WA joined with members from SA to undertake a trek to Temora where they left their tractors and vans before returning home to prepare for the main trek to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the inaugural trek from Steep Point to Byron Bay in 2000.

For WA and SA participants, the 2020 Trek will commence in Temora, then proceed to Byron Bay to join other Eastern Branch members and travel back to WA via Alice Springs to Steep Point, concluding in Dongara.

Preparations for this return trek are now well under way with departure date being 1st June.

Our Trek Itinerary for the 2020 trek departing from Byron to Steep Point and proposed dates are as follows:-

       WA Members will depart 1st July from Coolgardie, via Connie Sue under the guidance of  

       Cedar Armstrong, Jeff Fordham and Allan Faulkner.

       Those who have their tractors and campers in Temora:

15th June:-

Depart Temora 5 days Travel to Byron Bay

22nd June:-

Arrive Byron Bay, and set up camp for 3 days where we meet up with ESB Members who are travelling with us to Alice Springs. 

25th June:-

Depart Byron Bay via Birdsville en route to Alice Springs, which Cumber & Neville are organising for this part of the Trek with 28 days of travel.

22nd July:-

Arrive Alice Springs where accommodation is booked at Alice Springs Tourist Park, 70 Larapinta Drive, Alice Springs for 8 days. We will be joining with the Army fraternity that is passing through on their way to Darwin before they return for the Transport Hall of Fame celebrations.  They have organised events for that week in which we will join.  Some WA Members will be arriving at Alice Springs at this time.

30th July:-

Depart Alice Springs for Steep Point for those travelling there, otherwise the ESB Members will be returning to their homes in the East.

Broomehill to Kulin Trek 2019

The trek from Broomehill to Kulin commenced on Thursday 26 September, 2019 soon after an interesting visit to the Henry Jones Café in Broomehill for morning tea.  Jim and Annabelle Withnall made us welcome and provided an interesting,  informal chat about  the history of the Holland Track before we set off on our journey. Annabelle escorted us to the site of the Alpha Hall and the start of the Holland Track.

Later that morning we arrived in Nyabing and called in to the hotel where Christie Smith, Secretary of the Nyabing Progress Association, explained how the Association undertook to renovate the old pub. Unfortunately, due to a range of issues, the building had to end up being demolished. The Progress Association continued to work to raise the funds required to rebuild and now have an amazing new hotel along with accommodation and excellent facilities to cater for conferences.

We left Nyabing and camped at Holland Tank/Rock. The following morning we drove on to Newdegate where Cedar Armstrong and Allan Faulkner spoke about the tractor club, and also our fundraising for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, to a group of children from the local school. Our next stop was the Newdegate Hainsworth Building where there was a lovely light lunch provided, with endless cups of tea, which was very much appreciated by everyone.  We then moved on to Geoff McDonald’s Oakalona Farm. The shearing shed was a hive of activity and Allan Faulkner gave us a demonstration of his shearing skills. Later in the day several of our more adventurous members went for a hair raising ride in Geoff’s restored Bren Gun Carrier. The entertainment continued around the camp fire with Geoff and Joe playing a few tunes on their guitars and singing a few country songs. It was a great night.

As we made our way along the Holland Track we explored various rock formations along the way. Lillian Stokes Rock in Frank Hann National Park was just one of many interesting camp sites. We met up en-route in the Shire of Kondinin with Mick who provided some interesting information about the mining activity in the area.

We continued on and visited Lake Cronin. This was an interesting stop however, unfortunately, the lake was dry. Our next camp was at Mount Holland, and the following morning (after our early morning climb) we continued on to Gnamma Hill via Vultee Vengeance plane crash site. 

One more stop before arriving at our final destination was Kondinin Caravan Park. During our time here several members were interviewed by Tyne Logan from Great Southern ABC, we had a group meal together at the hotel and made a visit to the Light Horse Memorial on Yeerakine Rock.

The 25th Annual Kulin Bush Races was a sold out event, and the huge crowd attending enjoyed non-stop entertainment throughout the whole weekend. We appreciated the opportunity of camping in the Vietnam Vet’s Camp Hart enclosure, and the invitation to attend their memorial service on the Saturday morning. The 9G Chamberlain tractors were invited to participate in the grand parade and also competed against each other in a track race. The commentator was our own Bob King who did a great job of calling the race. Members dressed up for the occasion and won second prize in the ‘Fashions on the Field’ competition. The proceeds of the prize were donated to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation along with other donations we received during the Broomehill to Kulin Trek.

IMAGE GALLERY

ESB TREK TO BILOELA

Recently some of the ESB members made a small trek from Young, NSW to Biloela, Qld which is approximately 100k’s west of Rockhampton, Qld.  Those trekking included Claude Fuller, Malcolm Yerbury, John Ault, Tony & Maree Barnett and Neville Thompson..

The Callhide Dawson Machinery Preservation Club have an event every year which some of us have attended before known as the Silo Complex.  They previously held the National Rally in 2007.and have a great campground and amenities.  This year was the biennial Queensland Heritage Rally.  Whilst there we met up with old and current members – Don Smith, Joan & Brian Derrick, Les Thompson, Bob & Irene Butler and from the responses to our tractors, hopefully more new members as plenty of membership forms were passed on – hope so.

There was a good array of tractors on show, mostly Chamberlains.  The National Tractor Trek is being held in Young this September and has 160 tractors trekking, and out of those there are 58 Chamberlains, 9G’s making a big contribution.  Who would have thought 18 years ago that our trusty 9G’s would become so popular?

Anyhow, as usual, it was good catching up with everyone, good weather, good company, great trip so let’s keep on ‘Chamberling Along’.

2018 – Trek to Well 5

Well 5 – Canning Stock Route

Since the Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club of WA adopted Well 5 on the Canning Stock Route, several members have made visits at various times out to the Well in order to carry out maintenance and any general repairs if required.

Our most recent visit was on the 11 July, 2018.  Once enquiries were made and permission was obtained from the M.N.R. Body Corporate by members Ross and Patsy Smith, approximately 30 club members set up camp at Well 5 in order to erect a steel framed shelter and concrete bench seat to further enhance the area for passing travellers.

This new steel shelter was built off-site by Brian Carr, along with assistance from Paul Whittaker, Shayne Smith and Max Smith.

The structure was transported to Well 5 in pieces and erected at the site. The concrete bench seat was transported by truck to the site by Dick Garnett, along with a telehandler which was used to lift and dig as required.

With the equipment provided by members, along with many willing hands, it was not long before the structure was in place and ready for some touch up painting.  Two signs were attached to the shelter to provide some information on the activities and purpose of the Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club.  A new survey plaque was also installed at the site.

This was a very successful project and an enjoyable few days camping out for those members who participated.

Following on from the Well 5 experience, some trekkers continued on, meeting up with other members, with a group of 11 people enjoying a few days visiting Mount Augustus and the Kennedy Ranges, along with the very beautiful countryside, very green after the good rains.

Club members with the completed shelter

Club members with the completed shelter

 

SOUTHERN EXPLORER TREK

Feedback from everyone who participated in the Southern Explorer Trek was that they all had a thoroughly good time. The Trek was everything everyone expected it to be. The scenery was fantastic, white beaches for as far as the eye could see, no shortage of whales which could be easily seen and photographed from the viewing platform at Pt. Ann. The wildflowers were a sight to see (some we had never seen before). The opportunity to visit old station homesteads and some abandoned ruins which were off the beaten track. A variety of road conditions kept all the drivers on their toes and a very interesting (low range) hill climb after crossing a very slippery salt flat was interesting.

We got off to a great start by meeting in Northam on 1st September, 2017 where the National Ballooning Championships were being held. Great to experience this event and be a part of the Balloon Fiesta.

From here we made our way to Yealering and Dumbleyung, then on to Dick and Barb’s property in Gnowangerup for the ram auction and a whole lot of other interesting activities, lots of lovely food, pig on a spit and a bucket or two of yabbies.

Our next stop was Yongergnow Mallee Fowl Centre which is located approximately 1km from Ongerup. We were presented with a very interesting talk about the Mallee Fowl after viewing the large indoor display and outdoor area where the fowl are kept.

Malcolm and Melanie Smith’s Parkside Farm was our next stop, and from here we visited Pt. Ann and Quaalup Homestead in the Fitzgerald River National Park.

We arrived in Hopetoun via the Fitzgerald National Park. Apart from sightseeing we visited the Wildflower Show and Spring Festival in Ravensthorpe, enjoyed lunch and a tour of the Men in Sheds and also visited Bill Pike’s restored tractor display which was very interesting. Our camp site overlooking the Jerdacuttup river at Mary Richardson’s  property was a great location.

After camping out for the next two nights at Munglinup and Quagi Beach we arrived at John and Maggie Henderson’s property in Esperance. Along with an invitation to visit the Restoration Club for a tour, morning tea and lunch, a hearty breakfast at the Bird and Animal Park another day, there was no end of places to visit while in Esperance. We all enjoyed our time here.

After another couple of nights camping in the National Park we arrived at Steve and Michelle Fowler’s Lyndburn Farm. Their son Tom guided us through numerous paddocks to a wonderful campsite adjacent to a flowing creek. Some members took the opportunity while here to visit the Cape Arid National Park.

We left Lyndburn Farm and headed off to our next bush camp at the Deralinya Homestead. We left the campers here and drove through to Balbinia Homestead and Brooks Cottage which have both been restored.

Next camp site was at Nanambinia Station.  This homestead/property has been incorporated into Balladonia Station. From here we set off down the old telegraph track. We encountered pockets of very slushy, slippery road however the rest of the track was quite reasonable.  We camped that night at Dundas before moving on to Norseman the following day.

Once we received the all clear on road conditions we left Norseman stopping to explore various places of interest along the way before our next roadside camp. Another bush camp at Marvel Loch (great spot) then we drove on to Narembeen. We received a very friendly welcome here and enjoyed a tour of the Narembeen Community Shed and Gallery. We also visited all the places of interest in the surrounding area.

On our way to the next camp site at Kwolyin we called in to Shackleton. This was an interesting little town. They have the smallest bank building (which is now a tourist attraction), an Art Studio and Sculpture Park, and the Tourism and Art Discovery Centre.

We eventually arrived at Greenhills Tavern on October 2nd for our final night of camping and an end of trek dinner.  Everyone had a great night and the meal was excellent. Thank you to everyone who made the trek possible.

2017 Trek Itinerary

Image Gallery

 

 

2016 – Seachange Trek

AUGUST 4TH TO 7TH

The Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club ‘Seachange Trek’ commenced on Thursday 4th August, 2016 at Cervantes, a small but growing fishing town.

The itinerary was planned to create a slower paced Trek, allowing time to really enjoy the scenery and wildflowers, as well as participating in some beach fishing and sightseeing along the way.

Thirty two members participated in the Trek.

Everyone enjoyed their time sightseeing and visiting the Pinnacles Desert while at Cervantes. The decoration of the area set aside when we gathered at the Community Club for dinner was very much appreciated by everyone.

We left Cervantes and travelled north along Indian Ocean Drive to Jurien Bay.

While at Jurien Bay we were invited to visit Ian Boyd’s private motorcycle collection. There were 76 bikes in the showroom. Ian started collecting in 1987. As part of the collection, he has every model of the Vincent HRD from 1936-1955.  As Ian commented, he is in Vincent heaven! Along with the motorcycles there were Jaguar cars, speed cars and lots of memorabilia.

Later that afternoon we arrived at Knobby Head. Camp sites were soon selected, and it wasn’t long before the socialising began and a magnificent meal (thanks to Cumber, Jim and Derek) was well underway. There was a camp fire outside and a wood burner in the shed, so no one was left out in the cold.

 

AUGUST 8TH to 10th

After a great couple of days eating, beach walking and fishing we moved on to Carnamah via Lake Indoon and Eneabba. Soon after leaving Eneabba we called in for a brief visit to a very large almond orchard which is owned by the Indian Ocean Company. We had a guided tour of the orchard which included a very interesting and informative conversation with the Manager.

The Club received a very friendly welcome from the Carnamah community, with the Bowling Club providing a sumptuous roast lamb evening meal.  We visited McPherson Homestead, where we had a very interesting guided tour. From there we were invited to look through the Historical Museum. There were many items on display and the presentation was excellent. We also visited the Tractor Museum which was particularly interesting for our own tractor enthusiasts.

Our next stop was Mingenew Expo. The tractors were on display for the first day of the expo. The weather was perfect and everyone enjoyed the opportunity to wander at leisure around the displays. The following morning we made our way out to Coal Seam Conservation Park. There was a beautiful show of wildflowers as we made our way up to the lookout. Chris Lewis from ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt was visiting the Park at the time and he requested an interview with some members of our club, along with footage of the tractors. The video can be seen on the ABC Midwest and Wheatbelt Facebook page.

 

AUGUST 11TH TO 14TH

The trek continued through beautiful scenic countryside to Allendale Pool, then on to Chapman Valley where we camped the night at Stuart and Di Adamson’s Valley View Farm. A re-enactment of the capture of Leane’s Trench from the Turkish Army by the West Australian 11th Battalion AIF was provided by three soldiers. They are part of the Living History Group and Gallipoli Trench Re-creation Project based in Geraldton. It is a world first Gallipoli project.  Two decorated horseshoes were presented to the soldiers from the Chamberlain 9G Tractor Club.  There was also a monetary donation to the Living History Group from our members present which would assist towards the upkeep of the trench.

We set off from the farm the following morning for Northampton via the Chapman Valley.  This was a beautiful drive through very colourful, undulating countryside. We called in for Devonshire tea at Oakabella café, which was followed by a tour of the historic homestead and outbuildings. After a short stop-over for some quick shopping in Northampton, we proceeded on to the Port Gregory Caravan Park where we stayed for 2 nights. A sausage sizzle was provided by the owners of the caravan park which was a great opportunity to meet with others at the caravan park, and raise some funds for our two charities.

We left Port Gregory and called in to Lucky Bay for a short break, then continued on to Kalbarri.  The scenery around Kalbarri was spectacular.

We left Kalbarri and camped the night at Murchison House Station (old army site near the river).  The following morning we left, with the Station’s permission, to continue on through the station to the vermin fence. We camped at the fence then continued further along the Zuytdorp Cliffs the following morning to the site of the Zuytdorp wreck. It was a slow trip along the cliffs as the road was very rough.

Many whales could be seen offshore from our camp site on the cliff. The scenery and sunsets were beautiful.

 

AUGUST 18TH TO 24TH

The weather was closing in as we left the camp site the following morning to travel east along the vermin fence. We eventually arrived at the junction with North West Coastal Highway and made our way north to the Billabong Roadhouse, where we spent a rather cold, windy night. Before leaving the following morning everyone gathered while Bobby King conducted the commemorative ‘Battle of Long Tan’ ceremony. Bobby’s brief address, which included music, was a very moving ceremony.

We arrived to spend one night at Hamelin Pool Caravan Park. A viewing walkway provided excellent access to visit the stromatolite site. An excellent information DVD and presentation at the Old Telegraph Museum was held in the evening.   We continued on to Denham, calling in to several tourist attractions along the way. We arrived at Shark Bay Caravan Park in Denham on Friday 19th August. All members took advantage of the time allowed in Denham to visit the Ocean Park Aquarium, Little Lagoon, Peron Homestead and Monkey Mia. Some members travelled up to Cape Peron while others enjoyed a boat cruise and a spot of beach fishing. A special group tour for the Chamberlain 9G Club members was arranged to visit the Blue Lagoon Pearl Farm which was enjoyed and appreciated by everyone.

The CEO of the Shark Bay Shire, Paul Anderson and his wife Wendy, joined us for an evening meal at the Waterfront Restaurant. Paul gave an interesting, informal talk about Denham, the redevelopment of the foreshore, and the upcoming celebration of the Dirk Hartog 400th anniversary with the Duyfken replica undertaking a voyage and exhibition program.

Back on the road on Monday 22nd August to travel back down the highway to Butcher’s Track. This was one of our more entertaining bush camps with each member providing either a story, poem, song or short quiz. Once we got the ball rolling it was one laugh after another and everyone had a great night.

On our way to Murchison Settlement we called in to Errabiddy Bluff which was a very scenic area. Two of our more energetic members made their way to the peak while the rest of the group drove up to the lookout. The facilities at Murchison Caravan Park were excellent. After a very interesting visit to the museum the following morning we all made our way to the next bush camp.

This was another great night, with everyone providing some special item of entertainment after we had all enjoyed a huge communal camp oven meal.

AUGUST 24TH TO END

We arrived at the Yalgoo Caravan Park and, again, found the facilities to be excellent. After visiting the museum at the old police station and various other places of interest, we all made our way to the hotel for an evening meal.  The following morning we visited Joker’s Tunnel before moving on to Thundelarra Station. Thundelarra is now a conservation reserve which was previously run as a pastoral lease. We spent the afternoon wandering around the station, visiting the many restored out buildings, the huge shearing shed and walking amongst the wildflowers on our way to the billabong.  The wetland is regarded as an important habitat and breeding ground for water birds.

Due to the constant rain the previous night, the off- road conditions had deteriorated. It was agreed to travel back to Yalgoo on the bitumen rather than continue, according to the itinerary, along unsealed roads. While travelling from Yalgoo to Morawa we made many stops along the way to photograph the wreath flowers that could be seen along the road verge.

As the saying goes, ‘all good things must come to an end’. When we arrived at Morawa it was time to say farewell to our fellow travellers and make our own way back to our various home towns.

Thank you Cedar, Allan and Cumber for the various roles you played in making this Trek possible.

We all had a great time and raised $2,776.00 for the RFDS and Children’s Hospitals.

 

Tractors Across The USA – Aug 16th to Aug 19th 2009

Day 51:  August 16       COLORADO

The morning was quite cool as everyone headed across to the Road Knights car show – 680 cars of every make and colour making a really wonderful display.  The quick look the guys had yesterday did not do the show justice as not all the cars had arrived.  As the day warmed up, so did the crowd increase until there was a real carnival atmosphere.

The organizers of the show had invited the tractors to park at the entrance to the show and then requested the crew members to make an appearance at their Official Opening at 1.00pm.  The hall was absolutely packed with 680 teams represented and our group was given a rousing welcome when we all went up front and Neville gave a short talk about why we are in the USA and how much we are enjoying the experience.

For the ladies, there was also a Rubber Stamp and Scrapbook EXPO, selling every imaginable craft kit in either of these two hobbies.  Even for those not smitten with such activities, there were lots of craft ideas to buy for the grand-children.

By about 3.00pm it was time to leave off watching the vintage cars as they drove away from the show and head to the Loveland RV Park.  Allan and Carolyn met us there with Carolyn’s rellies Dave and Maxine and Jack and Joyce.  They had spent a couple of days together and had obviously had a great time.  The park has lovely shady trees which will certainly help to keep the vans cool while we are out sightseeing in the Rocky Mountains tomorrow.

SET 32 PHOTOS

Day 52:   August 17       COLORADO

The morning started out fine and cool – a wonderful day for our trip into the Rocky Mountains.  Those who had been up to Pike’s Peak remembered how cold the mountains are, so we were all well prepared with warm winter jackets.

The 7.00am start gave us good time to drive to Estes Park and have a hot drink before starting up the mountains in an open air 14 seat Toyota 4WD vehicle.

Our first stop was at the historic Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, celebrating its 100’s birthday this year.  Although we could only see it from the road, we were told that it is America’s third most haunted hotel and was the inspirational setting chosen for the novel ‘The Shining’ by author Stephen King.

The 4WD Toyota was able to take the unsealed road to the top – many hairpin bends and very steep sides – it did not pay to look down!  As we climbed through the three life zones, the temperature dropped quite dramatically.  At the Visitors Centre at Trail Ridge, we rejoined the paved road to the summit of Mount Evans which is the highest of its type in North America and at 14,264 feet we were well and truly in need of the rugs supplied.

The views on the uphill journey were truly incredible, with a new vista at each turn and we were indeed fortunate to have clear skies at the summit.

During the morning we saw waterfalls, fast running creeks, remnants of last year’s winter snow, regrowth after floods, valleys formed by long gone glaciers and three of the mountains animals – mountain sheep, squirrels and one small animal sunbaking on the rocks.  We keep being told that there are numerous animals in the mountains, but they are all very shy of visitors it would seem.

A quick lunch in Estes Park upon our return was enjoyable and then it was time to head back to the RV Park for a quiet afternoon.  Some members of the group took this opportunity to visit Denver, some 50 miles away.

SET 33 PHOTOS

Day 53:   August 18       COLORADO

Our stay in Loveland was timed to co-incide with the 27th Annual Convention of the Oregon-California Trails Association to which Transworld Tractor Trekkers had been invited as special guests.

After a quiet morning at the RV Park, the team moved three tractors and personnel across to The Ranch at 4.00pm to prepare for the Welcome Reception.  Our group were warmly welcomed by Camille Bradford, President of the Colorado-Cherokee Trail Chapter, hosts of this year’s event.  Ron had been requested to give a short address and we had hoped to be able to show photos during his talk, but the technology would not work and it took many tries by many helpful people to eventually enable us to show the video of “Tractors Across Australia” which continued on during subsequent speakers and was enjoyed by those present.

After the welcoming speeches we were entertained with a wonderful selection of country songs by Jane Leche and a group of gifted musicians.  As a special surprise, Jane had worked up a rendition of “Waltzing Matilda” and with words on the overhead projector, those present were invited to join in, which the Australians did with pride.

Day 54:    August 19                  COLORADO

Once again the tractors were driven to ‘The Ranch’ for the Opening Ceremony of the 27th Annual Convention of the Oregon-California Trails Association.

The proceedings started with a Flag ceremony and Pledge of Allegiance by the Loveland High School Junior ROTC Color Guard.  This was followed by a very touching Native American blessing and ceremony with Kiowa/Arapaho Elder, John Emhoolah giving his blessing in both English and his own native language, which he followed up with a song in his own tongue.

During the morning there were talks on various subjects which were all found to be interesting and informative.  After lunch the team members returned to the RV Park before heading into the City of Loveland at 4.00pm for activities outside the restored Rialto Theatre prior to the Premiere of a locally produced movie ‘Pursuit of a Dream’.  In this film a group of American children from several states along with three teachers were given the opportunity to relive the experiences of the pioneer families who travelled the original wagon trails to settle this country.  The story was told through the eyes of the children who had to come to terms with the difficulties experienced in another time while learning to bond together as a team.

The Convention runs through until Saturday August 22nd, and association members will take various tours to places of historical interest throughout Colorado.  This was the first time that this State has hosted the Convention, and much work has obviously been done by a lot of people over many months to bring OCTA2009  – Cherokee Trail to the West 1819 – 1858 as the Convention was called, to what is shaping up to be a very successful event.  The President of the local Chapter, Camille Bradford, has to be congratulated on the smooth running of the two days when our group was involved, and our thanks are extended to her, the local committee and the team of volunteers for making us so welcome.

 

SET 34 PHOTOS

Conclusion

CONCLUSION :   TRACTORS ACROSS AMERICA 2009

 

October 16th 2009:  The calendar has moved forward nearly six weeks from the conclusion of the trek across the United States and all members have returned home and settled back to reality again.  The tractors are being returned to Australia, each one now famous after the accomplishment of having travelled all the way from Maryland to California with only one serious break-down.

There have been many comments made about the friendliness and helpfulness of the American people and the beauty of the countryside and these have not been exaggerated – everywhere the group went they were met with an enthusiastic response.  The many members of tractor and antique machinery groups in particular gave of their time and expertise as well as providing assistance with transportation to local places of interest.  Without their aid, many interesting visits would not have eventuated and we will always be grateful for all the assistance given.

During the 18 months while this trek was in the planning stage, many contacts were made with interested Americans and without fail, these people became good friends after only spending a short space of time with them.  The usual response was that people felt that they knew us even though we had just met in person.  Without these contacts our trek would not have been as successful as it was, and we will endeavour to keep in touch with these kind people.  In other cases contacts were made along the way, but always the degree of helpfulness was amazing.

Among our group of trekkers, there are those who deserve thanks for special assistance – Wendy for organizing the trek uniforms which drew much attention. We were mistaken for members of one of the University teams, and questioned about which basketball team the men belonged to, but the main attraction was the ability to find trekkers in Wal-Mart – the blue and orange really stood out!

Then, when the team was separated through circumstance and change of route, thanks go to Anne for her assistance with web diary notes covering the tractors’ travels over the final stage of the journey.

Reading through the complete diary now makes the whole trip come alive again and gives a sense of achievement for what was often a ‘labour of love’; the notes and photographs very often completed after a full day of adventures when the brain had to be forced to focus on the facts, faces and places of the day, but the result was well worth the effort.

This website was designed and updated by Joanne Smith at YaZoogle and we must indeed show our appreciation for her patience and dedication to this mammoth task.

Thanks to our many readers – we hope you enjoyed coming along on our journey.

 

Your scribe,

Kerry Bywaters

Transworld Tractor Treks

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