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.
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’.
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.
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.
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.
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 : 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.
Transworld Tractor Treks
Days 64 & 65 August 29 and 30
Las Vegas is still giving us a burst of summer with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees F although on checking the weather news we are told that they will begin to drop as the week goes on.
Heat is not spoiling our experiences or enjoyment, this City whilst of course being considered a gambling capital of the world is also a City of entertainment for the whole family. The hotel complexes are massive and created in so many different architectural designs – there never seems to be a limit to the imagination of those involved in the final result. Many hours can be spent just wandering and enjoying these beautiful buildings (all comfortably air conditioned of course).
The gondolas rides at the Venetian – with a serenading gondolier – through the Grand Canal transforms you to a wonderful feeling of being right in the heart of Venice not Las Vegas, all under roof but with the magic sensation of being outside.
Bellagio presents a choreographed water show that just blows your mind. More than 1000 fountains dance to songs made famous by artists such as Frank Sinatra, Luciano Pavarotti, the London Symphony Orchestra and many more, as well as tingling performances of ‘God Bless the USA’.
Wynn has the Lake of Dreams – faces of dreams appear to a combination of light, music and nature to create a fascinating spectacle for those folk in the restaurants and areas surrounding the beautiful lagoon area.
Treasure Islands nightly presentation of a band of pirates attempting to take on beautiful songstresses from the shore comes into action right on the footpaths edge to the pleasure of those passing by. It is an action packed performance that is wonderful for all the family.
These are only a small number of the many entertainment options that are available and all are free to be viewed by everyone. There are also many of the big name attractions available throughout the area including Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, the funny lady of comedy Rita Rudner to mention just a few.
Many of the hotel complexes also have a designated area for children’s attractions which, taking the time to look from the eyes of a child, appear to be every child’s dream entertainment.
As we said on arrival into Las Vegas, trips to the Grand Canyon areas and the Hoover Dam were also on the agenda for members of the group. Most have now enjoyed these special days. The more recently constructed glass walk at the West rim – some 4000ft above the canyon – was of particular mention as it was said that the first two or three steps were taken with some trepidation but from there on ‘wow’. Helicopter rides were also very high on the list of highlights for several of the group where they were taken over the canyon and down on to the Colorado River. Here boat cruises were also enjoyed. Then came Hoover Dam, considered an amazing facility to see and drive over. The new 4 lane highway being built over the dam was something that all agreed will be a marvel in the future.
In Las Vegas the effects of the Californian fires is certainly evident with haze and ash visible around the City. Our thoughts are will all those involved.
Days 66 to 69: August 31 to 3rd September
A decision was made for the tractors to remain in Las Vegas waiting for the RV group to rejoin us ready for the last leg of our amazing journey into Los Angeles. Whilst waiting, meetings have been held planning our final route to the west coast as well as preparation for winding up this once in a lifetime (we think!!) trip.
As we have waited, we have continued to enjoy the many sights and sounds on offer plus some wonderful meals as well (the choices are endless!!). Some folk have also enjoyed additional excursions out of the City. Lighting is something this City excels at, special mention should be made of the presentation nightly in Downtown Las Vegas; it is quite spectacular and having visited twice, we have noted that it is not the same each time. The current theme in the area is ‘Summer of 69’ so the music presented covers that era. A visit to the Coca Cola store was of interest to some as well. Everything you could possibly ever imagine is on sale here all depicting the ‘Coca Cola’ logo!
The weather continues to be around 100 degrees+ (F) but generally the feeling is that we have adjusted over the days and it certainly is not as hard to take as it was during our first couple of days here. Most days we have still been able to see the effects of the Californian fires but thankfully the fire fighters now seem to be getting them under control from reports we are hearing.
As we have moved around Las Vegas we have been aware of many very large building projects under way but not visibly in progress at present. On enquiring the comment is that they are in limbo due to the current world financial situation.
After six nights here the tractors will be departing the Circus Circus RV Park at 5.30am tomorrow 4th September, 2009 (beating the heat and the traffic!) heading south on route 95 towards Los Angeles. The RV group have decided to follow in a day or two.
SET 43 PHOTOS
Days 70 to 72 September 4 to 6 LAS VEGAS TO LOS ANGELES
Since leaving Las Vegas in our 9g’s we have continued to experience heat but, not being deterred, we have all enjoyed the vastness of deserts, the hospitality of people, and the well preserved heritage of the USA. From drinking Starbucks coffee in Palm Springs to viewing the world’s largest water bombing aircraft at Lake Elsinore, we spent the days climbing through some magnificent ranges at up to altitude of 6000ft. We experienced yet more wonderful scenery plus the unfortunate evidence of the recent fires. As we entered Orange County/Los Angeles area it was great to see row after row of Australian Eucalypts and other Australian flora. All of this, as well as the ongoing pleasure of the company of a special group of people – the Tractor Trekkers – gives each of us memories that will remain always.
We thank the locals in various towns/cities who have again welcomed us so openly during this final leg of our journey – to the instigators and volunteers at Goff’s Schoolhouse Museum, what a wonderful thing you are doing to preserve the past and present it to the public, we all thoroughly enjoyed our visit with you. To Alexa at The Palm Restaurant and Bar on Amboy Road – an oasis in the desert!! Our time spent with you was most enjoyable and we were only sorry that we were not able to stay longer. We all wish you well in the future Alexa. Eric and Melissa at Twenty Nine Palms again we can only say ‘thank you’, your contribution to the pleasure of our stay in your City was amazing. Through your high ranking contact (Lieutenant Colonel Brent) you gave us the special privilege of the tour of the largest Marine Training Base in the USA with some 10,000 armed forces and several thousand civilian workers on base. We are well aware that this particular excursion would not have been possible without your contribution. You both made us all feel so welcome and we will retain fond memories of our time together. We also thank you for your advice on the remainder of our route west – it all went very well for us. To Raynelle at Plaza El Toro your enthusiasm and interest was great to see. Maybe if you ever decide to change from Security, Public Relations should be your direction, Channel 7 Eyewitness met us in Huntington and we hope that you were able to catch the news bulletin that they put to air last night – what a great finish to our journey. A bonus to this was the numerous messages received from home from folk who saw us on the news on both Channel 7 and 9 over there.
We thank those who continue to welcome us as we simply pass through your communities. To David and your little fellow, sorry we did not actually get to meet you in Palm Springs but it was great receiving your email, you never know maybe in the next day or two our paths may cross as we are in and around Huntington. We have all enjoyed seeing the pleasure on faces as our Orange Tractors pass by – after all they are, of course, the integral part of Transworld Tractor Treks USA 2009, without the tractors this adventure would not have been. They wholly represent what Transworld Tractor Treks is all about. As the owner group of the tractors we would like to acknowledge our base club back in Australia – The Chamberlain 9g Tractor Club – who originally brought us together through our many adventures in our home country. We are so proud and happy that we made the decision two years ago to bring our tractors to the USA. The American people have certainly embraced our decision and that has topped it off for all of us.
FINAL DAY !!!! Day 73 – September 7 HUNTINGTON, CALIFORNIA
Transworld Tractor Trek’s “TRACTORS ACROSS AMERICA 2009” came to an end at Huntington, south of Los Angeles. We arrived on the shores of the Pacific Ocean at approximately 10am and the pride we felt as a group is something that will always be so special to each of us. To try to individually mention the names of all who have contributed across the country would be something beyond any of us because there have been so many very special folk. Please, accept our most sincere thanks and gratitude and between us we hope that over the time ahead we may be able to make contact personally. At this point we extend an invitation to any of those friendly folk who have welcomed us during our journey ‘that should you head to our shores please let us extend the same hospitality to you’.
Our five Chamberlain 9G Tractors – ‘TAIL END CHARLIE’, CHERRY BLOSSOM SPECIAL’ AUSSIE TOO’ CUMBER DUNDEE’ AND JEFF’s 9g – have now become legends – WHAT A TRIP!!!!!!!!
Day 55: August 20 COLORADO (Tractors)
On the 20th the three 9G’s which had been taking part in the activities at Loveland departed for the crossing of the Rockies.
At this point in time we would like to acknowledge and thank those at the Oregon Trails Conference who took the time to give considered advice and information on the best route for the tractors to take across the Rockies. The chosen route was 14/40 that being the Cameron Pass. Be assured you were right, we crossed without any issues and enjoyed some of the most magnificent scenery.
During the first part of the day we travelled almost parallel to the Poudre River watching many folk fishing and enjoying the surrounds. At the highest peak during the day we were at 10276ft above sea level. The roads were very well maintained and offered pull overs allowing for passing so regularly that there was never a problem with us being a little slower than normal road users.
During the day we enjoyed breaks at the towns of Hebron and Waldon – the latter allowing for a little shopping time and a special purchase by Anne. We made other stops along the way to enjoy some very special waterways and sights – this country continues to offer spectacular scenery each day.
Our final decent of the day was a 7mile, 7% grade down the western side of the Rockies in to the ski resort of Steamboat Springs on the Yampa River. What a truly wonderful sight that was and we have all agreed that it would be great to be able to come back and see it in the snow season.
As it was Dick’s 70th Birthday we planned to help him celebrate, so decided what better place to do that than Steamboat Springs. We took a stroll in the main area of the town and stopped at the Steamboat Yacht Club situated on the banks of the Yampa River to toast Dick’s special day. Having been asked our reason for being in the town and explaining our ‘trek’ across the USA we were invited to park our tractors and trailers on the lawn adjoining the Yacht Club. Once parked we all cleaned up and returned inside the Club for a beautiful dinner together. We thank the owners and staff for their contribution to a very special night.
Day 56: August 21 COLORADO TO UTAH
At 7am we departed Steamboat Springs to continue our journey west towards Salt Lake City. Most of the day we have enjoyed rolling prairie lands with a wonderful backdrop of ever intriguing mountains. We have passed through coal mining areas, sage bush covered fields and various crops – even a little bit more corn. An observation by the group was the amount of equipment related to the production and recovery of oil and gas in the area. Today was also a day for seeing wildlife. Prior to crossing the border of Colorado and Utah we visited an information centre at Dinosaur. Here we enjoyed a film on the finding of Dinosaur fossils in the area which we all found very interesting. Each day we seem to learn something new in this great land.
Once we crossed the border we drove on to the City of Vernal which was a site to behold – baskets of cerise & white petunias on both sides of the street (some 2 miles or so long) as well as adorning many, many buildings along the way. This theme continued through the following town of Roosevelt. Whilst we have seen similar baskets at many points during our travels we have never seen anything quite like this.
It was decided that we would continue on to Myton where we planned to spend the night at an RV park but before we reached the park we were approached by a local couple – Kelly and BJ Braithwaite – they very kindly offered us accommodation on their property. We have 150miles to do to take us in to Salt Lake City where we anticipate arriving around mid afternoon tomorrow.
Day 57: August 23
The tractors continued on Highway 40 towards Salt Lake City.
The countryside yet again offered great sights across the lush farming lands. The Strawberry River lead us to Starvation Reservoir – a name that seems to contradict this land that has so much to offer. After enjoying the view and taking a few photos our travels continued.
The view then returned to pines and mountains. At 7000ft we came across another large reservoir providing all sorts of boating and water activities for the many folk there. We continued our climb up the mountain to 8020ft then enjoyed a very long down grade at 6%. Lunch was taken at Heber City then it was on to Highway 189 into Provo Canyon, part of Deer Creek State Park. During this section there was yet another sight to behold – Strawberry Reservoir where there were resorts and accommodation of all types; beaches and boating beyond belief with a backdrop of snow tipped mountains. There were so many folk enjoying the facilities that vehicles towing boats were lined up to access the various launching ramps. From here the 3 9g’s with trailers in tow began the ascent up Alpine Pass to the summit at 8060ft. We can only repeat ourselves at this point and say the sights were incredible and our 9g’s did us proud. A break was taken at the 16 mile level on the decent where we chatted with some campers before continuing on to the bottom of the mountain. We then rolled on into Salt Lake City where we were reunited with the other 2 9g’s, so now we are a group of 5 tractors once again.
Day 58: August 23
The day was under way for everyone around 7am. A number of our Ladies took the opportunity to go to Temple Square to see the Mormon Tabernacle Choir perform. In the words of the Ladies – “what a beautiful experience to have been able to see this performance”. They also had the opportunity to visit the roof top gardens above the Conservatorium and view where the Church services are held in the winter months in the Temple Area.
After taking in the sights around the City and doing a bit of last minute provisioning, our ‘tractor train’ departed the area to begin the next leg of our journey toward the canyons and Las Vegas.
The route taken was Highway 89 through fairly built up areas for approximately 60 miles. Fairview was our chosen destination where we were fortunate enough to be given the permission of the Bishop to set up our tractors and campers in the car park adjoining the church. The car park was large enough to be able to form a circle enabling us to set up our tables and chairs and all contribute to our evening meal. Quite a few local residents came to see us and topped up our shared meal with corn, rock melon and watermelon. As the evening went on the group enjoyed a visit from Geoff, Hannah and their two children with lots of chatter about their work – concrete flooring and foundations – and the trials and tribulations of carrying out this sort of work during the winter months.
Day 59: August 24
Before our departure at 8.00am we were pleased to once again see Geoff arrive, this time laden with his company T shirts for the group.
Geoff – CALDWELL CONCRETE COMPANY – we wish you and your family well in the future and thank you for your generosity and interesting information.
Once back on Highway 89, we continued through Mt Pleasant, Ephraim and Manti on to highway 24 then off road for approximately 12miles leading us to Highway 62. This took us through Otter Creek on to the very scenic Highway 22. Highway 22 then lead us through a winding path between mountains, then desert terrain punctuated by irrigated lucerne paddocks and green grazing land full of very contented looking cows.
We arrived at Bryce Canyon at around 5pm to a huge RV park nestled in the pines where we all settled in and began preparing for the sightseeing that awaits us here.
Day 60: August 25
This day saw the whole group take advantage of the shuttle service provided in Bryce Canyon by going to many beautiful lookouts. Neville and Peter were our hikers doing a hike of the rim – approximately 1.5 hours. We regrouped at 3pm ready to head out of the canyon and on towards Cedar City. Much to our amazement, whilst we had all enjoyed our time in Bryce Canyon, our departure took us through Red Canyon and it would have to be said that this too was spectacular.
Our chosen route was Highway 12 – followed by Highways 89 and 14 – with a summit of 7777ft above sea level and a touch of unsealed road just to keep us happy. On this route we entered Dixie National Forest. As we travelled along this scenic path, climbing steadily to 9800ft we watched yet another large thunder storm form in the distance. Around 40 miles from Cedar City at Scout Canyon, some 9960 ft above sea level, we set up a bush camp and enjoyed an evening around a camp fire.
Day 61: August 26
We left our camp site at 7.05am passing through Duck Creek Village which took our interest with the whole village being made up of log cabin type buildings.
Highway 14 is advertised as a Scenic Bypass and we all agreed with this wholeheartedly – it was beautiful. The grades over the mountains varied between 4 & 8%. Along the way we came across miles of volcanic rock areas which changed the scenery markedly. At the edge of this site was Navajo Lake which was the crater of the volcano and fed into Duck Creek. We arrived in Cedar City at 9.30am ready to do Banking, get some computer information and do some general provisioning.
At 12.30pm we departed Cedar City on US56 to make our way towards Las Vegas. The first part of this run took us through open plains then up though a lovely mountain pass again. At 3.15pm we stopped at the border of Utah and Nevada (photo time) then continued on Highway 319. We took a break at the small town of Panaca just on 3.30pm when the local school students had just finished their day. We were a real attraction to them and had some pleasant conversations about our ‘trek’ and Australia. Some of them also took the opportunity to get cameras and take photos of the tractors.
Continuing on Highway 93 we enjoyed a lovely steady climb which took us to approximately 7000ft then began the decent which brought us another site to behold – cactus as far as the eye could see.
Each day brings such great new sights. Today was also another day of wildlife sightings.
After the cactus was a stretch of desert plain and grass land. At the end of this we came to the intersection of Highway 93 and 318 where a local gentleman at Cedar City told us of a tree lined camping area – we found it, his advice was very good.
We are now ready for our run into Las Vegas tomorrow.
Day 62: August 27
Our five 9gs rolled out of our overnight campsite at 7.05am heading through the Pahranagat Valley – an area of green pastures and many cattle.
Now being in the Arizona desert – real desert – it began to warm up and warm up it did!! At this point we all expressed our sentiments that we are so thankful that so many folk along the way have told us what a mild summer it has been. The mildness has certainly made our travels so much easier – thanks USA!
As we turned into Highway 168 we were intrigued by the infrastructure on our left, this turned out to be a new town/city being established – Coyote Springs. Streets were in place, as well as water supplies established, underground power and sewer ready for use, a golf course was already built (what would be the priorities when building a new town!) and there was a massive nursery centre full of many thousands of plants and trees ready to be placed around the development as it is takes shape. No doubt we imagine that within a couple of years this town will have the appearance of having been established for many years.
During our travels today two of the tractors had flat tyres almost at the same time – one large back tyre and one front tyre. Good fortune shone on us though because both were at a very large road house. Given that it was estimated by staff that it was 130+ degrees outside those not involved in the changing and repairing of the tyres of course had the pleasure of the air conditioning inside the road house. Speaking of the changing and repairing of the tyres, again there were many hands, not only the tractor owners but the locals who came from all corners. We thank everyone for their assistance. It wasn’t too long before our tractor train was on the road again.
On the path taken we had the good fortune of passing through the Valley of Fire in the Lake Mead National Park. This was not really an area that any of us had researched or basically knew much about but yet again we can only say it was beautiful. As hot as the day was what a wonderful site it was to behold. In the park we called into Echo Bay where some of the party took the opportunity to have a cooling, refreshing dip in the lake, we then continued on in to a campsite at Callville Bay. Both of these bays were on the lake’s edge and are very tourist orientated with house boats obviously being a preferred mode of accommodation in the area, there were a very large number of them for hire.
The day was hot and the same can only be said for the night!!!
Day 63: August 28
We were all up bright and early to do the last 30miles into Las Vegas – partly because we were well aware that ‘another hot one’ was on the way.
We arrived at Vegas around 8.30am having taken a break on the way and checked into the Circus Circus camp grounds. Even the camp ground staff were giving us warnings about the anticipated heat – some 106/108 degrees for the next few days and so far we know they were not joking!
Some of the group are planning tours of Grand Canyon, Hoover Dam etc while here, whilst others will take in the local sights and sounds.
Five Australian Tractors and crew at Fort Hays, South Dakota
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