Willem's Big Trip. Report No 3

Submitted: Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 14:08
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Meekatharra, Cue, Mt Magnet, Sandstone, Leinster, Menzies, Gwalia, Kalgoorlie, Coolgardie, Holland Track, Perth, Fremantle, Margaret River, and the South West.

Meekatharra. The Royal Hotel has a section of glass in the floor of the bar where you can see down in to the cellar. Below it there seems to be a drunk asleep against the wall with many empty bottles lying around him. Pub serves an awesome plate of food

Mt Magnet Nothing spectacular at Mt Magnet. Had a look at The Granites outcrop just before the town.

Sandstone London Bridge and the Brewery are very interesting sandstone formations. We stopped at a lookout on the way to Leinster. There we discovered that the wind blowing up and over the small escarpment whistled through the retaining fence making a haunting sound. Not sure if anyone knows about it.

Leinster is a Nickel mining town. We ate in the Mine Mess for $11 head as much as you can. Piggy!!

Cue had some cute old tin buildings.

Leonora was another small outback town with the Ghost Town of Gwalia just to the south. Here people were invited to invest in the old historic buildings and at auction they were sold to locals with the idea of restoring them. This they have done and it is a fascinating place. Sons of Gwalia Mine is close by.

Menzies was another town steeped in mining history

Kalgoorlie is big and busy and the Super Pit is awesome to say the least. Here we enjoyed the hospitality of Member Coops who also organised a Sunday run with the Eastern Goldfields 4x4 Club. A couple of very rough tracks were handled by some including a bloke with a 6.2 diesel 80 series that idled out most of the rough spots making it look so easy.
Also met Member Ben Spoon who was game to take on any track in front of him.

Coolgardie. Another relic from the past with a rich history. It has an excellent information centre.

The Holland Track. From Coolgardie we tackled this well-known track. It had recently rained and all the holes along the track were full of water. There are various rock features along the route, which twists in and out of the trees and scrub. Unfortunately a huge fire burnt out a great section of the vegetation in February this year. We picked up numerous scratches along the body panels of the Nissans and ploughed through endless mud holes. We had a good overnight camp in the forest and a shower of rain chased us in to the tents. Fortunately a wind sprang up later and dried the tents out. The following day we met up with members of the Perth Toyota Club who were restoring signs and other things on the track. By the time we got to the Southern Cross Road we had had enough of this track and made for Wave Rock and Hippos Yawn, two fascinating rock formations.

Close to Wave Rock the GQ’s oil light came on. We inspected everything but found nothing wrong. It would not go out even after we got to Perth so I disconnected it. From Hyden we made it to Kondinin where the rain came down again and so we opted for another night in a motel. We ate at the local pub whose service and food left a lot to be desired. One has to strike a bad one somewhere along the line or so the law of averages go?

We passed by the towns of Corrigin, Quairading, York, Northam and Toodyay (pronounced Toodyay) where we visited old friends.

In Perth and Fremantle we did a family thing and also visited Art Galleries, Museums and ate good seafood at the Kailis Seafood Restaurant at the wharf in Freo. We stayed at the Cherokee Holiday Village where we rented two chalets for a week. Just before we were due to leave the manager approached me and asked where we were going next and when I replied Margaret River he suggested that we could rent their holiday house for the week. The price was right and so we agreed that it would be a good thing.

On the way to Margaret River we visited the stromatolites at Lake Clifton after getting lost and doing an extra 75km. Another interesting thing happened along the way. A motorcycle cop came up behind us on the freeway, then pulled alongside at the front of my vehicle and had a good hard look at the bull bar (In WA they are defecting vehicles with 5 pillar bull bars according to news reports)

We were discussing this house on the radio, which we had rented, sight unseen, and wondered just how bad it may be. When we drove up the road to the address we couldn’t believe our eyes. There was an, as new, Half a Million dollar house set on 3 acres. All glass, selectively furnished, with views and everything you could wish for. All we had to supply was tucker and drinkies. Kookaburras and Fairy Wrens kept us amused in the garden while the neighbours red dog came over every morning for a pat and a cuddle. We had a good time at Margaret River. Wineries, cheese factories, art and craft shops, a lavender farm and more. I had to give the visit to Lake Cave away as there were 650 steps to negotiate but the photos are a good reminder of a fabulous place that Judith, Maureen and George visited. We also visited Motherhen of EO fame at Bridgetown. A good time was had by all and we were sad to leave the Margaret River area. Before we left however the GQ developed a water leak. It was dripping from the gearbox. Much crawling around under the truck with a torch revealed that the water pump had come to the end of its life. On the Saturday morning we drove to Auto One aftermarket shop in Margaret River and unexpectedly found a 4.2lt diesel water pump for $140, which we thought, was a good deal. The Nissan is so easy to work on and after removing the fan shroud, the radiator came out by undoing the hoses and removing two bolts at the top. We had the truck up and running again within a couple of hours.

Heading South East we were getting in to the Big Fella tree country. We stayed two nights in Pemberton and did a Tram ride through the forests learning new things about Karri, Marri, Jarrah, and Tingle trees from the tour guide and tram driver who seemed to talk without taking a breath. Had a look at the Gloucester Tree, which used to be a Fire Lookout. My mate George went up about a quarter of the way before chickening out. Me? I stayed on Terra Firma.

The next day we made for Warren Beach in D’Entrecasteaux National Park along a forest trail. There were some detours as recent rains had flooded the creeks and washed river crossings away. We were only able to access the beach south of the Warren River. At a point along the track a sign advised us to drop tyre pressures and as usual I advocated 15psi. We made our way through a very nice coastal wooded area with moss laden trees to come out high up on a pure white sand dune to see the Pacific Ocean and the white ocean beach in the distance. About 2km of inter dune driving along very sandy tracks saw us parked on this beautiful beach. But where was George?

“Uhmmmmm ..Just having a look at something, mate” came the reply over the radio.
Five minutes later with the GU screaming top revs George burst on to the beach.
“You were bogged, eh?” I questioned.
“Uhmmm….yes” came the reply.
“What pressures are you running?”
“Uhmmm…. 20”

I said nothing (unlike me…but what is the point?) but shook my head and walked to the sea. George dropped his tyre pressures. After that episode he was very good in adhering to air pressure policy as decided on the run.

The way off Warren Beach looked quite daunting, as the dunes are large and steep. I chose a straight up approach on a sidetrack and only just made it to the top in 1st gear High Range at 3500revs. George had two goes and also made it to the highest point. We got off the dune area safely and headed along forest tracks back to Pemberton getting lost a number of times and having to backtrack on more than one occasion.

Our next adventure was driving through Shannon National Park amongst some of the giant Karri trees. Then it was south via Deeside Road and Chesapeake Road to Signal Point at Broke Inlet. The camping sites did not look too inviting there so we made for the blacktop and Walpole. Accommodation was booked out there and we pushed on for a short distance when I spied a small sign of the side of the road stating Riverside Retreats. Here we were accommodated in a new cottage overlooking the river and Nornalup Inlet. Our hosts were very friendly and couldn’t do enough for us. We stayed two nights. Tame Kangaroos and wild ducks were fed bread every evening. It was an idyllic spot.

The following day we made for the Valley of the Giants Tree Top Walk in the Walpole Nornalup National Park. The walkway reaches a height of 40metres and is 600metres in length. I managed to borrow a wheelchair from reception and George delighted (and puffed) pushing me along the narrow ramp. It is truly an amazing sight to be able to be in the tree top canopy. We went early in the morning and avoided the rush, which arrived just as we had finished our walk. Then there is the Empire Walk around the base of the Tingle Trees and just as spectacular. The rest of the day we toured down to Peaceful bay and some other tracks in the national park, seeing the Frankland River in flood creating huge amounts of foam on the turbulent waters as a result of tree sap leaching in to the river.

On the way to Denmark we stopped off at the Bartholomew Meadery and ate mead ice-cream…yummm! Needless to saw the girls had a ball buying this and that and some mead wine which we still have to sample. Had a look around Denmark and drove out to Ocean Beach lookout. In Albany we chose the wrong Caravan Park to stay in a cabin. I complained slightly the next morning because the mattress had a hole in it but Judith went to the office and gave them a piece of her mind and we got upgraded to a luxury cabin. That put us all in a better mood. We did all the tourist drives around Albany and must see sights and even saw two Humpback Whales frolicking in the harbour.

From Albany we made our way to Fitzgerald National Park while George and Maureen went to visit a friend in Mount Barker. We were very impressed with the diversity of flora in Fitzgerald NP and the camping facilities were very good with gas BBQ’s and secluded tent sites. We managed a short walk to the beach and saw more whales in the bay. I had parked the GQ at an angle to get better access from the campsite to the rear of the truck. This is when I noticed oil dripping out of the bell housing. Yes, it looked like the rear engine oil seal was leaking again! The oil had accumulated in the bell housing. It must have oiled up the clutch plate and the thrust bearing. But everything seemed to be working OK. I was a bit worried about getting home and bought some extra oil in Esperance but I still haven’t opened the container yet. A splash of oil always seems to be so severe when it is only a drop. The oil seems to leak more freely when motoring at blacktop speeds but when doing 4x4 treks in the rough the leaking seems to stop.

We took the back roads through the national park through Hopetoun and eventually Esperance. The scenery is breathtaking with high mountains cropping out of nowhere along the coast.
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Reply By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 15:29

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 15:29
Can you please just send me the book.

Lov it Willem, very inspiring to go more places

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Follow Up By: PandJ - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:03

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:03
Hi Crazie,

Willem's story will be a book when finished hey ?

You must be home Willem ! have spoken to you in the local tyre joint, will catch up soon.

Cheers, P&J
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:24

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:24
P&J You have me intrigued.


Only part 4 and 5 to go. Bob and others got me going and now I am trying to finish it. Tried to wash the GQ today but only got halfway 'cause the water is too cold...brrrrrr lol

Back to typing

PS I bought a Top Deck today hahahaha
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:27

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:27
Hi P&J
It should be a book, I saw his journal.

Kir brought fruit and nut, not quiet sure what she was thinking, but it will do and will not make it through the weekend hahaha

It is a great read mate



ps, how is Jeda?
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Reply By: Member - Robyn J (QLD) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:20

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:20
Isnt SHannon National Park great the way they have set up the drive with tuning your car radio into the station and the talk they give you so you know about the area. When we went on one of the drives we were stopped by a council driver saying that a kauri tree had fallen across the road and he was going to unload and remove it from the road. We stopped and watched him do the job one really huge tree right across the road, he made two cuts thru the tree one 890entremetres and one 1.06 metres cutting with a chain saw which he had to sharpen along the way. He then pushed the them off the road to reopen the road. The tree left a dent in the road of about 1ft deep. Certainly glad we werent driving in that spot when the tree broke off about 1metre from the ground.
Cheers and great report. We have just come back from some of the places you went and its bring back lots of memories.

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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:07

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:07
Hi Robyn

Yes the radio talk was good. There was a similar facility at the start of the Holland Track.

Did I meet you at Cocklebiddy? Met someone by the name of Robyn, there.
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Reply By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:32

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:32
Did you put many sticker up?

Did ya, did ya?

Wow what a man.

You've been every where and put up stickers to prove it.

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Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:34

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:34

Mate, Just have a look at what you wrote, I mean really, you made your point in your post. I know you think i am sticking up for Willem, trust me he can stick up for himself, I have met him know, just to let you know.

I just dont understand you, but bleep i try....
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Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:46

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:46
James, Willie can stick up for himself, and I'm sure he'll be a gentleman about it...but of all of the people to label a Wanker. You are so caught up on stickers, I remember a post sometime ago where I"m sure David claimed a sticker somewhere in the middle of no where, and perhaps one day, when you're able, you might visit some these places and realise that in many circumstances stickers aren't as offensive as you think, just chill, enjoy Willie's posts, I doubt you could meet a more interesting person.
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:52

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:52
My point is this...

not everyone want bleep in the middle of everywhere.

Not even in the middle of this internet post.

It was only after I clicked the enter button it come to me??? that maybe I should of stuck a bloody sticker here. In the middle of where he does not want it.

I don't want damn EO stickers (graphiti) in the middle of everywhere. I don't think it's funny ... Nor do I think it's funny that I should disrupt a pleasant discription of his journeys. He shouldn't disrupt my pleasant actual journey of mine with graphiti.

I respect you for making your opinions known. Thankyou.
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:56

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:56
Sometimes you find yourself in the middle of nowhere, and sometimes in the middle of nowhere you find yourself next to a sticker some jerk put there.
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Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:58

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:58
and sometimes you find yourself in the middle of no where next to jerk in a coaster bus.......

Life is tough......
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:05

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:05
Maybe when you start to travel around to some of the pubs, like the outmincka bar and you will see some of the stickers that people have put there and sit there for ten mins and read them all to understand it.

I wasnt going to get involved in this and especially on this post, but pull ya head in. You had your little insignificant say on your post, let it stay there. I am not saying its right or wrong, but when you get to somewhere and see a familar sign, its nice to know. I am not saying plaster them everywhere, but like visistors books and bars, etc.., i think it is fine.

Like I have said before James, let people have their say with out you calling them names. One day you will be reading your map out of your discover australia by 4wd book and realsie that if it wasnt for a few people you are calling a wanker, you would be lost.

Or at least meet the people first and gather a proper opinion before calling them names.

Go relax mate, its the weekend
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:05

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:05
Didn't Steve Martin play an excelent role in "The Jerk" in 1979?

Oh I think Willem (because I met him) lol. is a great wise man. Even though he graphitis this GREAT COUNTRY.

But lets not say wanker too loud because that might offend him.

What a joke.
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Follow Up By: Al & Mrs Al (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:10

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:10
It won't offend him James, probably says more about you, than him.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:15

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:15
Hey James...I think the middle of nowhere is in your brain cavity.

Next time I come to Melbourne I am going to find out where you live and come and do some graffiti near you.

Graffiti is beautiful...have you seen some of the art work. Last year I was in Melbourne and saw a non stop kaleidoscope of colour while commuting by train to the city

But don't despair...I only have a few stickers left and wont be going going to the outback before next June. Hopefully I will have given them all away by then lol
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:17

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:17
Can someone please tell me where outmincka bar is?
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:20

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:20

The outtamincka bar is in Innamincka, sorry if you were unable to make out the name due to the incorrect spelling.
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Follow Up By: Wombat - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:32

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:32
Thanks for that information Adam. I wonder if you can get those poofter drinks (Matty Lloyds) there like you can at Meekatharra?
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Follow Up By: Member - Crazie (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:43

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 19:43
Hi Wombat

They certain have them there, never saw a reciept haha. I can reccomend roast night. It is a great feed.
Think the sign had, dinner, 6 to 8 ish hahaha
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Follow Up By: Member - iMusty (VIC) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:14

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:14
Geez Willem. I hope you don't get caught. It's a crime punishable by law.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:22

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:22
Prove it
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:47

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:47
Actually if I was applying stickers I would use "Shoo Goo" (Read about it on this forum, sticks everything) to apply your stickers they will stay in place longer and we all can enjoy them further into the future.

As for environmental aspects, I find your attitude rather condescending in this regard.
It was not so long ago that you posted comments about taking your "Bus" up tracks marked "4 wheel drive tracks only" and your attitude as far as I was concerned came across to me as "Be damned the consequences of the law and the damage to the environment"

(Other's who have posted to this thread actually supported your attitude during that post, I note their absence of contrary comment now.)

To lecture others on the placement of stickers as you have done and boast of your attitude to the environment as you have done here really shows who has the problem in life.

I think you should have another drink, turn your computer off and go to bed.
Then when you awake you will be refreshed enough to actually go and get a job and live in the real world.
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:58

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 20:58
Ah!!! there you go Post No 22057 says a lot about attitudes.
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Follow Up By: Member - Davoe (Widgiemooltha) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 21:13

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 21:13
ahhh a good old stousch. Without putting my 2c worth in consider this what is the difference between campsite pigs and an historical site, What is the difference between unsightly graffiti and a point of intrest. Well I reckon its about 40 years. WHAT, yes there is a woodcutters camp from the 60s out in the bush and there is crap everywhere do people go and clean it up. NO they visit it and say its historical. Someone carves a name and date into the Arltunga jail and people go wow look at that its from the 50s. And lastly someone carves up a tree, Do people say tut tut, no they come from far and wide to check out the dig tree.
Bottom line lets all find a real issue - Whose up for a Toyota vs Nissan???
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Follow Up By: Member - John (Vic) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 21:21

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 21:21
Davoe I reckon I have seen more Toyota stickers outback than Nissan ones?????
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Reply By: Member - George (WA) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:37

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:37
Hi Willem,
Enjoyed reading your report 2 & 3. Your report number 2 in particular I can relate to. I did the trip in reverse direction, November last year. From Perth up the great Northern Highway to just past Kumarina and turned off towards Jiggalong. Through Jiggalong where I refuelled, after a 2.5 hour wait. The bousers are closed during lunch time 12-2 but eventially reopened at 2:30. You just have to be patient.
From Jiggalong up to Walgun and past Billinook, which appeared to be a deserted settlement, and joind the Talawana track 32km East of Balfour Downs.
The Talawana track from here to the Parnngurr (Cotton Creek) turn off was well maintained and had no trouble sitting on 80-90 km. Lots of camels and Dessert Oaks along the way. I turned off the Talawana track towards the Rudall River. The hand pump, about 9 km up the track is not reliable and quite dry.
When I arived at Rudall River I was disappointed, the river was dry with only a contaminated pool of water further up stream.
I followed the track along side the river going East to the Parnngurr turn off. The track was quite overgrown but eventually lead to the settlement of Parnngurr.
The reception there was quite friendly, they enquired if I needed fuel or water.
Water I could have done with but heard that the water supply at Parnngurr was not always reliable for drinking unless you were used to it, so I declined.
Near the junction of the Talawana track and the Parnngurr turn off there is a wind mill with a water tank. the water there was good and refilled here.
From here on the Talawana track became extremely corrugated, most of the way to the CSR turn off I seldom exceded walking pace and even then I thought the dashboard was going to fall any time now. Roughly half way between the Parnngurr turn off and Georgia bore we came across an abandoned trailer. It appeared to have been quite a substantial trailer but obviously sucumbed to the extreme corrugations. The original owners obviously stripped it of usable components, wheels, slide out sink etc.
At the CSR junction (Georgia Bore) I turned South down the CSR towards Wiluna but that is another story.

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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:03

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:03
Hi George

Yep I checked out all the waters including the bore where the Cotton Creek access meets the Talawana. And yes, the Talawana has the worst coorugations in Aus i reckon. :o)
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Reply By: Bob of KAOS - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:46

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 17:46
I think I am going to sell the trucks and just read your accounts. Saves money and its more exciting.

Having said that, I am just planning a trip to the west of Alice next month. Probably only out as far as Kiwirrkurra though.
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Follow Up By: Willem - Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:09

Sunday, Jul 17, 2005 at 22:09
If you are passing by do remember to drop in, whatever time it is. :o)
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Reply By: Member - Nick (TAS) - Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:10

Friday, Jul 15, 2005 at 18:10
Gloucester Tree--reminded me of when I was about 12.We went there and 4 of us climbed this tree.Magnificant veiws,must go back someday.
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