Stuffing up new years eve !

Submitted: Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 15:20
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Missed new years eve for the first time ever - lucky one of our camping mates had his car alarm go of at 3am in the morning while camped out bush at Talbotville and we had an excuse to wake him up early with some crackers otherwise we'd have
have had to take everything home unused.
Our friends and friends of friends collected to-gether for Xmas holidays near Dargo in Victoria and soon had up to a dozen cars, 20 tents and I'm not sure how many bikes.
This Motley collection had enough incidents and stories to talk about for the whole of 2008 however some didn't seem like fun at the time.

One trip we did was going quite well until we got to a moderate river crossing near Kinswell bridge. We lead across and the water was fun depth at under a metre, only just breaching the bonnet once. However the cruiser behind us slipped sideways backend
first and got hung up some rocks. They began taking on water faster than you would think, we reckon they probably had 10 minutes till loss of car.
Watching from the bank I could see there front wheels spinning, and radioed same.
Sure enough they had accidently entered the crossing in 2 wheel drive.
My son jumped in and put the hubs in while they were well under water, The car then lurched forward causing him to jump and strain his recently set broken shoulder.

Later the car was stripped and left out to dry, during which time it was noted that a major floor bung was missing which explained the water intake.
So the next day I organized a trailbike ride starting from Collingwood spur, this took my mind off an eye tooth which must have seen to much Xmas pudding and was starting to hurt.
We waiting for the gang to collect but two had not shown up and just as we started to search a rider came rushing up saying that his partners bike had gone over the edge of McMillan road right where there was a sheer drop off. Fortunately the bike had thrown the rider as it went over and she was not significantly injured.
So we take off to the scene and found a still shaken rider and the bike wedged some 50ft over the edge. The road here is made by just bulldozing dirt out to form an edge and its to steep to compact and just attempting to get to the bike caused
rocks to tumble down as well. It was quite a bad position so we rode off to get my car for a winch rescue and left others to close the road and direct traffic.
Half an hour later I was back and in position to winch the bike up but others had gone down in an attempt to clear a path for the bike to come up. It was a somewhat disorganized scene with some over enthusiastic helpers in quite a bad spot.

One of our riders was at the bike and in attempting to move a rock slipped on the sheer rockface and did a full downhill somersault landing full on his back several meters below. I just saw the end of it and heard the sickening thud
but as luck would have it his family had brought him a top of the range bikers bubble suit which had a full length back protector in it.
This saved his back as he hit hard but his unprotected arm followed striking a rock square on. The rider knew instantly his wrist bleep tered and all of a sudden a bad situation got significantly worse.
I and a friend jumped in at this point, sliding down to the hurt rider.
But under the direct sunlight against the rockface, heavily clothed and in significant pain the rider was fainting in and out and maybe worse.
It was hard for us to do much more than provide shade at first and while we tried to figure a way out, the rider grabbed my dangling winch rope in his unbroken left hand and began to pull himself up knowing that he had only a few minutes before he became a dead weight. With two of us pushing from below
and holding him each time to enable him to re-grab the rope he edged up.
Fortunately it was synthetic rope and we wrapped it around his arm to make it grab and despite a couple of setbacks we soon had him laid in my Patrols front seat. With a strength I'm sure I couldn't muster he commanded us to pull off his motorbike arm over the broken wrist and other minor injuries before fainting again.

High up on the mountain side we had good radio contact to the Talbotville camp ground below and I had forewarned a nurse with our group when getting my car.
She provided a cool head and simple clear instructions to us while we made a sling and braced the arm with a rolled up 4X4 magazine .

In a surprise we had Next-G phone contact from the campground
whereas my CDMA would not work. A few calls by the nurse established that it was about 150km east to the nearest hospital, but the campground was about 1/2 hours drive in the other direction.

Two options to choose from! I thought about this for a while and decided it would be better to take it easy, reduce everybodys stress levels and stabilize the situation under shade at our camp rather than go immediately to hospital.
So we drove as carefully as we could from near Bulltown spur down to the valley floor, sending a rider ahead to warn traffic as its just to narrow to pass on some sections of this road.

We delivered the injured helper to the nurse and his rather stressed wife and tried to calmly figure out where to go from here.
We still had a badly shaken rider up on the pass and the bike that had gone over the edge was still there and visible for at least a kilometer.
Others people not-involved were reporting it on the UHF as for all they knew it was an un-resolved accident scene.

While others re-configured my car as a ambulance and reset the arm using a chainsaw cover as a splint, we took another Patrol back to the scene and slowly winched the bike back up to the road. This was not easy by itself and to accomplish this we attached the winch rope to the bikes back wheel and dragged it up backwards with two others holding onto each side of the handle bar which stabilized the bike as my son operated the winch dragged the bike and the helpers up all to-gether.
The bike was found to be rideable back to base, but the female rider was to shaken to do it so my son rode it, taking care to not further agitate his collar bone injury.

None of the rest of the injured family would drive the road out of the steep valley so we began an eight hour return trip to Bairnsdale hospital arriving back to our tent at 2am the next day.

The above events left us with an interesting situation. The family had a vehicle they wouldn't/couldn't drive out of the valley so next day there was nothing for it but to drive it out to the Dargo high plains road where they could take over.
Finally at mid-day we said goodbye to them and started back down to Talbotville for a much needed quiet afternoon.

We had got about 10km before radio calls made it clear that their car had problems.
So myself and another member of this site drove back to baby sit the car and followed it across the high plains to the bitumen at Mt Hotham. It appears that the rough 4wd sections and corrugations had loosened an exhaust baffle and this intermittently clogged the exhaust shutting down the engine.
Once on bitumen, it seemed ok so we nicked sideways a bit and got some seriously needed cappicino's at Mt Hotham Chalet.

Late that afternoon we headed back to camp passing the turn-off to Mt Blue Rag on the way.

Couldn't resist the temptation so we did a quick trip up this Iconic 4wd track with its spectacular open rock climb to the summit and watched the sun setting.

The various vehicle and family arrangements meant that we had to pack up and leave camp the next day taking extra passengers.

The injured party had been transferred to a different hospital and had his arm/wrist reset and was reportedly doing relatively well.

By the time we were settled back in Melbourne it was New years eve.
My tooth was now really hurting, and so we found and emergency dentist and began a root canal treatment. On getting home I fell straight into bed and that is how I stuffed up our New years eve.

Robin Miller
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Reply By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 15:57

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 15:57
What a yarn. A bit more exciting than most folks new Years Eve I would think.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 17:55

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 17:55
Hope you had good new year Bware
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Follow Up By: Bware (Tweed Valley) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 19:23

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 19:23
Pretty quiet and went to bed early, but anything is better than a root canal, eh?
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Reply By: Member - Roachie (SA) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 16:16

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 16:16
Jeez, ya wouldn't be dead for quids; eh!!! hahaha

Glad it all worked out okay in the end, but just goes to show how a mildly serious event can escalate into a near-on full disaster when cool-headedness goes out the door.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 17:59

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 17:59
Hi Roachie

I find it instructive to right down things like this post as it helps me in future situations - as you noted , in this one it was hot and not everyone was paying attention but just trying to help out when they made things worst despite best inattentions.

Robin Miller

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Reply By: Des Lexic - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 16:18

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 16:18
"I fell straight into bed and that is how I stuffed up our New years eve." LOL

You sure know how to tell a good story by turning a simple adventure into a major event. Seriously, I'm glad everything turned out OK in the end and all are or will be OK soon.
At least you had a Xmas/ New Year period that you won't forget for some time.
Looking forward to your next adventure. I just hope it doesn't have all the drama.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 18:03

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 18:03
Now Des I left out the part about the helicopter.

At Talbotville there is enough area to land one.

When there I pushed the controls hard over on mine and the rotor blades went to max and she lifted straight up 30ft and the rotor blades cut into the tree branches above, where apon the helicopter came crashing straight back to ground hitting just next to the fire place.

Next year I hope father Xmas spends more than $99 at Jaycar on my next helicopter.
Robin Miller

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Follow Up By: Des Lexic - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 19:39

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 19:39
Robin, those model Helicopters would be great to play with. Just imagine what you could do with one with a little camera mounted. You could check out tracks without going down them. No that's no fun, better to drive them.LOL
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:56

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:56
Yep Des , have tried a couple of things along that line to , but for our forrests and tree covered tracks here nothing comes close to my quiet little trail bike for checking out and mapping tracks.

And its also a lot of low cost fun.

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Reply By: Member - Captain (WA) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:12

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:12
Surely you must be pulling our leg, how can one trip have that much drama?

I certainly hope all has finally ended well and that next year you get to see New Year in "properly"


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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:51

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:51
Hi Captain

Sorry but that was the abbreviated version , toned down cause other members of this site were there and I didn't want to start any arguments.
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Reply By: Truckster (Vic) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:15

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 20:15
anyone got the 10line short version of all that?
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Reply By: Biglinz - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 21:39

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 21:39
We arrived Jan 2nd to clean Grant cemetry and weren't aware of any of the goings on. I miss all the fun.
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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 21:43

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 21:43
You'll have to come earlier next year BigLinz as there seems to be more going on before New Year, often we have to open a track on Xmas day and again this year the water levels dropped significantly from 25 dec to 31 dec
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Reply By: Willem - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:17

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:17
Please remaind me not to go anywhere with you, Robin

You can come with me though, I'm safe.....


Cheers and Happy New Year
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Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:55

Monday, Jan 14, 2008 at 23:55
Ya silly bugger - you should have stayed home and watched the new year in on the telly!
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Reply By: Leroy - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 09:34

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 09:34
I drove through Talbotville on the Sunday before New Years and had lunch there before heading into Wonnangatta. I certainly didn't have as much excitmentment as you did. But I did enjoy the river crossing of the Wonnangatter River just before Eaglevale track! Just lapping the top of the bonnet and I found out how water proof the trailer was....not!! lol

On New Years eve we came accross a Patrol (yes a 3.0l) broken down on a small hill heading in the direction of Hernes Spur tk. I came in on a track above them and my BIL came in behind them. I walked down to see what was happening. The guys managed to get the thing started but it was bellowing smoke from the exhaust and had no guts. I towed it to the top so they could diagnose the problem (and let traffic past). They were mechanics and reckoned it was the turbo as there was some noises comming from that direction. They were staying at Talbotville also. It was silver with orange writing down the side. I think it was Braside 4x4 Centre?? but I can't recall exactly. After discussions on the easiest way out they decided to tow it back to Wonnagatta Station and buy a new turbo and come back in and fit it. I'd like to know how they go on.

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Follow Up By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 12:49

Tuesday, Jan 15, 2008 at 12:49
Hi Leroy

I remember that car , must have missed you just as we left just before then.

That water crossing was to deep for us on Xmas day , glad you got through.

A 40 series in our mob tried it and water shattered all the plastic fans blades off , and they sent someone all the way back to Warragul before they found a replacement.
Robin Miller

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