Lowes Mountain

Trip Report – Lowes Mountain
Saturday, 9th March 2022

We had not been on the tracks since last year. Rain stopped an earlier recce and I was triple booked for the February trip. We woke to rain and had a small window to pack the Patrol. Rain followed us up the Great Western Highway and nearly to Tarana where we met the others. Alex our trip leader in his Prado. The Lineys in their Prado and Shane and Isabelle in a Patrol. The DaCostas in their 200 Series Land Cruiser. As fate would have it we were just on time but last to arrive. Alex debriefed us and prayed. Sounds like that was morning tea. We headed off down Mutton Falls Road and left into Lowes Mount Road. Down the road, we turned right into the forest and stopped to air down our tyres. What is that smell? We had stopped near some carcasses, bones and skin. Just back around the corner in the clearing was a dead pig plus other bits and pieces. As you can imagine we did not hang around and were soon driving.

The tracks started off as well graded tracks. The tracks were taking us through the pine plantation. It did not take long to find a small rut to challenge us. Shane got a little sideways. Ahead of us were some more small ruts to navigate on our climb. The area had native trees to the left and pines to the right. We came to a right hand bend in the track and the drivers were instructed to stop and come and look at a track. We all had a look and soon back in our vehicles to take the left hand turn and down the hill we went. Alex had parked a little bit before the water cause at the bottom. I was instructed to park near Alex’s vehicle while Eric and Shane had proceeded to the creek. Shane crossed the creek and found the track to be to overgrown to proceed. No where to turn around, he had to reverse back across the creek.

Back up the hill we went. Francis leading the way. Back on the main track we proceeded on until the blackberries were more plentiful and stopped for a feed and collection. After this we resumed our original formation. We stopped a little further down the track to some more berries. We needed to waste a little more time as we were having an early lunch and the lunch spot was just up the track.

We came to some poplar trees and followed the track toward some more poplars. Just in front of us was a large clearing and our lunch spot. There was plenty of good fellowship and food. Lunch went on for a good time. I think we need to get back on the tracks and by the way its starting to rain. Back in our vehicles, Alex lead us out of the clearing and over the cause way. We weaved our way through the forest before taking a right hand turn onto another track and proceeding on. The tracks were in good condition. We were now back at the edge of the forest and the rain had stopped. To the right the views were magnificent. It was time to stop and take some photos. We all discussed what we were looking at and where major icons were. Check out where the sun is located. I would say we were looking north, with Bathurst to the north west.

Time to go and explore some more tracks. The track was easy going and we even passed a pile of road building material that could be used to fix some tracks. After the rubble pile were turned off to the right. This track took us downhill then uphill then down again. What a roller coaster ride. Just ahead was a tree across the track and it was quickly cleared. Eric wheeling his toy chainsaw (the big one was at home) and Alex and myself moving the branches off the track. At the ‘T’ intersection we turned right. There was more natural bush to the right and pines to the left. The track was easy. The track then followed a path through natural bush. The track eventually descended down into the valley and crossed a creek with very little water.

The track flattened out and then rose and fell again. We veered right and came to an open area and the track went left. The track was steep and rutted but went back to easy and we
were soon rising again and then back down and up again. Another roller coaster ride. We made a few turns right. The track was easy and we were back with native on the left and pine on the right. The track was now going back into a young pine plantation. We came out into an open field, where there were the remains of an old building and chimney.

We travelled through the field and back into plantation forest. After a while (or was it longer), we made a right hand turn and then a left hand turn and going downhill into the native bush land. We stopped and Eric removed a free loader from under the Prado.

This next section would be the most difficult we had done all day. We all got out of our vehicles to check out the track. It was a steep and rutted. Each of the vehicles was guided on the best line to take. Alex even lifted a wheel.

Getting back to my vehicle was an effort. I was huffing and puffing and out of breath. I made it down without a scratch. Thank you to the great work done by my spotters. The spotters were moving up and down the hill. We all made it safely down the hill.

From here we went back to the clearing for afternoon tea. It was getting late. Alex gave us an ultimatum finish the trip here or follow him back over a track we had done in the morning but in reverse. A no brainer we followed Alex. What a different experience. At the main track we aired up. Alex had a flat and changed the wheel. Alex was thanked for a great day, and he prayed for us. The Lineys and us were the last to leave and we parted at Tarana. Because it was so late, we had fish and chips at Blackheath, arriving home just before 10.00pm.

Thank you Alex for taking us all around the forest (no track left untouched) with a good mix of easy and difficult tracks.

See you on the tracks soon.

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