by Jon Carman
This trip over the October long weekend was after a period of prolonged drought in the Monto district. Despite the conditions, the ACQ decided that we would still make an extended trip to the area and add our bit to the local economy.
Eleven members across six vehicles made the trip, staying at the Cania Gorge Tourist Park. While the park was fairly heavily booked, there was plenty of room for us all to set up at the furthest end of the park and still leave room for group activities including around the campfire.
The campground provided a good base venue from which members could explore the walking tracks of Cania Gorge National Park, Cania Dam and lookout, old mine sites, or the farmlands along Three Moon Creek at Moonford. Some even ventured as far as the streets of Monto for supplies and a bit of country retail therapy.
The highlight of the trip was the trip to Kroombit Tops National Park via the southern access on Sunday. This entailed dirt roads that had former rally drivers and wannabe rally drivers, dreaming of what it may well have been like behind the wheel of a WRX or similar. Despite the hot and dry conditions, the drive was very picturesque with livestock, a few green pastures and also water filled rock pools in some of the deeper holes along the creeks.
The state of the road ensured that many experienced true bulldust for the first time in their lives. Most of us were very glad of our air con and a closed environment, except for Andrew and Tanya who were victims of the dreaded AC pulley syndrome. At least we made them go first!
The steep rocky climb to Kroombit was an adventure in itself, nothing too difficult, but challenging never the less. The views from the lookouts at Kroombit are spectacular and would have been even better without the smoke haze from burnoffs in the valleys below.
The 4WD “Beautiful Betsy” loop road took us to the site of a B24 bomber that crashed here in 1945. The wreckage was not discovered until 49 years later. Much of the wreckage is still in situ from the crash and a comprehensive set of information boards provide an explanation of the crash as well as the events that led up to it. It is a fitting memorial to the crew members who lost their lives at the time.
From here we returned to base, having taken the best part of the day on this excursion. Andrew and Tanya, decided that the only option was to find someone in Monto “who had the greenest lawn” and ask them if they would allow the washing of an Amarok on their grass for a small fee. The request was cheerfully accepted, but no fee was required. At least the lawn was well top dressed with all that dust!
The photographic record of this trip, through the lens of Luke Sherman’s camera, epitomises the line: “ A picture is worth a thousand words” and there were MANY pictures taken by this talented photographer.
Monday was pack up day and in true ACQ style, rain was forecast. We were not disappointed, packing up soggy canvas in various forms, just before the rain really stated! Once again we broke the drought.
Thanks to all who attended and worked to make the trip a reality and a great success.