too precious to log
The last chapter [maybe]
Goolengook Diary 2010
Three weeks earlier....
GECO crew have a meeting at the campground to work out the logistics of the Goolengook party and a 4WD is sent out with a small crew to dig shit pits, scout a 2WD route and camping spot. Posters are put up around melbourne, patches and stickers are made, a zine is created, and the new Facebook page pumps out the promotions. We decide to take a projector and genny, show movies, have music and do a spiel of some kind.
Two weeks earlier
Scouting report tells us that Bendoc Ridge Rd - Pugarree - Glenn Arte - Bee Tree is the best way in, as it is 2WD accessible, and avoids the broken bridge on Goolengook Rd. We dont want to recommend that people drive over it as it has been cut through, however, in an emergency could be used as a 2wd route. We work out where things will go, signage, food budget etc.
One day earlier...
Survey Road action, treesitter stops logging and trunk phone is confiscated
**, who is now living in Cabbage Tree, agrees to signpost the route with arrows. We make sure the advertised route is on facebook, website etc. Whe she goes out there she finds that the Bendoc Ridge Rd sign on the highway - the main advertised turn point - has been wrenched out of the ground and chucked in the bush. She makes a sign and the road is extremely well signposted now.
4 March 2010
The first car arrives at Goolengook in preparation for the National Park celebration, with two young kids in tow. They follow the Goolengook Rd from the Princes Hwy. When they get to the broken bridge they discover that it no longer exists!. Instead there is a huge mound of dirt, and the remnents of the bridge on both sides of a gaping hole in the road. They camp the night.
5 March 2010
Wai and Georgia drive out to the bellbird to ring us and let us know that the bridge is gone. We realise that we have no alternative route - and need to get the message out not to go down Goolengook Rd at all. There is lots of confusion about broken bridges. There is also a bridge out on Sardine Creek road which means that there is no easy way for the 4wds and motorbike convoy from Goongerah to go.
The kitchen set up cars head out. It starts to rain.
By the end of the day there are six cars from goongerah who have headed out. the road has turned to a clay pit in the rain and with all the traffic. We are in convoy and slide out of control past one 2wd on the side of the road. We check out the hole where the bridge used to be and realise that we may be trapped. When we get in just before dark we are pretty concerned - how many more cars had we told to come that way, and now its an impassible mud slide with no way out over the non existant bridge. Amazingly, Paul Carrick made it through earlier in a ford festiva automatic, and Greg has managed a huge pot of curry and rice. There are no bowls or utelnsils because Flynny has not arrived...
We now have eight 4WDs and heaps of kids in a very wet and straggly camp along the road, with no way out, and many more cars to come.
We decide that we need to get the message out to go back to Bee Tree camp, using Goolengook Rd, and we can ferry stuff over the river. The forecast is for scattered rain over the weekend and some heavy downpours monday. We make signs with charcoal [we have no paint] saying "Turn Back - Go Gook Rd" More people are arriving, in 4wd's, and there are now at least four 2wds bogged on Bee tree, with one over the edge, and its occupants walking barefoot down the road with no torch because they couldnt get to any of their gear out of the car, which is now known as the cliffhanger.
Tom and Greg go on a rescue mission to pick them up, pull out the bogged cars, and get the message outo to Goongerah to change facebook, text people, ring etc.A mobile phone is sent with a text message to people we know are coming. By the time they get there, winching themselves twice to get up the hill, there are eight cars bogged. They pull out four with winches and people power, send them back to Bee Tree to set up camp. Tim camps on the corner of Pugarree to direct people away from the mud slide. Greg decides to leave his 4wd on Puggaree as he thinks he may not get it out again. They arrive back at 3am.
Saturday 6 March 2010
Tom tells us the bad news that Bee Tree is impassible. Paul Carrick has locked his keys in the car. It starts raining.
We decide to pack up as quick as we can, go down the the Former Bridge, get the kids over the river to safety, and then work on getting us out. We have two trailers that we decide to leave, as they will jacknife, which means we have to abandon some kitchen gear. Will breaks into Pauls car for the keys and then scouts Golden Mile. The rest of us pack up and head to Bee Tree. When we get there we realise there is no way to ferry large amounts of gear over the river - it is a 3 metre drop to the river, with one slimy log to walk over, and thick bush as far as you can see both ways. There are now quite a few people camping on the other side of the river.
Will gets back and says we can get out Golden Mile - we decide to go in convoy. We are all wanting to abandon this party and go home. Neatz talks us into staying. We bush bash around to the other side and some of the kids and adults who have their cars bogged stay. Then we drive out. It takes 3 hours. We still want to go home. Two cars do. The rest go back to Goolengook.
When we get to Goolengook rd there are five other cars waiting. Turns out that there was no message about not going the back way, and people still went that way. signs that had been changed to point the other way, were changed back by someone who thought we were getting fucked with, so three 4wds from Goongerah, one towing a trailer, are almost hit by Tom who is fishtailing up the mud trying to get out from the opposite direction. A four car fourby pile up is narrowly avoided, by centemeters.
Tom gets a crew together and they pull, push, fang out the four bogged cars. By now there are about 80 people at Goolengook, ready to party. The wheelie bin sound system makes it over the river - just! The slippery pole gets a rope attached for stability, the kitchen is set up, kids are happy playing in the mud and we have a party.
to be continued.....
March 7 2010
celebrate the defence of Goolengook 1997 - 2010
6-8 March 2010
How to get there: From the Princes Hwy turn down Bendoc Ridge Road (a left turn if you are coming from Melbourne side, a right turn if you are coming from sydney side). From there follow our signs and arrows.
Maps are inaccurate but the best map to use is Rooftop. Route is Pugaree, Arte Link, Glen Arte Rd, Little Arte Tk, Bee tree south, Goolengook.
If you are in a two-wheel drive you will have to park a short distance from the camp and kitchen area. There will be some 4WD's to ferry your gear and kids if needed, but travel light if you can.
Goolengook Road has two bridges that have been vandalised. Bendoc Ridge Road is before Goolengook Rd off the Princes Hwy [if you are coming from Melbourne]. If you take Goolengook Rd, it is at your own risk.
What to bring: head torch or similar, some food, some money to buy food from GECO Kitchen or patches and stickers for GECO, camping gear, waterproof gear. NO DOGS!!!
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