Horseshoe Bend weekend meet
Victorian members meet
held on the
Queens Birthday long weekend from Saturday 9th to Monday
11th of June 2007.
We left early Saturday morning to join the campers already at
Horseshoe Bend. A quick stop at Beaufort for a bite to eat, and a very slow
coffee later, we were on our way again pushing through the fog.
By 10.30am we had breezed into Dimboola and were in search of
the camp ground. Remembered Paul and Leanne’s directions about keeping left.
Stopped at a small intersection but noticed the road quickly turned to 4WD
territory, so decided this must not be it. The confusingly bent signpost at the
corner gave little assistance.
Apparently several others discovered just how quickly the
turn off turned into a muddy 4WD slog – they had some fun anyhow – and all
managed to find their way to the camp ground, eventually. You a beginning to
make a habit of that Dale. J
Our arrival was greeted with an excellent outlook of the camp
area, campers spread out and several small campfires smoldering away. To us this
was an early indication for a wonderful weekend away.
We set-up the hard sided camper near – but not TOO near – Ron
and Shirl in the Goldstream. With our friend Wally pitching his swag under the
‘van awning. Dale made the trip up with a tent in the back of the Rodeo, only
able to stay the Saturday night
Behind us were Dean, Anna and kids in the Trak Shak, and in
the other direction were Frank and Janice in the Adventure. Barry, Lyn, Paddy
and Ben in the Supreme. Bill and Mary in the Trek Kudu, and then later that
morning David, Jayne and kids arrived in the Tru Blu to join the fun.
Further around were Warren and Diane in the new Odyssey ZR,
across from them were Nev and Vicki in the T-Van, with Wayne and Hayley in the
On either side were Paul and Leanne, and Kevin, Jeff,
Cassandra, Hayley and Courtney. Each had a southern Cross camper. One being
on-road while the other was an off-road version.
Finally, making up the group were David and Bernadette in the
Our little “ring of wagons” surrounded a rather wet central
spot in the camp grounds, but had the pleasant mix of being close enough to see
everyone else, yet far enough away so each group could enjoy the solitude when
As expected, there was little water in the river, and the one
wily fish left in the “pond” wasn’t going to fall for the old
“lure-on-the-end-of-the-pole” trick, no matter how hard Wally tried.
Later that morning several campers went out to explore more
of the National Park. The going was fairly easy as the rain in the previous
weeks had settled the sand down nicely. Dean remarked how it was a wonderful
introduction for beginner 4WD’ers as it was remote, but not difficult.
Frank and Janice did a few laps of the park before deciding
to head along the blacktop to Nhill, then returning to Dimboola and the camp
The remaining campers spent the day in the camp ground,
chatting, stoking the fire, and generally having a good time.
With temperatures Saturday night dropping to near freezing,
fires were stoked, campers warmed where possible and thermal underwear brought
Envious mumbles flowed across to Dean and Anna’s Trak Shak –
they have often talked about the Webasto heater fitted to their camper. A
travelling Webasto salesman could have made a tidy profit Saturday night!
Sunday morning and the early birds caught the frost on the
canvas of their campers, the rest of us merely shivered in the near zero
temperatures. Things didn’t improve when Kevin proudly announced it had got down
to -2.6C that night.
Thanks Kevin, we feel much warmer now.
By 10.00am all were up and a small convoy ventured into
Dimboola for our tour with members of the local
Dimboola & District Historical
Evelyn King and several society members proudly discussed
some history of the town and the society to the 20 camper group members present,
before taking us through their museum located in the old court house. After this
the group meandered around to the office of the Dimboola Banner newspaper. This
is a recent acquisition by the historical society. Much of the equipment in the
building dates back to the early 1900’s.
We were given a short demonstration of the machinery, which
provided great interest and an amount of discussion.
All group members were appreciative of the effort put in by
the society and enjoyed the morning. It certainly made the week-end memorable.
For those campers travelling to new areas, always remember to
take the time to visit the local communities. Not only will you learn more about
the area but you will be helping their economy.
We even managed a
story and photo in the local paper.
Sunday night provided more of an opportunity for chats around
the camp fires. I was having a nice long chat to Paul over at the Southern Cross
camper, unaware of the entertainment being provided for campers around Frank and
Janice’s camp fire. Apparently noise and commotion coming from our hard sided
camper was a source of some amusement. I returned some time later to find a nice
sultana damper sitting on the coals ready to be eaten, unaware that Holly and
Wally had first tried to cover the inside of the ‘van with flour when a lid came
off the container, and then tried to burn it down when my newly acquired
silicon bake ware caught fire in the gas oven, and set the smoke detector off.
The comment was made about leaving a couple of kids by
themselves for an hour. NOT a good thing!
Several campers took the opportunity in the warmest part of
the afternoon to have a shower. All felt better afterwards and ready to tackle
another cold night, except for Wally of course, who almost exposed more than he
planned when he inadvertently pulled all of the tent pegs from our shower tent
while trying to adjust the hot water. It is still a matter for discussion who
would have been more embarrassed. Wally in his birthday suit in the open, or
Ron, Frank and myself standing at the camp fire nearby.
After the previous two nights, campers weren’t going to take
any chances, finding every gadget and bit of blanket to cover their beds, only
to have the cloud cover roll in that night and keep the temperature to a more
comfortable 5C. I’m sure we were not alone in spending half the night removing
the extra layers trying to cool down rather than warm up.
A wet and overcast Monday morning greeted the group, and at
10a.m. a camper walk-around was arranged, in order:
Trak Shak (with webasto);
Southern Cross Off-Road, (Where Leanne’s much anticipated Dream Pot scones were
consumed with gusto);
Right on cue the rain stopped just as we were completing the
walk around. Many campers had lunch and then packed for the journey home,
leaving the lucky ones to spend an extra night and make their way home slowly,
avoiding the long weekend traffic.
All up another enjoyable get together by the Mexican chapter
of the Australian CamperTrailerS Group. So much so that by Monday afternoon we
were in serious discussion about the next get together.
A final word from myself and Holly. It is a pleasure for us
to host such get togethers when our fellow campers make it all so easy and
enjoyable. Perhaps there IS something in the way we Victorians work.
Spend time planning to get together, meet in the same place,
and then all spread out as far as we can. J
Hope to see you all again at the next meet
Rolande and Holly
Dean, Anna and kids
Frank and Janice
Barry, Lyn, Paddy, Ben
David, Jayne and kids
Warren and Dianne
Australian Off Road Odyssey ZR
Kevin, Jeff, Cassandra,
Hayley & Courtney
David and Bernadette
Wayne and Hayley
Freedom Minit Tent
Rolande and Holly
Coromal Pioneer Seka
Tagged along with Rolande and Holly