I stumbled upon 4x4Earth Australia in an effort to find alternative routes between the major cities. I was after gravel - lots of gravel. My destination for the excursion was based on the 4x4 Earth route: Canberra - Goulburn: for those who think tar sucks. With a title like that, I just had to follow the suggested GPS track.
I departed Canberra close to 6am so as to allow myself time to explore before beginning the full commute to the office. Sunrise was schedule for 0626 which was perfect as I had a few kilometers to cover before the detour.
I was buzzing with excitement as I threw my overnight bag into the back of my 300tdi Land Rover Discovery. I love new trails and the start of this day was going to offer just that!
At that point I began to worry - the muddy conditions were making the easy gradient harder. I was loosing traction and sliding towards a fence. I was alone and had a business appointment later so getting stuck was not an option. My options were to continue up the road and find a turn around point, or to retrace my tracks.
I engaged reverse and slowly crept back down the hill. A few times the wheels refused to redirect the vehicle at which point I needed to stop the vehicle, plan ahead and begin the process again. At one point I attempted to go forward but the wheels were caked in mud and had no grip. The only option was down...
I was also feeling pretty guilty that I had just managed to churn up the grader crews perfect road. I do attempt to adhere to the old Land Rover slogan 'Tread Lightly' but was caught off guard due to the rain.
The BFG AT tyres (still inflated for road conditions) did the job and kept me heading in the right direction - although I did have a few moments when the fence seemed to a target for the rear of the vehicle.
Overall, what a great mini adventure to break up the commute between Canberra and Sydney. This diversion adds an extra hour on the journey but it is worth it. I shall be returning to this route after our summer of rain to explore beyond my return point...