There’s a track that follows the power lines that Aaron had heard about out west near Flaggy Creek. We made conquering that track the aim for the day. The sun was shining and the weather was beautiful and we set off mid-morning. As we arrived the track looking promising – a reasonable drive with some challenging parts and scenic as well.

 

Good things to come – one steep descent

 

The bottom side of the hill

 

The pre-drive check. This one got a ‘nah’. Too skinny for the Ute with too severe angles and not a clear path out the other side.

 

Everything was going great, we were traversing at a steady pace making reasonable time, enjoying ourselves when this happened….

When it rains it pours

 

It started bucketing down. Our nice easily traversable track turned into one giant mud slick. The tyres were already sitting in the low 20’s so we were hoping this was going to be enough to get us out. The first kilometre or so was ok going, we were in the valley with some flat gravely ground which meant traction wasn’t too bad. It was when we came to what looked like an innocuous hill that we hit a spot of bother. That nice solid firmly packed mud had turned into a giant slip and slide that only wanted us to head in one direction, and that was not up and over it. We still had mobile reception and looking at the rain radar the current shower had passed but there was another giant rain cell on its way. Thanks to the dry baking heat of the Cairns’ sun the mud was drying out quickly, but not quickly enough for our liking.

We dropped the tyre pressure even more to high teens just so we could get as much tyre surface area on the mud and as much traction as possible without the actual tyres popping off the rims. We weren’t worried about the height clearance you lose as you drop the tyre pressure as the track was flat (which was the problem!).

As you can see in the video trying to pure momentum just wasn’t working and it sounded like Aaron was redlining in the revs. We had the hand winch but that was going to be our last resort as the road up the hill was considerably long and we’d still be there winching now instead of me writing this in the comfort of my nice dry, mud-free home. We had the traction boards in the back of the ute and gave them a go. All we needed was a deep breath and that tiny bit of traction (1200mm worth to be exact) to get enough momentum to get up that hill.

No matter the profile of your tyres, whether they be roadies, all terrains or an aggressive mud pattern, it doesn’t matter when the tread gets full of mud

 

Once we got to the top of the hill we assessed our options. With the rain that had already fallen and the rain on its way the track would just get even softer. One thing we’re always mindful of is showing the tracks we travel on the respect they deserve. We are not the type to chew up the track just for the sake of it and destroy it for the next person who wants to go through. It’s people like that who get tracks closed and ruin it for everyone else. Anyway, we couldn’t go back considering the hill that we came down at the start of the track and looking at the maps it looked like there was another adjoining track not too far up ahead that lead to a main road and with our tails between our legs we waved the white flag and bowed out about halfway through.

Our exit point. Till next time!