If you ever wanna be scared and hangin' onto the seat of your pants; then I'd suggest taking multiple wrong turns looking for a designated campsite in the Byfield National Forest 34km North of Yepoon near Rockhampton in QLD's North!
It was pretty late; around 1am in the morning thanks to an over zealous, over concerned mother-in-law that held our adventure up, but how do you argue with a mother-in-law that's 6'4" and just replaced your gearbox for you! Not me! I'd rather swim the English channel, and just quietly, I think I'd be a better chance of winning that battlel!!
My grandfather used to drive a steam train for Emu Bay railways when I was just a youngen, and it's his stories of strange beasts and foe from when he used to break down and have to repair the engine himself that inspired my thirst for adventure into the unknown and subsequently my love for 4wd'ing.
This journey couldn't have been more similar to one particular story he told me that happened around the same time of the morning according to Papa back in the day. The GPS on this night at Byfield was on it's last legs, and the only info we had to go by was from an old 'Farmer Joe' who'd sold us a tray of mangoes the day before.
When you get to the State forest in Byfield, you become quickly aware that most roads lead to nowhere, especially when you have no idea where you are going!! After travelling a few kay on 3 such roads, with only nothingness along the way, my wife decided on the next road/or non-road to turn off, and decided that wherever it took us, that'd be where we kipped for the night! Well! I'm not gonna argue with that either!
My domain is driving and setting up. If I want to eat and stay warm for the night, then I'll listen to my beautiful wife; after all, she is my scary mother-in-law's daughter :) So we took a left off the beaten track and here's where the adventure really began O.o
The forest was thick; The road was sparse! Each gear sang it's own tune; revving hard and time after time, it nearly sat the Landcruiser on it's A**e! 1.5 metres of water here and there; Master 8 gave an almighty cheer.
We rolled the beast 5km in, The adrenalin rush was brilliant, but our patience ran very thin. It was extreme enough, but then came the noises from within the rough!; It sounded like sick bulls or bloody mythical beasts!; We'd come to the end of our tether; It was more than enough!
But throughout the night, all we could do was laugh about our plight; It was an awesome adventure, from nightfall to daylight! For anyone willing, this journey has to take No. 1 billing. Just head to Byfield State Forest, and enjoy the fourbe flight.
'Cause this is living, and it doesn't matter which turn ya take, You'll wake up in the morning, and get ready to do it all again feeling bloody great!
- Julian Cartledge