BAW BAW LUNCH RUN, Sunday 16th February

If  the 35 or so participants on this run were concerned about the lingering smoke from last week’s bushfires obscuring the view from the summit of Mt Baw Baw, they needn’t have worried. The low cloud, mist and eventual steady rain, washed away the remnants of the smoke, but the heavy cloud cover meant that we couldn’t see more than a few car lengths in front of us, especially by the time we were leaving the summit after lunch.

The run began in very light drizzle at Warragul where the first of several mechanical problems befell our participants. The wipers on Ian and Mary Hodge’s lovely MGTF decided that it was time to play the ‘LUCAS – Prince of Darkness ‘ card, and so refused to activate. The wipers on my Cooper S are also a Lucas product and as such, are rarely called into action, relying instead on the water shedding properties of Rainex to keep the screen clear, but in the misty conditions we encountered up the mountain, the wipers were tried a few times with such unimpressive results in relation to coverage and speed, that it was safer to drive faster and let the wind blow the water away.

With hoods erected, and some sort of tent structure on Mark’s Lotus Elise (only when parked), the convoy headed north to Noojee where the drizzle had almost stopped and morning tea was partaken at the Red Parrot Cafe. True to its name, there were many beautiful King Parrots resplendent in their vibrant red and green plumage making a racket in the trees outside the Cafe. Glenn Campbell in the 911 had detoured via his home to pick up Pam and a  precautionary tow rope, which would have been useful the last time we ran up to Baw Baw, as Glenn’s silver 911 Targa Porsche required some assistance to make it as far as Tanjil Bren.

From Noojee we passed through Icy Creek to Tanjil Bren and then up to the Baw Baw Village on the summit. After such a long period without rain, the damp, twisty roads through the towering eucalypt forests were incredibly slippery. At Tanjil Bren there was a brief stop for master MG mechanic Dave Anderson to fix the wiring to the fuel pump on Wayne and Colleen Eccles MGB, and a chance for the tail-enders to catch up on the harmless scenic excursion into the shrubbery undertaken by the presidential Lotus.  From there the road continued to climb whilst the weather deteriorated.  Snow Gums gradually replaced the Mountain Ash and tree ferns as the roadside markers changed from white to orange. Nearing the summit, the Fiat 130 Coupe of Peter King and Betty Tromp was seen parked on the side of the road with what we found out later to be overheating problems. They’d hitched a ride the last kilometre or so to the restaurant where we all eventually gathered and enjoyed a lovely meal watching the rain blow across the balcony and outdoor eating area that only the day before had hosted a wedding function.

After lunch we departed the Village and in our own time made our way through the cloud back down the hill to where the roads were dry (dryish) and visibility clear. Many thanks to those who saw the blue Cooper S approaching from the rear and allowed room for overtaking. It was great fun to give the mini a bit of squirt on such a tremendous road. Thanks also to Phil and Judy Barnard for organising this event which always throws out a few challenges for those participating.

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One Response to BAW BAW LUNCH RUN, Sunday 16th February

  1. Steve says:

    Steve,

    Thanks for the dis-honourable mention of the side-lined 130 Coupe in your report of the Baw Baw trip. But you forgot to mention the Lotus!!! You could have filled pages with that story. If he was in the RAAF (as I was for 22 years) he would be known forever as Skid now (skid-marks).

    The overheating cannot be blamed on the FIAT. I found the earth wire from the thermatic fan switch dangling in the breeze. I think I unwittingly dislodged it when I was removing and refitting the alternator – in between expletives for that bastard of a job!

    Thanks for the nice photo of the 130. No sign of steam at that point.

    Peter

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