Catch up on everything that went down during the Western Australian crew’s Early Morning (Dam Long) run to the Blue Wren Cafe in Dwellingup, thanks to this report by Vicky Rowe.
By Vicky Rowe
It was an another chilly Perth morning (4deg) as we headed out to our meet spot, at the Guildford station car park. Yes, I can hear you all on the east coast say piff, that’s not cold, but just like you we’ve had enough of the cold this year. We’re all longing for some Spring warmth and I was hopeful when I heard the forecast was to be 19.
We were greeted with a colourful array of Elise, Exige and one Elan (M100). It was a good sized crowd for Perth (13 in 8 loti), all excited by the prospect some exciting roads on a longer than usual EMR and also hopeful of a warm spring day.
Jeff stopped by to introduce himself briefly. While not joining us on our run he too was excited about the upcoming Targa high country rally he has entered with his son (Evora owner from NSW).
Overcast but dry, we set out towards the hills. While the ultimate destination was Pinjarra (85 kms south of Perth) I suggested we start in the hills, heading east. Ed, as usual, put together a brilliant plan, incorporating some local favourite routes as we snaked a path east, then south. But not everything went according to plan.
Some say the roads around Perth are pretty boring. I think we prove them wrong every month. But no one can argue about the roads as you go south. The problem is just distance and so you need to allow the time. The further south you head the more rewarding the roads become.
It’s one thing to set a good plan, but you can’t always foresee everything. Our first hiccup of the day was on our way to Canning Dam. Admittedly we did ignore a few event signs, but it wasn’t until we almost reached our destination that we learned that the tulip festival at the nearby Araluen Botanic Park had blocked our path, so we had to back track around to find an alternative route. Happily, the alternative was just as good and no one was in any hurry. The Jarrahdale General Store was our first stop for a cuppa. It’s a popular and cosy place, set amongst the trees, but its popularity forced us out to the deck. We chatted and shivered. Where was our lovely spring day? At least the cars were warm, so we moved on quickly. There was much more to enjoy anyway, further on ahead.
Over morning tea John suggested we visit Dandalup Dam near Dwellingup, so we added that to our agenda. But first we visited Serpentine Dam. The roads around the dams are usually pretty interesting and on this run we seemed to drive around quite a few. Some, such as Serpentine, offer good photo opportunities. I noticed the roads here were wet and it was starting to feel really cold. Dam! Wish I bought my jacket.
On to Dandalup Dam and it was definitely worth the diversion….right up until we hit the end of the Tarmac. We were faced with another turn around, retracing many kilometres, or we could travel an unknown distance on the dirt road. I was pretty sure that Mike and Elly, in their new Elise S, would prefer the extra k’s. but a passing 4×4 and claimed the dirt section was only about a kilometre. After some negotiation and careful instructions to the dirt road virgins we set off at a slow and steady pace. Thankfully it wasn’t long before we reached a junction and some more black stuff. If only I was quick enough with the camera to catch Mike kissing the ground as we left the dirt track.
Dwellingup was crowded with triumph motorcycles, trying to set the record for the most triumphs at the one meet. They tried but apparently they weren’t triumphant (sorry, had to do it). We were welcomed at the wood heated and ever popular Blue Wren Cafe, but sadly relegated to the outside table. By this stage it was freezing and threatening rain. Hopes for a warm spring day were well and truly smashed by this stage. Mike talked to the waitress and suggested that ‘lots of trouble’ was brewing in his comical and endearing manner. It worked and after a bit of musical chairs we finally settled in for a lovely lunch.
By this stage most were needing to head back to Perth, but Ed was saving the best till last. Mike, Elly and Steve joined Ed and I for some brilliant roads around Waroona and Pinjara, including the private Alcoa road. It may have been a little drizzly by the time we headed home but nothing could dampen our spirits. Who needs a sunny spring day when you have the warmth of great company and the joy of some long windy roads in a lotus?