The Day My Wife Nearly Drove Us
One of my son’s favourite memories is when Grandad came to visit and we went playing in our 4WD’s for the day. We went out to Beaudesert to a 4WD park there famous for its views of Brisbane and the Gold Coast from a mountain top on the property. Luckily he can’t remember what happened next…
It was only the second time we’d taken our new car out 4WDing and Grandad had come up to give us some lessons. We’d packed a picnic lunch, jumped in the trucks and headed out just past Beaudesert.
We paid our money and signed the insurance waivers and headed off into the 4WD park. If you don’t know what a 4WD park is, they’re great: they’re like ski resorts for 4WDs. They are large properties with tracks which are graded by difficulty. They give you a map when you arrive with the different coloured tracks marked on it and off you go.
I was struck by what mountain goat territory this park was. I’d been to another one which was a lot flatter with lots of forest, but this one was virtually built on the side of a mountain. So we went up the side of the mountain. Literally, straight up the side of the mountain. It was so steep that I couldn’t see any ground over the front of the bonnet: all I could see was blue sky. I had to wind down the window and lean out the side to make sure I was still on the track! The difficulty was compounded by the fact that I was virtually driving on marbles!
At the top my Dad broke out his camping BBQ which he’d taken all around Australia and cooked on nearly every night and had some lovely sausage sandwiches.
And then it was my wife’s turn to drive us back down the mountain. The route back down the mountain was torturous. It was a winding little goat track with impossibly tight switchback corners cut into the side of the mountain. There was sheer rock wall out the driver’s side window and a 100 metre drop out the passenger side. It made the Yungus Road in Bolivia look tame. My wife was so worried about scraping the new truck on the rock wall that she wasn’t paying much attention to the other side.
As we were edging along the track, we were also edging toward the left and the steep, steep downhill fall. Through my butt I could feel the tires crunching along the soft edges. And I could feel those edges falling away. I could feel the tires slipping and struggling to get grip. I could feel the 4WD starting to lean to the downhill side. I suggested that my wife might want to pull a bit to the right. To which it was strongly suggested that I might like to be quiet. I pointed out that 4WD was sliding further and further towards the edge and my wife hit the brakes and stopped the truck. It was strongly suggested that I put my truck somewhere unpleasant.
That’s when my Dad stuck his head in through the driver’s window to ask what was wrong. That’s right. The driver’s side. Where there was apparently no room to move the truck closer and away from the edge. When I pointed this out a strong offer was made to help me put my truck somewhere unpleasant…
Have you ever had any post-BBQ near death experiences? Let me know in the comments below.