Autumn Action - Albury Cruise 2013
Written by Brayden Monday, 22 April 2013 11:37
Based on the results of a forum poll, this year's Albury gathering was pushed back a few weeks further into Autumn. Thankfully the cold hadn't really set in, and the weekend was basked in sunshine. Most of the group arrived for the customary pizza dinner on Friday night, although the Canberra contingent were a surprise arrival later in the evening after making a very leisurely start to the day.
Saturday started off with the customary morning trip to the Albury War Memorial for a few photos and a chat. The number of utes attending was down this year, which I'll admit was a little disappointing, but I don't think anyone really minded. With discussions flowing and bonnets popping I joined forced with Tez's professional window cleaning service and got to work plastering Team MightyBoy stickers on any blank rear windows I could find. After Cuz had failed in his attempt to convince a couple of local females to accompany him for a drive we split to fuel utes and bodies for the day ahead.
With the sun getting higher in the sky our little troop started the days journey. Heading through Wodonga via the main street, we made our way to the south east. The roads out that way are surprisingly good, something I was especially grateful for given the minuscule profile of my tyres, which amplify bumps like a kick up the arse with a steel toe work boot. After about half an hour of leisurely cruising (and one big hill) we found ourselves in the picturesque village of Yakandanda, home to several bakeries, boutique trinket stores and a drapery that I was initially very suspicious of due to the 'd' on the sign being obscured by a verandah post.
After loading up on delicious flaky pastry goodness it was time to move on to what Tez had simply described as the Tallangatta lookout. The reality we were faced with was a ripper of a single lane road up the side of what you could almost describe as a cliff. We began our ascent in earnest, with a pesky cattle grate causing issues for me. At one point Jay managed to miss a downshift to second gear, causing a brief moment of panic for those following, but we made it to the top and took in the spectacular panorama that stretched out in front of us.
With the wind threatening to turn us into frozen human sausages we dived back into our utes and made the rapid descent back to the highway and further east to the driving highlight of the trip, Granya Road. This beaut little link road is one of the best in the region - a smooth surface of tight and twisty asphalt with a good mix of uphill and downhill sections. Besides being perfectly suited to a well tuned Mightyboy, the best part is that we had it all to ourselves as the convoy of utes buzzed through the trees like a swarm of angry wasps.
Emerging at the northern side of the mountain our group was met with the scent of burning timber as we came across what was either some serious back burning or something a bit more out of control.
Turning back west we arrived at the old mining town of Bethanga, where the patrons at the local pub met our arrival with bemusement as they took bets with each other about the make and model of our peculiar utes. (Daihatsu was the incorrect consensus.)
Next up was a quick trip up and over the hill towards Bellbridge, with a stopover at another spectacular lookout. The hilltop vantage point gave us an opportunity to line up the utes for a group photo with Lake Hume forming a beautiful backdrop. By this stage the day was wearing on and we decided to make a bee-line for base camp via the freeway to conclude the cruise.
Back at the cabin park a few of the group took advantage of the remaining daylight by enjoying the childish delight of the jumping pillow, possibly the most fun you can have while exercising. Exhausted from several solid minutes of bouncing and flipping it was time to take a quick walk around the corner to the local pub and relax with a few drinks, a feed and a good old fashioned chinwag. Due to popular demand the remainder of the night was spent back in one of the cabins cheering on the Aussies in the Formula 1 qualifying sessions.
With the Sunday morning sunrise we began packing, saddling up our utes and saying our goodbyes for another year.
Looking at the turnout for this year's Albury cruise it would be easy to be disappointed at only seeing five utes in the photos. Personally I don't think the number matters that much at all. I had a really enjoyable weekend in the company of a group of interesting and friendly people. We joked, laughed and shared our knowledge. If that sounds like the kind of thing you're interested in then make sure you get along to the next Team MightyBoy event, or jump on the forum and help organise a cruise near you. :)
Want more pics from Albury 2013? Check out the gallery.
Want to discuss this event? Hit the forum.