We'd Done the same expedition in 07 but he'd been busy in 08 with a new family addition.
I had a few weeks to prepare and looked forward to it, as we had a great time previously.
Kevin was bringing his 3 boys, Jake - Zac & Kyle.
We all gathered at Macksville for an early start. Try 3am for early.
Kevs cousin Craig was there again with young Josh, and Micheal with his son Tom in the big Isuzu truck.
We fuelled up and made good time up through the waterfall way out of Bellingen. We passed Dorrigo in the cool of morning, then out of Tingha Craig noticed some noises from the right front wheel of the Rodeo. We pulled over and inspected the bearing, which looked somewhat the worse for wear. Craig inspected and reassembled it.
Craig decided to push on to Inverell and contact NRMA road service from there.
The mechanic met us in the Mcdonalds carpark and proceeded with the repair.
The inner cone of the wheel bearing had spun and welded itself to the axle stub.
He spent over an hour helping us out, even though NRMA only allow thirty minutes and 30$ to the mechanic, but in his words "he liked to see people get going".
A top bloke who went to great effort, above and beyond the call of duty.
With the help of a large hammer and cold chisel, the bearing cone came away.
A new bearing from REPCO was found and fitted, then we were off again.
The rest of the trip was uneventful, apart from my testing the limits of my fuel economy in the Hilux. I found I could expect 464kms of hard driving before running on fumes.
A topup on all tanks then out to Burragillo.