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The October Trip

Day1 | Day2 | Day3 | Day4 | Day5 | Day6 | Day7 | Day8

Crew at Bullfinch Pub

DAY 1:
On a rather cold and windy Saturday - 1 bike (Chris Rees) and 3 sidecar outfits (Bob Rees - with esky as passenger, John and Jan Bond and us - Clive and Marilyn Smith) set off from Albany for Jarrahdale. First stop was Kojonup where the sun was shining and we were able to thaw out and have a hot drink etc. Then onto Arthur River where we met up with Ian Jury who had come across from his new abode in Australind.
Lunch was the next stop at Bannister - but alas with Bob in the lead and Chris behind - drama - Chris pulls out to overtake Bob then signals stop. In unison everyone pulls over. Chris has been observing Bob from behind and feels that the load in the sidecar may have shifted as it looks a lot like it is moving closer to Bob - or Bob is feeling tired and moving closer to the load. In any case something is not quite right and with a woman's intuition a discussion takes place - but the outcome is - keep going! We arrive at Jarrahdale turnoff and meet up with Bob and Chris's lovely daughter - Katrina - who had come from Perth on her bike to join us for a couple of days. At least now we look a bit more cool with a youngster in tow.
What a quaint little place Jarrahdale is - so now it’s off to find the camping ground. Bob finds out directions from a local and takes the lead - tally ho deeper and deeper into the forest we go - narrower and narrower the road gets - until stop!
Apparently we had taken a wrong turn! But alas - how in the hell will we get out of here - it would be near impossible to turn the outfit.
I'm getting out - steep fall on one side and heavily wooded hill on the other. Bob decides to reccy the area - and comes back with Spencer Sheffield who he found further up in the woods. Problem solved - we now have an alternative way in - horrendous as the track looks - if the bike gets out of control going down - at least there is water at the bottom to land in! - The decision is made to forge ahead. Yes we had missed the turnoff into the park and were now on the other side. After some careful manoeuvring all bikes made the steep descent down to the park edge to arrive at one of the most scenic camping areas I have seen. Camp was set up - us in probably record time after Clive bought our camper "The Ritz" and read the instructions that it can be erected in 10 seconds - he has tried like a good male to lower that time! But every man to his own - before anyone else had alighted from their bikes - here was us sitting having a cup of tea - mission accomplished.
Late afternoon - Katrina and Bob go into town to meet Huw Jones and show him the way in - didn't want a repeat of the earlier performance. But alas! Bob arrives back at camp minus Katrina and Huw - sorry girls - it was the female of the species who stuffed up this time - and Huw too tried out his riding skills on the slalom course.
A fantastic night was held around the campfire that night - Clive was in full form with his joke telling and much food and drink was consumed. Huw's partner, Bronwyn voted it one of the better nights she had experienced.

DAY 2 - Sunday
Bike trials was going to be the order of the day - but I don't think Clive (his head) would have been able to cope with these. After he had drunk his whole weeks rations on the first night - we decided to go straight to York - so that he could recover in the afternoon - and I had to agree - when usually I would make him suffer – because I wanted to see a bit of York. Bond's and Sheffield's did their own thing and made their way to York also. Bob, Chris, Ian, Katrina, Huw and his girlfriend Bronwyn stayed to watch the Trials - where some running repairs were done to Bob's sidecar courtesy of a mobile welding unit. We all arrived in York safely Sheffield's were sent on their way by the local caravan, owner for having a dog with them- so Bond's decided to accompany them and meet up with the main pack later. Lurl and Phil Penny now joined us. Another very enjoyable night was held around the campfire - although I think Lurl and Phil felt a little unwell after Clive told them that the pot he lent them to cook their tea in was our "versatile" one - also being used as a night pan.

A fair bit of ground to cover today- so it’s an early start - but poor Ian isn't feeling too well he has a cold! After a very scenic drive the pack rides into Toodyay. We find a nice little coffee shop and sit and wait for the latecomers to join us. A hombre rides down the main street - oh it’s Andrew who now joins the pack - and then another 2 arrive - Des and Wes.
Ian has to get something for his cold - so instead of joining us all for coffee and cake - saunters across the road - no, not to the chemist but to the supermarket for a jar of crushed garlic. He then sits down on a seat in the main street and extracts the garlic from the jar with his tongue. This should stop the cold from getting any worse at least none of us should get it as nobody will go near him for a few days. Off again - this time through beautiful farming country to New Norcia where we stop for lunch.
It must have been the religious bit - because the three women (Chris, Lurl and me) fed the hungry herds with beautiful bread from the renowned Bakery, cheese, tomato, salami etc. then some fruit loaf washed down with tea and coffee.
All refreshed, its off through the farms again to Mukinbudin. Wave nicely to the cop car - don't want them to think we are bikies. Afternoon tea stop - and Ian has a problem with his cold. Apparently he had tissues stuffed up his nose to stop drips in his helmet as he rode along. But a problem arose when he sneezed and the tissues flew out along with a few hours build up of cold and flu residue, resulting in him being unable to see out of his helmet. Another problem his blue hanky is saturated - so decides to tie it to bike so it will be dry at the next stop.
But after a while its STOP Bob again has the esky problem with the sidecar. The problem looks worse this time - is he attempting to make the set up narrower so he can get another bike in his garage at home - or is it something more sinister? Something more sinister it is - Bob is riding at a 45 degree angle – and a welder is going to be needed very soon. Des has contacts in this area and just out of Mukinbudin the boys divert to a farm for repairs. The rest of the pack head for Mukinbudin either to camp or stay at the local pub. Here we meet up with the Bonds and Sheffield's again. Then it’s off to the pub for a bit of Mucka Tucka.

Another beaut day - off through the back way to Southern Cross and then Kalgoorlie. First stop - Bullfinch Pub for coffee - where we were entertained by the publican - quite a fantastic character who could supply all our needs - coffee - yes, pies yes, scones - yes, she even offered us a flash if we wanted it! Yes she had to be a goldfields girl! Clive and myself being Kal people reminisced with her on heaps of things including that I was a midget marching girl {aged about 10) the last time I visited Bullfinch - and here I was back again {at 50 something) - still a midget but now a bikies mole {actually Marilyn you mean a moll ha ha - Bob) in a sidecar!
Wes realised a lifelong ambition and carved his name into the bar {along with millions of others).
Des frowned to think his son-in-law would do something like that. Off to have a look at a pumping station where Phil once worked then onto Yellowdine for lunch. Police car passes - then turns back - better check this lot out! Smile then drive off!
Andrew has now nicknamed Ian Pavrotti - because he always has this hanky waving around etc.
The women take a vote not to ask Ian how he is feeling – because after the snot and hanky story earlier we decide it’s better not knowing. We arrive in Kalgoorlie late afternoon the local police sent out a surveillance car to check on us before letting us into the town.
First hiccup - the women's toilets have a code to enter - the men's don't! Apparently men have a problem remembering them - so best they don't bother them with such things.
Tea is cooked at the camp kitchen Lurl looks like she needs a drink - so we put a bit of whisky in her coke that kept her quiet for the rest of the night - but also made her incapable of helping with the cooking and cleaning. The "War on Terrorism" has started! Turn the TV's off we don't want news.

A bit of washing and drying for everyone. Oh no - the blue hanky is in with our clothes being dried. Off to see the sights of Kal - then lunch. Back to the camp for afternoon of R&R, before a good walk to the Star & Garter for tea. Some of the boys wanted to divert over to Hay Street but said they weren't game because we (wives and tell tale tits) are here with them.

Leaving Kal for Esperance - by now the men without their wives are starting to feel the pressure. The women have now finally remembered the code to the toilets and we are all ready to leave Andrew hasn't packed up yet!
Blames wife. But she isn't even here - that's why she is blamed - for not being here - she is the one that gets things moving usually.
Right- off we go - but no another male has a problem something is leaking from his motor- so after having a few days to sort this out - decides now that we are leaving would be a better time to do so. All males linger about - looking, poking, offering advice etc. Females group and discuss males. OK - all is well - it was a loose screw - (or was it a screw loose!).
Widgiemooltha for morning tea - then off to Norseman for lunch - cop car cruises by - so I decide to let them know that we are the "Geriatric Jokers" that should get rid of them, but no, must have thought it was just a ploy on my behalf - just outside Norseman there we are again under surveillance again! Nearly out of Norseman STOP - all pull up at old wreckers - oh no! not another bloke with old bikes in his shed - will we make Esperance tonight?
Everyone files into shed - full of old things and I must admit some nice old bikes - must be good - all males are drooling that's worth $30,000- that's worth $20,000 etc. Finally women leave shed - men still looking - it amazes me how they can just stand there and look and then look again and again! How long are they going to just stand there and look - Wes has had enough and joins the females outside. Time to tell them to come Wes won't - so me, the biggest goes in and speaks - they all file out and onto their bikes for the next leg of the trip to Esperance.

Another very enjoyable night around the gas lamp. Fish and chips for all, plenty of liquid refreshment and stories to tell. Clive opens his 6th bottle of rations. Oh no - there's the Pom again who’s travelling around Australia and knows everything there is to know about motorbikes. Clive invites him to visit Queensland while in Australia - and to go to the lion park - where poms on push-bikes are admitted free! Ian's cold has abated and is now welcomed back into the pack as long as he doesn't discuss any more remedies he has for colds etc.

We have awoke to rain today - first time. Yes we are leaving - pouring rain - let's do the scenic drive - bloody hell! Des and Wes decide to leave and go straight through - Wes is missing Barbara too much, and Des has something on in Albany he wants to get back to. I will have to rug up today - every bit of clothing I have plus all this wet weather gear. Now how to manoeuvre myself into the sidecar with all this on - okay stand on seat and let myself fall in. Plonk - all in and ready, but can't turn my head.
That's right – send Chris out to be the leader today probably to blame her for taking a
longer route in these miserable conditions.

Quite a bit of buffeting - I feel if I could see my face now it would be like the people in the Nissan ad - you know the one that the car has so much power it distorts their faces.

Weather gradually clears, but still very cold and windy - say bye to Lurl and Phil at Ravensthorpe then turn off to Hopetoun. Lunch at the pub, then off to the caravan park to set up camp, light a huge campfire and prepare for our final night around the fire. A sausage sizzle is the order of the night.

Last pack up to head for home - Ian says farewell as he his staying with friends in Ravensthorpe. It's a beautiful day so take the scenic route through the Stirlings where we stop for lunch and reminiscing on such a fantastic week: Probably one of the very better holidays I have experienced - so many laughs, great rides, great company. Clive is telling friends that I am now "warming" to the idea of heading east next year across the Nullabor in the outfit for another extended holiday. We'll see.

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