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June 2012 Club News

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Old Bike Camping Week, March 24th - 30th

Story: Garry Blake Pics: Club Members

DAY ONE: We all meet at info centre with a good roll up of 23 bikes. Ralph and Mo were visiting from Wales (Bob’s friends from Cardiff) and joined us on Chris’s 600 BMW.

First stop was the bakery at Mount Barker where a few day riders went back to Albany, the rest continuing on to Frankland for a short break. Then on to Bill O’Halloran’s farm for a lunch stop where we were looked after very well by Vicki (Bill’s wife) and their daughter, Kara. The homestead is a beautiful setting with nice lawns surrounding the outdoor entertainment area. Coffee and tea was available, the urns were bubbling and a nice selection of Bill’s delicious muffins adorned the table. With the great setting it was hard to get moving. We decided it would be a great place to camp!
Morning tea at
          Bill and Vikki’s place outside of Kojonup.

Bill had some of his bikes on the verandah for display, 1975 850 Norton, a 1977 Honda 500 four, a 57 Triumph T110 and a 1959 Panther. Parked nearby was his 72 Trident packed and ready to join us on the trip.
Bikes lineup up
          for display.

From there it was on to see Stewart Tohl’s quarry. Here huge blocks of granite have been carved out to build a temperature-controlled workshop in which he plans to relocate the equipment for Tohl Engineering. We then moved on to his farm where he runs the business to see the massive shed built from the quarried blocks. The granite blocks were a metre wide, a metre high and 3 metres long so you can imagine what a massive project this is. Stewart showed us his existing setup for manufacturing fire hose nozzles which was pretty amazing and we could see why he needed a bigger better building!
The amazing
          granite shed.

Next stop was Kojonup for fuel and then on to Darkan via Moodiarup with a quick look at Lake Towerinning for some. After booking in to the caravan park, Kylie and Bruce rocked up with Huw. Kylie’s BM was only running on one cylinder and after much pontificating it was discovered that it was very low on fuel with the reserve only feeding one pot! This created some lively conversation about fuel taps for the next hour or so.
Camping at
          Darkan caravan park.

The BBQ from the club trailer was set up next to the outdoor camper’s kitchen area which has a wood fire. Those of us that were camping cooked up a feast giving the BBQ its first workout

DAY TWO: it was on to Williams for coffee and we decided to go to another farm, about 4K north, to the Jesse Martin museum, a historic village and memorabilia collection started by a local farmer on his own property in 1976. All manner of things have been rescued from old shops, post offices, workshops etc which were on the verge of being demolished in Williams and other country towns.

It is set up as a village street and static display of how it was in the early part of last century with original signage. The shops all stocked with original items and various paraphernalia as well as sheds full of old cars and farm machinery. There was so much to see it was hard to take it all in but we had to keep moving.
One of the many
          restored buildings - Williams.

Lunchtime was approaching so we moved on to Narrogin for a bite to eat stopping at a park in town. By now it was warming up so off to Yealering for a quick break in the shade by the lake and from there the last leg of the day to Corrigin. Campsites were set up at the caravan park with others staying at the motel. Dinner that night was at the pub. The meals were excellent with good service.

DAY THREE: Before we set off for Kalgarin it was birthday wishes for Colin Hinkley, a coffee stop at Kulin, then a run up the Tin Horse Highway. Once again campsites were set up and dongas were occupied for the non-campers. This is a very well presented park with magnificent facilities lush lawn and spotless camper’s kitchen. It also has Tressie’s Museum which is operated by the owners of the farm/caravan park.
Phil, Bill and
          Warwick adjusting a primary chain on the Bonnie at Kulin.

A trip into Hyden for supplies and lunch was organised, however the kick start mechanism jammed up on the Ariel so I grabbed a ride with Warwick in one of the support vehicles. The plan was to do a bit of sightseeing around Hyden but it was agreed that fixing the gearbox on the Ariel would be more entertaining!

Merv and Laurel Trestrail are the park owners and Merv kindly agreed to let us use his workshop to carry out the repairs. Meanwhile I had lost my glasses so had to work in the dark with my prescription sunnies while an amused audience sat around and watched or stood in the light making things more difficult (ha ha). The problem was soon found with the outer case bush well and truly seized on to the shaft of the kick start quadrant. Phil fired up the oxy and Clive and I managed to remove the bush with some persuasion. It was then cleaned up and reassembled. By then with a quick test run it was time for a well earned beer.
Phil helping
          Garry fix a stuck kickstart lever on the Ariel.

We had another look around for my glasses to no avail when out of the blue Chris walks in wearing them! She had seen something glinting in the sun on the ground alongside Warwick’s car and that’s where they had been since I got out after coming back from Hyden. So the day ended well for me.

Things were to get even better when Brian Trundle (who is a club member farming near Kulin) rocked up with about 15 gallons of Gilgies (Koonacs or Yabbies) and Laurel proceeded to cook them for us on a purpose built setup by the camper’s kitchen. Brian had made a dipping sauce and also brought bread so we all tucked in with much glee and had a great time. To top this off Yvonne had secretly supplied a magnificent cake for Colin’s birthday which we thoroughly enjoyed.
Peeling the
          coonacs that Brian Trundle brought over to Kalgarin.

DAY FOUR: And more birthday wishes, this time for Raelene and Jim before the ride to Hopetoun with some more farm visits on the way. First stop was fuel in Hyden with a briefing for the days run, then on to check out a rock formation with a dam about 15K out of town.

From there on to Lake King. Phil and Lurl’s son Colin was there to greet us for a coffee break before we carried on to Ravensthorpe for fuel and lunch. Meanwhile Ralph had lost his gloves somewhere after Hyden. Philip found one on the side of the road so Ralph borrowed one from Chris who was driving the support vehicle on this leg.

Before Ravensthorpe we had two more visits arranged. First stop was a farm with a large collection of vintage tractors, then nearby to another farm where the owner had a collection of vintage cars and more tractors with the old homestead set up as a small museum.

While we were having lunch in Ravensthorpe a couple towing a caravan pulled into the park and asked if anyone was missing a glove! They had spotted Ralph’s other glove on the road, and seeing us on our bikes reckoned it must belong to someone in our group. How’s that for luck Ralph!

From there it was a quick run to the caravan park at Hopetoun with dinner at the pub. The Hopey was “goin' off” with the bars and eating areas full but they squeezed us in. The service was excellent and meals top quality.
Around the
          campfire in Hopetoun.

DAY FIVE: Was a rest day so a bit of a sleep in for some, go to the beach for a swim, clean the locusts off the bikes, do the washing or stroll into town for a coffee and check out the shops. We had a pleasant evening back at the campsite once again putting the club BBQ to good use. Plenty of laughs as Clive entertained with his stories and jokes while we sat around the campfire enjoying our meal and a few beverages.

DAY SIX: Off to Bremer Bay with the usual smoko stop at Ravensthorpe, and another farm visit with more vintage cars. By this time Ralph was totally gobsmacked at the size of the sheds and the incredible way farmers fill them up with their interests and hobbies!
Another amazing
          shed - just out of Ravensthorpe. 

Lunch and fuel at Jerramungup, and a straightforward run to Bremer. We had been very lucky with the weather with only a few light showers on the first two nights but a thunderstorm, lightning and heavy rain at the caravan park in Bremer dampened our spirits. So instead of walking up to the Bremer Bay Resort for dinner we drove in to the supermarket and got tucker for a BBQ in the camper’s kitchen. Those not camping had stayed at the motel and ate at the pub

DAY SEVEN: We rang Max Wellstead to see if he would open early for us to visit his museum and he kindly agreed. For those who have not been there before it is certainly an interesting place to visit. The ladies were happy because it was not just tractors and cars for a change.
After the museum we rode to Wellstead, fuelled up and did the final leg to Albany or other destinations for some.

All in all, an enjoyable week with great company. A good time was had by all. Thanks to Lurl for driving support and towing the club trailer and to Warwick also as support.

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