March 24, 2006 GMT
Safe and dry in Mt. Isa

Lumpy is a nudist.All manner of fasteners,fittings and parts and pieces are to be jettisoned. No screw, footpeg or fender is safe from this Harly-esque parts shedding. To curb this trait I have started to place a square of duct tape over repeat offenders. Gray tape on a red motorcycle gives the look of a mosquito ravaged child to which his mother has applied calamine lotion. A constant vigil with the spanners is required.
Tues. March 14 Sunny 30 cel.
-early leave, up th oxley hwy to Walcha
-173kms of 45 to 65k corners,amazing,good surface,no frost heaves. Imagine that.
-some guy on a honda st1100 came to grief on one corner
-couple of locals stopped to help
bike and rider a bit beat up.
-asked if I could do anything
-guy said no,ambulance is on its way
-guy flat on his back waves as I ride by, give him thumbs up
-stop for coffee at Gingers Creek, killer view.
-Urralla, Thunderbolt Inn. Beers and a chat.
-bought stubbie holder and barmaid gave me a monogramed glass
-off to Armidale and Wollomombi, turn onto dirt track
-farming country
-dirt track gets narrow,then signs warn road narrows, watch for logging trucks
-off high plateau, down side of mountain
-extremely steep side hill
-eventually onto river btm
-lots of dairy and beef cows
-road covered with thier digested calling cards
-eventually see another house
-they apparently are having a garage sale. also tea,coffee and ice is available
-this guy is an optomist, we have not met a car for two hrs
-valley opens up and spits us back onto main hwy 43kms north of where we started this morning.
-Macksville pub
-excellent pub right on river
-beer and an autograph
-up to Coffs Harbour
-stay in main drag motel [cheap]
-eat Chinese take away [crap]
Weds March 15 sunny 26 cel
-early go 6:30
-Coramba,Grafton Casino
-starting to get green
-rolling hills
-up through the border ranges to Warwick
-really bumpy roads
-signs denote county has applyied for funds to fix
-clench your teeth or fillings are breakfast
-Lumpy eats it up. hasn't dropped a bit in a couple of days. must be planning something
-Warwick Critirion pub.nice place,get pint of beer before taps go on the fritze
-local punters take interest in Lumpy
-900cc dirt bike, those Italians are on top of it eh?
-up through Toowooba
-head for coast on thru Somerset Dam and Kilcoy
-Island hwy to Coolum
-down day tomorrow
-nice motel 59 bucks with pool one block from beach
-three doors down and across the road from where Karin and I stayed 16 years ago on our honeymoon
-Thurs. March 16 sunny 29 cel
-breakfast on the verandah with the newspaper
-head for beach at 10:00
-coffee at two
-go for ride down coast and up for a look
-down to the pub with Karin for beer
-fish and chip take away for dinner Super!
-Fri March 17 sunny 29 cel
-early start foiled by me leaving my park light on
-battery totally flat
-lots of pushing, no go
-ride to noosa heads, no battery
-ride to Maroochydore,no battery
-ride back to Coolum and buy jumper cables and battery charger
-go to lunch with Karin
-rebook motel for another day and head for beach
-battery charging
-down to pub for a beer
-on a hunch place 5 dollar bet on keno, win my 5 bucks back
-bug Karin to play, she picks numbers and I make the bet
-win 400 bucks, yahoo!
-dinner out. I'll be farting thru silk tonight
Sat March 18 sunny 26 cel
-north to Gympie and inland through Gayndah,Mundubbera,Monto and Emerald
-Lumpy sheds his right chain tensioner crossing some railway tracks.Karin runs me down and I go back and get it. The bolt is still in it. Bonus.
Good eye Flossie
-cane fields give way to bananas to cotton eventually
-cheap motel in town and dinner at the R.S.L.
-average food and terrible service

Sun. March 19 sunny 24 cel
-Emerald to Clermont to Belyando Crossing
-pretty much all two track. ( one lane paved road )
-advised by locals that cyclone Larry is heading for Townsville.
-ask fat guy in ute about the backroad
-he says he put that road in about 26 years ago with a D9, should still be good.
-shopkeeper says water is running over at Burden Falls. its a long way in to have to come out
-up to Charters Towers
-quick run to Railway pub in Ravenswood. 88kms toward Townsville. Great place beautiful hotel lots of history.Old mine town.
-run for Hughenden to get away from Larry. The Great Barrier Reef will have to wait for another time.
-town in middle of nowhere. service area of cattle stations.
-Great hotel "The Royal" nice room,drive thru bottle store,pub,pokies,dining room
-Karin and I have mixed grill and a bottle of Wolf Blass's finest red
-left overs for at least three lunches
-life is good
Mon March 20 overcast 24 cel
-rained over night, that darned Larry
-run down to Winton
-the wind is back
-flat and more flat, one tree every 20k
-two track for 200k
-Winton to Longreach
-I have never seen so many dead things.The roadtrains run through here to the railhead in Longreach.Karin and I have taken to holding our breath when we see a lump on the road.
-I cannot tell you how bad they smell. six day dead roo,perculating in 30 degree heat, vile.
-I will argue untill I am dead that crows have no sense of smell
-stop at noon in Longreach for the day,laundry and a tour of the Quantas museam.
-clean and oil and adjust chains,remove Lumpy's front fender and repair
-buy gas cans for Birdsville run
-pizza in room
-early to bed.
More to come in a couple of days but don't be too expectant as blogging in the outback is mean feat. Stay tuned for more adventures.

Posted by Karin Lepa at March 24, 2006 05:33 AM GMT

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