January 09, 2011 GMT
Escaping the Floods

As I finally get to writing this we have been home for a week and have almost adjusted to the time difference.

When we left Blackall we tried to go north but at the next town roads north, east and west were closed so we went back south then east with the plan to get back near Brisbane and visit with friends and put bikes in storage before flying home. "the best laid plans of mice and men" we got into Roma but were again blocked in all directions.

My clutch was hanging up so I spent a day trying to get to the problem or find someone who could. There were two motorcycle shops in town but they had closed from the 24th to 4th. Ended up concluding that if I got it apart I most likely would not be able to get it back together without special tool. So decided to try to get to a shop riding without a clutch.

I found the best information on road closures was the truck drivers waiting by the side of the road. In talking with them they thought that roads would be open in the morning so we packed up and headed out. When I got to where the truck were parking they were still there, not a good sign. They said it now looked like it might be two or three days but one of the trucks had gone west trying to get around the closed roads. We wanted to got to St. George, 197k to the south, to get there we ended up going west,then south then east, 800k. Then we road to Moree where there was a Harley dealer that I hoped was not closed for the holidays.

It was a long day 1000k all together with no clutch. I would just slip it out of gear and coast into fuel up then start in first gear and away we go. Very few towns or trafic so it was not too bad but I did not want to try to get around in Brisbane that way.

We got to the HD shop early in the morning and they opened it up to find it was not the clutch disks as I thought but he carrier bearing was seized. Seems many businesses close from Christmas through New Years, This included Cat Logisitics that distributes HD parts, the HD parts wearhouse, bearing distubuters and anyone else that I had a chance of getting a bearing from.

This was on Friday our flight was out on Sunday (non-refundable ticket). The good people at the HD shop said they could store the bikes so we scrambled to get everything sorted out and catch a 18 seat plane to Brisbane.

Then Sunday it was the long flight home. It was made much nicer when we got bumped up to first class for the long flight.

Now the planning for the next Escape, will go back in May for three weeks I think with Ryan and ride north. It is suppose to be the dry season then.

Water over the road to Roma

Water over road on Roma side after we crossed

Lunch break in small town, school in background and WWI monument. Town looked like it had seen better days, not too many people left.

This is how I left the moto, have always said plans are just so you know what you are not doing that you thought you would do.

Looking at pictures and stories here you would think it rained every day but most were sunny. It was seven days from when the rain stopped till the flood got to Rockhampton where they had the worst flooding in a hundred years. We had a great time in Australia even if we had a little more liquid adventure than we had planned. Wish we could have stayed much longer and got to see the whole country.

Posted by Robert Thode at January 09, 2011 12:53 AM GMT

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