Thursday, June 26, 2014
OzSTOC RTE to Yepoon Qld on the ST1300 Pan European - June 2014
Looking forward to this ride as a chance to test out the new swag a friend had bought for me.
As June is Winter in the Southern Hemisphere, and I live in the beautiful tropical state of Queensland, (so - generally warm!), I could have been accused of over compensating for the perceived cold weather by anyone who saw me packing my gear!
The bike swag (the Dune Boundary) is already warm when you add a fairly sizeable mammal inside it's cozy dimensions, let alone a sleeping bag inside a sleeping bag inside the swag.
That was not all.... I had prepared the trakkie daks and top, heated vest AND OzSTOC Jacket.
Cripes! I could have camped with Scott of the Antarctic with all that kit!
Anyways - the beauty of swags is that all your bedding, pillow and mattress, tent pegs, guy ropes and tent poles are all wrapped up in a single bundle, which is merely unrolled and basically slept in.
In the above pic, you can see the swag on the pillion seat (under my Camel Bak).
I had set out early in the morning (0400hrs) to try and be at my destination by early afternoon, and the above picture was taken at a coffee stop along the way in a great little town called Childers.
Here is a map of the route I was taking...
It was a very uneventful and boring ride up the Bruce Hwy. I quipped once at the Tourist Park to a friend that I could have ridden there without any handlebars! Anyways - shouldn't complain about being out on STella for a holiday, should I?
I left at dark o'clock and was rugged up like an Inuit (Eskimo), as I have (like all of you) suffered the perils of being cold to the bone whilst on extended trips on the bike, and it ain't much fun! So I wasn't taking chances this time - believing it would be easier to stop and remove layers from being hot!
The darkness seemed to cling on as long as it possibly could, before relinquishing its grasp over the landscape to the ever reliable sun. This was the eve of the Winter Solstice here too, so the battle of night/day was in full swing, and at its ebb.
A little fog to start with...
There were plenty of road works going on - in fact for dozens of kilometres in total - quite frustrating!
You can see my anguish in this pic....
Anyways - trundled along as the morning was now in full swing, and saw some sights like this...
This was one of the small choo choo's I saw at a paltry 2km long. The Bad Boys had 3 engines up front, a km and a half of coal cars, two more engines in the middle, and a flamin' long tail after that!
Got into Rockhampton - beef capital of Queensland! A nice town...
Then on to Cooee Bay and Yepoon (a further 40 or so clicks towards the coast...
Then to the Poinciana Tourist Park, where I hooked up with my 'roomie'... Cerebral Kenievel!
Oh dear! Looks like this could get nasty!
Saw great friend and OzSTOC Member Barry doing a $1.30 along the caravan park road with eyes closed and no gear on!
He must have learned from Ray Charles to ride like that!
Okay, Okay! He was just sitting on Greencan's ST1100 Pan for a minute - but the dollar thirty story was much better!
We all settled in to our respective digs and fellowshipped a while, telling our brave travel tales for all to be enthralled over.
Not too bad at all for middle of winter - that is CELCIUS too!
Anyways - we had a table booked down the road at the Capricorn Tavern for tea, and made our way there on Shank's Pony (foot).
Here is a shot of the Members doing the 'EAT' part of RTE...
And the group shot under the OzSTOC flag...
I apologize if anyone was left out of this pic, as we got a staff member to shoot it, and she was not as savvy with teckomological fings as we'd hoped - but not a bad job nevertheless.
It was a great dinner, and a great time hopping from table to table, meeting our fine Members on a more personal level. You're all a great bunch of people! For the record... that is not MOSES sitting under the heavenly beam of light at right of centre, It's BikerBear (Craig), showing off his divine powers!
We retired back to the verandah of our adjoining cabins, and soaked in the culture of many years of experienced motorcyclists' theories and stories of life, the universe and everything....
And here is the catalyst that extracts these many pearls of wisdom and ponderings!!!
A great night was had by all, but alas, it had to end sometime... and it did.
Next morning, we'd agreed to meet for a photo shoot and did just that, after getting ready at the van park...
We headed up to the lookout, and parked our Steeds/Pans/other assorted bikes under magnificent skies, and fresh sea breezes...
Some evidence in this pic of the fog rolling in to blanket the region mid-morning.
I thanked everyone for showing up and remarked how nice it is to meet forum names and people in person, wished everyone safe travels and bade them farewell from this lookout, as everyone had different distances and directions to travel home. Everyone was appreciative of the organisers of the RTE and a common train of thought was to definitely do this one again.
Many went to brekky in downtown Yepoon, but Craig (Bikerbear) offered to show me around the place - doing the touristy thing. I loved the little hamlet and would enjoy coming back for perhaps, even a longer stay next time.
Bear took me down to Emu Park (the next village) and showed me the 'Singing Ship' It is set up to 'sing' as the ocean breeze passes through her tuned length masts. Apparently, she sung so well, the locals complained, and the ship had to be 'de-tuned' a little.
The bigger island in the background is Great Keppel Island.
Bear's gorgeous 'Goldie' and the sexy STella.
The rare Bear himself and myself in a selfie - just for Streak!
Then it was time to turn for home, with a quick stop in to Bundaberg to see two of my daughters, and on though Biggenden and its golden fields, in the setting sun.....
Thanks for reading.