Sunday, 22 March 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Day three...

Overnight it had rained while we are at Charlie's. What would the weather greet us with today? Sunshine. Lots of it too. We pack and thank Charlie for his generosity. We must be off.

The view from the lookout above Bethanga.

Lake Hume . The Bridge at Bell Bridge.

We had to make a quick detour up to Albury so Helge could get a new tail light globe. It was starting to get hot. The type of heat that brings thunderstorms. They would come. Just not yet.

With Helge's GPS leading us off we went for the last leg to Mitta Mitta. Amazing roads passed beneath our wheels. Smooth, fast flowing corners that followed the the contours of the terrain as we road past the Lake Hume.

Ghost like trees stand as silent giants in parts of Lake Hume.

On the Locharts Gap Road.

Locharts Gap.

We turn onto the Omeo Hwy. My excitement levels are rising. We are getting closer to Mitta Mitta and the meetings. I am looking out for the mileage markers on the side of the road as they count down how far we have left.

The Omeo Hwy follows the Mitta Mitta river. The road snakes and weavers its way up and down the hills. The surface is so smooth and free flowing. We are making great time and loving every corner. This will soon stop. We have arrived.

After checking in with Dave from Horizons Unlimited we set up camp. We pitched our tents out the back of the pub. Up above us we had the pub. Down below we had the burbling waters of the river. The following day this river would be roaring.

Tent city would grow through out the afternoon and the next day. There was also the option of staying up the road at the caravan park. Behind the pub was great for us.

Dinner was your typical good country pub fare. I went real cheap this trip. So much so that I was ordering the kids meals for myself and Lilly. Why pay $19 for a meal when you can pay $6.50. The salad bar was free. So I heaped up the greens too. I lost weight while on this trip. An even better bonus.

Dinner the first night. New friends and old.

Next update. The bikes that were at the meet. The meet ride.

Photo credits: Myself, Helge and Lilly.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Stay at Charlie's...

Charlie (AirBear) from the Boxerworks forums opened his house to us knowing we were coming down his way. I have wanted to meet the Aussie Bozerworks guys and now was the perfect chance. Charlie arranged for George and Jeff to have dinner with us too.

Charlie owns a well ridden 1974 R90/6 "Brunhilde".

George arrived first on his Outfit, "Siegfried". Of course I asked for a ride. Not having had the joy of the 3rd wheel for about 3 years I could not help myself.

A quick spin and it all came flooding back to me. "Helge come for a ride in the chair and video us riding....." Helge jumped at the chance.

Helge and me about to burn up the tar. Photo by George Stahl.

Off we tore through Bethanga..... Photo by George Stahl.

Video that helge took will be posted once I can get it uploaded.

This was the icing on the cake for me. The ride so far had been unbelievably good. To ride the outfit was amazing. Thank you so much George for letting me do this.

What a great night it was too. Superb food cooked by Charlie.

Charles, Helge, Jeff, Ross, Lilly. Photo by George.

Great discussions about airhead BMWs were had. All things sidecars was thrown better George and I. Both Jeff and Helge shared their troubles they have had with their bikes. Helge explaining as they started to fix small things on the bike they found even bigger problems like camshafts that look like the engine had been filled with grinding paste. The cams had worn that much. Jeff about how one small spring broke in his engine and caused a major rebuild. New old crankshaft and heads rebuilt.

Me, Charlie, Jeff and George.

Jeff's R100RS. He has owned it for 18 years. He calls it his Messerschmitt ME109.

Was a great night. Lilly sat patently as we old BM farts rattled on.

Tar Brothers.

Sunset as seen from Charlie's house.

Charlie thank you so much for opening your home to us and feeding us a wonderful dinner.

Charlie, Jeff and George it was great to meet you all. Can't wait to see you again guys.

Next installment.... South to Mitta Mitta.

Photo credits: Myself, Helge and George Stahl

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Day two....

Yesterday was a long day for us all. We were on the road at 5:45am. No wonder we all hit the sack by 8:30pm. Numb bums was the order for the day. We did not sleep in the Geehi Hut as there are signs up saying that camping is not allowed. The building is heritage listed now. Last thing we wanted to a Ranger throwing us out of the hut at 10pm and we would then have to pitch our tents in the dark.

Day two dawned with the warm rays of the sun reaching down to us. We knew it was going to be another superb day for a ride.

As the morning warmed mist started to rise from the Swampy Plains River.

Breakfast is prepared and our camp site packed up. Bring on the twisties.

As we left Geehi Hut the locals came out to see us off. Roos stood erect and stared at us as we crawled up the dirt road. They do not understand the thrill that was just about to start again. The Alpine Way.

We stuck to the speed limits right through out this trip. Yet we still were making great time. So stop offs to take photos in no way slowed us down. This lookout over looks where we had come from.

As we stood talking to other travelers at the lookout we heard this almighty cracking sound. It was a tree coming down. Where we did not know. We mounted up and headed back onto the Alpine Way. Thats when we found where the tree had come down. Not 100 meters from the turn off to the lookout here is the tree across the road. It was blocking the way we had come from. Had we have been 15 minutes later leaving Geehi Hut the road would have been blocked for us. As we headed down to Khancoban Snowies Worker's 4x4 headed up to the blocked road.

Victoria was beckoning us. Lilly was excited about crossing a state line. She had never done this before.

We crossed into Victoria The weather started to change.

The sun was slowly drifting away behind us. It was getting colder. Rain splattered my screen. They need rain so much down there after the worst bush fires in recorded Australian history took so many lives a few weeks back. We were not unhappy to see the rain.

By no means did the rain stop us enjoying the hills and dales. We still punted along through the corners like this was the last one.

Our destination for the nights stop over was at Bethanga. We had floor space, a great home cooked meal and great new bike mates to meet at Charlie's place.

Dinner at Charlie's place will be posted next. Stay tuned.

Photo credits: Lilly and myself.

Monday, 16 March 2009

Off to Mitta Mitta... Day one....

Late Tuesday afternoon Helge arrives. His BMW is a now running really well after nearly a full engine, gearbox and final drive rebuild.

Wednesday morning. No rain as forecast. We are aiming to spend the first night on the road at Geehi Hut in the Snowy Mountains. Lilly and me on the LT and Helge on his R80 G/S battle the Sydney morning traffic to the Royal National Park and arrive at Bald Hill.

Then on down to Macquarie Pass. We are the last lot of vehicles to be allowed up the pass as they are about to close it for road works. A great fang is had by both of us as we boom up the pass. Then onto Moss Vale and then 44 boring kilometers to Goulburn. We take a small detour to look at the War Memorial there. This over looks the city.

Leaving Goulburn we travel down via Lake Bathurst and the east side of Lake George. Lunch stop at Queanbeyan, which is in NSW and I see a statue of the founder of Canberra in the ACT. John Gale. Strange that he would be on display in NSW.

The terrain heading towards the Snowy Mountains is very barren and wind swept in places. Almost Alien like.

There are not enough words in the motorcyclists thesaurus to describe the Alpine Way in the Snowy Mountains. It is beyond belief how good this road is. When you see a sign that tells you that there are 66kms of twisty road ahead you know that this is going to be the best. It was hot in Jindabyne when we refueled. As we started to climb up the mountains we came closer and closer to the dark clouds over Thredbo. It was freezing. We didn't care. We owned this road. No one in front of us to spoil the corners.

Once over the top and down the other side heading to Geehi Hut we left the clouds behind. Soon we arrived at the Geehi Plain. Brilliant sunshine lit the camp grounds as we arrived. The locals had gathered to welcome us to their home. The hut was built in 1952 and is right next to the Swampy Plains River. It is watched over by the majestic Kosciuszko Range.

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