“First weekend n March. Charlie has a fine campsite in mind near Tumbarumba NSW........ “ is what Mal posted up on the Boxerworks forum. A call for us Aussie Boxerworks guys to gather. It would be a round trip of close to 1100 kms for me. Leave in the wee hours of Saturday morning. Arrive Saturday arvo. Then head home Sunday morning. One problem. One I was dreading. Riding the boring Hume Highway. Or as I like to call it the “Ho Hum Highway” Charlie and Geoff will be there. I have not seen them since my trip to Mitta Mitta this time last year. Ok I will bear the ever so boring road called the Hume.
Friday arvo I am packed. Billy is in the traditional travelling spot hanging off the back of the bike.
Forecast is for rain over the weekend. They got that right. I woke up at 3am. Was supposed to be 4am. What the heck it will give me an extra hour on the road. Water and feed myself. Kiss Jan good bye. Walk bike out onto the wet road and ride off. Rain and fog in the dark. Road works near Campbelltown on the Hume are not making for much fun. Who cares. I am on the road again.
Dawn is coming as the temperature is dropping. It was humid in Gosford when I left at 4am. Now it is getting cold. Almost no sun to be seen at dawn. I pull up for a photo shot not far from Goulburn. The skies are so grey. There is a band of clear sky way off east and the sun struggles to peek under the clouds.
Next stop will be Gunning for Fuel and turn the GPS on. I didn't do too good a job at mapping the route in the GPS. I wanted to go to Tumbarumba via Wee Jasper. My GPS for some reason decides I need to keep going south down the Hume. It was a real blessing in fact. Mal would turn up on his R100/7 later that day at the camp site with tales of doing the same road I had planned. He did nearly 60kms of dirt road. Wet, sticky mud 60kms. Thank you GPS for not taking me there. I would have ended up on my arse for sure.
GPS tells me to turn off at Tumblong. Taking photos sitting on the bike two guys turn up in a 4x4 to check I am ok. They tell me that 29mm of rain fell yesterday in the area. Glad I am on the road today.
The road into Adelong is wonderful. Hugging rolling hills and amazing country side. At least it is not raining. Ha. Other side of Adelong as I head up the hills to Batlow the rain comes with pee soup-er fog.
Crawling along at 60 km/h through the fog and rain I arrive at Tumbarumba. There are some small spots of clear blue sky overhead. Yes please clear up. Please.
I supply up in Tumbarumba. Some food and some Scotch are added to the panniers.
The campsite is called the Henry Angel Trackhead (part of the Hume and Hovell walking track). It’s on the Burra Creek, near Burra, 9kms east of Tumbarumba. Trouble was all I knew was that it was about 8 or 9 km from town. So off I headed. Need not have worried. Found it easier enough. I saw the Burra Hilton with two Bms parked under cover. Charlie and Geoff are here. It is around 11:30am. Considering the weather I have made good time. It is great to greet both these guys again.
Seems the guys had had a good night around the campfire the night before. Nice drop of red was drunk and some of Charlies home brew downed. Geoff slept with a bit of black plastic gaffer tapped over his eyes on the table. The lghts in the Burra Hilton came on at dusk and stayed on till dawn. While the toilet ones came on at dawn and turned off at dusk. Go figure.
Geoff was to head off soon. Before he did it was time for some TLC on his R100RS, New speedo cable goes in.
Mal is due to arrive soon. He arranged the weekend so he had better. Geoff needs to head for Albury and home. Home duties await as he had already had the weekend before away. So he had better keep in the good books.
Not 15 minutes later Mal arrives on his R100/7.
Greetings exchanged. Food is prepared for dinner. Some work is done on the points of Charlie's R90 and I take some mood shots of Mal's bike.
Night has come. The time to sit around the camp fire and bond starts. Bikes are spoken of. Trips and long ago love discussed. The happiest times is our lives are explored. What a great night.
Nothing beats a night around a camp fire with good mates and a good drink. Yet for me it is bed time. I have been up since 3am and head to bed at 11pm. Last thing I hear is Charlie and Mal still chatting.
Wee hours of the morning the rain is back. Dawn comes and looking down towards Victoria a huge amount of black cloud is gather. This state will get hot very hard by the weather this day. With dawn comes your typical Aussie bird life waking up.
Mal and I will travel some to way up the Hume together. Charlie stays to see who else might arrive.
Breakfast is downed. Mal and I break camp and head off. I follow Mal to Tumut. His bike is purring along nicely in front. His Overlander pipes make beautiful Boxer music. We fuel up in Tumt and swap bikes.
To my utter horror and disgrace and I climb on board Mal's R100 it falls over on me. I ma standing spread eagle over the poor bike. Thankfully the pannier takes most of the weight as it leans against the petrol pump. Mal and a bystander race to the bikes rescue. Upright now I remount and don't drop the bike again. Mal is willing to let me try again. Mate you are a champ. He saddles up on mine and off we head. It has been some time since I rode a naked bike. Let alone a airhead Boxer. I am loving the feel of the R100/7. Also loving the sound coming from my Staintune mufflers as I follow my bike. I can't contain myself and take off leaving Mal well behind. His bike has so much more urge than mine. Would do as he is not pushing a barn door of a fairing as mine does.
On the down hill approach into Adelong the clutch stops working on Mal's bike. I stop in town and hand the poor thing back to it's owner. It is so muggy now. Mal throws his shoes off and is under the bike. Thankfully it is just the pin that holds the clutch lever at the gearbox end that has moved. Easy fix.
Back on our own bikes we hit the Hume. We part at Gundagai. Mal will head in land up the Bathurst and onto home in Dubbo. He will also get soaked and arrive home with fish in his boots it rains that much on him.
I take a quick stop at the dog on the tucker box for photos.
Back onto the boring Hume and it head down tail up and just ride home. A few kilometres north of Goulburn the traffic is starting bank up. Its gets heavier. Signs have been put out on the side of the road advising that a truck has over turned up ahead. I strat to go up the left side in the breakdown lane. Kilometres of traffic at a stand still I pass. Till a car up ahead starts to flash those dreaded Police lights. Unmarked Cop Car. He points at me to move back onto the road. Pulling up next to him I ask how long is the traffic jam. A few kilometres more he says and asks me to travel between the 2 lanes of cars. Who am I to argue with a policeman. So off I go making sure my umbrella strapped across the back of the bike stays clear of the cars at a standstill.
Up ahead a truck on it's side is surrounded by Fire fighters. I found out later it took the traffic five hours to clear from that traffic jam. Took me ½ hour or so thanks to that police officer.
Again head down and motoring for home. Rains and head winds all the way. The head winds play havoc with my fuel consumption. I just make it into a servo as I hit reserve knowing that if I don't I wont' make the outskirts of Sydney. This is my last fuel stop before home.
Six hours after setting out I arrive home. Close to 1100kms have passed under my Metzelers this weekend. They were worth it for the great time I had with Charlie, Geoff and Mal.