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Old 03-27-2008, 02:07 AM   #1
Eaglebeak OP
Aussie BM rider, West Oz.
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Joined: Jun 2005
Location: Perth.
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Easter ride with the kids

Mrs Beak and I took the kids (7 and 14) for a three day, two night ride out into the wheatbelt of Western Australia.

The weather was warm and humid with rain on the second and third days but it was a resounding success.

Little Milly rode on the back of her Mum's Suzuki GS500 and my step son rode behind me on the BMR1150R.

From our home near the Port of Fremantle on the west coast we went up through the Darling Range to the small tourist town of York where a stop by the Avon River was in order.

Then out along the Goldfields road to Tammin. This is a great secondary road running virtually parallel to the main highway heading east.
It narrows to single lane bitumen in places and I always stop midway at the old cottage/Inn at Youngin.

I managed to dig up an old flim strip camera for the little one and it was a winner, she had it out everywhere and it gave her a real interest in all the old buildings we saw on the trip. Everything from wood stoves to crockery was recorded.

For those wondering, yes she was ATGATT. Jacket, gloves, jeans, etc. But being a girl a dress had to be worn over the lot.

Back onto the Goldfields road heading for our first food stop of the day at Tammin.

Tammin is a very small town on the main highway east to Kalgoorlie. It consists of a few houses, a large grain receival and storage facility and what I think is one of the better, certainly the largest, fuel service shop interiors I've ever seen.
I've posted pictures of the interior before but it's worth another look.

Already our decision to head inland was paying off. Oz in March is hot and most of the Easter holiday traffic in Western Australia heads north or south along the coast to the various beach side towns. Some, like the crowd in here, were heading east, either all the way to the far east coast or out to the large Goldmining and Pastoral centre of Kalgoorlie.

This would be the last time we saw this many people.

The Police were out in full over the break, with double driving demerit points losses for speeding motorists over the holiday period.

We saw two Police vehicles whilst stopped in Tammin but they were patrolling the main highway and we never saw another Police vehicle the next two days.
Not that we needed to be worried. With the kids onboard, our speeds were very responsible.

After fuelling bodies and bikes we headed due north to the Nungarin - Wyalkatchen road. 30 kms of bitumen and 20 of gravel.

It's a good well maintained farmland access road but it was also only Mrs Beak's second time on dirt, both times with a pillion.
I stopped every 4-5 kms to check on progress.

Looking good !

The last couple of kms had a light dusting of sand. But no problems for the girls.

Back on the tar we turned right, passing through Trayning and Kununoppin, heading for our overnight stop of Nungarin.

The temperature was approaching the top of 32 Celcius and was quite humid, drink stops were in order.

Now the little one has good boots for riding but unfortunately had left them at her school. Why ? Well that's a long story that is even longer when told by a 7 year old !

Time to try out a few bits of farm gear.

Then back on the bikes.

Finally arriving at our destination a B/B just outside of Tammin.

Previously Mrs Beak and I had stayed at the local pub, but I'd heard things weren't so good there anymore.
(Five bankruptcies in the last 9 years. The latest publican had apparently hit a couple of patrons over the head with a pool cue and now only two old locals would drink there. The rest going to the Bowling club for drinks. This in a town of less than 300 people)

Still our host was gracious, Normally only a bed and breakfast, I had organised dinner and she surprised us with home made Sticky Date Pudding for dessert. All for $10.50/head.

McCorry's was another old Inn that fell out of favour when a rail line to the Goldfields was built 15 kms away.
Owned and beautifully maintained by the local Shire and leased by Lynn, our host for the evening.

Time for a few pictures of the surroundings.

Out the front, no traffic of course, we waited for the sun to set.

Looking West, to a rather poor sunset

and East to a great moonrise.

So what's a girl to do ?

Draw of course !

It puts new meaning into the phrase..."go play on the road kids"

Saturday, our second day and now, the reason for our visit to Nungarin, the Military Museum. A massive complex of sheds, ammo stores, workshops, etc were built during the second world war. Far enough inland from Japanese carrier based bombers and new the rail line. 3,000 men (and 500 poor women ) were based here repairing heavy vehicles, tanks, etc.

The locals have managed to hang on to one of the 3 original sheds and have established a Museum where they are activly rebuilding a lot of the old vehicles, many of which were sold off locally after the war. No not as weapons, but to convert to bulldozers for land clearing.

Entirely volunteer based they have managed to secure enough funding to pay an apprentice diesel fitter/boilermaker to help.
The last time I was here with two mates we had a private tour with old Bill Mitchell, the mainstay or the group. Bill had virtually single handed rebuit a General Grant Tank, hydralics, wiring, moving turret, the lot, to full working order.
We were lucky enough to see it that visit, before it was sold off to a Queensland Museum, the money raised going to funding the on going work here in Nungarin.
This time again, we were the only visitors and I had pre arranged a tour with Les Cruikshank, another one of the volunteers.

I was worried whether the kids would find this too boring but was pleasantly surprised by their response.

There are a number of vehicles outside and many more in much better state inside.

Unfortunately, I'm a hopless photographer and only have one pic from inside.
I needed a tripod and a much slower shutter speed or better flash to capture it all.
This is the only one worth displaying. You'll just have to go see it all for yourselves.

There are trucks and jeeps, another tank being rebuilt and a rare, Aussie made, "Dingo" scout car.
...and plenty of old agricultural machinery as well.

We moved on to Mangowine homestead. An old (for Oz) homestead built in 1860 and now run by the National Trust.
The caretakers stories of ghosts really excited the little one.

It too ran as an Inn for a while. There are a couple of paintings of large buxom, scantily clad women on the walls here. All sustenance (or torture) for the miners making their way through here to the goldfields further east.

They hold an open air concert every year in the music shell in the background of this shot. Patrons camp out on the property or locally in the district. All the funds going to maintaining the property. In the past they have had Symphony to Rock bands. The act for this years concert, held in September, is still undecided, but a Blues Brothers style band has been proposed.
It could be a fun trip for local Advriders and families ?

We had thought of camping out this trip but as it was the first overnighter with the kids on the bikes I had opted for accommodation.
The caretakers talk of a large King Brown snake crossing their verandah last night made that decision seem a wise one.

After the heat and clear sky's the promised inland rain arrived as we hot footed it down to the large town of Merredin for lunch.

Where we sat out the worst of the rain having lunch in a coffee shop.

By now I was very impressed with the attitude dispalyed by the kids. Never a bitch or complaint about the weather or the time spent on the bikes.

Not really sure where to spend our second night and thinking of getting a Motel room in Bruce Rock, Mrs Beak drew my attention to a "local interests" brochure she had picked up in last nights accommodation.

Ardath, a wheat siding 20 kms south of Bruce Rock. It had about five houses, another large silo and best of all a recently renovated Pub with accomodation.

Our arrival was not without drama. Mrs Beak had stopped at an turnoff and found her boot slipping in the gravel as she propped the bike. A quick word to the little pillion who was off instantly before the Suzuki ever so gracefully went over on it's side. Young David and I arrived moments later and I'm sorry to say, picked it up before getting a photograph !

My main concern was that the incident would put both girls off the trip, or worse, riding in general.
Not to worry. Mrs Beak has picked up her old VTR250 a couple of times but did find the 500, with gear, a bit too much to lift on her own.

Now I know there's been a bit of discussion recently on the Oz forum about GF's and wives following or riding in front of their guys on rides.
Mrs Beak prefers to be behind mostly. She doesn't like to think of me behind and champing at the bit for more speed. Doesn't want me to watch her riding. So, I'm happy to go in front but I don't like her getting too far behind, I like to see her headlight every now and then.

This time she was in front as I had stopped to take a photograph. If they had been too far in front or too far behind and a leg had been trapped under a bike, what then ?

It's a dilemma. All I know is I am so proud of my riding wife (and the riding kids) and so happy she (and they) want to come on these trips.

Back to the pub.
When we arrived the only person we saw in the whole town was the barman and he was a bit reluctant to give us a room. Well, maybe not reluctant, but certainly a bit "odd".

Mrs Beak was a bit nervous about staying, she found his manner odd, but I suggested she look at it as another adventure and to chill, go with the flow.
It turns out he lived two doors down, wasn't the owner, was just loopking after the place for a couple of nights and wasn't expecting anything more than two or three thirsty locals.
When I asked about a meal, he got really worried
But I said we'd be happy with fish and chips.
"Oh I can do you a "Fishermans Basket" he spouted with relief.

Any Oz rider knows about pub "Fishermans Basket". The same all over Oz. Frozen packages reheated. Good enough for us.
They turned out fine as did our host for the night. A bit taciturn but genial enough.

I had a good chat to the only other drinker, a 19 y.o from just west of Ballarat who had been working on a local farm the past year. Nice guy, I always like meeting country kids, they seem so much more mature than most city kids. (I'm biased, being an ex country boy)

On the road by 0900 hrs on Sunday, our last day and heading home to Perth. The sky was still looking a bit iffy, so the wets stayed on

A short stop in Shackleton to look at Australia's smallest bank (supposedly)

After passing groves of beautiful Salmon Gums I finally stopped to get a picture of one. I've not seem a lot this bright.

A short stop at Kokerbin Rock for a cuppa and a bite to eat.

I hate to see this.

But this looks good.

All the while our own little version of Kenny from South Park was happily snapping away.

Finally our big circuit brought us back to York, only about 100 kms from home.
After three days of virtually no traffic we were back in amongst all the day trippers out on their sports bikes, Harleys and Ducatis. York is a great day ride up through the hills from Perth. It's got lots of places to eat and a good main street for parading your latest toy, bike or car.
But it wasn't for us.

We wanted out, we wanted to get home to savour the memories of a great family trip, out in the sticks amongst 'real' people. Bush people.

My Easter was made when both kids approached me on Monday to say what a great trip it was and "when can we go again.

Andrew Linton

Eaglebeak screwed with this post 03-27-2008 at 04:48 AM
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:00 AM   #2
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So many great reports the last week and this is another one... thanks for the ride report and thumbs up to the misses and kids for enjoying the bikes!

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Old 03-27-2008, 03:02 AM   #3
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Excellent stuff there Andrew, Mrs Beak and Kids..

You have done what I would love to do and take the youngens away on a biking weekend with the better half.. May this be the first of many exciting adventures for the family..

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Old 03-27-2008, 04:30 AM   #4
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Great Report And Family Time

Very much enjoyed the report. It's great to see the whole family enjoying the sport together. My 17 YOA daughter rides her DR200 with me. The wife use to ride in the 80's and I hope I can get her back out there again one day. I'd love to ride your country someday. We live deep in the mountains of North Carolina with some of the be riding in the US. How about an exchange program . Ride safe....Mark
Dual Sport & Adventure Riding Is Cheaper Than Therapy....

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Old 03-27-2008, 06:24 AM   #5
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:26 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by Eaglebeak

I really like this picture - it says a lot.

Thanks for sharing your family's adventure!
On sabattical...
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Old 03-27-2008, 11:42 AM   #7
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Excellent family time!! Thanks for the pics and report
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:16 PM   #8
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Great group!
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:38 PM   #9
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Fabulous Andrew, just fabulous to have your family enjoy your pleasures without stress or dramas.

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Old 03-27-2008, 03:03 PM   #10
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Great report!!

Hey, what was that "hate to see this" picture about?
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:22 PM   #11
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Eaglebeak if you dont mind can you post some of your daughters camera pics. I would like to see this trip thuogh her eyes too. Thanks Ben
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:31 PM   #12
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That's it in a nutshell ain't it!
No problem, that'll buff right out!
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:36 PM   #13
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I second the child's photographs. The unique perspective would greatly enhance a great story.

I hope to get more of my family interested in the bikes as well. My two year old won't be a problem, but it's a few years before he's able to ride pillion
"Beauty sleep?" Bitch, you don't need a nap, you need to HIBERNATE!
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:39 PM   #14
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That's why we're thinking of getting a hack!
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Old 03-27-2008, 06:04 PM   #15
Eaglebeak OP
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Kiltboy. The "I hate to see this" was about the empty dam.

We've been in major drought in the west for the last 10 years. We've had some rain, but at odd times and in all the wrong places mostly. A lot of the wheatbelt didn't even put crops in last year. They didn't want to lose their money on the seed if the rains didn't come.

Even this late in summer, the dams should have held a little water. (in a "normal" year, whatever that is ?)

Milly's pictures. Okay I'll get a few scanned and post them next week.

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