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Old 10-02-2013, 11:53 PM   #1
Eddywoodgo OP
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Eddywoodgo Americas here I come

I start this ride report from Cairns in tropical North Queensland. I'm into the 4th month of my 2 wheeled, back road adventure that I hope will take me from Pole to Pole via the America's.
I was in the middle of a hot lap of Oz visiting some of Australia's special places.
I hit a bit of a snag, stuff happens and as my story unfolds you'll see it hasn't all gone to plan. That's the nature of adventure isn't it?. Hence the time to write, reflect and contemplate the America's.

Let me start in the beginning and a wee bit of background.

I’m the sort of bloke (Aussie slang for ordinary male) that really only comes to life on a bike or when in the bush. Riding always manages to cure my wows, give me a positive out look and helps me focus on the present. I just love riding, plain and simple. Being anywhere on a motorcycle is my happy place.

So as chapters of my life close and new ones begin. To spice up the story I decided to quite my dream job and invest my savings in the adventure of my life time. Last day of regular employment was on the 31st of May 2013. It was hard to walk away from my dream job but when it comes down to it, it is pretty exciting to be living my dream of endless roads and sleeping rough not knowing what is around the corner.

My intention is/was to ride around Australia, then ship to Los Angeles- head as far south as I can go, then take a different route and head as far North as I can go. I hope to visit both of the chilly white circles on the ends of the Planet. I guess only time, luck, some cash, fate, kindness and spirit will get me there.. Well, all that, and a Suzuki DR 650

While planning my trip, I meet an Amazing lady,Susie. This was not in the Plan at the beginning of my dream. Its funny how the universe works. We had met a decade prior, had no contact until we ran into each other at the Mary River festival in Kandanga. Susie had a similar dream. Attractive intelligent, rode bikes, loved to camp and still single. Boy I had to pinch myself! Susie was wanting to ride to the northern most tip the Australian mainland. So we combined forces and started to plan together.

Susie and I purchased our DR’s in December ’12.
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We spent time getting to know our bikes, setting them up and prepping them for our trip.
We had quite a few shake down runs, sorting out what we need and what we don’t. Many ADV inmates from South East Queensland, Vince Strang Motors, Joe (DRJoe) from ARD
http://www.jebtech.com.au Rob from Tyres for Bikes and Ken Taylor from TDC motorcycles have all been very helpful in advise and set up tips and encouragement. At the end of the day we are very happy with the bikes and our gear. Partiipating in group rides through Adv has really helped both of us. We have had a great time, meet some outstanding people and generally been inspired. Susie was suprised by the care, patients and encouragement she was given by the inmates we roll with. Thanks you all know who you are

Here is a brief run down on what we’ve done with the bikes

44 tooth rear sprocket
heavier fork springs
heavier springs rear shocks
pivot pegs
sargent seat
fat bars
bar busters
12volt out lets
MTD racks with Andystrapz expedition panniers- soft bags.
heated grips
screens for bikes
VSM case savers
removed top chain guide
disabled side stand and clutch switches
soltice LED lights.
Susies bike lowered
Centre stands
34lt surfari tanks
remove internal filter in carby and replaced with inline filter
Magnetic sump plugs
secure NSU switche

Susie playing with her rack. Locally made by Lochlan Cambell MTD.

[IMG][/IMG]

On the 1st of June 2013 we had a grand send off/ fund raiser at the Kandanga Hotel. Terry and Justin Hodges, the publicans at the Kandanga hotel http://kandangahotel.com/ generously supported our event which raised over $2000 for Mission Mexico, an orphanage that I will visit as I head south through Mexico. Many of my musical friends donated their time and played , Andystrapz, Motorbikin”, Bellbird Cafe, Kandanga Hotel, Crystals of the Valley,and many others donated prizes that we raffled off. It was a great night.

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B5Lp...it?usp=sharing

Departure day finally arrived. June 5th, it was drizzling.


Yep I know too much stuff!

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We had a rough plan and the good thing about rough plans is that they can change. I had a series of dreams of lower leg injuries over a couple of weeks and then again the night before we were set to leave.
We had planned to do the trip in our hiking boots as we are both keen bush walkers. Nope, those dreams where for a reason. We broke from our plan and slabbed it up the highway to buy Susie a proper pair of Motorbike boots. I already had a pair. Poor girl, seems like every time she gets on a bike she has to get her head around something new.

New boots purchased and North West form Gympie we head. DRJoe had fitted my LEDs off my BMW and loaned us a second set of Solstice Led lights. This made a huge difference to Susie's ability to ride into the night. We used the LED as driving lights in the extreme dust of Cape York. Anything to help avoid being run down by a four wheel drive hurtling out of a dust cloud.

As we rode through Biggeden, I spied a KLR parked in front of the pub. ""Gee, that looks like Jocks bike"?? Sure enough the Ol Ozzie himself perched at the bar. Dinner done, the football watched with a couple of coldies. Queensland had won the first game of the 2013 state of Origin series. Satisfied all was right in the world, we retreat back to Jocks camp and swapped some yarns. Jock loaded me up with heaps of maps and stories about biking around the USA. We also made some plans to see Jocks bush block and some nice roads he knows which headed in our North Westerly direction of travel. I’d also discovered in greasing my speedo cable I’d re routed it wrong and rooted it. Dam, oh well, just rely on the Garmin Zumo GPS. All good.

Morning of our second day came, and when we got packed and rolling. Jocks roads were great, our first dirt with a few creek crossings. If Jock werent banned I'd hit him up via this report for some of the photos he took. We visited Paradise Dam had a coffee. They even have a fish smoker as part of the BBQ facilities. There must be fish hey?

[IMG][/IMG]

We Skirted around goodnight scrub and came out near Gayndah where we said good bye to Jock. Gayndah is on the Burnett river and is a huge Citrus growing area. Floods have caused havoc in recent years so there are lots of Backpackers hanging around waiting for fruit picking work which is not really happening as it normally does. These Flood effected rural towns must be hurting.

Salad wraps for lunch. Great travelling food. Durable tasty and versatile.


We also stocked up on Mandarins straight from the farm before heading on to Cracow. I was blown away by the amount of litter at the road side stop where we had lunch. I cant understand how people can just chuck their trash everywhere!

I love Cracow, on the surface of things Cracow looks like a ghost town apart from the Pub. The Cracow pub is a classic. It is owned by Fred Brophy who runs a boxing tent. There are about 40 people that don’t live in the mine camps that call cracow home.
Here is some info on the famous Fred Brophy and the Boxing tent.

http://www.abc.net.au/local/videos/2...12/3292374.htm

and Freds pub, the Cracow. Many an ADV inmate has stopped her to wash down the dust.

http://www.localguidesigns.com.au/bi...s/CRACOW_P.jpg

Cracow has a gold mine but the in and out work force live in a camp just out of town. The There is a fantastic free camp ground at the back of the mining museum. We made the most of the hot showers access to power to charge stuff etc. Yep I love Cracow and there are plenty of great dirt roads that wind through some pretty interesting country.
I was playing my didgeridoo and attracted one of the locals who was amazed to hear a didge in town and happy to see some different face. He quickly ran home grabbed some beer and guitar and we jammed into the wee hours. Two nights two parties! Not bad hey?

[IMG][/IMG]

A late start again, the next leg of our journey was going to take us along one of my favourite roads. The Cracow Taroom road. Each time I have been along here, I have either been with a group or in a hurry. I had flown past the little national park just off the road too many times. Even though we’d only covered about 20km for the day, the place we found was just too nice not to camp.

http://www.exploroz.com/Places/37612...han_Gorge.aspx

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We explored around Nathan gorge the next morning and had a pretty fun ride into Taroom we stocked up in Taroom with fuel and food. Ran into a big group of adventure bikes, said gidday but didn’t know any of them. Some nicely set up bikes in the group. We then high tailed it onto Injune. We were going to stay in the caravan park which looks more like a fly in fly out work camp. Probably cause that is what the Injune caravan park almost is. We camped by a billabong just next door and used the great facilities at the camp. Gee thanks mining company! I tried fishing in the Billabong with no luck. Propably the waters all Fracked up.

From Injune our plan was to head to Mt Moffatt National Park. One of Susies ex outward bound colleges is the ranger there and its a place I have always wanted to go. Its on the Western edge of the Cararvan Ranges. I'll post up about that next.

Eddywoodgo screwed with this post 10-02-2013 at 11:59 PM Reason: fixing links
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Old 10-03-2013, 01:50 AM   #2
Turborob
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Looking forward to the rest. Outstanding start.

Also, if you want to contact Jock, you can through the KLR650 websites (eg klrworld).
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Old 10-03-2013, 03:17 AM   #3
Eddywoodgo OP
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Thanks Bob, I got Jock on the old Facebook.
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Old 10-03-2013, 04:54 AM   #4
Eddywoodgo OP
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Mount Moffat

Early start for a change and leaving Injune we headed up the ForFar Road to Mount Moffatt. Really good riding with changing soil and surfaces. The plants and rocks all had me captivated when I could take my eyes off the road. The bikes are going great and all is good with the world. Things got more and more sandy as we approached entered the National Park found the track to the rangers station.

Mt Moffat info http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/ca...-mount-moffat/

One stretch was pretty sandy. It took us over an hour to travel just a few kilometers. Hats off to Susie, getting used to sand on a DR (a big bike for Susie) with a heavy load is not easy. To her credit she kept going and going. I think seven times she had a little rest.
Photos? No one told me the Go Pro wouldnt write to a 64gig card at the time. New firmware makes this possible. I used the 64gig card all the way to Cooktown.....result no footage.

My thoughts on Mount Moffatt are probably best kept for a plant nerd forum. Im a plant nerd. We were spoilt and got to tour around with the ranger. Greg took us to a tableland over 1000m above sea level it was a weird Basaltic cap with a species of tree that normally occurs in NSW. Silvertopped Striggybarks. These guy were monsters 30m+.
I also got to see Squatter pidgons for the first time too.

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We spent a few days exploring Mt Moffat. Nowhere near enough time but we are pulled Northwards to get to the Laura festival. The Laura festival held in Laura every second year and it is a celebration of Aboriginal culture and dance. I also was keen to spend some time with my mate Pete in Cairns before we go..onwards we travel.
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Old 10-03-2013, 02:22 PM   #5
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Good start Ted, Loved that Mt Moffatt area myself. Just wish I had more time there.
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Old 10-03-2013, 06:15 PM   #6
Eddywoodgo OP
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rumble View Post
Good start Ted, Loved that Mt Moffatt area myself. Just wish I had more time there.
Yes well have to organize a trip out there. Looks like went to similar places by the look of your photo's
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Old 10-09-2013, 06:31 PM   #7
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Northwards

We stayed 3 days at Mount Moffat, enjoying Greg’s company exploring the beautiful surroundings,washing and catching up on bike maintenance. I was keen to explore the park and also help Susie find her sand legs. So I unloaded the bikes and planned a day riding on the many tracks and roads that run through the park. This meant we had to pass over the sandy patch several times. Great practice for Susie. I let the tyres down, we went through the principals of riding through sand again; Look where you want to go, steady acceleration. weight to the rear, stand up and let the bike move as it will
and go for it. Susie nailed it!. In fact, I think she was smoother than me. Mind you I always find it difficult riding at someones else’s pace rather than my own. A good thing to remember when riding in a group, always ride at your own pace. When we left Mt Moffat fully loaded Susie rode through the sand without drama. Me on the other hand, I needed to have a little lie down.

Over the next few days our journey north took us through towns such as Rollstone where we stayed in a very cramped and noisy caravan park. Grey Nomads running wild! The food at the pub was sensational. The next night we made sure that we bush camped for the peace. We were about 20 km south of the Gem town of Anakee. Bivie up dinner cooked when a distant rumble evolved into a cacophony of sound. We’d made camp near a train line and a huge coal trains rumbled past. Thankfully it didn’t go on all night, only one more train passed by during the wee hours of morning. camp one night down a little side road near Anarke

[IMG][/IMG]

My uncle has been fossicking for gem stones for many years. Being so close to the gem field we decided to do the tourist thing and called into Pats Gems at Rubyvale. We had coffee and cake, sorted through some buckets of wash and found some pretty rocks for the nieces and nephew.
The road north of Ruby vale was beautiful windy and quite. We stopped for lunch, more salad wraps in Theresa creek. We hit the Gregory Development road again at Clermont

That day we got as far north as Bellyando crossing, an interesting little stop. We had a great chat to the store owner and a cattle train driver. They spoke of the road before it was sealed. They rejoice the sealing. Some of use wish it was still a unsealed surface.

[IMG][/IMG]

We bush camped just off the road. Trucks plowed southwards all through the night. I slept a little uneasily when I realised that if during the night, one of those monster trucks loosing control for any number of a a myriad of possibilities could miss the curve in the road and run straight through our camp. Thankfully those thoughts proved to be paranoia.

Northward and by this time I had had a gut full of the black top. I had the thirst for a squirt on the dirt so we pulled out the maps and plotted an alternative route.
We did a nice little loop following along the Suttor river. Eventually we came back to the Gregory development road to continue ever northwards and on to charters towers.
On our little backroad venture, we saw our first Camals, also emus, Brolgas and Black necked Storks or Jabiru's.
Resupplying in Charters Towers I saw a familiar face in a car at an intersection. My friend Stephan and his son also heading to the Laura festival. I knew of several people who were making the journey north to attend the biannual Laura festival.
The roadside free camp sites are nice but the number of RV’s that gather for happy hour is insane. We enjoy the peace of bush camping. We leave no trace where we camp, if we have a fire it is out, ashes spread, all of our rubbish and often some extra is removed. We also burn toilet paper. I find it off putting when you pull up at a nice look out,camp site or water hole and you see toilet paper every where. They state of some camp sites makes me wonder why the type of person who leaves our bush in such a mess comes out in the first place. Through their lack of care, it is obvious that they do not appreciate the bush and nature. I wish they would stay at home!

Day 9 of our trip found us camping beside Fletcher creek. The free camp area looked nice. Nice and popular and happy hour was going off. We found a little dirt track a bit further up the road and camped in the bush
The Townsville military training area was on the opposite bank. I noticed the first Rubber vine i had seen growing on the river swamping some of the important riparian vegetation. Nightmare weed which is destroying important natural area’s.

[IMG][/IMG]





The map showed some great looking backroads to take us north to Mt Garnet and the Atherton table lands. The little place names on the map had a certain charm about them too Valley of the Lagoons had me interested. The roads were great and passed through some pretty harsh looking country dominated by Iorn Barks. Eventually we found a gorgeous little creek to camp by.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:40 AM   #8
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Excellent start

G'day Eddie (and Suzie), I really enjoyed both your camping style and your writing style. Kerry and I camped the same way last year in our beach buggy all the way to Darwin and back via the Simpson. We agree with your comments re people that don't respect the bush enough to not leave their tiolet paper littered behind.
Looking forward to this.
Cheers Hawksy
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Old 10-15-2013, 10:31 PM   #9
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Hey Hawksie, Dune buggy to Darwin and back sounds like a fun trip.
VW powered?
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Old 10-19-2013, 01:40 PM   #10
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After a great days riding through some constantly changing country we found a nice sandy creek bed to camp by. During the night we’d heard gun shoots. One of the hazards of stealth camping is that no one knows your there, invisibility is also a safety feature....paradox!. Gun shoots, even in the distance, make me think of the odds of getting clipped by a stray piece of hot lead. Thoughts that random shit happening can stop you waking up really helps you appreciate the day when you do wake up. Im not generally paranoid.

Our morning coffees smell good as well as, taste good. Sometimes it attracts visitors. By 7am we were offered a beer and pipes by the hunters we heard the night before. Nice folks. Out from nearby town on mates property doing some shooting. Trying to keep the feral pig population down. They asked us which way we were headed and alerted us about the river crossing just around the corner. Nothing much showed on the map but water came across the bonnet of the Toyota troopy they were driving. The Burdikan River proved to deep for the DR’s. I felt like riding rather then working out how to get the bikes and gear through and then dewatering. Back track time. All up was an 80km loop and we didn’t have to travel the exact way we came. Nice camping spot so not all bad.

The ride north continued on up the Gregory development road into Mt Garnet.
Had one of the best hamburgers I have ever eaten here. Sorry no pics of it but it was defiantly a meal. WE rode through the back of the Atherton table lands and down the famous Gillies highway into Gordenvale. The Gillies is a very fine motorcycling road. Very twisty. Be warned it does claim quite a few punter going wide around some of the corners.
But if your sensible it is very much fun and should get some wear on those outer edges of your tyres.

By now its late in June, we get to Cairns where we hang with an old buddy of mine Pete. Pete is going to come to the Laura festival with us. Its nice spending time catching up, sleeping in a bed and hot showers. We also do some shopping, mail more stuff home, clean the bikes and do maintenance -air filters, chains, filter and oil changes. Wayne Lenard's is the Susuki dealer in town. The shop to be very helpful, the staff being friendly and knowledgeable.


Here is a bit of footage of our trip from Cairns to the Laura Festival

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v...47275233294127
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Old 10-22-2013, 03:10 AM   #11
Hawksie
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Yes, VW Ed, and fortunately very simple and easy to work on. Not too much room for two peoples luggage including fuel tools and water either. Made for a lot of fun memories.
I'll tell you all about it one day.
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Old 10-22-2013, 11:10 AM   #12
patiodadio
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How did Jock get banned ?


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Old 10-23-2013, 03:17 AM   #13
Eddywoodgo OP
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Don't know, being cheeky and speaking his mind I guess.
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Old 10-23-2013, 07:18 AM   #14
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So where are you now my friend. Whats the plan ... hows the damage healing up now you have the screws out ?
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Old 10-23-2013, 03:03 PM   #15
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The Screws came out on the 10/10. Stitches out today, Planning on leaving Cairns early in the morning. Heading out along Savannah way, turning south and headed for The Sunshine Coast.
My flight to LA is booked for the 4/2/2014. In the mean time I hope to find some work but there is a ride I know about through the Australia alps in November. I might do it.
I'm also thinking we'll have to have a welcome home Hodgo ride. Be good to hear your tales of adventure around a fire somewhere in the bush. When are you back?
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