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Old 05-23-2011, 05:02 PM   #1
YeeHaa OP
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Joined: Oct 2009
Location: Samford, BrisVegas, Qld, Orstraylia
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Snowing in the West???

Day One
All my family has grown up “in the bush’, but joining the corporate agriculture world had me transferred to the ‘big smoke’ a few years ago. We are a cattle family, but Gizzool (my brother) is now into horses apparently… Horses, what sort of Horses??

GIZZOOL, said there was a bit going on in his neck of the woods and reckoned I would enjoy a trip out to see him again. He even said it looked like it was snowing in some parts...?? (More on this later).
So I decided I would head west and see what all the fuss was about.

So after announcing that I was off west and started making the bike ready and packing a little bit of gear for the trip, the bride decided that seeing how I was pissing off, she was going to go to Warwick to see her folks that have retired there from the bush. Her father has just been diagnosed with throat cancer so she takes all opportunities to get to see him; as you would. Now this was fine by me as I quickly and cunningly contrived to load a bit of gear into her car and said I would meet her in Warwick and spend the night with the outlaws. Of course I could now ride lighter, quicker and would have no need for a tent or any camping or overnight stuff. Bewdy.

I packed the bike up and after settling some last minute business, I was ready to go by about mid morning


The plan now was to work from Samford to Warwick via the Centenary Highway, straight through onto the Cunningham highway and then hang a left onto the Boonah Ipswich road to Peak crossing. Yep you guessed it, I was going to do the Head road and attack the 14 crossings of the Condamine river up the Condamine Gorge Road, into Killarney then slab it to Warwick….simple.

The highway was as boring as usual and made more so by a motorcycle cop that I caught up to on the M5 (Centenary motorway) at the start of Springfield. He was doing about 5km below the speed limit and when I went to pass him he sped up and waved his hand like he wasn’t that happy with that little idea of mine. So being a shy law abiding citizen I decided to tuck in behind him and follow his annoying arsed 94 km/h to the Cunningham Hwy where I could finally lose him on the Boonah road to Peak crossing.

So pretty soon I was at Peak crossing, and as a BMW rider I was fairly hanging out for a Latte. Never fear, I had the means to handle that little assignment so into the park off the highway and out with the Thermos.

Very Civilised, not a Latte but it’ll do:








Nice Little park at Peak crossing




Anyway enough of this the Condamine beckons so right turn before the pub onto the Warrill view road and off to Kalbar.


That’s where I am heading, for the Gap in the ranges





Getting Closer:



Yep that’s the Head over there



Look out Kalbar dead ahead, almost time for a coffee heehee:


Through Kalbar, right onto the Boonah Fassifern road then left onto the Lake Moogerah road.
It was an absolute bewdy of a day so I thought I would drop into Moogerah, I knew the dam was full so it would be interesting to see if the spillway has stopped running yet after all the rain.

So in here:


The day was fantastic and the Dam was quiet and really picturesque. No V8 speed boats fanging around with skiers this morning.





Someone was sending smoke signals though,

A closer look:



Now for the spillway – ooh just stopped very recently with the water just lipping the edge.








Now cos I am a boofhead I only now realise that the camera has bugger all charge in it and the beeping noise wasn’t some mystery song, it was actually singing “Hey dickhead, ya battery’s flat, yeah the battery’s flat”.

So Back to the bike for the obligatory, "Moogerah Dam and Motorcycle in repose" shot.



After this shot the camera gives a really feeble beep which I interpret as, "you're killing me"...



So out of Moogerah and right turn towards Mt. Alford.

This is looking back towards the Dam wall from the tail end of the Dam, on the southern side.




Onwards towards Mt. Alford.
I have spent a bit of time in this area in the past but there is still a great debate raging, do you call it - 'ORL Fud' or 'Al Ford'. Many of the locals actually call this place AL Fud.

Personally I don’t give a shit as I don’t actually go into the village this trip, I hang a right at Dwyer Ridges Road and fang it South to Carneys Creek road leaving the locals yelling “AL FUD “ and “ORL FORD” at each other over their fences.


Turn right onto Carneys Creek road fang for a little while in the crisp clean countryside then turn right onto The Head Road.
This is a great road and I have ridden this area heaps as a youngfella and several times now as an olda fella, the road is still just as fun, and apart from being just a little careful of grazing stock on and beside the road, it is a great burst up into the Mountains.

The camera wasn’t happy but I did manage to get this one of smoko by the Teviot brook just into the national park.



This area is pretty special as I used to come up here as a kid and camp quite a bit along this creek with a few mates.

Okay so trip resumed, no pics now til I can recharge the camera tonight as the last photo killed the poor thing.
I fanged up and over the top of the head, passed the White Swamp Road and onwards via the Spring Creek Road to the Condamine River Road turnoff. The country looks fantastic, grass green and plentiful and Bullocks almost fat.

At the turnoff for the Gorge Road was a sign saying Road Closed Ahead.

Well while I contemplated this a local drove up and we had a bit of a yarn. Turns out over the Easter weekend the place got inundated with mad four wheel drivers that decided for some reason to use the road as their personal rally track. Old mate told me that they really buggered the road up, finding all the wet patches and continuously spinning the road up til now it is quite a mess. He also said the police turned up and started fining the boofheads $600 a pop for going through a ROAD CLOSED sign.

Well shoot, I wanted to go up the road and the old boy explained that the sign was just there now to keep the dickheads out, in fact the sign says, ROAD CLOSED AHEAD and he said if I go down it, I never get to AHEAD, if I knew what he meant.
Well I got it, so with a wave and a thank you I fanged down the Condamine Gorge road. A road I hadn’t been on since a kid of 18 on a TT600. You bewdy I was thinking what fun I am gonna have.
Hmm, what fun indeed, the road was really cut up, which didn’t faze me too much given I was a hardened, intrepid adventure biker on a technologically advanced BMW…(with coffee in the glove box) and 800cc’s – 2 whole hundred more than when I last rode this track, which these days is really a road anyway.

Shit… the sign says ‘you are about to cross the Condamine river 14 times’ – ha, er nothing to it.

Mmmm that first crossing was a little deeper than I would have thought for this time of the year, jesus the second crossing was bloody rough, and a bit deeper than I would have thoug…....any way the crossings got wider and deeper the further I went until finally I was stopped at the widest deepest crossing, about number seven I reckon, just too deep and flowing pretty quickly as well, touch and go for my technologically advanced BMW and I.


Bugger it, will I risk it, keep going or is the smart thing to do to go back;

Isn’t it agonising having to make the right decision when you are riding. I absolutely hate going back over the same track I have just come on and work hard to make a loop of my rides so this pathological manifestation of mine can be resolved. I was by myself and this was the deciding factor in the end as I didn’t fancy de-watering my bike by myself in the swiftly falling dusk should I submerge the thing.

After all I guess I am not an 18 year old kid anymore, I am supposed to be a gentlemen motorcyclist on a BMW of all things, not the long haired lout of yesteryear on a big bore Japanese bred single with a shit load of travel that we used to race every weekend for some pretty good results in the day.

So back I went all the way through all the deep crossings, knowing they were getting shallower and narrower with each one, right up to the last one , when......

Yep, the front tyre slipped off a mossy rock and I started to head downstream. Sheeeiit!!
Now in actual fact if you follow the Condamine river far enough downstream, it becomes the Balonne at Surat, and then the Balonne Minor just before Dirranbandi which is where I am actually heading. My brothers joint is on the banks of the Balonne minor, but this is not the way I wanted to reach my destination. After all I am not riding a bloody canoe!

So you know the rest, put my foot down, slipped, and my technologically advanced BMW, overweight piece of #%@#*&……..


Wet; shit! I almost drowned, water in the panniers, water in the bags, water in the boots, water in the rider. Thank god I had taken the precaution of putting my camera, wallet, phone etc in a specially prepared waterproof bag that I had bought for this specific type of occasion.
I lifted the technologic heavy friggin thing up from the bottom of the river, I had very quickly turned the bike off via the strategically placed BMW kill switch, so I was hoping that it hadn’t ingested a gut full of condamine river water,... as I had.

So what now, bike standing once again, what would Lassie do…..try and start the bloody heap o #@#%*##@# I suppose.
So kill switch on, select neutral, hit starter……………………. Brrrrmmmm
yeehaa what a technologically advanced motorcycle this BMW is after all.

Photo’s of this, piss off,.. as if I am gunna show photo’s; umm the camera was flat remember. (praise Allah)

So through the crossing up the bank and pull up to assess the situation.
Everything on the right hand side, verdict: WET
I check out the waterproof bag specifically purchased for this sort of emergency, not only wet but holding 3 inches of water FAAARRRKKKK!!!!
turns out the bag has a specially designed pin prick hole in it that is designed to let in Condamine River water.

Thankfully for some reason after a couple of error messages the phone fired up and is still working. So a wet trip into the darkening sky to Warwick….brrrr cold.

At least I had a nice bed for the night and didn’t have to pitch the tent:



even had nice pink matching sheets.
Went to sleep happy knowing I was back into the bush tomorrow.







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Old 05-23-2011, 05:45 PM   #2
YeeHaa OP
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Location: Samford, BrisVegas, Qld, Orstraylia
Oddometer: 461
Day two

Loaded the extra bag retrieved from the back of the cook’s car and off early into a cold Warwick morning, camera charged, thermos full and almost forgiven the BMW for the dunking.
It was an absolutely beautiful Queensland winters morning and even though a bit chilly it was one of those mornings when you just smile cos you’re on a bike and all is right with the world.
I had a cramp in my cheeks from the smile, when suddenly it was coffee o’clock. I decided to pull into Coolmunda Dam;



And fire up the instant coffee.

Dam(n) Coolmunda was looking purty, I have never stopped to come in here before and I am glad I did:







I even had the services of a do it yourself coffee shop:





So Coolmunda a success, I now head south then turn right on the Tobacco road and follow this til I get to Inglewood.
Then left turn back onto the Cunningham highway still headin west. Got bored with Hwy 42 so when I get to Yelarbon I turn left and headed south down the Keetah road.


Heaps of roadworks going on all the way out so far and this road was no different.






So followed this road along right into Goondiwindi, I found it better than the highway even if I was dodging a few Wallabies as I sped along.


As I got closer to Gundy I started seeing the snow on the ground, of course this had me a bit flummoxed as it was a glorious day, warmed up to 20 degrees c, yet there were definite signs of snow. Being a Queensland boy and not having too much too do with the stuff I had to rely on pictures I had seen of similar looking stuff on overseas ride reports on ADV.com


SEE:





And again closer:




Any way I shook that from my mind and as I was now entering Gundy I took the opportunity to drop a little fuel into the bike and also purchased some advanced dietary rations to eat along the way.

Found a nice little shady spot on the side of the road and tucked in whilst contemplating the effect climate change is having in the supposed warm Queensland outback:



Yep very healthy biker tucker:




Now it was a quick and boring fang straight down Hwy 85 the Barwon Highway through Toobeah,



passed Bungunya and into Talwood.

When I got to Talwood I found this Bloody great KTM super tanker posing as an ag bike sitting on the side of the road. It was the first motorcycle I had seen all day so I pulled up to be sociable and found GIZZOOL had ridden out to meet his decrepit old brother. How nice.



So the Giz and I caught up with a yarn on the side of the road at Talwood, as loving brothers do, then the big fella mounted up and we started the last leg towards Dirranbandi, land of milk and honey on the banks of the Balonne Minor. (remember)

The Tanker in flight mode:



The route took us south of Talwood on the Mungindi road before turning off and heading west again down the rutted white gravel and sand of the Daymar Road. I would have stopped to get a few more pics but GIZZOOL + super tanker = lets git goin.







Now it’s a funny thing but even though I have lived in the bush all my life and travelled it extensively in my job as a Livestock agent and Auctioneer, I had never been to Daymar.
So I took some pics for prosperity, not surprising I missed it for years I spose:

This to let you know where you are:







Yep she’s a goer alright although they’re not gonna hold an Australian open here anytime soon:




Although it does have a good community hall:




And that’s it:


Then westwards towards the slowly setting sun up the road to Thallon


And from Thallon just 60km of kangaroos and emus waiting by the road with suicide on their minds to the thriving metropolis of Dirranbandi.

This is where GIZ said I would learn the secret to the summer snow in the west.
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:09 PM   #3
YeeHaa OP
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Location: Samford, BrisVegas, Qld, Orstraylia
Oddometer: 461
Day three -

Today GIZZOOL decided to take me out and show me the horses that he worked with...



Um, er...seemed they were horsepowers he was talking about and these little green fellas have about 280 and front wheel assist. They cultivate and plant all the snow out here then they pack it all up and put it in a module.



This is where all our sox and jox come from;

The tractors work non stop around the clock, only pausing to refuel or perform essential maintenance.

Looks like fun:






Its pretty hard work on the gear as well and we had to change a few points while we were there:



New and old:


New fitted:



yep I was actually too busy taking photo's to be of any help...

Then a quick leak for the driver and back to it mate:




Course to get all the crops to grow it takes plenty of water, and it has been an exceptional year for that little commodity:




In fact the river is still running well:



I didn't get too close to the water as this river had already tried to drown me once this trip...!

Bloody hell:




And I almost drowned in a little stream, glad I don’t gotta cross this one…!
Of course to get the water to flow uphill it takes a little horsepower of its own:




This is one of the internal pumping stations of 7 x 500 hp - 36 inch pumps with the diesel tank in the background. Yep 36 inch each. These pumps are used to transfer water internally to crop and back to storage. There are no pumps on the river, the water flows through this land naturally, is harvested and then is held in the storage. Pretty cool.


Anyway then it was over to the Wheat country and my turn behind the wheel. 350 hp this one.





In fact these lazy buggers don’t even steer the tractor, they are all linked up to the satelites and the system steers the vehicle itself. The operators job is just to stop and turn at the end of the row and monitor gauges and proceedings….Boring!

40 foot rig for Wheat the planting thereof:




And the air seeder:






Hmmm “farmer YeeHaa” examines the moisture or the …the...uh, I dunno this is what the other blokes were doing!!




Okay say goodbye to the big tractor, we gotta go now:



So we got back to the workshop and GIZZOOL and I added a 12 volt switch to the Beemer that will run my little air compressor. The Giz and I are heading out to the corner and on down into the Flinders in July so this is just a timely little addition. The standard plug will only pull 5 watts so we upped the ante.



mmm very neat indeed, just like a bought one;

well as darkness descends its back to the homestead and partake of a few sherbets with GIZZOOL.
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...it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

YeeHaa screwed with this post 05-23-2011 at 08:02 PM
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Old 05-23-2011, 06:33 PM   #4
YeeHaa OP
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Location: Samford, BrisVegas, Qld, Orstraylia
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Day four

Okay cos my phone was working I got a call that meant I needed to get back to the city and back on the job so today was home day. I got up early, packed the bike and headed east into the fast rising sun. Not too much of a change to the route heading home, same kangaroos and bloody emus trying to kill me on the Thallon road.
But when I came to the dirt, surprise surprise, the road had been graded in front of me which was good although pretty slippery as it hadn’t had time to bed in and settle down on the crown of the road yet.



I am running a set of matching Metzeler Karoo (T) tyres on the bike and I find the front is no better than my standard Pirelli Scorpions on the sandy and gravelly road. I am a bit surprised at this but any how.

The BMW can be a giggle headed bitch of a thing in loose going anyway, so this trip has convinced me to bolt a steering Dampener to it. Hopefully that will allow me to progress in a far more gentlemanly manner when next I sally forth into the rugged wilds out towards the states corner.

Back through Gundy, and a quick refuel and pick up some nutritional biker food.
I took off down the river road til the worms started to bite and stopped for a quick lunch in Yelarbon.



A cup of Tea this time:




Yelarbon is a pretty quiet tidy place:



This is where the river road goes off south before heading west to Gundy.



and on towards the city into the ever increasing rain the bureau had been warning of.

Very cold over the gap on the Cunningham Hwy before Aratula and then into a pretty good downpour from Ipswich to Samford. However I didn’t get nearly as wet as the little downpour in Condamine Gorge.

1351 km:

All in all alot of good fun.
Solved the mystery of the snow in the bush, got to "oversee" the workers and had a good ride to boot that helped me sort a few things out before a longer trip in July.
Now too see how long it takes for the feeling to return to my arse!!
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...it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years.

YeeHaa screwed with this post 05-29-2011 at 06:09 PM
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:50 PM   #5
Gizzool
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The Tanker in flight mode:





Fuck I've gotten fat. Are you sure that's me? That's not me. Gee.
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Old 05-23-2011, 07:53 PM   #6
YeeHaa OP
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Location: Samford, BrisVegas, Qld, Orstraylia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gizzool View Post
The Tanker in flight mode:



Fuck I've gotten fat. Are you sure that's me? That's not me. Gee.

Yep that's you all right ya fat bastard.....let me introduce you to a friend of mine...her name's Jenny hahaha
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:52 PM   #7
Goosefeather
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Looks like a great ride!
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:16 AM   #8
Detlef in Oz
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Thanks for the great Pics & story
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:53 AM   #9
Happy Snapper
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A great ride report. I have nearly come to grief in the crossings in the Condamine Gorge road as has my mate Goosefeather.

These days I would give them a wide berth until global warming dries them out a bit...... perhaps!
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:16 AM   #10
aussie ttoad
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Great report, great pics! Looks like some nice places out that way
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:53 AM   #11
ClearwaterBMW
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thanks for the great ride report and terrific images
i appreciate you sharing your ride with us
thank you
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Old 05-24-2011, 02:55 AM   #12
Eddywoodgo
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ya tell a bloody good yarn.
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Old 05-24-2011, 05:50 AM   #13
ruscook
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Cool report Yeeha - thanks dude
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:59 PM   #14
Wilmo
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Nice write up - thanks!
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Old 05-25-2011, 02:32 AM   #15
Rumble
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Good RR and neat photo's
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