Duk-tales: Iron Horse Run 2015 – Day 10 – March 2, 2015
The long way Home!
Up early to spread our wet bits for the sun to dry before we could roll up swags & possessions. Tent City was mostly empty at first light but we were in no great hurry. Sadly the food caravan that had supplied us with excellent examples of Bacon & Egg Rolls over the rally mornings was gone so we ventured down to the Servo on the corner for a “Big Breakfast” then said goodbye to Bill as he ventured forth on his own heading for Victoria to catch up with family & mates then cutting back through Adelaide on his way home. Guy Johnson from Oenpelli NT joined us for the day on the New England Hwy passing Stonehenge and an area known as balancing rock to Glen Innis (Celtic Country) where he decided enough for a day (bit seedy still from the night before). The rest of us being Ailes on the back with Bazza, Sparks & I kept going on the Gwydir Hwy through some of the most picturesque countryside and farmlands to be seen from the 220 degree uninterrupted view of a motorcycle. Early 1900’s farmhouses with dilapidated sheds are the stuff of Australiana post cards but more spectacular for the naked eye through tinted tri-focal sunnies.
A sign saying Bald Nob is a sign that these old explorers had a sense of humour, necessary for their line of work and abundant amongst the HOG family. The Gibraltar National Park was spectacular majestic old alpine wood invaded by ferns climbing up their trunks washed upon occasion by a glitter of sunlight. Just magic as we wound around this mountain pass which rivals the Alpine Way in Victoria, just a deal shorter! After a short break to don the wet weather gear (for Justin Case) the road commenced it’s steep decent with hairpin turns and twists that reminded me of the Mount Buller Rally in 2010. Just before the downhill slalom a short straight piece of road encourages an asshole in a Japmobile (one of them little wannabe rally cars) with a young buck on a death wish behind the wheel, to overtake. We’re doing 100 with only 150mtrs to the turn. I suck air as he finally gets past Sparks right at the right hander and an uphill harrier comes past just 3 seconds later. What might have been? Meanwhile Ailes was having a ball, being her first experience on the back of the Dyna on these wild roads didn’t stop her filming a few segments on the way down. Looking over the brink the sight of distant valley’s and hills so far down could have made for some great photography and I would have loved a stop at a lookout but once Sparks gets the smell of twisties up his nose he just wants to RIDE! I don’t blame you friend, I too get caught up in the moment and figure “what the hell” and crank up coming out of another turn is a buzz that fuels the fire. I haven’t had this much fun since Nanna caught her tits in the wringer.
Once in the foot hills the tarmac softens to a loafing river which I swear was flowing up hill. We found BP Tornik, a roadhouse just inside Grafton to fuel up and get a light feed. Chiko rolls are great for a snack but Sparks and Baz were on a strictly beef diet and stuck with the good ol’ meat pie. A few directions and we were sorted to find some accommodation at the Australian Hotel. A quick check in to check out that the publican had off street storage for the bikes. All good, dump the carry on in the rooms and down for some amber refreshment. Sitting outside on the terrace a lovely little granny walks up and asks Bazza if he could go inside and fetch an old duck a beer. Being raised right as he was Baz could not refuse so when in an advised the bar keep of the situation. It appears Granny had escaped her carer as she does most days to go to the pub from which she is banned. “I’ve been drinking here since before you got lifted to your mothers tit” she said to the barman. But he was having none of it. Ailes, being a lady offered to help the old girl down the road to the South Grafton Ex-servicemans Club “Coz I’m ‘louda play the pokies there” she said. Great arvo entertainment.