no politics...just ridin'

Happy New Year

Well some of us did make it to the Pickled Galah rally for New Years Eve celebrations and managed to stay dry, even though the weather in Brisbane has been wet and windy for over a week now. You see, we headed off on the 30th and set ourselves up for a couple of days of R&R whilst you others who didn't bother to show, got stuck at home because of the weather - it all comes down to the planning!!

Eddie, Lyn, Grasshopper and myself readied ourselves at Eddies place around midday on Sunday for the ride/drive up to Maidenwell. Only Eddie and myself rode - Lyn drove the ute with all the gear and because Grasshopper had stripped the sump plug on the V-Rod, he was forced to drive his car. We set off together beneath the darkening rain clouds but thankfully they held off long enough for us to avoid getting wet - we followed the Ipswich Motorway out west then onto the Warrego Hwy for the short run to the Esk turnoff. The road across Somerset Dam and all the way into Esk was very light on traffic which was a little surprising considering it was the middle of the day and lots of people were on holidays - but you will NEVER hear me complain about a lack of traffic, and so we just put up with it.

Rode into Esk and made a stop to call Steve & Denitta and check they were coming - this is when the rain must have started back in Brisbane/Gold Coast because they told us that it was really bucketing down and they may not now come. Oh well! From Esk we climbed the range via the road to Hampton, a favourite of mine and many others. Up top, we turned right onto the New England Hwy and headed for Crows Nest and a favourite little cafe of ours that sells these beautiful gourmet meat pies. You can imagine the disappointment that filled our hearts once we reached this cafe and were informed by the owner that they had run out of said pies - bugger!

We finally made rode into Maidenwell at about 4ish and, after paying our $20 entry, started setting up camp. Once that was completed we ventured over to the pub for a well earned ale and some tucker. The pub itself was a typical small country pub, more like granny's place - it consisted of a short front bar, three old style poker machines, a balcony out the front of the bar and a large room out the back for entertainment as well as dining which is where we seated ourselves. The meal on offer was roast pork/chicken/lamb and gee it was nice. Once we had finished, we moved out to the front bar for a few drinks. This is where I first noticed the publican, Mr Happy - he was a right pain in the ass. You would have thought he would be happy with all this new business parked in his back yard, but he just stood there with a real surly look on his face and didn't really make anyone feel welcome. What made it even worse was when a few latecomers arrived - they had read on the rally flyer (an arrangement between the Suncoast Riders and the pub) that food was available on site and so on arrival, expected a meal. Mr Happy refused to feed them - just told them that dinner is served from 6 till 8. All I will say is that after hearing about this I made sure I ate all meals at the small takeaway shop across the road and purchased all my beer at the pub in nearby Nanango. I refused to give this wank any of my custom purely because of his attitude - and I was not alone. We walked back to the campsite where we sat around the light chatting and playing with the spud gun. All this country air was working on me and I ended up heading to my tent early Monday morning, the last morning of 2007. I just could not lie in the tent while it was light outside, so I climbed out and began harassing the others just after 5am. I proceeded to shake, tap and bang my way around, making sure Iheard them either complain or tell me to shut up - even I reckon I am a pain in the ass to camp with! After about an hour and once all of us were out of bed, we headed across the road to the take away for breakfast. The people in this shop had gotten wind of how the publican had behaved the previous night and were busting their guts to serve everyone - let me say they did a great job and the food was awesome. From here, we headed back to our camp, had a bit of a wander around to check out some of the other set ups and then got ourselves ready for a short ride into Nanango.

After wandering along the main street in Nanango and checking out soem of the shops we rode the 30 odd km's back to Maidenwell. Before returning to camp we decided to check the Cooma Falls out and am glad we did. The "falls" (no water running when we were there) are 2kms from the pub and are like an oasis in the middle of nowhere. We walked the steepish decent down to the rock pool - the lack of noise down there was almost hypnotic. We spent a good half hour just sitting watching some guy try and rock climb the walls and then once he left, enjoying the serenity of the place. By the time we retuned to camp, the bike show and events were starting and so we spent the rest of the arvo participating in and watching it all.

That night we spent in the pub - we ate there, we drank there, we listened to the band there (and they were bloody good for a three piecer) and we welcomed 2008 in there. I spent a bit of time sitting at the front bar talking with a few people and I gotta say that I did notice that Mr Happy (the publican) didn't seem as bad as the previous night - he had a few of his mates there and was getting into the groove and even telling a few jokes. A little earlier, Kat decided to liven the balcony out the front up by showing off her tattoo - this then prompted a couple of other ladies to follow her lead, whilst the photographer from OzBike happily snapped away. I must say that good ole Kat really knows how to liven things up, that's for sure!! Midnight came and went and not much later we headed back to the tent to sleep the celebrations away.

New Years Day....all the drinking from the night before had taken it's toll!! There weren't many people out and about early.

Where we camped

Eddie showing Grasshopper the finer points of loading the tennis ball cannon

As Clint once said....."Go ahead...make my day"..or night

Lizzy enjoying Gatorade's latest offering...plasti-port!

Cooma Falls...although there were no falls, just a swimming hole

Grasshopper will do just about anything to get in a pic...

Trikes on show - there was a large group of them present

Nice custom HD - very subtle

Some of the colours on offer with HD's 2008 models really look the goods

Let the bike games begin....

...and continue...

...and end, with lotsa trophys for young Isaac and his lady!

See what I mean about Grasshopper?

The impromtu tat show that Kat managed to start on the front balcony

Kat and I enjoying the band

The band...

...and of course, Mr Happy, the publican!



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