WA Run, September 2015
I remembered a chat late in 2014 when I said, “If you don’t go next year you never will, Ron”, & here we were at Ron’s place, one minute past 7 on the morning of the 19th, as the familiar words, “Come on, we’re burnin daylight” rang out. We were off across the Nullabor again, with a first “breaking in” day of 745kms to reach Burra. Lunchtime, at Mildura McDonalds with customers & staff everywhere, but only one till operating. One loud utterance from Ron brought a swift response as staff opened extra lines within 5 seconds. I thought, “That’s the power of my beloved leader!”
Past Port Augusta & we began appreciating the wonders of these wide open spaces. Crossing the Nullabor took us through seas of crops in Aus largest grain belt, across the plain & through the Great Southern forest, largest of its type in the world. We had masses of clouds above us & wild flower season around us, & Ron insisted on flowers at the lunch table. Along the way we stayed at Cocklebiddy & Ceduna before meeting up with Rocket, John & Bart at Wyogiemooltha, & thence to a welcoming BBQ & stay with John & Joselyn in Kalgoorlie .
I guess the theme on the way over was that we were being looked after. A gear linkage detached from the Harley. A minute later Wayne the roo shooter & bush mechanic pulled in with a stainless steel cable tie. Problem solved. John in Kalgoorlie just happened to be keeping a spare gear linkage arm. Problem solved. Speed & refusing to use Liberty fuel left a couple of bikes short. 2 mins later a large truck & escort vehicle pulled in. 5 litres of fuel, problem solved. Later, Frank’s battery would crash in Perth. Tim would pull up with a brand new HD lithium battery in his boot. Problem solved. Mind you, the Flagship took on an uncharacteristic HD shake as a result. Frank spoke to the weather & we had no rain. Problem solved, & so the journey unfolded.
After cooking us a bacon & eggs brekky, John came with us to Rod’s place at Mandurang where we were treated as VIPs during our stay. Ratbag had provided Gaeton’s palace out front, & the rest of us fit into the house nicely. Rocket was an amazing host, devoting his whole time & energy to our needs & wants. I learned a lot from the few days I spent with those two WA members. Thanks for your incredible hospitality brothers.
Thursday was a rest day when a few of us went with John for fish n chips at Freemantle, while Rocket took Ronnie shopping for boots. Frank chaired a good meeting in the evening. Friday, Nate joined us for a day tour out & about through nice country. Rocket insisted on us practicing U turns on several occasions. Many photos were taken.
Early evening we collected the ladies as we headed to the Chapter 6 meeting. The group had put in an enormous effort to give us a memorable evening of top fellowship. The meeting was in a comfy old church given to local AA groups. Out back the kitchen held wonderful deserts & salads while in the gardens outside the BBQ sizzled. Plenty of good off street parking housed the bikes. After tucker Nate chaired a top meeting, & then a group conscience was held, to which we were invited. The WA members took the opportunity to pick Ron’s brain, & Frank was able to provide input as well.
Saturday we did the things you do to get ready to return across the Nullabor. The evening proved to be a real highlight as Rocket gave us a very vocal lesson on how to be a WC Eagles supporter during the final against the Kangas. Rod escorted us to the pier at Busselton on Sunday & then we were on our way south to Albany. Frank took charge of catering on the way home & we ate like kings. Ronnie was still insisting on wildflowers at the lunch table. A highlight was the motel on our last evening at Renmark, organised by Ron’s daughter, with private balcony overlooking the Murray & a top feed.
As you do, we had plenty of time to chat about the Perth experience during the ride home. First up we were grateful to everyone who put in to make our stay so good. We were impressed with the good solid base & enthusiasm of the members of this first WA Chapter 6 group.
Our consensus was that the trip had been an amazing ride. We felt that the first Chapter 6 group in WA is in good hands, with plenty of lady riders, new riders just getting their licences, & experienced riders & AA people. The hospitality, that made the evening meeting so special, showed how well the group could pull together to accomplish wonderful things. We were impressed with the achievements & attitude of the group in such a short time. We were able to identify a healthy number of staunch members who will establish & nurture this group in the true Chapter 6 tradition into the future. Things felt right in WA.