032. 15th March 2008. We visit Finch Hatton for the Country Music Festival and I ride to visit Melissa…

Not a great deal to write about since our trip to Carnarvon Gorge last year. We did a couple of Sugarloafers activities in November and December but took no photographs or even wrote any notes. January and February were so wet we could not get the bus out of the yard. It is parked down one side of the house and the ground has a good slope. In fact when I reverse into the parking spot it is a double slope and steep. The two months in question were extremely wet and the ground so boggy there was no way I could get the bus out without digging trenches. Worse, trying to back into a tight parking space could lead to loss of traction and no control.

See page 031 for a bit more about the rains in February.

This was our first outing for 2008 and gave us the opportunity to test our fully enclosed trailer.


Camped at Finch Hatton Showgrounds with bike trailer in tow.

Camped at Finch Hatton Showgrounds with bike trailer in tow.

The intention is the Yamaha Virago Motorcycle goes in the trailer along with the washing machine, generator, satellite TV stuff, extra camp chairs and anything else we feel is needed.

On this occasion all I took was the bike. Just to test it out and see how it performs and any little bugs which might need ironing out.

First up the full size rear door and ramp is very heavy. Luckily I had a tension spring installed which does make it easier but it is still heavy.

I stopped several times in the 150 klm trip and on each occasion found the tie down straps needed tensioning. These straps are not cheap and I would expect with overlock cam action they would never come loose.

Well they do.

Will have to solve that little problem before we do any serious travel with the trailer.

Yes it does use more fuel and yes it will slow us down on hills but it does mean we can carry a lot more stuff and give us some mobility when we arrive somewhere. Drawback is we will always be towing

The alternatives are;

  1. Tow Donnis car on an A-Frame. Same story, it will use more fuel. It means we can carry the aforementioned extras in the car. It will give us more flexibility when we travel to get into places the bike cannot go, we can both go, we can toss in a tent and bed-rolls and Donnis can drive it, even in the rain. With the bike we are restricted to good roads and at this stage only I can drive it.
  2. Donnis will follow along in the car. No towing. All the benefits of 1 above. Yes we will use more fuel and yes we will drive separately. As we will only drive a few hours each day we do not see this as a problem.

Anyway we took the bike in the trailer to Finch Hatton.

Peah hour in Finch hatton main street.

Peak hour in Finch Hatton main street.

I used the bike to ride to my daughter Melissa Horse Stud and Training property. I then rode back to the showgrounds at Finch Hatton by the back roads. Hmm the roads are still under water from the rains this year. I got very wet. Well, at least up to my knees.

The Pioneer Valley Country Music Association is using the Showgrounds for their Festival.

Singers of the future?

Singers of the future?

Some of the artists are pretty good. Most of the Sugarloafers walk over to the hall and sit around most of the day listening to the music. I can still hear it at the bus and find it easier to stay with my comforts. The hall gets hot and stuffy, loud and echoey, crowded and chaotic.

Actually the Showgrounds here are pretty good with reasonable prices and have toilets and hot showers.

Paperbark Grove at the showgrounds.

Paperbark Grove at the showgrounds.

You can also get power and water sites. Council has recently upgraded a lot of their facilities to attract the motorhome and caravan crowds. Anywhere on the grounds is only a few minutes walk to the Finch Hatton Pub where I understand from Melissa, a lot of money has been spent to tidy up and promote the place. Including good cheap meals. We ate dinner there with Melissa and husband Steve along with Sugarloafer friends Nevin and Merie Davis.

Sugarloafers Nevin & Doug.

Sugarloafers Nevin & Doug.

It was a good meal and reasonably priced. Especially Donnis fish. Then again Donnis loves her fish.

This is the only occasion during the year when we do not have a communal meal and quite frankly I prefer the communal meal. Usually it is under the tarp or out in the open in a bush setting, with about 30 or 40 attendees and it is great fellowship.

The return journey saw me tightening straps but only twice. I still need to solve the tension problem.


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