week 14...
glad tidings

Xmas in Turkey Creek!

We thought about using this space to write some sill Christmas carol spoof, like "I'm Dreaming of a Wet Christmas," but we're silly far too often.

But I guess that's why you keep coming back. Did you know there are over 15,000 people a month reading our adventures along with you? We're amazed too. Amazed, astounded, and very, very appreciative. I mean, all we do is live our lives, take a few photos and write a few stories... we never expected such a response!

Gratitude to those who write us and tell us how much you enjoy the site, apologies to those we haven't responded to. We love email from happy readers (even when internet time costs $12 an hour in the middle of the desert). Thanks for all the well wishes and support! Let the adventure continue! Merry Christmas to all of you!

       - Kevin, Aimee & Wally
Wyatt Wonders:
Age: 41
Birthday: Christmas!
Home: Marble Bar
Height: 5'6
Hat: 10 Gallon

Wyatt's Words of Wisdom: Never let anyone know you can do more than your job description.

Hope you win the Lotto soon, Wyatt!

meet santa claus
On Christmas night, Santa finally found us rolling along the Kimberley and invited us to his home for a late dinner and a cold shower. In these parts, Santa goes by the name of Wyatt Edwards. Between mouthfuls of steak, we got to know him a little better...

It's Christmas. What are you doing out here? All the other fellas from the camp have gone home for Christmas and they needed someone to stay and keep an eye on the camp. I offered. Not a bad job, just getting paid 8 hours a day to watch telly.

When does everyone else get back? Probably the first week of January, but even that's not for long because we're done our work. We just need to take down the camp and there'll be an official bridge-opening celebration.

So you've got this whole place to yourself for two weeks? Yeah, it's a good time to just relax. I've been working every day for three weeks straight and I need a break.

When the camp leaves, what happens to all this stuff? They'll tear the whole thing down and within three months you'd never know there used to be a camp here. Whatever food the boys don't eat gets shipped on to the next camp or thrown away, I guess.

So until then, you can just sit and eat steak? Nah. I don't eat much. Help yourselves though.

Mind if we stay another night? No worries.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Lori & Family
Whassa? A family just stops on the road and gives us... money? Is it the Christmas spirit, is it the happiest highway in Australia, or do we just look so pathetic that they think we need meat on our bones? Whatever it is, we ain't complaining! Thanks Lori!
Julian, Wendy & the Girls
No more pencils, no more books! School's out in Australia, for the summer! These girls have just spent some time in Broome before they get ready to start their next year at school in Darwin. Look how happy she is about going back!
Aaron & Joanne
This highway's just loaded with Canadians! Nice ones too! Aaron and Joanne are a couple of happy, worldly Canucks who have been living in Bangkok for a few years, and, best of all, they say we can stay with them when we come to Thailand! We'll be there soon!
P.S. Joanne, we found your address book. It fell off your car! Email us!
The Danish Entourage
This highway's just loaded with Danes! Nice ones too! These two couples are trying to knock off Western Australia, Northern Territory and South Australia in only a few short weeks! Good thing they have a car. Also a good thing they had OJ, iced coffee and beer for us!
wally's amazin' facts!
The worm in the apple is not really a worm at all... it's a codling moth! Well, it's not quite a moth yet. It's still just a larva. How do ya like them apples?

This Week's Amazin' Fact: Jingle bell, jingle bell, jingle bell Croc! Ha! The Kimberley is some of the wildest country in Australia, just choc-a-block with crocs. A freshie, or freshwater croc, usually grows to about a metre long, but they shouldn't bug you if you swim in their billabong. It's the salties you gotta watch out for... They can get up to 5 metres long, and walk 40km a night in search of food! I wonder if they think wombats are tasty? Crikey!

I'm off for my Christmas dinner, but before I go, does anyone know what you shouldn't eat if you think you'll be near crocs? I'll give you a hint: it's not wombat. But you shouldn't be eating wombats anyway! We're gamey!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!
Distance this week: 373kmDistance since Day 1: 4935km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 93: No Photo Available
Distance Travelled: 44.2km Temperature: 35
Time on Trikes: 7.5h Water Left: 11L
Terrain: Couple Climbs
End Location: Under the Boab
surprise gift or cruel joke?
We had spent the night sweating into our makeshift pillows, tossing and turning in our sloping tent parked next to a rubbish bin in a conveniently located truckie pull-off. The ground managed to retain the heat of the sun long into the night, and recharged rather quickly once the sun came up this morning.
   After a restless night, we had spent most of the next day sweating into our makeshift pillows, tossing and turning in our sloping tent parked next to a rubbish bin in a conveniently located truckie pull-off. We were getting low on water, and for a time, considered placing a drip pan under our chins while we played cards and waited for the sun to descend to a respectible tangent. By 4:00pm, two dried husks of human shells unzipped their home, rolled it up and departed at the pace of a similar abode-burdened animal.
   8.3km later, we bumped into the Doon Doon Roadhouse, an air-conditioned, low-priced, well-managed, liquid-rich haven of bliss. Should we be happy, or upset? Hmm... I'll think it over as I sip this ice cold Coca-Cola...

"Get in and close up... now!!"
- Aimee.
Day 94: Gum Pum Pum Pum
Distance Travelled: 42.3km Temperature: 36
Time on Trikes: 5.5h Water Left: 14L
Terrain: Nice and Easy
End Location: Balmoral Station
party hardly
It's Christmas Eve... time to celebrate Lingman-Style with a fancy food party of crackers, sausage, cheeses, ginger ale, eggnog, and all those other yummy things that you never think of eating any other time of the year. Oh, suuure. To the untrained eye, you may be thinking that you only see one bowl of crackers and one bowl of gummies in this photo. Well, this is the outback. To have a really good feed, you've got to use your imagination. Mmmm. Snausages. Chew chew chew.

"I use my pants like a swordsman."
- Aimee.
Day 95: Give Thanks
Distance Travelled: 79.4km Temperature: 32
Time on Trikes: 8.5h Water Left: 8.5L
Terrain: Range Climbing
End Location: J.J. McDonald Camp
stuffing stocker?
In all the roadhouses in all the places in all the world, who would have thought on Christmas morning we'd roll into this one? Looks like we'll have Turkey after all!
   (Incidentally, the only other appropriate spot anywhere near here is Christmas Creek Cattle Station, but that's well over a week away, about thirty kilometres off the main road, and who knows if they want our company? With a name like Christmas Creek, you'd think they would! Otherwise they would have called it Piss Off Creek.)

"Why you bother with this? White man map is bullshit."
- Turkey Creek Local.
Day 96: Boxed in on Boxing Day
mcdonalds for christmas
The beginning of this story actually starts late Christmas night. We were pedalling along in our usual manner, when a man in a ute pulls up alongside. (Ahhh. So many of our best stories start with a man pulling up alongside us in a ute.)
  He looks at us incredulously and asks us if we are aware of what day it was. Yup! We answer with smiles, thinking of the spam and pineapple Christmas dinner awaiting us when we stop pedaling.
  Obviously, spam was not high on his list of delicacies (give him a week of tuna, and it will be) and this prompted him to invite us to his 'camp' for dinner.
  Now, a 'camp' in Australia could mean just about anything, from a sheep station 30km off the road where there's mutton for brekky, lunch and tea, to a swag and a billy under a coolibah tree. Sure, we said, we'll be there.
  When we finally arrived at his 'camp', it turned out to be the Ord River Construction Camp that was vacated for Christmas, with just our friend Wyatt watching over everything to make sure nobody steals off with the backhoe in the middle of the night. We kept him company, he kept us company and we enjoyed the spoils of the construction camp for the next two days. Steak! Mattresses! Baby corn! Rocky Road! Internet! And cold, delicious Coke!
  Thanks Wyatt and the J.J. McDonald & Sons Engineering Company for a fantastic Christmas!

"I figure if we lived in Melbourne for three months and never heard of Melbourne Bitter, maybe we shouldn't start drinking it here."
- Aimee.
Day 97: All I Want For Christmas is a New Ute
Distance Travelled: 84.6km Temperature: 39
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 16L
Terrain: Generous
End Location: Near Hall's Creek
can't stay forever
After two days of satellite television, Internet, air conditioning, ice, and steak we have decided to tear ourselves away from the camp and move on to Halls Creek. It's tough to leave, because we know that this camp has more supplies and is better equipped than any town between here and Mt. Isa (not to mention all the stuff's free).
  But you can only eat so many Sara Lee Caramel Slices (about twelve) before you start to think you're taking advantage of a good situation.

"Ooh! The Canadian female treat!"
- Kevin.
Day 98: Christmas Breakfast
Distance Travelled: 59.8km Temperature: 42
Time on Trikes: 8h Water Left: 13L
Terrain: Good
End Location: Out of Hall's Creek
deck the halls
Man, we burned rubber to Halls Creek. Our stay with Wyatt energized us, and even though we pencilled in two days to Halls Creek, we've pedalled it down to just one! The secret ingredient in those Caramel Slices must be Liquid Schwartz (obviously a known fact if you ask the organizers of the Cycle Queensland event).
   As a reward for all that success (and a present from Lori and family), we treated ourselves to the best breakfast ever at the Shell station in Halls Creek. Mmmmm. I love it when people take pity on us bikers and triple the serving of toast.

"Yeah, it's drinkable. It'll give you the runs, though."
- Shell employee, about the local water.
Day 99: Scenic!
Distance Travelled: 62.5km Temperature: 42
Time on Trikes: 7h Water Left: 11L
Terrain: Mostly Down
End Location: Truckie Park
ups and downs
You might think that we like flat stretches. Let me let you in on a little secret: those flat stretches that you see as you whoosh by us in your car aren't flat. They're sloping ever-so-slightly up. Always up. Just enough to slow this half-ton vehicle down to a heartbreaking 5km/hour.
   Rather, give us hills any day. Hills mean that there's hope. There just might be a downhill on the other side. There might be another phantom roadhouse on the other side. There might be a bunch of dancing leprechauns on the other side... who cares? I want to be surprised! At the very least, there's road ahead on the other side of a hill that you haven't been staring at for hours. Yup. Give us hills any day. Actually, make that curves. There can still be leprechauns around curves.

"It's about what I've come to expect from John West."
- Kevin.
humbug: (v.) panhandle, beg, ask for money, cigarettes, etc. Could this be a Mr. Scrooge reference, refusing to fulfill a requested handout?

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We've got mail...
I would like to wish you both all the very best on your adventure around Australia. It is something that I would like to do here in Queensland. I'm on the "Sunshine Coast" and would like to do it on a smaller scale to start with.

Anyhow, I'd like to wish the both of you all the very best on your travels, and wish you both the Seasons Greetings.
- Neil, Tewantin QLD

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© 2002 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. And a beer.