week 30...
trees company

Margaret River to Walpole

Remember how excited we were back on the road to Northampton when we saw A TREE? Well, imagine if we'd been tootling along in the bushes of the Pilbara, then suddenly BAM! we run smack into a Karri forest! I'll bet we'd say something like... like... like Holy Frickin' Frack!
Wood Chips:
Age: 54
Origin: Canada
Home: Marg River
Job: Project Mgr of Busso Subdivisions
Old Job: Busso City Council

Partner: Trish
Her Job: Alexander Method Instructor

What the hell's the Alexander Method? Something to do with your posture, teaching yourself not to slouch and consciously realigning your spine.

meet bryan wood
We told Busselton we were coming. Bryan the Canadian got the email. Since he was quitting, he passed on the email, but wanted to meet us anyway. Yay! We've got a house in Margaret River now!

So how'd you get here from Canada? When I was growing up I always wanted to travel overseas. Then one day, my opportunity arose... an ocean liner pass, believe it or not. Cheapest way to travel overseas then. Weeks later, I arrived in New Zealand.

How long were you in NZ? About 10 years. I met my first wife there, actually. Yeah, I was there for a while, then moved to Australia for about 20 years, but came back recently to do a cycling trip through New Zealand.

What was that like? We're going to New Zealand next. I'm sure you've heard it's a heck of a lot hillier than Australia. They say that if you hammered New Zealand flat, it would be about the same size as Australia. We cycled from the bottom of the South to the top of the North. It took about three months, but it wasn't like we were out to prove anything like you guys are. We took a ride here and there, spend time with old friends.

And what do you do now? For years I worked for the Busselton City Council, but just last week I took on a new job as Project Manager for a construction company. I just couldn't see myself behind a desk for the next ten years.
these are the people in our neighbourhood...

Familiar Faces
It's Marta and Oliver, our cyclone saviours from Week 18! We knew we'd see those crazy cats again, and we did when we were at our darkest. They were the only thing that could have made a rainy Margaret River frown turn back into a smile. That and a paella!
The Dutch Golfers
These guys called us from the beginning of the 17th hole and told us to meet them at the clubhouse. We thought 20 minutes was ample time to meet them on the 18th green. Well, an hour and ten minutes later... yeesh! I guess golf isn't one of those beginner's luck kind of sports.
Tom & Ed
The only people in Manjimup on Good Friday seemed to be the ones who couldn't afford to leave. Like us, because we needed tires, and these two. $26 per bushel of apples, of which they could pick eight between the two of them. Not bad for a day's work. Not great, but not bad. Enough to fix up their van, anyway.
Some People I Met At The Top of a Tree
Down from Perth, but up a tree. These guys were celebrating Easter in their traditional manner: Head down to Pemberton with a couple of tents and a crapload of alcohol, and settle in for "a right bloody pissup". Hippity hop!
Hooray for the holidays! Easter weekend doesn't just mean chocolate, it also means... Driver Revivers! A Driver Reviver station gives free coffee and bikkies to all the holiday drivers like us! Ethel was running the station on our way up to Manjimup, and was happy to give extra bikkies to a couple of bikies! (Ethel's back behind all those revived drivers.)
Wallace was a cryptic sort of fellow. Though he was fairly animated, and made lots of exclamations like "Jeepers!" or "Har dee har!" he always gave off a bit of a lurking vibe, like he was trying not to be noticed. I don't think he liked having his picture taken. But, he was a very funny chap, and he always had a bit of trivia to add to an otherwise dull conversation.
leonard starr and modern art...
separated at birth?

wally's amazin' facts!
Everyone loves to surf at Margaret River... but why? What makes the surfing so good? The waves, you say? Well, aren't you the little smartass? Of course it's the waves, but why are they so big? Simple! If you go West from the West Coast, you won't hit a single piece of land until South America! Those waves just keep getting bigger and bigger! Cowabunga, or should I say, Aye Carumba!

This Week's Amazin' Fact: You should see some of the trees around here! They're huge! They're massive! They're GYNORGOUS! They're the Tingle Trees, some of the largest trees in the world, and certainly the largest on this continent. A common Tingle tree can get up to 60 metres tall and 16 metres around at the trunk! Some of the tingle trees around Walpole and Denmark are over 400 years old!

You know what else makes me tingle? Chocolate! Yep, wombats loooove chocolate, and Easter is the best time to score some! Have you ever wondered what bunnies and eggs have to do with Easter? Tell ya next week!

Don't forget to look for Wally this week!

don't have a cow, man...
Remember me from Week 23? Nasty looking, aren't I? I'm not a tree delimber, I'm not a medieval rat-torture device (thanks anyway, Dan C.), and, though incorrect, an honourable mention goes to Chrissie for guessing that I'm an outback Jaws-o-Life for cutting baby joeys' legs free from fences.

Nope, the correct answer goes to Aimee's big brother Dan Lingman, who guessed that I'm a device for cutting the horns off cows! Nice work, Dan!

look closer...
Distance this week: 293kmDistance since Day 1: 8936km

What is Bikeabout? Click here to find out!

Day 205: Did life on Earth come from.... ALIENS?
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 18
End Location: Margaret River
the beat goes on
What could be better than staying in a warm house of a friendly Canadian in Margaret River with a couple of our favourite Spanish travellers? Give up? DRUMS!
   Bryan (actually, Trish, whom we never actually got to meet) has a huge collection of ethnic drums. Coincidentally enough, Marta and Oliver have one ethnic drum in the van (and a didjeridoo), and they're really good. Sure, Aimee and I can tap-tap-tap as good as the next guys, unless the next guys happen to be Marta and Oliver.
   Luckily for us, we get up at 7am, while the other two get up at noon. That means five hours to get web work done, and the rest of the day banging away on the bongos.

"Were you in my room this morning or was that my dream?"
- Marta.
Day 206: Do I have something on my shirt?
Distance Travelled: 0.0km Temperature: 16
End Location: Margaret River
what's that in yer pocket?
They say that the best place to see kangaroos is the golf course. They're right. And where there's roos, there's BABY ROOS! Eee hee hee!
   Nothin' tops the cuteness charts like a baby animal. Unless it's a baby animal sticking his head out of the pouch of the mommy animal who is already kinda cute on her own. And nothing tops that, unless the baby animal's feet and tail are ALSO sticking out of the pouch of the cute mommy animal. And the ONLY thing that could top THAT is if a giant six foot daddy roo is chasing the mommy roo while the baby roo is sticking his head and arms out of the mommy roo's pouch and since the mommy roo is bouncing away, the baby roo's head and arms are going floppity floppity flop!
   And that, my friends, is the cutest of all. I dare you to top it.

"I am having galactic orgasm, no?"
- Marta.
Day 207: Where ya bin?
Distance Travelled: 64.7km Temperature: 14
Time on Trikes: 6.5h Water Left: 1.5L
Terrain: Wavy
End Location: Nannup/Pemb Junction
bin there, done that
We thought it was the end when we broke off a handle in Mataranka. We thought it was the end when the bungee snapped out one of the wheels on the bottom in Timber Creek. We thought it was the end when one of the edges was crunched and punctured by a sharp object at the Sandfire Roadhouse.
   But no, not until today when the lid snapped nearly in half did we decide that it really was the end of our storage bin. We bought it from a Brisbane area Crazy Clark's, for $7.99, and it has survived (barely) until today. I hate long goodbyes, but this storage bin should have said goodbye a long time ago. Instead, it held on for us, and it's last ounce of life slipped away just this morning. Ah, well. No one should mourn. It's in a better place now. Bryan's shed.

"I think our bread was struck by a micro-meteorite. As far as I can see, there really isn't any other explanation."
- Kevin.
Day 208: The bigger they are...
Distance Travelled: 75.0km Temperature: 15
Time on Trikes: 9.0h Water Left: 2.0L
Terrain: 15sec downhill, up the rest of the hour
End Location: Pemberton
time on our side
See that photo? At first glance, it's simply a photo of a very tall tree. But there's much much more to the photo than just that... It's a photo from the FUTURE! You see, it actually rained like a son-of-a-whore today, all day long, all through the Karri forests of South West Australia. It rained so much that we didn't even have to take the camera out of its case (or two plastic bags for rain protection) for it to get wet! Jeepers!
   So, in yet another effort to bring you honest, no nonsense reporting, we must reveal that this photo of a somewhat shorter, though practically as impressive, tree was taken the day after. We can't keep secrets from you.

"Well, I'd like to stick around, but I've heard all of your jokes before."
- Kevin, to jackass.
Day 209: Got a headache?
Distance Travelled: 33.9km Temperature: 25
Time on Trikes: 5.0h Water Left: 3.0L
Terrain: Mostly up, which we don't mind
End Location: Manjimup
our story becomes tiresome
"Oh sure, these tires'll last to Albany," we said to each other back in Perth. "That's where we'll really need new ones anyway. Just before the Nullarbor. If these start to get shredded, we'll just use tape like back in Northampton." Well, it seemed like a good idea in theory, but yesterday we learned that there are just some problems that no amount of duct tape can fix.
   The first occurred yesterday morning: Kev's tire was flat, so we gave it a quick pump to get us the Witchcliff petrol station. It lasted half the day, with another hand pump every 10km or so. After a while we said "This is ridiculous," and changed it to a patched tube. The patched tube lasted a few hours, then it popped. So we switched it back with the first tube. That popped too. One more change, and we figured that put us home free for the night. Not so.
   The quaint town of Pemberton is preceded by a gigantic hill which, if we had all thrusters functioning, probably would have allowed us to break our Penninger land speed record of 67km/h. Sadly, halfway down we needed to stop, allowing me to get off my seat before my left tire exploded inward with an ear-schplitten-lauden-boomer that probably would have taken half my leg with it. AND it was on one of the GOOD TREADS. Ruined the tire, ruined the tube. Crap.
   Anyway, that was yesterday. Today, we opted to schlepp into Manjimup to restock bike supplies, a 15km detour to the north, but smarter than chancing the stretch of 105km to Walpole southward. But just to kick us in the ass one more time, it happens to be the Easter Weekend. Everything's closed. HA HA HA! Bugger.

"Blimey? Did you just say 'blimey'? I didn't think anyone actually said 'blimey', except maybe old seafarers and cartoons."
- Kevin.
Day 210: Poser
Distance Travelled: 49.2km Temperature: 25
Time on Trikes: 5.0h Water Left: 4.0L
Terrain: Back down the hill
End Location: Northcliff Jn
Givin' a shout out to
Karen Ngai
Nadia Lamers
who sponsored us for $20 each! We used the cash to get ourselves some
brand new tires!
And who could forget Sean Redlitz who donated $50 for a good night's sleep. We used the money to buy the new sleeping bag, which will give us many many good sleeps in the coming months! Thanks Sean!

Buy us a gift at
The Giftshop!
Get yourself one too!
mm... prewrapped sausages
It's Saturday, the stores are open, and we've got four brand new tires! We were able to salvage three out of the previous five tires for spares along the Nullarbor, throwing away the only two left that we purchased in Kununurra (boy, were those in sorry shape, but hey, they were $15 each and made it nearly 4500km, so who's complaining). We also picked ourselves up a second sleeping bag! It zips together with the other one we were given from Lizzie on the Whitsundays cruise that we'd been using just as a blanket until it got chilly, so we'll be cozy from now on! Yay! That was my best run-on sentence this week!
   On the way back to the Pemberton turnoff, we took a little side trip to visit the Diamond Tree. All the diamonds had already been harvested, so we left. Ha ha! Silly! It's not really a tree that grows diamonds! It's actually an old bushfire station built onto the tallest tree in the area. And you can climb up to it!
   You see, there's all these sticks of steel re-bar poking out of the tree, like a 52 metre ladder, except without any supports or safety precautions (save for a sign that says "Are you sure? It's pretty scary."). You use the sticks as rungs. The first 30 meters of the climb circles the tree twice for a nice incline up to the only rest stop. After that, the next 15 meters are near vertical, and the last ten are vertical. Before you know it, you're at the top, and you can see for miles and miles! It's really cool! The American legal system would love it.
Aimee: "I thought it meant prosperity when you dream about money."
Kevin: "Yeah, but what does it mean when you dream about chump change?"
Day 211: Murphy the Molar Says...
Distance Travelled: 70.2km Temperature: 26
Time on Trikes: 10h Water Left: 3.5L
Terrain: Courteous Drivers
End Location: Walpole
no pain, no gain
Somebody call the Royal Flying Dental Service. Poor widdle Kevie-Wevie needs an emergency outback root-canal.
   It's amazing how debilitating a toothache can be. When you ask people to think of something really painful, the first thing that comes to mind is something huge, like breaking a limb, or losing an arm in the wood chipper, or maybe cutting the top of your head open with a surfboard. But I'm positive it's the little things that hurt the most. Paper cuts. Toothaches. Hangnails. Ingrown hairs. Poking the end of your finger with a frayed wire. Stuff like that.
   My theory: It's like a bed of nails. When you take all your weight and stand on a single nail, holy crap does that hurt. But, lie on an entire bed of nails, and it distributes the weight equally over all of them. It's tolerable. If your body has a maximum pain charge, wouldn't you rather it spread it out to a dull ache over a whole leg, rather than concentrating its full force to a single nerve in the tooth?
   Kev sure would today.

"My swoat's a bit thwollen."
- Aimee.
bilby: (n.) rodent-like marsupial indiginous to WA. Start with a cartoon rat, but elongate the nose and ears, and you've practically got a bilby. Depending on which supermarket you shop at, the Easter Bilby may be the one hiding your eggs over here.

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© 2003 Kevin Beimers & Aimee Lingman. It's all bananas to the Easter Monkey.