Friday, 30 June 2017

Testing, Testing

One thing that has been somewhat lacking over the last year or so has been motorcycling.  The last time we ventured out on Snubby the Silver Side Car was last July to the Macquarie Towns Classic Motorcycle Rally.

I suppose we have been busy doing other things.

Mick has  been scheming again.....this time to have a somewhat radical modification made to the front of the bike.  You see, having a sidecar sticking out the side of a bike puts a lot extra strain on the front wheel and suspension.  The planned modification was to change the front bike tyre to a car tyre and have what is called a leading link and steering damper installed to replace the standard forks and suspension.  This will make the bike more stable and remove a lot of steering shake.

Here it is, all done, before the new mud guard was installed.  Mick requested that the new parts be painted bright red to highlight them.  Nothing like making a statement.  Mick didn't do the work himself this time.  He has a mate here in town who has a sidecar engineering firm.  A few years ago he manufactured a wheel to suit a car tyre for the back of the bike.  We were the prototype and it worked brilliantly.  Tyres last about three times as long as they used to. Sean said that it was just as well that we made this modification when we did, as the old forks were about to break!!! Oops!!

Of course,  we then had to take the bike for some test rides, the first being Saturday a fortnight ago.  It went really well.  The handle bars didn't shake at all, which makes things easier for Mick, although the steering felt a bit heavier.  He's really happy with how it handles.

We are blessed to have a labyrinth of little roads in our area and councils are continuing to seal some of the gravel roads, creating some good loops to ride.  The latest is the "Dog Rocks Road" between Rockley and Black Springs.  It used to be a bit of a goat track, so we didn't travel it very often.  

It is now a delight to ride along and very scenic.

It was lunch time by the time we arrived in Oberon so we stopped at this cafe.  We were surprised to see a sign on the window advising they are motorcycle friendly, which was nice.  

Their lunch menu wasn't huge, but our burgers were yummy and the chips were to die for.  I haven't seen any like this before.

After our initial test ride, we went out again on the Sunday, this time towing the camper trailer.  We headed to Sofala, towards Hill End and back into town along the Turondale Road.  For those that know the roads, these are narrow, steep, windy roads, perfect for this test.  Mick rode really hard - he scared me at times - but everything travelled really well once again.  Now he will go back to riding at his usual sensible pace. 

Get ready to see more of the bike soon.........

Wednesday, 28 June 2017


Yesterday our thermometer recorded -7 degrees C for the third time this winter! This winter has been much colder than last year's.  

Last winter was the wettest on record, whereas this June has so far been the driest on record with only 0.2mm of rain. 

The upside is a sight like this, the view over the road from our house. You can just see the Mount Panorama sign through the mist. Beautiful. 

This morning there is no frost, due to some cloud cover. Fingers crossed for a tiny bit of rain. 

Sunday, 25 June 2017

A Long, Long Weekend Part 4 - Camping at Ponto Falls

After we left the Chookshed we visited some more friends in the area. While there we enjoyed a lovely rainbow, but once again no rain other than tiny scattered showers.

We kept on our way on more dirt roads. I love seeing all the creative letter boxes and property entrances.

Our travels took us through the Warrenbungles.  Such dramatic scenery and it is good to see the bush regenerating after the devistating bushfires a few years back.

Our destination for the day was Ponto Falls, north west of Wellington.  We had heard it is a nice place to camp, so thought we would test it out.

Another dirt road had to be traversed.  You have to love a tunnel of trees down a country road.

The campground is long and narrow, running beside the Macquarie River, which is just a tad larger than when it runs through Bathurst.  Despite it being a long weekend there was oodles of available space.  The first thing we noticed were the trees.  They were huge!  Big, old river red gums.  The photo doesn't do them justice.

There was quite a racket as we were setting up, coming from the tree nearby, which was full of sulphur crested cockatoos.

You can't hide when travelling.  We got talking to some neighbouring campers only to discover they are from Bathurst and I knew one of them.  Just as well we were all with the right partners.

After setting up camp we went for a short stroll along the river.  How is that for a view!

Once again, the afternoon light was lovely.

Despite the name there is no waterfall at Ponto Falls.  The "Falls" refers to some shallow rapids on the river.  We didn't go down there, but there was a nice flat area with easy access to the river.  Mick is thinking this would be a lovely place to bring the kayak to....One day.

We enjoyed watching the sun set over the river.

On dusk there was another great racket from above.  Wave after wave of cockies flew overhead - all flying downstream.

Nearly dark.

If you are camping, you need a camp fire.  Ours was only little, but very enjoyable to sit around.  There is a caravan magazine which always has a group of people with their arms in the air.  Mick thought it was a good idea to emulate them.  Whatever keeps him happy.

While we sat in front of the fire we stargazed.  There were so many stars on show. We also saw several aeroplanes fly over and a couple of satellites glide across the sky.  It was the perfect night for camping, being not too cold, still, and moonless.  After a while we noticed a light in the east, and then the nearly full moon rose.  Beautiful.

After a good night's sleep we woke to another great racket overhead.  This time the cockies were all flying upstream.  Don't ask me....

There was a soft mist over everything, which was rather lovely.

One final picture of our campsite, before we headed home to get ready for another week at work.

It is amazing how just a few days away can be really refreshing.

Saturday, 24 June 2017

A Long, Long Weekend Part 3 - Visiting the Chook Shed

After we left Coonamble we started to head bush.

The colours in the landscape were truly stunning as the sun lowered.

This was the first time we had taken our caravan on dirt roads, so we were interested to see how it handled them.  All was good, as the roads were in a fairly good state.

It was after dark that we arrived at our destination - Chookyblue's home and The Chook Shed.  It was just starting to rain a little as we arrived, but not enough to be of any consequence or use.

After a very social evening catching up and a good night's sleep we joined Chooky in a short walk the following morning.  The view is so vast.  There were scattered rain clouds in various parts of the sky.  Just teasing everyone.

When the sun came out the Chinese Tallow tree just glowed.  Most of the leaves have fallen here in the Central Tablelands, so it was nice to see some colour.

Then it was time for Mick to join Mr Chooky in farm stuff while Chooky and I adjourned to the Chookshed with another friend to do some stitching.  

I finally added the binding to my drunkard's path quilt.  I still have to hand stitch it down. It will happen, all in good time. Not a good photo, but it is so large.....

If you sneak over to Chooky's blog post you will see what the others got up to.

At the end of the day we decided to have another attempt at creating the mini pincushions that were made at the Chookshed party on the previous weekend.

Here is my little block before being sewn to the backing.  I think we had better  luck after seeing how things went last time and making our fabric strips wider than the pattern suggested. Those finished internal strips are only a quarter of an inch wide!!!

And the pincushions ready to stuff.  The right one is Chooky's fail from the previous week, but our new ones look to be OK.  They are tiny, only 2 1/4 inches square.  Now I have to find my walnut shells and finish it off.  It shouldn't take long.  It may get finished before my quilt binding..... here's hoping.

And finally, the hostess with the mostest herself, in her favourite chair on the Chookshed deck. Thanks for a wonderful weekend spent with you.

More to come yet....

Friday, 23 June 2017

A Long, Long Weekend Part 2 - The Quilt Show

Coonamble holds a quilt show each June Long Weekend, which coincides nicely with people visiting the area for the annual rodeo.

The setting is in what had once been a milk bar and there are a few of the original fittings still in place.

Coffee anyone?  I remember once we got lunch in a cafe in Junee and they were still using a coffee machine like this one.  That was only about ..........oh.... 20 years ago,.......OK, longer ago than I realised.

There are some talented ladies in the district, with some vibrant quilts on display.

I seemed to be drawn to the colourful scrappy quilts that have been rather labour intensive to create.

See what I mean.

Yep, yet another one. Gypsy Wife is a popular quilt to make.

Now, that seems a bit more realistic to complete.

I love the colours in this trip around the world.

I think I may recognise this quilt as belonging to Fairy Girl.  How good to see it on display.

I seem to be also drawn to plus quilts lately.

By now Mick was getting a bit toey, as time was marching on and we still had a bit of a way to travel, so we kept on our way.

More soon....