Australian Wing Riders Association (Qld) Inc

A club for riders of Honda GoldWing and Valkyrie motorcycles

Christmas in July, 2011

Day 1

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(Friday 22/7/11)
After getting away from work at mid-day, headed home to find Morag packing the classic trailer (alias “The Chuck wagon” for the weekend) with all the food and supplies for every-ones Christmas-in-July dinner and clothes etc and dragged the trailer to the front of the house and hooking it up to the Wing on the centre stand and placing the electric esky on the draw bar, all ready to go. OMG! It’s too heavy to get off the centre stand! C’mon Morag give us a shove and the back wheel is back on Tera-Firma. Ride onto the street, so Morag can mount-up and discover the handlebars wish to vibrate up to 30kph because of the weight on the draw-bar, easily fixed, go faster!
So we head off to BP Aratula and there fuelling up is Annette and Larry, so we park and Join them for a cuppa and some cold disgusting food. Joined shortly by David and Carolyn on their Silver1800. Fuel-chat, doesn’t look like anyone else is coming at this time, Larry had heard Eric and Deb chatting on the C.B. further ahead down the track, so we will catch up to them at Stanthorpe.
Moving on to the obligatory 10min stop on the top of the Gap (as there is only one lane open as they try to repair all flood wash ways that caused landslide during the floods) then travel on through Warwick and on we travel to Stanthorpe without incident although with all the weight we were down to about 90kph going up some of the long hills. On entering the “Top of Town” we bottomed out on the ridiculous way the Council have left their entry to the park. I was neither the first nor the last to do this.
Caught up with Eric and Deb who was doing her first big ride on “Buddah”, her new red 1500 trike they bought in N.S.W. and it looks really impressive, the kit being a Motor- Trike conversion kit.
Unpacking took a little while but finally we were done and Morag had the key for our venue rooms, so we showed the others whom seemed as impressed as we were the first time we laid eyes on it.
Val and Tommo arrived a bit later; having missed us at Aratula, they had meandered down at a leisurely pace, stopping at Warwick to have a look around.
Eric and Deb changed rooms as they were down the road a bit and we were all together now.
It was decide that the R.S.L. was the go for dinner so spoke to charming host, Goodana who rang and arranged the RSL courtesy bus to pick us up at 6.00pm It finally arrived at 6.30pm as it was a very busy night at the R.S.L. with a 2 day classic bike race week-end also on in Stanthorpe. We had been trying to contact Gwenda and John as that had been the arrangement – but with no success. Just sat down for tea and in came John and Gwenda and after saying our hello’s they wandered off to feed the pokies while we had tea, and we left with Gwenda (now $50 richer) to go back to the park to unload a bain-marie that they had borrowed for the dinner and Gwenda had kindly offered to cook the Ham and Pork at her house. So with things unloaded and the rest coming back from the R.S.L., we were joined by Hans and Georgie and Colin and Annie and we turned on the really butane gas heater and drank and chatted to almost mid-night and had a very enjoyable evening.

Day 2

While the majority decided to have a nice breakfast in town, we opted for a quick plate of cereal as much had to be done and John was leading a ride of the area this morning. Deb was feeling a bit crook, so decided to stay at the park and Morag thought it only fair to stay and keep her company to allow Eric to go on the ride. Leaving about 10.15am, John (minus Gwenda- slaving over a hot stove). Took us on a great ride of the area on back roads most of us hadn’t seen before and accompanied by Paul and Sharlene, Colin and Annie (car bound) we toured the area, stopped at the Ballandean Winery and finished up at “Old Caves” winery (owned by John’s brother, David).Also wish to thank David for donating a great bottle of wine which was one of the prize’s for the Raffle. A really great ride and thanks John. (Also thank you for the donation to you and Gwenda for the donation of the Pear in a bottle in wine – another great prize for the Raffle.) While there, Rob and Jane joined us and it was decided to go to Vincenzo’s Restaurant, Deb, Morag and Gwenda joined in for lunch. The homemade pies were really fantastic and if you’re ever passing Vincenzo’s stop and have a feed, you won’t be disappointed.
On a request from Gwenda, Vincenzo’s donated a prize for our raffle also. While away the Sat. crowd started to arrive, Winston and Jan, David and Rosemary, Clint and Charleen, who had had dramas, with a deflating front tyre after the valve stem had been damaged, causing a leak. Charleen was in a lot pain after having an operation and the stiches in her back didn’t like the vibration on the back seat of the “Wing”.
Back at the park¸ nibblies and drinks were the order and John and Gwenda arrived with the cooked meat and everyone was amazed at the setup Morag and Deb had made while we were out riding and with help from Goodana from the park management, lending some Xmas decorations (the park had also donated raffle prizes of accommodation also). A trip to Red Rooster to get some chicken and all the ingredients were ready for our Christmas dinner. There was no shortage of helpers to get dinner ready and I thank all of those who volunteered their help as many hands made light work of getting everything served hot and on time. The dinner was announced and the food soon was disappearing from the tables. A great first course just about gone, dessert was next, Annie had supplied 2 Christmas Puddings and Morag had made a huge dish of Trifle and with a bit of custard, it all went down very well with many hands helping, the washing-up and cleaning up was performed and next on the bill was secret-Santa, raffles and lucky door prizes to be drawn. Lo and behold Santa had arrived! It took probably about 40 minutes for Santa to distribute the gifts, but this must be the most hilarious 40 minutes any of us have experienced in a long, long time. All I can say is Gwenda, you are a super-star! Everybody loved you and appreciated your stellar performance and you really had to be there to see how brilliant Gwenda (oop’s-Santa) really was.
While on the subject of super-stars! – Morag is in the same class – to pull off the meal, the raffle, find prizes and by very thrifty shopping, finding enough money to not only supply a top rate Xmas meal but also cater for a brekkie next morning for the megre cost of $20 per head! Everybody chilled out, rank talked and finally drifted off to bed to complete a really full and enjoyable day.

Day 3

Morag and I had a bad night trying to sleep so we gave it away about 5.00am, had a cuppa and went and did the final clean up details for our lounge and kitchen rooms from the previous evening.We had just finished and just about to make another cuppa when “Gricey” turned up.
Ian had just ridden from Redcliffe, leaving at 4.15am and ridden through temperatures of minus 2.8 degrees just up the road at Applethorpe and saying he was just starting to get a bit cold, I wonder why? He wasn’t adverse to a cup of hot coffee and by this time Larry and Annette were up, also David and Rosemary also joined us to watch the guys across the road trying to get the ice off their windscreen. We all retired to the lounge with our cuppas and as 8.00am approached it was time to think about breakfast. With some willing help, we carried the Esky and the rest up to the camp kitchen, turned on the BBQ’s on and while they heated up, noticed some weren’t showing their faces with the help of a couple of pots and walk up and down, soon resolved that problem.
We suppled a breakfast of orange juice, bacon eggs and hash browns, and everyone was fed including Hans and Georgie who had returned for breakfast. Hans was coming on our Sunday ride, while Georgie was going off to help her Daughter with a new house. Breakfast done and cleaned up, it was time to pack the “chuck wagon” and go on the ride. Many had other things to do or had to get home, so finally we departed with John and Gwenda, Hans, David and Carolyn, Thommo and Val, Larry and Annette, “Gricey” and ourselves of course.
Headed off and first stop was the Heritage Winery, which is a charming building and has magnificent furniture and a big fire inside. Gwenda found the Pianola and with top hat on played some perfect music without a single wrong note! Larry had a try, and Hey Presto!, the same flawless result. Others tried and bought some really nice booze, (lucky we had the trailer) Val wanted some but, Tommo wouldn’t let her. Shame; shame Thommo (that’s pay back for keeping us awake Saturday Night with your not-so-quiet laughing) Moving on, we headed for Warwick, and then just short, cut across at Morgan Park to the road to Killarney. Beautiful scenery a perfect winter day, made you glad to be alive and on a Goldwing (despite only 4 hours sleep and heavy trailer on the back). About 2klm’s short of Killarney, we took the “Cedar Route” through Yangan and onto Freestone, again totally picturesque scenery. Reaching Brisbane Road (Cunningham Hwy) we turned right and travelled about 5klm’s to Maryvale turnoff and on to the Crown Hotel. It is a very old historic Hotel and while it could do with some work inside, it is still quite charming. The publican informed us that the hotel does have numerous Ghosts! We spent an enjoyable hour there while lunch was cooked and served and passed the time with laughs and banter which made the time fly. Finally, it was time to say good-bye to our Stanthorpe cousins and Hans is planning a ride for all of us to get together in mid-October and will pass the info on as soon as it has been fully planned.
The plan was to stop at Aratula. To say goodbye if the parking was available, there wasn’t, so we said our goodbyes’s via the C.B. and a final wave as we peeled off to go into Ipswich.
That was a really full week-end and full of fun, commiserations to those who couldn’t make it, you missed a good-one.

Kevin and Morag