Monday, 16 August 2010

Day 87 Lyons Ferry Park to Connell

Saturday 14th August
Daily mileage 46miles Average Speed 12.1mph Ride Time 3hr48min
Total Mileage 3594

When the alarm sounded at 6.30am the tent was being blown all over the place and so we decided to ignore it and sleep some more. At 7.30am we woke again with the wind still blowing but we could not lay in any longer. We polished off our random breakfast with lovely wafts of coffee coming from our neighbours camp which just teased us.

Pretty much from the campground the road began climbing up very steeply. It was only for about 3 miles but it was extremely steep. We made it to the top where the land flattened out and found the wind was coming from the East for a change. As we approached the junction we saw the start of some smoke rising from a wheat field. It seemed to get bigger and bigger and with the strong wind the wildfire was spreading like wildfire! It was slightly concerning for us so we did not hang around as the sky turned orange and everything looked like we were seeing through sunglasses.
After 15 miles we came to a junction where we had intended to turn right but it would have been straight into the wind so we changed our plans and turned left with the hope of stopping in Kahlotus 8 miles later for some refreshments but all that we found was a nice old lady that let us fill our water bottles from her hose. That meant we had to carry on for a further 17 miles to the nearest town of Connell. We had the wind behind us which definitely helped as we had to climb up several more hills.

We arrived in Connell after 40 miles and with the heat, the wind and the hills we were shattered and starving. We bought a few bits and sat on the floor outside the supermarket looking very tired and dirty when we met Zoee. She kindly offered us to stay at her house a further 6 miles up the road but thankfully it was in the right direction. We used the internet in the library for a while then made our way to her house but there was such a strong wind it was very hard work. Zoee and Remie met us on the main road with their pick up truck as they live a mile and three quarters down a gravel road in the middle of a wheat field as they are dry wheat farmers. They have 3 children, 2 dogs and 1 pig and today just so happens to be the last day of a 3 week harvest which equals relief and a few beers to celebrate!
Back at their lovely home which resembles an oasis in amongst fields as far as the eye can see in every direction, we cleaned ourselves and our clothes which felt so good. We then jumped in the car and went to the field that was being harvested and we each got to ride in a combine harvester driven by their two daughters Jessica and Kelly. Jacob and Kelly share the day as they are only 13 and 17 respectively. The ride was awesome, who would have thought when we woke up this morning that we would be sat in a combine harvester!
We had a great unique experience spending time with your family and we can not thank you enough for your kind hospitality. We also found out that the wildfire was still not contained and has currently destroyed 30 miles, scary stuff. Thanks also for the family lemonade recipe which we have now adopted!


  1. After hearing about the nice lady that only offered water, it's a relief to hear about the other family who treated you so well. What a great story. It gives me a renewed faith inhuman kindness.

  2. fav...hope the recipe is not a secret..teehee