Billabong Roadhouse to Dongara
Tiffany and I have have just clocked over 24 hours with the team. "Fresh Meat" and "Fresh Blood" are a few of the terms that we've heard. We're super excited to finally join the team here in WA. Our first day (Thursday) was spent driving from Perth to our stop for the night - on road just north of Billabong Roadhouse.
The team look exhausted.
Up before the sun to feed Reid (2 bowls of porridge), check the bike tyres, fill the water bottles, pray over the day and send him on his (merry) way. A quick pack up of the camp site and we're on our way - chasing him down. For us newbies on the team, lots of 'touristy' photos of the sunrise, the moon setting and the endless roads.
From what I've observed, the support crew days are spent driving 25km down the road, finding shade, waiting for Reid, organising food, checking to see if we have phone reception (nope), cheering him in, refilling water and sending him on his (merry) way, again. However, I've been told there's no such thing as a typical day, so what we experience tomorrow may be vastly different (otherwise, brace yourselves for some very repetitive blog posts :-)
Reid is soldiering on - you can tell he is in pain and seriously cursing the headwinds (which have been his enemy for the last 5 days), but he continues to plug away and get the job done. As we came back into phone reception, it was encouraging to hear of some donations coming through online, for Reid to know that people are getting on board with the work of Eagles Wings, ant that his suffering will actually make a difference to the lives of orphans and vulnerable children in Southern Africa.
This afternoon, three cyclists from Geraldton rode out to meet Reid and ride with him into town. These guys found out about the ride by following "Aussie Challenge" on Strava. They were together for about 50 kms and although they didn't block the headwinds, I think it was encouraging for Reid, that others were prepared to battle through with him, even if only for a short while.
Tonight as we came through Geraldton, our wonderfully hospitable local contacts, Trish and Lindsay, came out to meet Reid on the side of the road. They have been wanting to meet him all day, however as we've had no phone reception for a lot of the day, we haven't had a chance to make firm plans with them. Thankfully, phone coverage or not, Lindsay has been tracking Reid's progress all day through the inReach tracker (how much do we love the coverage that this device is providing!). These guys have been a real blessing to the team, hosting Graham F and Lynda on Thursday night and then doing the washing and providing showers for other members of the team today.
Tonight, we're pulling up just south of Dongara at a roadside camp. Plans for a few hours sleep and then onwards to Perth in the morning.