Minilya Roadhouse to north of Geraldton
It is amazing that we have a sleeping roster for the support crew while Reid is riding. Where is Reid’s sleeping roster? Will someone ride for him while he is asleep? Reid is a determined person. There is no rest for him. He knows that he has a goal in sight and to achieve that goal he must continue to ride. He puts in long hours on the road and only sleeps for a short while knowing he must maintain his daily kilometer average. The support crew do watch him with concern. However, Reid does know his own body and is sensible knowing when to rest. He will stop for a longer sleep when needed to allow some recovery. Then it is back on the bike again.
Daun and Graham F set out with Reid in the morning as planed following our sleep roster. 20km after we have started we reach the exact halfway point for the whole ride. 7050km. What a tremendous total. All ridden by one man who is determined to make the world sit up and take notice. To take stock of the plight of the orphans and vulnerable children in southern Africa. We stop the car at the exact point to take a photograph and disturb two wedgetail eagles eating their breakfast. The eagles did not stay for the photo. 5km on we stop for Reid’s scheduled break and Daun interviews Reid for Facebook. So how does it feel Reid to have passed the halfway point? I should be celebrating but these headwinds are killing me.
Flo travels ahead to Canarvon for the daily fresh food shopping run. When we reach the town we see the ocean. Our first sighting of the Indian Ocean since we hit the Western Australian coast. We have been following the coast but always to far away to see it. Daun makes Graham stop the car and rushes over, kicking off her shoes so that she can paddle her feet in the water. She walks back with a smile on her face. Daun has achieved one of her milestones. Flo heads back to the highway and meets up with the rest of the team at a servo for fuel. The servo is right on the corner where the highway turns away from Canarvon and continues south. We stand sentinel on the corner waiting for Reid to ensure he takes the right road. We do not want him taking another wrong turn. As we stand we see wind gusting, blowing the hoardings and the trees. The angle of the road brings Reid charging down the road with the wind behind him only to turn the corner and run face on into the wind. We have a commitment in the next town of Geraldton, over 400km away. Lynda and Graham F leave the team and drive ahead. The rest of the team in Flo stay with Reid.
Meeting of Friends
Perth is a change over point for the support crew roster. Owing to work commitments, Graham F and Daun need to fly home. Natalie (Nat) and Tiffany (Tiff) are flying in to take their places. Good news for Daun. She has been talking to her employer over the phone who asks how the ride is going. He asks about how much Daun has been contributing to the team and asks why are you coming home? Stay with Reid where you can make a contribution. Daun is now staying on all the way to Brisbane. Nat and Tiff arrived in Perth late the day before and have been traveling north in a hire car. Graham and Lynda meet them on the road about 50km north of Geraldton. They are both excited as we greet them. they cannot wait to meet up with Reid and get to work. We could not find any laundry facilities at Canarvon so the laundry came with Graham and Lynda. Our official hand over to Nat and Tiff was the laundry basket. Their first task as they join the Aussie Challenge is to provide Reid with a clean pair of knicks.
As mentioned we have a commitment at Geraldton and are meeting at the Harbour Pines Retirement Village. As we travel to our destination we try to work out how we connected to a retirement village. Our contact George has sent an email asking we do a small presentation and sing for our supper. When we call to talk to George we get the caretakers of the facility. They tell us they will be looking after us. Who is George. How did we connect to a retirement village. We arrive at dinner time and all is revealed. Andrew in Brisbane has been making contact with Lions Clubs throughout Australia. George is a member of Lions. George lives in the retirement village. The Lions often meet in the community hall in the village. George arranged for the team to bunk down in the hall and the caretakers of the village were kindly catering. The local Lions were also to be there and hear the Eagle Wings and Reid’s story. Of course we are now a day late. George is still our contact. He thinks the whole team will be arriving at midday. Confusion abounds. When we arrive George is nowhere to be seen. Our caretaker hosts have taken the lead and have graciously taken us under their wing. Most obliging with a hot meal, hot shower and a soft bed. New friends for Eagles Wings. They have discovered the on-line tracker website and are following Reid’s progress with keen interest.
It is now time for me to sign off as I will soon be heading home, flying out of Perth Airport. Why did I come on this crazy adventure? What have I been doing while I have been on the team? I have been involved with Challenge For Change for a few years and I usually take care of photographing the events and blogging along the way. When I signed up with Reid I told him I will do what ever is required. I have pitched in and gone with the flow. I’ve cooked the teams dinner, washed up, helped with the laundry, helped pitched tents, slept outside, driven the lead car, passenger in the lead car, slept in the lead car waiting for Reid on the side of the road. I have blogged each day, sometimes a day behind waiting for a broadband connection. Thank you for reading my ramblings. It has been fun trying to type sitting in the back of Flo as we drive down the road. As Flo bounces down the road my keyboard bounces along with her. Trying to hit the keys as they bounce away from your fingers. Along the way I have also taken a few photos. The one thing I have discovered is that this challenge is not like other Challenge For Change events. No staying up late playing with photos on the computer. This is why you have not seen a photo diary on Facebook. Promise - when I get home I will gather all my photos together and start to tell the story of the first three weeks of this amazing challenge.
I am back to work on Tuesday. I will now hand over to Natalie to take over the daily blog so the story of Reid Anderton will continue. God speed Reid. I will be following your progress from home and look forward to celebrating with you in Brisbane in two weeks time.