"Kev when I come to the main road, am I turning left or right?", I ask on the radio. The response is "Curk!". "Kev say again, missed it?", I reply. There is no response! Kev?…Kev? I pull over to the side of the road and wait. He was not that far behind! Then it dawns on me…he could not have gone down, could he have? A sickly spike of fear races through my body. I wait for a car to pas then I turn around and gas it up the hill. I see the car that had just passed me stopped in the middle of the road, and I see Kev's bike laying on its side…."Ohh, thank God", relieved, I see Kev standing, walking towards the car. Quickly I pull over, kill the bike, jump off and run over to Kev. I see his helmet down the road from him, and I check his eyes, head and face for signs of trauma. He is definitely in shock.! I brush the mud and leafy bits away from his eyes and hold him tightly…"I'm OK, but my bike is busted …I don't think that we will be able to see the whales today?" he says with slight confusion. "What happened?", I ask. "Well I must have looked down for a second and looked up to find that I was riding through some leaves, but under the leaves was a curb which caught the bike and threw me into the tree. I saw the tree and thought SHIT I'm going to hit that tree, then I was on the ground. I thought it was over Cat!" Kev says shakily. Just then a camper van pulls over and offers assistance. The fellow is a doctor and asks Kev a few questions. Together they right the R1200GS and somehow maneuver the beast onto the side of the bitumen. Stacey is badly smashed and leaking petrol profusely! Of course, the bikes were filled before heading out today! The camper van Doc heads on up the hill towards the Valley of the Giants and Tree Top walk that we had just come from to alert the park of the accident. Ten minutes later a Park Ranger arrives to assess the situation. A tow truck has been called, an ambulance, the DEC and the police.
The police arrive as the Park Ranger leaves, secure the area with cones and they check on Kevin's progress. Kevin insists that he does not need an ambulance, but the protocol has been set, and one will be coming anyway. The Park Ranger is back with coffee, cake and sandwiches for Kev and I. He has been so caring and feels badly for us. He makes sure that everyone around is handled before leaving for his duties. The ambulance arrived and the St. Johns volunteers eagerly jumped out of the van expecting neck injuries. They were very surprised to see Kevin standing after viewing the scene. Happy, but almost disappointed that there was nothing to treat they chatted with us for a bit and then were back on their way. The DEC arrived. Quick smart they are right at work spreading peat moss over the fuel spill and shoveling up the decaying leaves and tree debris on the corner. They busily brush the peat moss with a stiff push broom into the fuel until it has lifted from the bitumen, shovel it into garbage bags and toss it in the back of their truck. We needed to move the bike from the side of the road onto a dirt pullout on the other side. Stacey is not steering correctly as the instrumentation panel has been shoved back into the handlebars. So Kev uses the leverage of the kickstand to roughly rock Stacey into position her damaged front end facing the dirt pullout, and sadly rolls her across the road. The violent rocking has caused the the petrol to resume gushing out from under the seat and trails another stream of fuel across the road. The DEC is close behind laying down peat moss to absorb the spill. They mound a few shovels of peat moss under Stacey to soak up the remaining leaks and then efficiently resume their task at hand.
Sergeant Cameron, Constable Jason, Kev and I are now able to really get a good view at all the damage. The front beak is smashed and bent off to the left, all the front bike head lights are smashed and dislodged, the oil cooler behind it is bent, smashed and leaking oil, the protection guard has been ripped off, the windshield is completely destroyed and missing, the bike gauges and instrument panel are all cracked and dislodged including the framework that holds this panel set together, broken blinkers, the gas tank has been pierced, the bikes top side panelling that covers the tank has been bent back now resembling a hook, the back box has been completely ripped off the rear mount, the left engine guard is bent towards the motor, although not contacting the motor!!! From what we can see it does not look like the front forks or framework were damaged, but the prognosis could be otherwise after being torn down and examined. HSDS (Holy Snapping Duck Shit)…as Shell put it!….And a fantastic descriptive choice of words, Shell, if I do say so myself! Peter from the DEC, a bike rider, recommended a motorcycle repair shop in Albany. Albany is only 118 k's away, maybe we could have the bike towed there? The DEC had efficiently taken care of the spill and had cleaned up, packed up and left. We were still waiting on the tow truck. We learnt that the Walpole neighborhood tire guy is the makeshift towing guy. There used to be a towing service in Walpole, but the chap decided that mining was more lucrative!
Stan needed to close down the shop, go solicit some help, and borrow a trailer. It took about 2 hours for them to arrive. Stan the tow man, Kev and the solicited low risk prison help heaved Stacey into the back of the trailer and secured her with two pieces of rope. Now the discussion was where to go. Stan, the tow man could not drive us to Albany today, and would need to check his schedule for tomorrow. Sargent Cameron and Constable Jason were toying with the idea of hitching the trailer on the back of the paddy wagon and taking us to Albany, but there were other commitments…Sargent Cameron and Constable Jason, are entire police force for Walpole! Constable Jason offered to have the bike towed to his house and have us stay the night as his guests, relax and recover until the bike could be towed to Albany possibly tomorrow. So that is what we did! The bike was loaded, Kev stacked his panniers and bike gear in the rear of the paddy wagon, hopped in the back seat and finally we were moving from the scene. As I followed the Police wagon on my bike down the road I could not help imagine that I could have been following an ambulance…This whole sequence of events is really quite hard to take in. I feel slightly despondent and less confident following behind…I just hold it together! The random acts of kindness continually amaze and humble me. Constable Jason helps us secure the bike, shows us around his house and offers us a beer. "I don't drink!", Kev say's…"I DO, I'll take that beer!", I respond…What a day! Kev makes a couple of phone calls to new Aussie friends we have made for ideas and suggestions. He contacts Morgan Motorcycles in Albany. Morgan will be in the area tomorrow and has offered to come out to the Constables house in the evening and pick up the bike in his trailer. Now we have a plan! Constable Jason goes back to work and returns with pizza for dinner. We have a fabulous night visiting and watching Reno 911 before hitting the sack……HSDS!!!!!