The Great Uniting Range

by Hendrik Gout

Prelude  Mallee Roots  Plainly Hay  Sofala, so good  Pill, yon  Armadillo  Bats, in the Bellingen free  De Koffeedrink Boom 
The grand plan  South Australia  Mallee  Hay Plain  Sofala  Bathurst  Gloucester  Armidale  Grafton  Lions Road 

December, 2000

Juliette had already paid her fare from Adelaide to Brisbane. I would miss her company.

"Why don't you jump on the back of my bike?" I asked. "I'll take you."

And she said yes.

She told her Adelaide friends.

I told my Adelaide friends, arranged for Jim Eccles to come over and feed Henriette and Eggbert, my two chickens, and arranged accommodation in a cattery for Simon the Wonderful Cat.

"Which way shall we go?" Juliette asked.

It was out with the maps. "Which way do you want to go?"

"The Great Dividing Range," Juliette said.

The grand plan

"Ok, up and down the Great Dividing Range. Lots of times."

We looked at the maps again. "And I want to go the Hay Plains," Juliette said.

We strapped everything onto the bike... and at 11.30 on the morning of December 29, pushed the starter button on the V50, said Proost! with a sip of scotch from the hip flask, and went the shady way over the bridge from my flat into Simpson Parade, turned onto Greenhill Road and Glen Osmond Road, and filled up with petrol at the Mobil service station at the foot of the south-east freeway.

"Are you ok?" I turned around and said to Juliette.

And she smiled the smile of a smiling soul.

We were off!

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