Saturday, February 16, 2008

Leaving Esperance.

Feb. 7

For whatever reason I was much more confident leaving Esperance. Things just seemed to go smoother. Better weather and out the door. However 7 days of not that much activity had taken down the old fitness and its toll on the knee, and by the time we got to Salmon Gums, I was hurting pretty bad. Fortunately we found a cool spot in the Hotel/motel/pub/bank and icehouse to stay out of the heat. (More so it’s the sun, not the heat, that’s unbearable after noon). Water consumption jumps up about three times after noon. It’s funny how expectations can be smashed . Anthony and I had expected an uneventful ride from Esperance to Salmon Gums (so called for the color of the bark). Once in the pub, I iced my knee, and we had a beer and some burgers. Built in 1926, the pub was one thick floor; it was meant to have two, but the girls behind the bar said the builders probably got too drunk after the first floor was built and could provide the farms with a drinking establishment that they didn't go on to the second. There was a pet kangaroo named Lele and a bar dog named Charlie who was shaved into a buzz cut except for his head making him look rather ridiculous. Both animals seemed quite happy with their station in life in the shade of the bar. In the four hours we spent there, it seemed that one person at a time came in and left. All exchanged stories and shook their head in, not so much wonder, but "tank god it’s not me." Farmers, fertilizer salesmen and sheep shearers fresh from the shed came here to grab a case of beer that had been cooling all day for them. Charlie, not hte dog, but the regular, has emphysema, and his wife drops him off with the oxygen and leaves him for an hour. Five glasses of ice wine later, he is no worse the wear and no doubt a little happier. I am troubled with my knee and suspect we will have to rest in Norseman.

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