Stewart Highway-Expedition Dust day 66
As great as our camp spot was it was very cold. Without the lining of the tent keeping the cold out most of the heat just disapated. My choice of sleeping bag was very carefully planed, it’s a summer weight bag and works most comfortably when used with the rollmat and tent so occasionally it gets cold.
It was so nice to not have to pack up the tent before we left, when Calumn and I got out of bed all we had to do was add water to our Radix freezdried meals and get going. As we were pushing the bikes out of the shed and back onto the highway a motorcycle pulled up and a Aussie bloke named Shane climbed off! I was curious to know why he was doing what he was and how far he had come and how far he was going, We talked for about 25 minutes while I ate my breakfast. It was cool to meet someone else on their own journey.
Mentally my day started off strong, I was in a really good place. But when I turned my tracker on that changed. I got a pile of messages from my dad saying the company who I bought my Son28 dynamo wouldn’t replace it unless they had it and could see that it was broken. I understand why the company is saying that but I’m in the middle of Australia on a expedition. It stopped working about a month ago and I have been trying to get it sorted since, the bike won’t fall apart if I don’t fix it but It seems like a silly thing to have the added resistance of the device if it’s not going to work. If I take it off and have to send it back to New Zealand to get looked at it means my bike won’t be able to move because it’s part of the wheel.
The option that I have been given is to buy a new one that will cost about $400 + whatever the cost to install (money I don’t have) if the one that’s not working isn’t covered by warranty then I won’t get any money back, If it is then obviously I will get my money back. The conundrum I’m in is, if the business dosent trust me (the person who bought the device) how can I trust the business to be honest with me and not just say it’s not covered take my money and leave me in the middle of Australia with most of my emergency money gone.
The real truth/problem is I am running out of money mostly because of things going wrong, gear breaking or having to wait for new expedition partners to join. The unforeseen expenses stack up especially when your operating on outback prices.
Fuck I hate money, I have a really terrible relationship with it. My father worked his ass off all day everyday even on the weekends (He still does). From a young age he was an auto electrician then Realestate agent, in fact he was one of the top in the country. He was always working when I was growing up and for me it meant money wasn’t a problem. Any opportunity me or my sister wanted was an opportunity that was financially obtainable. This gave me a bad relationship with work because I hardly got to spend time with my dad, I blamed his work for our volatile relationship when in reality it was my ADHD. This also gave me a bad relationship with money because I always had it and it never ran out. Don’t mistake my words as ungratefulness I got to do some pretty cool things growing up so I’m definitely not complaining and I’m proud of how hard my father worked for me to have had the opportunities I did before I started making my own. I’m just trying to explain the way things are going on inside my head.
Money is very different story now because I’m not a kid and don’t rely on my parents anymore. The way I spend my money when I walk into a roadhouse is often about as uncontrollable as my ADHD mind. You see even though I work hard for the money I have it has no real value to me.
Here’s an example, I rode into a roadhouse the other day and spent 40$ on a big bag of dog food so I could feed all the stray dogs. Not exactly financially wise on an expedition but I wanted to help the dogos out. I guess I’m just trying to explain the way things are going on inside my head while I’m on this dirty topic.
I thought I might as well share how I financially support myself on these trips because it’s something I sure a lot of people are curious about. I get paid by Kathmandu to keep doing what I do and in return I wear their gear. This relationship is one I am proud of as Kathmandu are a wonderful brand that promote things I’m passionate about such as adventure, eco friendly practice and animal welfare. I would never partner with a company that didn’t alight with my values. On this expedition VSSL also contributed financially, I used the money from them to buy the second bike so I had the option to provide others with the experience to go on an adventure. VSSL are also a company I am extremely proud to be working with, without them, this would have been a long and lonely journey. I have mostly funded this journey out of my own pocket and know I will run at a loss financially but the opportunity’s I’m creating are far more important than money. I fund the life between when I start and stop the adventures by speaking, writing books and odd social media jobs.
Anyway out of my brain now and back to the day,
I got really annoyed with the fact everything was breaking and made a call to my dad on the satellite phone while I was angry because I wanted to express how I felt! Now I know it’s not his falt and I could tell my ADHD had got the better of me. The way I was talking to him wasn’t kind and he didn’t deserve to be told he sucks at helping just because of the way I was feeling in the moment. The Dinomo isn’t essential to getting the bike to Byron bay but it powers my light without it I can’t ride when it’s dark unless I drain my batteries. I’m sure I wil sort it all out!
The day was tough, the solid headwind was intensifying, making moving very hard. It took me quite a long time to get ontop of my feelings, I was left feeling quite fragile for the rest of the day. Over lunch Calumn told me he doesn’t wish to cross the Simpson because with his perception of risk he believes it will be too hard. He has decided he will go home in a few days time once we reach Alice springs. Calumn is a Champ for even getting out here, I am so stoked he made the effort and he is a great expedition partner. There’s a part of me that’s gutted that he’s leaving so soon, we talked about it and I made sure he’s leaving for the right reasons and not because of the anxiety he struggles with. I really had to breath some deep breaths to try and calm my mind and tell myself it’s all going to be fine.
The road was very hilly in the afternoon, it was just rolling constantly. You notice every bump and ever incline when you’re cycling! After a few more hours battling the headwind Calumn and I reached the Stewart Highway. This was a huge milestone as it’s the highway that joins Australia’s north with south. Although I’m already passed halfway it’s just another landmark that makes me get fuzzies about being closer to the destination of this wonderful adventure, Well...closer to my fiancé. We rode off the Lasseter Highway and into the Erldunda roadhouse, I got a carton of juice and some chicken wings as a treat before setting up for the night out the back. Calumn shouted me a beer and we marvelled over the fact we were sitting in comfortable leather chairs and drinking beer. There were some older people sitting next to us who ordered big meals I honestly think they must of ate like a mouthful each before leaving. I thought it was such a waste of food so I grabbed their plates and me and Calumn pretty much had two whole meals for freeeeeeeee. A great way to end a big day!
sad todays blog is over already?
Check out this interview I did with the wild podcast!
Start where you are
Do what you can
Use what you have