Sunday, 11 January 2009
Elvis Lives! Day Ride: Parkes NSW
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Parkes is a town in the central west of NSW. The population, according to Wikipedia, was 11,700 in 2006. It's not very big, although it's very spread out. It's also the home of the big radio telescope that featured in the fillum The Dish.
But it has another, far weirder claim to fame - it's the home of the annual Elvis Festival. There's something seriously unsettling about that (a bit like the Goodies episode with all the Rolf Harrises...) but what a hoot for a day ride!
The Ancient Submariner and I went with some of his regular riding buddies , and weirdness was the order of the day. After a late breakfast and a serious overdose of Tammy Wynette at the cafe in Murrumburrah, and much giggling and Elvis impersonation, we continued on our way. I did a bit of a double take when we rode past a roadside stall proclaiming it sold "free range wombat eggs" - WTF? Since when did wombats lay eggs? I chuckled for ages after I realised we were riding through a tiny tiny little town called - you guessed it - Wombat.
But wait, there's more... Just outside Grenfell, on the road to Forbes, there's a roadsign pointing you in the direction of the Guinea Pig Races. I'd never heard of such a thing! (Note to self: there's obviously a lot more to country NSW than meets the eye! Check out Grenfell one day!)
I've been wondering what the collective noun for a group of Elvises (Elvii?) should be - suggestions from friends and today's riding group included: a thrust of Elvii, a swivel of Elvii, and my personal favourite, from Glen - a gyration of Elvii.
So when we actually got to Parkes and parked the bikes in the main street, with Elvis music blaring from street-mounted speakers, and all the shops resplendent with "Jailhouse Rock" themed window displays, the excitement was almost too much for me!
Let me hasten to add here - I am not, and have never been - an Elvis fan. That was my mother's domain. She used to leer and make horrible lewd noises and say "Fwoar - Elvis could park his shoes under my bed any day" - and the thought of that was just too icky for words. My mum and Elvis? Eeeeeewwwww! I guess I've always thought of Elvis as a potential homewrecker, ha ha!
We wandered to the park in search of Elvii, and were not disappointed. They were everywhere! Look!
We couldn't let the real Elvii have all the fun, so we headed to Elvis Central and bought Elvis hair, modelled here with varying degrees of Elvisness (Ross looks like Papa Smurf, hee hee!) I think the award for Elvisness should go to Glen - the rest of us look a bit like Klingons...
So anyway... eventually we had to leave. Storm clouds were gathering. The trip home was via Cowra for an ice cream and Boorowa to put on wet weather gear! Thunder, lightning, horrible winds, rain... the sort of stuff that motorcyclists love!
It was a big day - from the time I left my house this morning to the time I got back, it was 614kms - but it was a hoot! Now I can say I've seen a gyration of Elvii - in terrific company - discovered wombat eggs and guinea pig races, lost about 5kg from sweating inside my leathers and learned some more about regional NSW!