Saturday 7.Mai 2011 Sorry its taken so long to get the blog going, busy travelling :)
Today its saying goodbye to the family and heading to the Airport for our flight to Miami, Florida.
The bike has already left a few days ago from Frankfurt to Orlando, Knopf Tours has organised the transport and all the paperwork so it was really easy and straight forward, just had to drop the bike off in Heidelberg and Stefan took care of the rest.
Our flight went via Berlin and then straight on to Miami, 10 Ĺ hours later we touch down in Florida the flight was very smooth and as long flights go very boring. After standing in a long and slow chew for customs its Welcome to the USA. We take the courtesy bus to the Regent Airport Hotel which turns out to be a old neglected dump, but we seen worse on our travels so not to worry its only for one night.
Of to the Car rental Station ( Station not office, Itís a building the size of a football stadium with all the Rental companies in one place and thousands of carís to rent ) so after filling out the paperwork and selecting the model of car you like you head of to one of ten floors in the car park and select the colour that you like drive it up to the check out for a scan and of you go. We end up with a Lincoln Mercury that drives like a comfy leather lounge on wheels. 3 hours later we are in Orlando where it is a hot 37C, good thing the hotel has got a pool to cool off.
Pick up the bike today but when I call the cargo company to arrange a time they tell me that custom has not cleared the bike yet and they donít expect to see them until tomorrow morning. Ah well, time to check out our neighbourhood and study the maps to where we want to go.
All good, Custom has done there paperwork and I can go and pick up the bike. Itís only a short cab ride to the warehouse, fill out and sign a few more papers, get the bike of the cradle, install the mirrors and of we go.
Now that we got our wheels back we are driving around Oralndo to check out town a bit more, but we soon give up the traffic is horrendous and the heat is getting up there too, 38C today, so back the pool and packing our gear so we can leave first thing in the morning.
Weíre of, well at least to the next traffic light and thatís at least 50 meters, its red, now green so we go another 50 meters and guess what its RED. This goes on for about 1 hour to we start to clear out of town towards the coast. From a long way out you can see Cape Canaveralís NASA Space Centre, so we go and have a close look , kick the tyres make sure everything is ok for the next launch. We make our way down along the coast to Vero Beach for our first camping night in the states.
We on our way to Miami, itís hot and the traffic is chaos, meant to stay of the freeway going along the coast but we just donít make any headway, stop and start every couple of meters , so on to the freeway and into Miami. Found a campground just south of town where its got lots of shade and a pool so we set ourselves up get a couple of cool ones and relax in the pool.
Driving up Ocean Drive, Miami Beach. Itís all happening here and its hot 40C+ so of for a swim . Then back for lunch and a bit of people watching , listening to some cool Cuban sounds and letting the world go past. Not a bad place to be.
Todays destination is Key West. Out of Miami on the No1 Highway past key Largo and over numerous bridges out into the Straits of Florida. The water has a turquoise colour and it all looks very Caribbean. We check out a Campground about 15 minutes out of Key West, the rate for camping is 50.-US a night for a tent next to the toilet block without a tree for shade. If you want a spot in the shaded are its another 15.- . We didnít end up camping that night, instead we found a great little motel on the east end of town with aircon and pool for just about the same money. Key West is of course a huge tourist trap with heaps of Restaurants, Bars and T-shirts shops. So of to Sloppy Joeís Bar to have a cold one where Ernest Hemingway used to clench his thirst. There is a band playing and life is good in Key West.
Another sunny day in the Keys. Went to the beach in the morning for a swim and then on a bus tour to see the town and learn about itís past. Got of at the Marina for Happy Hour and some fresh Seafood over sunset. Not a bad Monday.
Weíre of again up towards Miami, itís a great morning with the sea breeze keeping the temperature down to pleasant.
Left early in the morning to avoid the heat. Through the Everglades where the Alligators are swimming next to the road in small ponds. Napels on the Golf of Mexico is Lego Land to the max. We keep on going north to Sanibel Island hopping to escape the the masses in there perfect world but no such luck, just more of the same. And since there is only one camping place on the island we get stung with a 50.- tent site for the night. Ouch.. But at least there where some big turtles and a sign not to fed the gattors right next to the tent.
Chewing up the miles on the Interstate 75, itís hot and boring but at least we are moving at a good pace. We make it as far as Lake City where we stay at the Jamison Inn for the same money as we campít the night before, go figure.
Today we are on the back roads through Georgia, some nice country side and some huge Southern Estates with the cotton fields and all. A few hours later we arrive in Savannah, a great historic town where movies like Forest Gump and Gone with the Wind where filmed.
Going West towards the Appalachian Mountains. On our way we come pass Lake Thurmond which looks so good that we stop and set up camp on the shores, go for a swim and enjoy the day.
Up into the Mountains. Ashville and on to the Blue Ridge Parkway, a road that makes itís away along the top of the mountains all the way up to Washington. What a great ride, no trucks, not to many RV and magic views. We stay the night in a state park campground where we meet Thomas from South Africa on a 1200GS. After a chat we leave to go the shops for some supplies, on the way back the skyís turn black and moments later we are in the midst of a huge thunder storm getting soaked to the bone. As we approach the campground there is a old house with a undercover carport to shelter from the rain. As it is starting to get dark and the rain is still coming down in buckets we set up or cocker and start preparing some pasta for dinner. Thomas also pulls out of the rain and we end up having dinner and a bottle of red in the carport.
Continue or way along the Parkway, stoped in Sparta for the night in a Motel as the skies looked very black again and we donít want to get soaked again.
Another day on the Parkway, just perfect.
Itís our 4 day on the Parkway and we are nearing its end . The last 80 or so km take us through the Skyline Drive National Park where we stay at the Big Meadows Campground. End up at the Lodge for a cold one. A guy is playing the guitar and the waitress sings in between serving the drinks. A very funny night.
Out of the National Park and into Washington DC. Traffic is not to bad and we find the hotel we booked quite easy. Itís only a short metro ride into the city, the White House and all its attractions.
After Breakfast we hit the town and go on a City Bus Tour, must say itís a good way to see a place. From numerous Memorial Parks, Statues , and impressive Buildings down to the Botanic Gardens we covered a lot of ground and where very tired when we finally hit the bed at around midnight.
New York. The drive from Washington to New York is fairly busy but itís a quite a buss coming into the big apple for the first time. As you cross several big bridges you can see the sky line of down town New York in the distance. Making your way through the traffic and trying to pick the right lane is a bit of a challenge but we mad it to the Brooklyn Hotel that we booked online without any problems, ok there may have been a illegal U turn ant a few cut in across some traffic lines but hay it all went well. Buy the way if you decide to drive to New York check out the hotels, there are not very many with free parking that are close to the city. We stayed at the Brooklyn Motor Lodge, good place, reasonable price and secure parking. Its run by a Indian Family so the bike is parked right in front of the Reception. You know what I mean if you ever been to India.
Sunday 29.5 to Tuesday 31.5.2011 Ney York City
A short metro ride and we stand in the middle of Time Square. What can I sayÖÖÖÖ. I wonít try and subscribe it you just have to go and see.
We are leaving Brooklyn and drive out on Long Island to get on to a ferry that takes us to New London. The city continuous for a few hours before the traffic eases. From New London itís a short drive to Newport Rode Island . The waterfront Weekenders are between cute and enormous with some great toys lying in the harbour. Found this little Restaurant and had some great seafood for dinner.
Happy Birthday Dominic wish you all the best wish you here.
Drove up to Brewster where we found a great little campground.
Today we went to Chatham a little town on the Cape Cod Peninsula with a lot of historic buildings and a good fell about the place. Walked out to the Lighthouse and had a great Sandwich for lunch. Plenty of Seals in and around the Harbour.
Provincetown on the top of Cape Cod is a very busy happening little place that is overrun by touristís just like us. But itís fun, there are plenty of Restaurants and shops to all kind of tastes and it has a real buss about the place.
We make our way out of Cape Code and hit the freeway , west towards Niagara Falls, we pass through nice country towns in the upper New York State with some amazing estates. We stop along the Tree Finger Lakes for lunch before continuing our way north west up to Lake Ontario where we hope to find a place to stay along the foreshore. To our disappointment the whole waterfront is privately owned by residents as well as weekenders, there is not a single spot where you can but up a tent. We end up finding a little Hotel near Albion where we stay for the night.
Today we drive in to Niagara Falls. I didnít know what to expect but surely not what we found. Itís a very ugly town with absolutely nothing to offer except a heap of run down Motels and overpriced huge Hotels catering to the droves of tourist coming to see the falls. We pick one of the motels, unload and go to town to see the falls. What a sight! I must say there is a great park around the area of the falls and easy access to it all, and the most amazing thing Ö ITíS FREE !! (once you paid for the parking) We end up buying a ticket to the Maid of the Mist a boat that takes you right up to the falls, its amazing to say the least. According to our guide they estimate about 2 million litres of water flowing over the falls every Second. We end up going to the Casino for dinner and then back to the falls to see the light show thats put on at night.
We make our way along Lake Erie towards Cleveland. Its very hot today and the riding is not very pleasant. The traffic along the lake is heavy and not moving to well. We call it a day once we reach Connaut a little town on the lake. By now it must be around the high 30C, so we just stay in the shade and let the day go past.
Weíre on our way inland to the Amish Country. Kedron is our first stop. The moment we get of the bike outside the local Historic Museum we are greeted by some locals who want to know as much about us as we want to know about them. Had no idea that the Amish originate from Switzerland . 2 hours later we move on to Berlin where we stayed for the night. Had dinner at a Amish Restaurant, great home style cooking and the best fresh Strawberry Pie.
Thursday 8.6 ĖThursday 16.6
Through Indianapolis, St Louise, Kansas City up along the Missouri River to Omaha and then on through the never ending countryside of Nebraska and South Dakota. The fields of Corn or Wheat that stretch to the Horizon, Grasslands with not a single tree on it as far as the eye can see, and a back side thatís hurting badly. OuchÖ. After thousands of kilometres ( sorry ďMilesĒ we are in the States) we arrive in the Black Hills where the Buffalo roam. Cluster is a small town among the hills where we end up stying for a few days. The weather changes every few hours from clear skyís to poring rain.
Friday 17.6 Ė Sun 19.6
After a huge breakfast at Susans Restaurant we are off to drive the Wildlife loop through the National Park where we see some more Buffalos and wild Donkeys. We enjoy the great roads through the hills and Canyons along Rivers and Lakes. Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse as well as Hill City are on our route.
The Rain has only just stopped to pack up the camp and get rolling towards Rapid City. Itís cold and miserable. After a couple of hours we call it a day, get a motel room and start drying out. Deadwood our next stop is an old western town full of Casinos and souvenir shops. Leads just up the road is a old mining place with a huge hole in the middle of town where they used to get silver out of the ground. The rain starts again as we drive out of Leads
Our first stop is Sturgis where every year there is the biggest Motorcycle get together in the world. We been told that up to 1 million bikes come for the weeklong festival in August. Deadwood our next stop is an old western town full of Casinos and souvenir shops. Leads just up the road is a old mining place with a huge hole in the middle of town where they used to get silver out of the ground. The rain starts again as we drive out of Leads we press on hoping it will pass without getting to wet, but as the rain increases we have to pull over and get some shelter. There just happens to be a little shop on the side of the road with a covered veranda where we can get out of the rain. Next thing the owner ,Mark, comes around the corner and asks if we would like to see some Wolfs? Of course we go along and he takes us around the back of his house where hes got 4 Alaskan Wolfs in a cage. They are beautiful animals and very shy . We end up staying there for a couple of hours until the rain has passed . We then ride on to Gillette for the night.
Wednesday 22Wake up to clear skyís this morning. Driving on the US 16 over the Big Horn Mountains with a pass going up to over 3000m and still covered in snow. As we come down the other side the land is starting to turn in to a desert like scenery with wide open spaces and deep canyons. We stop for the day in Riverton.
Driving out of Riverton this morning, on our left is a mountain range with black clouds hanging over them and we can see the rain poring down. On our right is the open prairie the sun is shining and all looks good. At first the road takes us out into the sunshine and then all os a sudden we take a left and go straight for the mountains. The sky is getting so dark that I have to take my sunglasses of so I can see. We are getting closer and closer to the rain when the road takes a right and we are heading for sunshine again. This goes on all morning, itís very nerve raking, but we make it through the morning without getting wet. We stop of at the Grand Teton National Park for lunch and then continued north to Yellow Stone. Just as we entered the Park we come into a Hailstorm with hail the size of marbles ouch that hurtsÖ.. We stop at the Arms Lake Campground in West Yellowstone.
Driving the top loop of the park today, itís about 200 km to get around. Some magic scenery and plenty of wildlife. Buffalos, Deer, Black Bearís and even a couple of Grizzlies. There is a lot of traffic as the holiday season has started, so the going is slow and people stop in the middle of the road to take photos of whatever animal they can spot. It creates quite a chaos.
More Yellow Stone today. Seen some hot springs and gazers, drove through the snow and had lunch in a sunny meadow next to a mountain stream. Today there are even more people on the road. Stopped off at the Bear and Wolf Sanctuary in town , very interesting and you can get close to the animals. Wow they are big.
Driving north towards Helena, Montana. Itís very windy and I really have to hang on to the bike so we donít get blown of the road. As we pull over in Helena Maggie noticed oil leaking from the driveshaft. Not Good. We manage to get to a Motel nearby where we can assess the situation. My guess is the bearing has had enough. But itís Sunday so nothing we can do.
All the bike shops in town are closed on a Monday and there is no BMW Dealer here anyway so we go to U-Haul Rent a Truck to see if we can get a small Van. All booked out for today is the answer we getting. Know what ? we try some other car hire places but no luck. In the afternoon I go back to U Haul to book a Van for tomorrow, no problem you can have one now since some other guy changed his booking. So we got the Van but how do we get the bike in the back without a ramp? We drive around town and I spot a great ramp at the Yamaha dealer which after asking them they let us use to put the bike in the back.
Of we go trucking through the countryside to Missoula 120 km away. Once we arrive we go to BMW where they help me getting the bike out and into the shop. Since we are at the shop I also ask them to but a new set of Tyers on. We stay at a nearby Motel waiting for the bike to be fixed.
Drop the Van of at the hire place. Went for Breakfast and soon after got the call from the mechanic saying that the bike is ready for us to pick up. It was the bearing and they had all the parts in stock. Great we are good to roll again.
We leave Missoula in the morning riding up towards Whitefish a little town near Glacier National Park, the place is bussing with holyday makers and we are finding it hard getting accommodation. We get a tip from a local sending us to the State Forest Camp ground where we get the last spot for the night. Itís a very nice place next to the lake and with views of the snow caped mountains. We are lying in our tent just about to go to sleep when we hear the horn blasting from a approaching Train. No Problem there must be a train line near by. The nice is getting louder and louder and we feel as if the train is coming straight for us. Not sure if we should run for it or pull the sleeping bag over our head and hope for the best. As we find out in the morning there is a train line just behind the bushes, you may as well be laying on the rails.
Lets get out of here before another train comes, not much sleep this night as we got run over a few more times. Driving up on the Going to the Sun Road as far as we can on the west side of the park. The road is still partially closed due to snow still laying up to 15ft deep. We ride around the southern end of the park to get to St.Mary where we find a great camp ground to set up our tent. The ride up the eastern side of ďGoing to the Sun RoadĒ is breathtaking. Along the dark blue lakes with glaciers and snow caped mountains all around us, but it is quit cold so we are rugged up like in the middle of winter.
Today we ride up the Glacier Way where at the end of the road is a big old Hotel right on the lake. We walk around the lake and come up on a Moose with its young.
We crossed the border into Canada today. Easy crossing no worries about the bike, didnít want to see rego or insurance papers. It seems that coming into Canada the land opens up even more. The wind starts to pick up and we really have to hang on. We make it all the way to Calgary where we find a reasonable motel to stay the night.
Driving out of town towards Banff, past the Olympic ski jump and stadiums. The Rocky Mountains loom in the distance. A perfect freeway takes us all the way up to Banff where we stop for lunch and a good look around. We stay the night in Canmore a very comfy Hotel with a guy from Melbourne at the front office.
Driving through the Jasper National Park , stopping at Lake Louise and all the most beautiful places along the way. Even though its holyday season the traffic is not to bad and we arrive in Jasper in the late afternoon. As we drive through town we notice two GS set up to the max. It turns out they are two aussie guys riding from Alaska to Ushuaia.
Today we ride from Jasper to Prince George and stay in a Motel for the night. Dinner at ďEarlsĒ Restaurant food is not bad and the waitresses arenít either
Today we made it as far as Smithers along the Highway 16. Itís a nice drive along some rivers and lakes. Staying at the council campground right next to the river. Dane on a old Goldwing pulls up next to us, he is from near Vancouver on his way to Dowson City.
From Smithers we continue along the Hwy. 16 to Kitwanga where we take the 37 north. We set up camp on Meziadin Lake and then drive out to Steward where we cross the border into Alaska for the first time. Hyder is at the end of the road and belongs to Alaska. There is really nothing there but a pub where you get Hyderaised with a shot of nearly pure alcohol. Things we do for a photo. After a good time and a laugh at the pub where we met 2 shipping pilots, we are standing at customs with the young officer asking us, where have you been and where are you going?
Shortly after we leaf this morning we have to put on our wet weather gear. At first its just a drizzle but then it get more and more intense. We stop at Bells for lunch and people traveling the opposite direction tell us to get ready for even more rain. We drive on and after another 2 hours call it a day, we find a room in a motel in Dease Lake.
The sun is out this morning as we drive further north. Through Jade city ( about 3 houses all selling Jade in every form and shape) and on to Watson Lake. The Forest of the Signs is a very interesting place to stop. Last count is over 20í000 signs from all over the world. We also check out a movie about the Northern Lights, very interesting.
Along the Alaskan Highway to Whitehorse. The Alaskan Highway through the Yukon is fantastic. The sky is crystal clear today as we cruise past mirrored lakes and snow caped mountains. We find a great camp ground only a short walk outside Whitehorse. After setting up camp we go into town to get some fresh Alaskan Salmon for dinner, yummm.
Stay another day in Whitehorse, need a break from riding and its also good to check out town.
Leaving after breakfast , still on No.1 Highway up towards Destruction Bay, Beaver Creek and across the border into Alaska. Cool we are in ALASKA!!! We stop in Tok tonight at a camp side where they have a pancake trowing competition every night. Simple, get the pancake in the bucket that stands about 4 meters away and you win free breakfast in the Restaurant the following morning. I have a go but no luck whereas Maggie gets it in on the first attempt. I guess I watch her have breakfast in the morning.
The sky is not looking to promising this morning and shortly after we head of itís starting to rain. We rug up and ride on to Palmer near Anchorage. The rain and fog make it for a miserable day on the road but at least the Hotel is ok and warm.
The weather is on our side today as we pass through Anchorage and along the coast down to Seward. We stop of at Moose Pass for a delicious smoked Salmon Lunch. Seward is a fishing town as well as the sea port for the Alaskan Cruise Ships. There is a Salmon Cannery and a Brewery where the Alaskan Amber beer is made. What else do you need?
Weíre on our way back to Anchorage and stop of at the Alaskan Motorcycle Shop just to say hallo and have a chat with some people. We drive around town for a bid and then continue driving up north to Talkeetna, a small village at the end of the road. Itís Saturday afternoon and a band is playing in the beer garden so we join in and meet a couple of swiss guys on a tour of the north. A few Pitchers later we head of to the local pub where another band is blasting out there sound, so we fell it our duty to support the local talents and party on to 2 am. The mad thing is itís still light outside so you lose all sense of time .
Bit of a late start after last night. We are on our way to Denali National Park, the rain is all around us but weíre lucky not to get wet. Denali is just a big tourist trap and at this time of the year totally over run. We drive in to the National Park as far as we are aloud and then turn back to the village looking for a camp spot. All booked out, so we drive on for a few kmís find a camp spot and are the only ones there. Nice.
Fairbanks is todays destination and after a few cold hours on the bike we arrive in town. Itís starting to rain and itís cold so we look for a Hotel. Even the shÖ.íiest looking place wants over a hundred dollars. We stand outside the Winmark Hotel and decide to give it a go, Maggie goes in and comes back shacking her head, 240.- for the night with free WiFi. So we get the laptop out get on the net and book this very same Hotel for 80.- Go figure !!!! In the evening we go up to the University Museum, very interesting, and a great view over the city.
We wanted to go up to Prudhoe Bay but due to the weather and the forecast for the next few days we give it a miss and heed to Tok. Just outside Fairbanks is a place called North Pole with a huge Christmas shop. The rain sets in just after North Pole and it gets really cold by the time we are riding into Tok itís only 7C and pouring down.
There is snow on the distant mountain tops this morning. The sun is shining and we are heading up to the Top Of The World Highway. Taking the turn at Tetlin Junction to the north the road winds its way through the mountains to a old mining town called ď Chicken ď we stop to check out the old goldmining equipment and a bite to eat and then continue on the dirt road towards Dawson City. The drive over the mountains is just fantastic, the view is never ending it feels like we can see the whole of Alaska from up here. In the middle of nowhere is the US/Canada border where after a short stop and a ďwelcome to CanadaĒ we drive on to Dawson City.
Dawson feels very much like an old Western Town with dirt roads and wooden sidewalks. There are plenty of Shops and Saloons around town one of them being Diamond Tooth Gerties Gambling Hall, Canadaís oldest Casino. In the name of research we go and watch the girls to there thing, not bad
Dawson to Carmaks is a long road along rivers and through forestís. About half way there we take the turnoff to Mayo and see a Black Bear with 3 Cups right in front of us on the road. There is not much in Mayo so we go back and end up in Carmaks on a great camp spot right on the river. We meet JP and Hanni who are also travelling the world in a very neat 4x4 they only picked up a couple of months ago.
On the road south from Carmaks we stop of at a Roadhouse that is famous for their gigantic Cinnamon Rolls. We reach Whitehorse in the afternoon and go back to the campground we stayed in o the way up.
Spent another day in Whitehorse. Walked along the river and into town, just having a break for a day.
On our way to Skagway we stop in Carcross for Coffee. We go to the Tourist Information to see if there is any accommodation around here as we got time to kill until Thursday when we catch the ferry. We are told about a little cabin on Crag Lake so we drive out there to check it out. Itís a log cabin right on the lake called the Dunroamin Retreat. What a great place to relaxand do nothing, itís a really cool cabin and great hostís, Susanna and Rob. In the afternoon we have a sauna right on the shore of the lake, so when it gets hot we jump in to the lake thatís only about 5C. Check out the cabin under www.dunroaminretreat.com if you in the area itís a must.
Of to Skagway over theWhite pass down into town. We had no idea what to expect. That place is full with people and jewellery shops, there are 5 Cruise Ships in town with over 2000 people on each ship. Itís just mad, Iím glad we stayed at the cabin instead of hanging out here. We end up in a bar for a few drinks ( Happy Birthday to me) where there is Karaoke night, mostly staff from the ships having a night of, itís a laugh.
Thursday 28 Ė Saturday 30.7
We board the ferry this morning and after tying down the bike we go on the upper deck to our cabin. The ferry is booked out and there is a lot of people from all over the world on board, makes it an interesting trip. The scenery through the Inside Passage is fantastic, from Glaciers that come to the waterís edge to waterfalls from high up in the mountains. I get up at 5am to see some whales and there are literally hundreds of them, we even spot a few Orcas.
Saturday 30.7 5am
We are docking in Prince Rupert everybody is up and ready to get of the ship. Itís very hectic on the car deck as people are getting ready, there must be about 40 bikes and we are all packing and untying the bikes. The front of the ferry opens up and itís absolutely pouring down so on with the wet weather gear. We only just get of the boat into a 3 line road and there is the Canadian Customs, so waiting in the rain for our turn. After clearing the customs we drive up into town to get petrol where a guy tells us that it always rains in Prince Rupert, according to him they have about 300 days of rain a year. We drive on and after about 2 hours it starts to ease of and the sun is breaking through the clouds. As we reach Smithers we call it a day, the motel we are staying in lets us hang up the tent and our gear to dry out in the sun.
Easy drive to Prince George where we stay in the same motel as on the way up due to the rain coming back again.
Today the clock on the bike turns over 100í000 kmís. For us that means we have travelled 71í590 km since the start of our journey, ouchÖÖ. We camp on Lake Hope for the night, very busy place with heaps of RV.
Through the mountains to Whistler, great ride a very scenic. Whistler itself? Take it or leave it, we left.
Most spectacular piece of road along the bay towards Vancouver. The road clings to the mountain side and the views are breathtaking. From Horseshoe Bay we take the ferry over to Vancouver Island and camp in Parksville for the night.
Crossing the middle of the island we come to Ucuelet a small fishing village on the Pacific coast. The first campground we check out tells us that there have been some tents shredded by bears in the last few days but not to worry about it. We are not worried as weíre not staying. We find another camp spot and go exploring the village. After Fish and Chips for dinner we wander out to the Lighthouse where the whales just happen to swim past right in front of us and the sun is setting over the ocean. Someone reach me a bucket
Through the National Park up to Tofino a more touristy place with the usual shops and restaurants. On the way back we stop at Soldier Point. A walk through the old grow forest past some enormous treeís brings us down to the beach.
Down to Victoria today where our camp place is right next to the speedway and being Saturday they are racing today. We go into town where itís all happening along the waterfront. By the time we get back the racers ar all packing up and are on the way home.
Spent the whole day in Victoria. Drove around the waterfront and stoped at the Yacht club for lunch. Then back into Downtown for Happy Hour ;)
On the ferry again back to Vancouver. Staying in a Motel in Suburbia, not great but itís only for 1 night. Drive into town and around Stanley Park, great place.
Today we are leaving Canada. We very much enjoyed it and had a great time. Crossing the border is no problem, after cuing for 40 min. Itís the first time that an officer asked for the rego papers. All is good and we are off down to Seattle. The traffic coming into town is very busy but we manage to get to our motel without problems. Unload all the gear and hit the town. Have Clam Chowder on the Waterfront for lunch and then climb the stairs up to the markets. We come across the first Starbucks shop where it all started. End up wandering about town for hours.
Only a short trip down to Fife where the bike is booked in for a service. South Sound BMW is just down the road from the motel so we can walk between the places. We both go for a haircut and my beard is going too, so now Iím working on a moustache for Mexico.
Just hanging around, blogging, reading and later picking up the bike. Met 3 Mexicans at BMW on their way up to Alaska so we exchange some tips and places to go and see.
Making our way out of town and across to the coast. Stoped at a camping ground in Seaside. Seaside is like a time warp somehow it got left behind in the seventyís, there are gaming arcades with all the old games in it and the merchandise also looks like out of a museum. There is a huge beach volley ball competition on with hundreds of people on the beach.
Another day in Seaside, as it is the weekend we learned that it is better to stay put because a lot of places are booked out during the summer holidays and especially on the weekend. There is a small village just down the road called Cannon, a huge tourist trap with a nice beach so we go for a long walk enjoying the sun and watching all the activity along the beach.
Riding south along the coast with some great views to be had we come to a little place called Seal Rocks with a great Camp ground right across from the beach. We put up camp and spend the afternoon on the beach. A camp fire and a nice piece of steak over the fire, nice day.
Coming in to California today. The fog is very thick this morning, we stop at the visitors centre to get a map and some info for the area. There is a very nice old lady at the counter telling us everything there is to know and a bit of extra as well. We take the road through the Redwood Forest and only minutes into it we come pass the biggest trees we ever seen. Itís absolutely amazing and makes us feel very little. We stay in Crescent City for the night. Had some great seafood down the wharf and watched the seals play on the pontoon in the harbour.
Did some more riding through the Redwood Forest and camped in Arcata for the night.
Another great day riding along the coast but the fog is starting to annoy us we stay in Ford Bragg, it looks like a November day in Europe cold and miserable. Today we had our first flat tyre, picked up a nail somewhere along the way. Pulled over on a headland to fix the problem and while I was attending to the tyre, Maggie is watching the whales swimming out in the ocean.
We had enough of this fog so we go inland. A few kilometres in and the sun is out and itís getting warm. We are coming into the Napa Valley, Californiaís Wine country, Grapevines everywhere. Maggie is happy!! St. Helena is where we stay for the night and are being told about a free concert in the park, so we got ourselves a pick nick at the local deli and joint the locals in the park. Of course we had to sample a bottle of local wine, not bad.
Out of the valley along the bay and over the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco, what a buzzÖÖ. Then through the city across the Bay Bridge and into Alameda where we found a Motel right on the wharf for a reasonable price. Since we are next to the Yacht Club we may as well go and say hallo and have a beer with them.
Saturday 20. Sunday 21.7
Taking the Ferry across to the city. Hoped on a sightseeing Bus and enjoy the trip around the city. Got of at the Golden gate and walked across it. Back into the city, China Town, Little Italy, Business District as well as the Hippy part of town itís all very cool. We very much enjoyed San Francisco.
We are leaving Alameda this morning crossing the bay over the San Mateo Bridge down to Half Moon Bay and along the coast to Santa Cruz then on to Big Sur and down a spectacular coast to Morro Bay a great little village on the coast.
Had a day off today. Went for a big walk on the beach and through the village. Great Thai food for dinner.
Started early in thick fog leaving the coast towards Bakersfield. 10 minutes into the drive and we are in the sun and itís starting to warm up very fast. It a great road through the hills and the oilfields into a small mining town where we stop at the local diner for lunch. Penny Bar is the name of the diner and that is because the bar, floor, walls, pool table, and absolutely everything is covered with 1cent pieces there must be tens of thousandís glued to everything you can think of. By the time we hit Bakersfield its really hot 40+. Straight to Action Cycles where we ordered a new set of tyres (again) and then to the motel and itís lovely pool for a cool down.
Early start to beat the heat. Of to Las Vegas today. Great drive out into the desert until about 10 am itís very pleasant but then it gets instant HOTÖ.we have to stop a few times to poor water all over us to keep it bearable and not to pass out from the heat. F... itís hot. The casinos start probably 100 kmís before Vegas just so you can get into the mood. We finally get into town and go straight to the hotel, book in and stand under the cold shower trying to get the body temperature down. By the way itís 44C outside and with all the gear on and sitting in traffic itís really not pleasant.
Friday 26 Ė Tuesday 30.8
Las VegasÖÖ in and out of town checking it all out. Some of the Casinos are out of this world and others are just oversized RSLís but it never stops it is really something else. Went to see Le Reve a spectacular show at the Wynnís Casino and boarded a plane to fly out to and over the Grand Canyon. WOW
4am start to get back to the coast. Went around the outskirts of LA crossing the mountains to get to the coast. Shortly before reaching Dana Point we met up with a group of Harley riders who invited us for lunch. After lunch we continued along the coast to Carlsbad where we found a little motel directly across the beach.
Just a short drive along the coast down to San Diego where we have to get a few things done so we are ready to cross the border into Mexico tomorrow.
Next HU Events
- Germany: May 29-June 1
- Greece: June 5-8
- Bulgaria Mini: June 13-14
- HUBB UK: June 19-22
- Montenegro: June 26-29
- NEW! Canada Maritimes: July 4-6
- USA Colorado: July 11-13
- Ireland: July 18-20
- Canada West: Aug 21-24
- USA North Carolina: Sept. 4-7
- France Mini: Sep 5-7
- Canada Ontario: Sept. 11-14
- NEW! UK - Haggs Bank: Sept. 19-21
- USA California: Sept. 25-28
- Aus Queensland: Oct 3-6
- Aus Perth: Oct 10-12
- Aus VIC: Oct 24-26
- NEW! Aus NSW: Oct 31-Nov 2
- NEW! South Africa: Nov 13-16
Buy the Achievable Dream Collectors Set and get Road Heroes Part 1 FREE!
Cooped up indoors in crap weather? Binge watch over 20 hours of inspiring, informative and entertaining stories and tips from 150 travellers! Check it out at the HU Store! Remember to order them both and use Coupon Code 'BoxSet+' on your order when you checkout.
What others say about HU...
"I just wanted to say thanks for doing this and sharing so much with the rest of us." Dave, USA
"Your website is a mecca of valuable information and the DVD series is informative, entertaining, and inspiring! The new look of the website is very impressive, updated and catchy. Thank you so very much!" Jennifer, Canada
"...Great site. Keep up the good work." Murray and Carmen, Australia
"We just finished a 7 month 22,000+ mile scouting trip from Alaska to the bottom of Chile and I can't tell you how many times we referred to your site for help. From how to adjust your valves, to where to stay in the back country of Peru. Horizons Unlimited was a key player in our success. Motorcycle enthusiasts from around the world are in debt to your services." Alaska Riders
10th Annual HU Travellers Photo Contest is on now! This is an opportunity for YOU to show us your best photos and win prizes!
NEW! HU 2014 Adventure Travel T-shirts! are now available in several colors! Be the first kid on your block to have them! New lower prices on synths!
Check out the new Gildan Performance cotton-feel t-shirt - 100% poly, feels like soft cotton!
What turns you on to motorcycle travel?
Global Rescue is the premier provider of medical, security and evacuation services worldwide and is the only company that will come to you, wherever you are, and evacuate you to your home hospital of choice. Additionally, Global Rescue places no restrictions on country of citizenship - all nationalities are eligible to sign-up!
New to Horizons Unlimited?
New to motorcycle travelling? New to the HU site? Confused? Too many options? It's really very simple - just 4 easy steps!
Horizons Unlimited was founded in 1997 by Grant and Susan Johnson following their journey around the world on a BMW R80 G/S motorcycle.Read more about Grant & Susan's story
Membership - help keep us going!
Horizons Unlimited is not a big multi-national company, just two people who love motorcycle travel and have grown what started as a hobby in 1997 into a full time job (usually 8-10 hours per day and 7 days a week) and a labour of love. To keep it going and a roof over our heads, we run events (22 this year!); we sell inspirational and informative DVDs; we have a few selected advertisers; and we make a small amount from memberships.
You don't have to be a Member to come to an HU meeting, access the website, the HUBB or to receive the e-zine. What you get for your membership contribution is our sincere gratitude, good karma and knowing that you're helping to keep the motorcycle travel dream alive. Contributing Members and Gold Members do get additional features on the HUBB. Here's a list of all the Member benefits on the HUBB.
Books & DVDs
All the best travel books and videos listed and often reviewed on HU's famous Books page. Check it out and get great travel books from all over the world.
MC Air Shipping, (uncrated) USA / Canada / Europe and other areas. Be sure to say "Horizons Unlimited" to get your $25 discount on Shipping!
Insurance - see: For foreigners traveling in US and Canada and for Americans and Canadians traveling in other countries, then mail it to MC Express and get your HU $15 discount!
Story and photos copyright © All Rights Reserved.
Contact the author:
Editors note: We accept no responsibility for any of the above information in any way whatsoever. You are reminded to do your own research. Any commentary is strictly a personal opinion of the person supplying the information and is not to be construed as an endorsement of any kind.
Hosted by: Horizons
Unlimited, the motorcycle travellers' website!
You can have your story here too - click for details!