Irish Bloke and Aussie Chic go to the America´s

August 09, 2003 GMT
Montana and Sturgis

We crossed into Montana and spent my Birthday drinking wine and eating a picnic next to a beautiful lake. Then started heading east on I90 – Sturgis here we come. In Billings we were in a Gas Station when we met a lady, Rebecca and her Grandaughter Jordan. In no time we found ourselves welcomed into their (hot air ballooning) party, drinking daquiris made on a gas fired blender (sounded like a chainsaw) and ended up staying the night (along with Rebecca, Jerry and Jordan) at Dawn and Larry's house. What amazing hospitality, we thought we were going to pitch the tent in their garden but no we were given the guest room. Larry even moved his car out of the garage so the bikes would be safe.

Posted by Leah Chapman at 09:44 AM GMT | Comments (0)
August 26, 2003 GMT
Wyoming, Utah, Arizona and Colarado

Leaving Sturgis we headed back west via Devils Tower, an amazing rock jutting straight out of the ground that was the USA's first National Monument and is a climbers Mecca, to Cody. From Cody, we rode the Chief Joseph and Bear Tooth Passes - amazing roads that wind up and down the huge mountains. On the Bear Tooth Pass we met 3 Aussies, John, Ron and Phil, who have shipped their bikes over from home for Sturgis and Milwaulke. With these guys we camped in Yellowstone National Park for the next 2 nights and enjoyed the mountains, lakes, geysers and heated rivers that make Yellowstone so famous. On the first nights camping we had sat down for dinner when a massive bison/buffalo wandered right through the campground. He was literally 2 metres from where we sat but no one was giving up their dinner.

Posted by Leah Chapman at 09:46 AM GMT
September 02, 2003 GMT
Milwaukee and one or two Harley Davidsons

On arrival, we were adopted by a lovely family in Big Bend (just outside of Milwaukee) when we were looking for a campground. The week involved riding around to the wonderful events that Harley Davidson had put on. We toured the Buell Factory, saw BB King in concert, checked out the nightlife, cheered the 10,000 bikes on their parade through the middle of town and met loads of great people. We caught up with our Aussie mates who we had camped with in Yellowstone, we met Welsh Sam who had played the harmonica for us while the sun rose on the grand canyon and had a few beers with Max and his friends and family when we eventually worked out that the campground was right next to where we stayed. The event was just amazing, Hundreds of Thousands of Harleys everywhere we went and everyone with huge smiles on their faces. People were standing on the overpasses and waving at the bikes on the motorways. Even BMW took out a billboard advert – “We’d say Happy Birthday, But you wouldn’t hear us! – Congratulations Harley Davidson”.

Posted by Leah Chapman at 09:48 AM GMT | Comments (0)
September 15, 2003 GMT
Michigan and Ontario

Leaving Milwaukee, we drove around the top of Lake Michigan and over the magnificent Mackinaw Bridge and down to Flint where we had a great weekend with Robin (who we’d met on the ferries on the Inside Passage of Alaska and then in Sturgis) who made us really welcome and helped Dom with the new panniers (side boxes) on my bike. These are state of the art Coleman Esky’s (cool boxes) in a beautiful army green colour. They look perfect and along with the frames that we picked up in a outdoor store cost the princely sum of $30. Compared with those fancy aluminum ones (that don’t even keep the beer cold) at $700, we look a class act. They are fantastic and Dom did a magnificent job on them.

Posted by Leah Chapman at 09:51 AM GMT | Comments (0)
November 01, 2003 GMT
Massachusetts to Texas, Lots of friends and great bike roads

We blitzed down through New York State into Springfield Massachusetts. We had a tip off from Ireland that our great friend Sean Daly was there and we set out to surprise him. I think we succeeded! We spent the following 12 days becoming part of The Big E. The Big E is a huge Exposition that started in 1916 as a agricultural show and now includes the state buildings, homewares, side shows, circus performances, parades, concerts - you name it, the Big E has it and it represents all 6 states that make up New England. We had a fantastic time helping out on Sean and Liz’s Dingle Crystal stand and Mike and Alice’s Irish goods stand. Springfield and The Big E was a totally unexpected and wonderful part of the trip. We felt like we completely belonged to a scene of work, parties and camaraderie, we met so many people and made so many new friends, had so many laughs and shared so much.

Posted by Leah Chapman at 09:54 AM GMT

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