Victor joined us and we rode thru "The Valley of Fire" together. In St.George we had our first real meal and the best ribs ever in my life!!
Zion NP was more beautyful as I imagined and it was an outstanding ride. I love those orange colored rocks and tiny curves! We reached Bryce Canyon in the early evening. Because it was getting dark and cold (at 7700 ft) we decided to visit the canyon in the next morning. Which was a good one because the light was much better.
It was a very special day for me because I wanted to ride the Burr Trail from Boulder to Halls Crossing. The only things I knew was: maybe water crossing, 3-4 miles on sand, only the first part is paved. It was the kind of adventure I was looking for and it was absolute FANTASTIC!!
Camping was part of the plan but as we arrived in Halls Crossing (there was nothing else than a marina and a gas station on a campgroud) we couldn't resist to sleep in a trailer. Never seen something like this! Three bedrooms, a big kitchen and a living room .. wow!
On the next day we rode thru the Monument Valley and had lunch at the Trading Post. Of course we made a picture of the long road, maybe the most known in the world. What a great scenery!! But here I wont show you it to you because I'm sure you've seen it several times. Hope you like this one:
After some advices we didn't rode the classic tourist route to Flagstaff. Instead we rode to Farmington, which was really boring (80 miles and just one gas station) and from there to Taos (a very nice town) and Santa Fe. The first part to Taos was a little bit windy, but from Taos to Santy Fe we had some curves .. fine to ride.
Here in Santa Fe we met up a german guy who lives there for about 14 years ago and has now own a motorcycle workshop.
After our arrival in Alamogordo we spent the rest of the daylight in White Sands NP. It's a small area of white sand (dunes and couple of plants) and the first rockets was tested there for spaceflights (if my memories don't lie). Next to White Sands there's the Holloman Air Force Base where a german soldier was there for a week or so. Normally he's stationed for 3 years in Washington D.C. We met him at the Motel, talked for about 2 hours and he invited us to stay in his house in Washington. He also told us about the "Rolling Thunder", I didn't know until then, and were now trying to get there.
The next two days we rode thru Texas with a short stop in Roswell, where we visited the UFO museum (and bought a sticker of course :) ). Quite a funny place but not really that interesting as I thought it would be. Ah .. yes, I just forgot that I met a retired police officer from Florida there. He's a member of the IPA, as me. So we had a talk.. of course.
However, we took the hwy (70?) directly to Roswell thru the "hills". Holy .. this was the coldest ride we had in the US by now. The temperature was at 7 degrees (c) and we put all on we had (incl. rain gear.). Didn't know that it could be that cold - and yes, I didn't mentioned the details because I didn't wanted to plan too much. It's more fun that way. :D
Somewhere on the road after Roswell I saw a guy next to his bike on the hwy. So I stopped and asked if he needs help but he just wanted to make a picture of this huge open land. Glad that I'm not the only one who's amazed about that "boring" wide land. I met him several times again and in the evening we was neighbours in the same motel. He's from New Orleans and gave us some great tipps about what to do there. Sadly that we didn't changed our contacts.
The ride from Brownsville to Fort Worth wasn't really exciting, just a lot of farms, straight roads and open land. Only the arrival in Fort Worth was great. Before we me up with James, we rode to the BMW dealer in hurst. The bike was ready for the 7000 mi service and in fact that we would stay for two nights I wanted to know if they could put me in for the next day. There I met Justin, a guy from the service team and the most craziest man I've ever met. Ithink it was something they called "bike night" going on in the evening. So we stayed a little bit longer than we expected. We had a lot of fun and talks about the trip.
James was great!! This was the first time we saw an american house from inside and it was like to meet an old friend. He gave us a room to sleep, a lot of information what we could do (while he's at work) and took us to the Stockyards for dinner. If I would write songs, one would be about him. In fact that his parents live right next on our route to Florida, we'll stop there to bring them a letter from their son. :-)
After a lot of advices to ride thru the Ozarks, I put them on the list. But before we leave Texas I tried to get a real Texas cowboy hat. Ok, thats not so difficult, but to find one which I could transport on the bike it was. We stopped in Justin, as James said, to visit the stores there. But.. none who would survive our trip, and they don't ship to Europe. So we left after breakfast and rode into rain, the half day long and until we quitted in Mena.
In the next morning, I was online to tell the people at home whats going on, a guy from BMWMOA invited us for a stay in his guest house right next to the Ozarks. So we changed our plans and rode the Pig Trail on hwy 23. Ken was amazing! Because he and his wife was invited for dinner, but didn't wanted us to wait, he left his and the guest house UNLOCKED for us. Ok, the people in austria outside of the cities are not really scarred and of course they know and trust eachother in the neighbourhood, but I'm quite sure they won't leave their houses unlocked for foreigner they never met. I felt very, very honered about that and I'll never forget this. Ken, this was AWESOME!!
We talked a lot, in the evening and at breakfast. On our way to Memphis, Ken and his father (90 years old!!!) Joined us the half way to West Plains, where we split up after lunch. It was a beautyfull ride and we had a great time with Ken, his wife and his father. Thank you very much again!
Just for dinner and a short view about whats going on in Memphis.
On the map the roads look not that straight as they are in real. Down the Mississippi we rode thru small towns and saw a lot of farming. But the river, we saw him just once. Only the Natchez Parkway was good to ride but way too short.
Today was a short day. The plan was to ride on smaller roads and see some plantages. But the bridge I'd planned was gone - thats about the details. *grrr So we just saw some old houses, which was great, but had to use the Interstate to ride around in the same time. As you can imagine, staying in the French Quarter isn't cheap and because of that we wanted to arrive as soon as possible to have time for walking around - what we already did.
Tomorrow we'll continue our trip on the coastline to Florida, where we'll visit another guy from advrider.cm in Tampa. On the way to Daytona Beach, maybe we'll stay there for a day to relax on the beach, we'll - hopefully - visit another most wanted point of interest.
Wonderful Dave. You've been on some of my favourite roads (Utah, NM) and a lot I've never been near. What great memories you two are going to have!
Great to see your enjoying the ride. Keep the pics up. Are you going to hit Chicago, or did you decide to skip it?
The white sands of the panhandle of Florida are really NICE beaches to visit. Pensacola and other cities of that area have beautiful white sand too:). You're probably close already. Think what you're riding through too, as its Hurricane Coast Line! Not this time of year:). Randy:thumb
The French Quarter in New Orleans was a very interesting and fascinating place. When daylight you'll see all the old and beautyful buildings and so much flowers. But after sundown, specially the Bourbon Street, transforms into a partyzone. And the "handgrenade" .. wahoo
After we left New Orleans I saw a lot of swamp, thats what I thought it will look like around New Orleans. There I saw the first time houses which are build a few meters above ground - I hope you know what I mean - in case the area gets flooded. Some of those looked really nice, other .. different.
The ride along the coastline was just beautyful! White sand quite everywhere. This was the first time we saw a beach since we left the westcoast. Great and hot!
As you wrote, Pensacola is great and of course we rode thru and visited the beach. Some houses looked .. quite expensive! Ah .. and riding over the bridges was funny. They can get pretty high sometimes.
Panamy City looks like fun and a good place to stay for vacation
On the way to east coast we met very lovely people and stopped for a good and long talk. In the same afternoon we reached one of my most wanted personal highlights.This was the one of the best days of the trip!!
After more than 5000 miles on the bike, we reached the east coast and arrived in Daytona Beach yesterday. And what could be the best way to celebrate the arrival than doing that:
Tomorrow we'll continue our trip and head to Smoky Mountains.
From the Smokies is W.Va and the NEW RIVER Gorge:). Go there, go bungee jumping from bridge. Its a sight and you too can participate if you have good health:). Its in Southern W.VA, not so far off your path. Happy Trails to ya. Randy:thumb
Uh .. were not big fans of bungee jumping, but I'll keep it in mind. ;)
Meanwhile I've this for you:
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Today we'll head to Telico Plains & Smoky Mountains. Tomorrow we'll stop in Waynesville or Ashville to get new tires because the Heidenau K60 is gettin very loud after 5000 miles, but it doesn't look bad.
Right now we're in Washington D.C. and we'll stay over the weekend. I'll continue the report shortly. But for now .. is there any online service for sport events in the US? We would love to see a baseball, football or racing event. Thanks!
The Blue Ridge Parkway was the best ride in the last 4 weeks! :brad
Grant from Spruce Creek told us to ride on A1A right up to St. Augustine, the oldest City in the US. As the direction was the same it was easy to change that on the route. The A1A was a great scenic ride and we was happy to left the hotels and t-shirt shops behind us.
In St. Augustine we stopped for a break and some cold drinks. We rode thru the streets looking at the old building. For walking it was to hot. :-)
The Museum was closed in Warner Robins so we had to continu to Macon where we finished the day.
From Macon, in Georgia, the roads began to get more curvy. After 3 weeks of straight roads you can imagine how fun it was to ride on curvy roads.
In Tellico Plains it startet to rain the first time. After this little shower the clouds and the rain followed us all the way to Robbinsville, where we spent the evening with a couple of motorcyclists who all wanted to ride the dragon on the next day. Right in front of me sit a guy from the Adventure Rider forum and we both read the forum .. crazy but funny accident.
The morning started wet but without rain. I was impressed how good the Heidenau K60 works under pressure. The dragon was great fun and the amount of curves in that short distance is indeed very special. With other tires and a dry road .. hmmm
I'll continue as soon as possible. We had no breakfast and my wife is hungry. Believe me, when my wife is hungry .. it's like somebody gets green. :D
BIn the Smoky Mountains NP we had a "follow me car" thru a road work section. We've never seen before!
The Smoky's were great except the cars, harleys and the double yellow. :)
From there we rode on the Blue Ridge Parkway. This was the best ride (because it was long and in the mountains) in the US in the last 4 weeks.
We stopped in Virginia to get some gas but the gas station was different to others. So I asked a cardriver how it works and instead of telling me, he filled my bike up (somehow he looks happy to fill a european bike up).
We had planned to stay outside of Flint at "Ambrosia Farm". There we got this room and local food: WOW!
After we left Tellico Plains the weather conditions changed often. On the Blue Ridge mostly every hour (rain, fog, wet but no rain, wet but fog and sometimes it was good). I could spend a week on the Blue Ridge, just riding from one end to another and back again.
We reached the Shanondoah NP in rain and we were afraid we won't have the chance to watch wildlife. Which was the only reason to ride thru. But in the middle of the NP we saw a bear family right next to the road. We were excited after we saw another one couple of miles later and just a few feet away from the road. In austria you have to visit a zoo if you want to see one, now we were right next to one... you can imagine how excited we were, it was AWESOME!!
We stayed in Front Royal and from there it was just a hour to Washington D.C., where we wanted to spent the weekend there. But before we went to Washington D.C. we visit the german soldier (we met in Alamogordo) and his family. Together with him, his family and his friend (who came over for a motorcycle trip to Las Vegas) we had a great time. Btw., the owner of the bike was another friend who came over for a talk.
The next two days we stayed right next to the Pentagon and to the metro. So it was easy to reach the Mall and all the famous places. In fact that we had only two days we saw just the most famous places, including the White House of course. Everything around the Mall was very clean and it was a really great day for walking around. Once we were stopped by the Homeland Security, but only for a talk about the GoPro helmetcamera. :-)
"Rolling Thunder" .. I'm sure you know all or more about it than me. In the last days we saw them riding to and in Washington D.C., they were almost everywhere and always. I think there joined more bikes the demonstration than we have in Austria. So it was very impressive for us to watch it. In the evening we met a group in the hotel lobby, talked a lot and drunk a beer together and got some advices for parts of the route.
In fact that we was in hurry to reach Washington D.C. to Memorial Day Weekend we was good in time and so we wanted to ride to New York City too. It was still a great wish but we didn't know if we had the time to do this. At the beginning we planned to ride around NYC. So we took the interstate to get in as fast as possible. On the way there we met some guys of the Buffalo's from Boston. I thought the traffic will be horrible - as some told me - and so we were really surprised we arrived at lunch. The weather was still hot and it was everything else than easy to find a place to park the bike for a drink or something small to eat. But we met another austrian couple there, had a lot fun with the guys from the Empire State Building and of course to ride on the Broadway with the own bike ... I dont know what to say .. for me a wish came true and it was one of the best days in my life!
From NYC we rode up to Newburgh to visit Orange County Choppers and see the bikes they've build. I just saw them couple of times in TV and I was fascinated in their bikes because we've very difficult technical regulations and you'll never see one of those bikes on austrian roads. There we got a bottle of water from another couple - it was still hot and we melted. :)
What great fun to see the US thru the eyes of another.
Thank you so much for taking the time to share your trip with us. :thumb
I continue asap. Meanwhile I've this for you:
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Right now we're in Lander, WY.
Tomorrow we'll visit Cody (some guys told me it should be a nice town) and finish in Red Lodge.
In fact that Yellowstone is sold out we'll "just" ride thru on monday and continue to Boise on the next day.
Please check in
Dave are you two all right? It has been a long time since you posted and I'm starting to worry.
Here is the pick of you and Chip:
We sure enjoyed your visit!
I've been riding across the US in the current heat wave. I'll be in Reno tomorrow, then I fly home for a couple of days before going to the FIM rally in Poland.
Dave, I enjoyed meeting you and Chip at the Iowa Rally last month.
Thanks guys and don't worry, we're fine! We were just a little bit too busy.
The trip is over and we're back in Austria again. It was an awesome trip and I'm sure it wasn't the last time. There's a lot more to see in the US. ;)
I'll try to finish my report in the next days - everyone wants to meet us right know and wants to see the pictures. :)
I wish you a great time at the rally in Sedalia! ;)