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Thread: 2on1: Road Trip USA

  1. #16
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Thanks for letting us know that you are OK, Dave. We do worry if we don't hear from someone for too long.

    I'm flying to Poland tomorrow.

    Holly

  2. #17
    Luckies
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    The landscape remembered me at home. A lot of trees, windy and small roads. Coming from the west, I was a little bit afraid of the east because there are a lot more cities and towns. But they were quite small and comprehensible. We really enjoyed the scenery! My favorite of the day:


    There we stopped for lunch. A typical diner as we know from many movies. A place where we WANTED to stop for eat instead of the new - all looking the same - restaurants. It reminded me of the good old times, beautiful (now classic) cars without all this high-tech and impersonal **** we have now.


    The day ended with a meet up with guys from ADV-Rider. They offered us a tent space for a night. But the weather was not on our side and so we decided to sleep in the garage. I love the smell of rubber and oil in the morning, YES! Unfortunately we didn't had a lot time to talk, but in the short time we had a good conversation with John and Nancy.


    What a peaceful place to stay (with a garage only for motorcycles )! Thank you very much guys, it was a pleasure to meet you both!


    The next day started wet but it didn't stopped us to ride on even smaller roads. My wife was a little bit nervous because of the water level. But after the sand roads in the west, this was less challenging!


    Actually we wanted to stay at the top of Cape Cod (somewhere in or next to Provincetown). But we didn't came that far. It was an old guy who stopped us for a talk after he heard us coming on the motorcycle. He has also a BMW and was very interested in what we're doing. After we told him that we're on the way to Provincetown for a place to stay, he offered us his beach house for a night. Ok, it was far away from the top but ... it was on the beach and Provincetown can wait until tomorrow.



    As I wrote above, we continued to Provincetown on the next day. But the tower was closed and so we just stopped for a coffee and rode thru the town. It was a nice, colorful and living place. And as you can see, the weather couldn't be better.


    Next stop: Boston. With our visit of Provincetown, which was planed a day before, we had more miles to ride. So we reached Bosten in the late afternoon. We already knew (as in every bigger city) that we didn't had the time for a closer look on Bostons attractions and places. Very sad because it looked great but to stay for one night was too expensive. So we just stopped for a coffee in Downtown.


    Surprise! It was 7.30 pm and we didn't found a room below $100. In Acton I saw a lot of motorcycles on a parking lot and so I stopped there to ask for advices. We figured out that there was a british/european bike night going on. With the help of Ken and Paul (the owner of "Moto Market") we found a campground in Littleton. We leaved after sundown and arrived after 9 pm. It was great meeting and talking to you!


    Only one day before we'll cross the border to Canada. Vermont was beautiful and it was a great riding day. We met a guy (Nete) who had the largest truck I've seen in the US. Against his car my fully loaded BMW looks like a bicycle. The roads were still small, curvy and some of them without pavement.


    A victim of Hurricane Irene


    After a night in Burlington we continued on the next day (cold and cloudy) to Canada. North of Montreal we wanted to visit a friend from Austria who lives there for about 30 years. At the border had a long conversation with a canadian border guard. I think it was a hour or so. With crossing the border we left the good weather behind us and rode all the way north of montreal in rain. And of course it was cold too. I hate big cities and heavy traffic on a fully loaded motorcycle in rain.


    We were surprised that there was no big difference between US and Canada. Ok, the lights were different and the have kilometers and liters instead of miles and galons. But everything else looks like the same. I don't know why, but I thought to feel the difference on the first miles. Anyway. On the next day we were invited by some Canadians to a BBQ at a lake. They introduced me in playing golf ("Try to hit the ball and throw it in the lake" something like that *g). It was still cold. The girls wore short pants and flip-flops. A 5 year old boy was swimming while we had frozen. Absolut crazy people!


    They also told us about the weather in Canada and the difference between british and french canadian people. Or "Quebecian" as the were called. I've never heard about a language police before. Which was really crazy for us. After two nights we had to leave and we continued to Niagara Falls. There I wanted to visit a very nice lady and I was looking forward to meet her again. The ride was more natural than before. Which means that the pavement was worse, if there was pavement. They also told us about a problem with street building and corruption in Quebec.


    On the way to Niagara Falls we rode thru Toronto and stopped there for lunch. It was still unbelievable for me to ride my own bike in Canada. To ship it to Los Angeles is no big deal, but riding it thru the US, cross the border to Canada by land and park Downtown Toronto ... it was like all birthdays and christmas days together on one day. Between all those peoples, signs and cars .. was very exciting!

  3. #18
    Luckies
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    In the afternoon we arrived at Holly's place and in the evening we visited a car show a few miles away of her house. Of course we've some US car shows in Austria too, but not with this big amount of old cars. Holly managed everything for our trip to Niagara Falls (THANK YOU AGAIN!!!). We were surprised that there was much more to see than "just" the falls. There's no chance to see all attractions on one day without getting in hurry. But what we saw was fantastic!!


    Because of the crazy prices for the ferry to Milwaukee we changend our plans, canceld Milwaukee and rode headed directly to St. Louis to meet up with Craig from ADV-Rider. But he was at the BMW Rally in Iowa. Good for us, because to visit a Rally in the US was on our to-do list. The Rally itself was "boring" - compared to one in Austria. I was very disappointed that they don't had dinner left for us - for what we paid for. But ok, let's say it was bad luck. Than we had to pay for breakfast ... WTF? I still don't know for what we paid 40 bucks (each).


    But it wasn't really that bad. We met a lot of people and a dealer right next offered 15% off on gear. On saturday we rode around the area and visited Amana, a town build by german settlers. There we met a german Canadian who was also at the rally (we met him again in the evening). At the rally we met Lee, a nice guy who lives close to the rally. And, of course, Craig. With all of them we had a great time and good conversations. It was a pleasure to meet you guys!!


    Craig invited us to stay at his house in St. Louis with his family. They showed us around Downtown, visited the Arch and had dinner together. Thank you so much!! If you ever come to Vienna ..


    The next day started with showers. And so we waited and used the time for talking about the political system in the US. On our way to Kansas City we stopped in Hermann, another town of german settlers. They may have "Bratwurst" and german signs, but thats all they have. But it was funny to see the signs in the center of the US. And yes, of course we stopped in Jefferson City to see the capitol before we continued on hwy 50.


    In Kansas City we took a day off because my bike needed a service. After I delivered my bike to the dealer and asked for a cab, a customer offered us to bring us back. He's working for a car company and on the way back we talked about the car market. Because we always saw a lot of car dealers (2-5 in each town/city) and I was wondering who buy all those cars. He also told us about a Baseball game in the evening. Another point on our to-do list (watch a baseball game): CHECK!


    The ride on hwy 50 was scenic and we saw a lot of historic landmarks and places. Even if the road was almost straight it was still a good riding day with excellent weather conditions.




    Before we arrived in Dodge City we saw thousands of cattle, waiting to get slaughtered and standing in their own waste. I'll never forget that awfull smell!! I'm not sure if I want to know which kind and how much medicine they need to not get sick. On this evening I sweared to my self to never eat cattle again if it's not organic.


    On the next day we left Kansas behind and crossed the border to Colorado. After a couple of miles we stopped at Fort Bent for a lesson in history:


    Colorado was special to me because I already knew (since I was planning the trip) that there are a lot of mountains and windy roads. Riding there was very exciting for me and I really loved the scenery! We ended the day in Salida and visited Duke from ADVrider to buy some shirts.


    Actually it was planned to meet a guy in Sawpit and ride some backroads with him. In fact that he wasn't at home, we decided to give another rally a try - next to Denver. But after I figured out that we had to pay $70 (each) and there was no room below $100, we canceled this idea very quickly. Maybe I'm the only BMW rider in the world who is not rich. Anyway .. we decided to have some fun in the mountains (Black Canyon, Independence Pass, ..) instead.



    Those days were full of changes. Milan - the guy from Sawpit - wasn't available, the rally too expensive and because of the forest fire north of Denver we had to cancel "Devils Tower" also. But that wasn't too bad because it was never planned to get there - the first time we heard about was in Washington D.c.


    And so we continued our trip to Red Lodge and the Bear Tooth Pass - which was also not planned at the beginning. The highlights of the day: Cody, Chief Joseph Hwy and the first part of the Bear Tooth Pass. After thousands of straight miles the windy roads to Red Lodge were more than welcome!


    The next day was special, very special. YELLOWSTONE!! But to get there, we had to ride the Bear Tooth Pass again. The idea was to spend as much time as possible in the National Park and to arrive as early as possible. So we started in the morning...

  4. #19
    Luckies
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    We knew that we can't see the hole National Park on one day, but what we saw on this day was awesome. The Yellowstone National Park is more than a good reason to come again. Next time we'll stay at the park and will arrive early June or after holidays. Riding thru the park on a motorcycle was very exciting with all those animals on or right next to the road. And yes, I was a little bit nervous passing those huge buffalos. It was an amazing day for us!!




    From Rexburg it was planned to take 93, 75 and 21 to Boise because it looked quite pretty on the map. But we met a woman at a post office who told us about the Craters of the Moon National Park and so we decided to change our plans and visit the National Park.


    Because of the time we spent at the National Park we continued on US20 to Boise. There I had to change the tires at "Big Twin Cicles". Those were the most expensive tires in the US - more than 400 bucks for Heidenau K60 and they didn't check the air pressure!! Anyway .. the city was nice and we took a day off to relax and walk around.


    From Boise we followed Hwy 26 to Bend. It was a great and fun ride with long curves, small towns and easy to do some miles. That's how I would love to travel thru a country.


    One of those small towns with a small gas station.


    It was cloudy and rainy in Bend. Not the perfect weather to stop at Crater Lake. But we didn't had the time to wait and so we continued as planned. One of the bad things if there's a plan to follow. It didn't cleared up and after we reached the top, it looked like that:


    And there was snow, a lot of snow:


    It rained the hole way to the west coast, where we stayed in Crescent City. Fortunately it cleared up over night and we had blue sky again. Back on the west coast. The first time I had a sad feeling because I knew the end of the trip was in reach.


    Riding thru the Redwood National Park was very impressive! We've never seen such big trees before. I thought the huge trees - I knew they're in the US - are in one of the National Parks. But I didn't know exectly where. Shame on me I didn't figured out while I was planning the trip. Anyway .. the guys we met in Washington D.C. (the same who told us about the Bear Tooth Pass) told us about Redwood.


    I thought thats it and we continued on 101 heading south to San Francisco. A few miles later I saw there's an alternate to the 101, the "Ave of the Giants". I had absolute no idea whats there, I just took it because there might be less traffic. Holy ... it blew my mind away!!!


    Highway One .. that's a chapter for its own.
    First of all I thought its wide (min 2 lanes each) with long curves. So I was surprised and happy the road is small and windy - aaaall the way down south. The view was awesome and the pavement in an excelent condition. Now I know why it's famous and many peoply love it. For me it was horrible. All those cars, campers .. in slow motion and most of the road "do not pass". If I would ever ride it again than only in a car or on a harley.



    At 5 pm we reached our destination for this day: Fort Bragg. We decided to ride another hour before we start searching for a room. We had no idea how bad this decision was. A hour later we stopped in a small town but there was a wedding and everything booked up. So we continued to Jenner, without success. There we met another couple, coming from San Francisco for a weekend trip, and I told them there are no rooms available up north. Campgrounds were also closed at this time. We start talking and he told us about a City called Windsor, which is away from the coast and has some Hotels and Motels. The sun was already gone and we had to decide if we join them or if we head to San Francisco. But there we wouldn't arrive before 10 and we had to ride the coast in darkness. And so we joined. In Windsor they told us about a NASCAR race this weekend and that there are no rooms available in the area. In San Francisco was a gay and lesbian parade, also no rooms left. I saw us hanging out in a bar waiting for sun rise. It was a lucky accident that we got a room at 1 am because a guest had a car problem and cancelled his reservation. And so we shared a room with 2 others we didn't know. But we had a "funny" time!

  5. #20
    Luckies
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    We arrived early in San Francisco and used the time for riding around. It was as same special as New York was. Riding there on my own motorcycle, on those streets we knew from TV and of course over the Golden Gate Bridge and Lombard Street was very exciting! At a viewpoint we met a guy and his wife who had guests from Thailand. After we talked about our trip he invited us to show us the lighthouse. We took a day off and walked around like all other tourists. We're sure to come again, with more time in the luggage.




    On our way down to Los Angeles, the last part of the trip, we stopped in Downtown Santa Barbara for a break. From there we rode to Oxnard, the point where our trip started. In Venture we stopped at the same place where we had our first frozen yoghurt and where we walked around on our first day. In the afternoon we arrived in the same Hotel where we started. Even that we'll spend one week with our friends from Vienna in Los Angeles, this day was very emotional for us. We still couldn't believe that the trip is now over. We spent more than 2 months on the motorcycle and it was also hard to believe that we've to stop riding. All the places we saw and visited, all the people we met .. it was awesome and I'm very grateful to had the chance doing that.

  6. #21
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the report and great pictures.
    How do you like your new riding gear?
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  7. #22
    Luckies
    Guest
    Hi Lee!!
    Thats just a few. All together we made more than 5000 pictures and more than 700 video clips. More pictures you'll find on my blog site.
    The suit fits well but it's not as warm as my old Dainese was. But thats no problem. For eastern Europe I would like to remove the BMW logo. Maybe it's better if the people don't know what I'm riding (ie. room prices).

  8. #23
    Luckies
    Guest
    It took several months to start working on the video. I wasn't able to put all those good memories in a short video - because it's always too short. Anyway ... here's are the first 11 minutes (from L.A. to Fort Worth, Texas).



    @Holly: We're looking forward to meet you in France and we hope you're ok! Maybe my wife will ride on her own bike.
    Last edited by Luckies; 02-25-2013 at 09:52 AM.

  9. #24
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Great video and the music seems perfect for it. I can hardly wait to see the rest.

    I'm very much looking forward to seeing you both in Champagne! I just bought a small bike for Europe. Tomorrow I drop it off at the shipper's. They will truck it to Florida and then it goes by sea to Germany. I'm leaving it at Stefan Knopf's for the FIM rallies. That way I'll have one there that I know I can ride.

    Holly

  10. #25
    Debbie's Servant Lee's Avatar
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    Thanks for the video
    Lee 2011 K1300S
    MOA # 30878
    Past BMW Bikes, 2003 K1200RS, 1991 K75S, 1987 K75T, 1984 R100RT

  11. #26
    Luckies
    Guest
    Sorry for my late answer, I was sick.

    Yesterday I finished part one and changed the link above. Hope you like it.
    Now I will start working on part two (along the east coast, from Florida to Canada).

    @Holly: you got mail

    @Lee: Thx! Hope you and your familiy are fine.

  12. #27
    Luckies
    Guest
    Sorry for the long delay! Yesterday I've finished part 2 (more or less, there always things you want to change). Hope you like it!



    @Holly: the train tickets for july are already bought!

  13. #28
    Amma Holly's Avatar
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    Another great video Dave. I'll let the Rounders know that Chip made it into this one!

    Funny, I was just checking out Eurorail passes this morning. I'm in BC waiting for the birth of my 8th grandchild. They want to go to a conference in Rome the first week of July and want granny along to help babysit the 3 year old as well as the new baby. So I might be taking trains from Rome to Heidelberg. My bike should be enroute to Heidelberg now. It was quite the effort getting it there. Stefan had a container going from Orlando Florida but I couldn't transport the bike there because you can't transport through the US for export. The fact that is wasn't being exported, but is licenced and insured in Ontario didn't seem to make a difference. So it had to be ridden there the first week of March, which is not riding weather in Canada. A friend trailered it to Tenessee for me, and I rode it south, in some barely above freezing weather. Got it safely to Orlando and then Stefan had all sorts of trouble. His container broke and he tried to ship from Miami instead, but they were sticking to the no export rules so I think the new container finally went from Savannah. Good thing there's lots of time for the bike to make it there! Looking forward to seeing you both in France!

  14. #29
    Out There Somewhere bmwrider88's Avatar
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    What a great Ride Report. As someone else mentioned, seeing our USA through your eyes is a real treat.
    Thank you, I really enjoyed your photos and story.
    Be The Change You Want To See In The World

  15. #30
    Luckies
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    Holly, I'm sorry it was too late to tell you I've two other contacts for shipping. Stefan Knopf is a great guy, but he wasn't flexible enough for me (cause he has only a container for Orlando). Maybe next time it's easier with these two comanies:
    - http://www.intime-ham.com
    - http://www.gravelroadlogistics.com/

    Do I've to be a member of FIM to camp there?? For Poland the wanted about 200 Euros each person.

    bmwrider88, we've never been in the U.S. before and you can imagine how amazing and interesting it was. Sometimes a little bit weird and irritating too. I would say we've experienced all kinds of feelings. After all those warnings from friends and people we met on the road I'm not sure if we only had luck but after all it was a great trip, we met great people and the hospitality was awesome and made us speechless some times. But next time we'll camp more often to save money.

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