TEXT & PHOTOS:
Ted Goslinga and Manuel Marabese
Day 16 - San Francisco
Today we had the entire day to explore San Francisco. Most of the group were paying a visit to the Fisherman's Wharf, riding the famous cable cart trolley through downtown SF and of course: visit the local Harley Davidson dealer! In the evening everyone spreads out to several famous restaurants to enjoy the wonderful nightlife!
The typical San Francisco houses
The famous cable cart on the steep streets of San Francisco
Pier 39 near to Fisherman's Wharf, always good for a lot of nice restaurants and entertainment
A view on Alcatraz island, now taken from the other side of the bay
Day 15 - Sonora - San Francisco
All the riders in the group were very much looking forward to this part of the tour: visiting the lively city of San Francisco and above all: riding the Harley Davidsons over the Golden Gate bridge! But before entering the city limits we had a great ride along the north side of the San Francisco Bay through Tiburon and Sausolito where we had a nice and relaxing lunch with a view on Alcatraz and the skykline of SF. Great day!
Finally arrived at the Golden Gate Bridge , San Francisco. Luckily for us: no sea mist today, so time enough to take a lot of great pictures
View on the former Alcatraz prison; temporarily housing for people like Al Capone!
Martin still can't believe he is actually here!
Anton, Rita, Martin, Stefan, Manfred & tourguide Ted
Day 14 - Mariposa - Sonora
Today is Manuel's lucky day since he is riding with the group today to one of the challenging days of the tour: the Tioga pass and the Sonora pass, which are real motorcyclists' dreams! The Tioga is more than 9000 feet hig (3031 meter) and has stunning viewpoints
Beautiful lake view on the Tioga pass
Mono lake between the Tioga and the Sonora pass. Wonderful wildlife too!
Day 13 - Visalia - Mariposa
Today was the "Yosemite" Park day! Everybody was looking very much forward to this park, what is considered as one of the most beautiful in the USA. Our first stop was at Glacier Point, where you have an amazing overview over the valley and the so called Half Dome. After this we took the humming Harleys down to the valley and continued the rest of the tour. Amazing day!
Fantastic view over the Yosemite valley seen from Glacier Point.
Anton and Rita enjoying the beautiful Tunnel View
The last stop at The Cathedral rock before heading out the park to Mariposa
A promising road sign for tomorrow when we are going to hit both the Tioga Pass and the Sonora pass in one day!
Day 12 - Visalia
Today we took a great tour into the mountains. First we visited the fabulous Sequoia Park with its giant trees and afterwards our group didn't want to hear anything about a "rest" day so we did a challenging drive through Kings Canyon where an ice cold beer was the reward of a great job. Well done guys!
Our Austrian wood workers !
Also a young beer paid us a visit while visiting the park
We did the same trick with our support Van..........
Stefan still can't believe that there is something bigger than him!
Day 11 - From Furnace Creek to Visalia
Before the sunrise the roar of a few bikes are breaking the silence of the desert night. We are ready to roll and ride 17 miles towards Badwater. This is gonna be our "deepest" sunrise ever, admired from the dry basin at 83m below sea level. The first sun rays hit the rocks before us around 6.30am and the temperature is already rising above 90°F (ca. 30°C). What an experience!
The "Artists Palette", name given because of the variety of color tones on these rocks.
Day 10 - From Las Vegas to Furnace Creek (Death Valley)
Still full with impressions of the incredible world called Las Vegas, we started of in the early morning after a rich breakfast on our way to the next iconic place in the USA: Death Valley. Notorious for being on average the hottest place in the world and also containing the lowest point in the USA (-94 meter below sea level), everbody in the group was ready to go. But of course not before we took the MUST DO picture at the"welcome to Las Vegas " sign at the beginning of the Strip. The weather predictions for Death Valley did meet our expectations: 44 degrees Celsius !
At the Mesquite Sand dunes in Death Valley national park
Tour guide Manuel checking out wildlife......
Leaving Death Valley for (temporarily) cooler heights!
Tour Guide Ted at the Badwater Basin at 6.30 in the morning avoiding the heat!
..and of course, so did (part) of the group! For some too early!
Rita overlooking Death Valley at Dante's View
Day 9 - Springdale (Zion national park) to Las Vegas
After a very nice stay in our splendid hotel at the entrance of the Zion National park, we started of this morning to go on on the route to Las Vegas! But the first event today is crossing the Valley of Fire, which obviously has it's name from it's flaming orange/red rocks . A fabulous contrast with the deep blue cloudless skies ! In the afternoon we finally then drove the Harley 's over The Strip in the City of Sin; Las Vegas. Soon after arrival everybody founds their way to the lively area around Las Vegas Boulevard AKA as The Strip!
Our great group at a shoot in Valley of Fire....
.....even with a enthousiastic young lady dancing behind Manfred and Stefan!
At the strip, Las Vegas, always good for a lot of fun!
The guess is that there are a lot of customers for the stuff they are advertizing for!!!
Day 8 - From Bryce Canyon to Zion
A very short ride will give us some break after all the miles we put under the saddle in the past week. So many great parks, each of them so unique that it's hard to imagine some more surprises. But here we come, Zion will impress us even more, showing a great array of colors from pink to gold, passing trough various shades of sand and grey.
Day 7 - From Moab (Utah) to Bryce Canyon
Today we followed our way through the wonderful state of Utah with our end goal Bryce Canyon. Due to the remaints of a tropical hurricane and a pacific typhoon we had to reroute our tour a bit. We crossed the Sasn Rafael desert west bound and then south towards Bryce Canyon. All together a nice day and tour guide Manuel made a new email friend during lunch in an authentic restaurant. John (age 87) directly began to spam Manuel with dozens of email messages !!
Bryce Canyon in all his glory!
Rita and Martin checking out the view at Farview point in Bryce Canyon
And a selection of riding shots of the day...
Day 6 - Moab (Utah)
In Moab , the center of outdoor activities in Utah) we had a rest day, so an extra day in our very nice hotel. After a nice sleep in and a good breakfast we drove to the Arches national park where we enjoyed again the stunning views of the canyons and valleys!
Day 5 - From Mexican Hat to Moab
Someone goes for a morning dip in the pool before breakfast, while others enjoy a few moments admiring these red rocks in the sun light. Today we are a shorter ride and around lunch time we can already set foot in Moab, the adventure capital of Utah. In the afternoon we have some time to enjoy the magnificent rock formations in Arches National Park and the evening will delight us with a stroll around town with its lively atmosphere.
Church rock posing behind our Harley.
Wilson Arch, one of the many arches in this incredible area.
Riding around Arches, Manfred (top) and Stefan above here and below.
Martin in his typical smile and "sensationell" expression.
Rita and Anton after the walk to the Delicate Arch viewpoint.
Martin admiring proudly the panorama.
Day 4 - From Tusayan (Grand Canyon) to Mexican Hat (Monument Valley)
A very impressive but very hot day! After visiting the South Rim of the Grand Canyon we followed our way through the Navajo Indian reservate to Monument Valley. After enjoying the fabulous views everybody was very eager to take a jump in the swimming pool. After sunset we closed the day with a very good steak in the Swinging Grill restaurant in Mexican Hat!
Stefan, Manfred, Rita , Anton and Martin at the Grand Canyon South Rim
A beautiful view over the Grand Canyon
A very nescesssary water stop in the hot desert!
Anton and rita in John Wayne country (Monument Valley) and below some riding shots across this stunning scenery...
Cooling down in a HOT tub ........should have been a COLD tub!!
DAY 3 - From Lake Havasu to Tusayan (Grand Canyon)
Theme of the day... Route 66, "The Mother Road" built in the 1920s as a main connection from east to wes (Chicago to SantaMonica) and that became THE symbol of the road trip across USA, especially if on a motorbike... and which one would fit better than a Harley?
The donkeys of Oatman
Ready for a burger 50s style?
A classic one
Stopping by at Hackberry store, a legend along Route 66
Martin and his new car
Manfred trying to fill up with "vintage gas"
Sundries store in Seligman, another eclectic place to do your shopping
Just in case someone is still not sure... We are definitely on the right route!
Uh!!! A beamer across the States, fully loaded
Couldn't get prettier? Sunset on the prairie along the way to Grand Canyon
DAY 2 - From Big Bear Lake to Lake Havasu
Two very different lakes in two different states, separated by a wast land: the Mohave desert and the mighty Colorado river! Several highlights today again, including the former "movie set" Pioneer Town, the singular Joshua Tree Park, Parker Dam...
Watch out cowboy! Sheriff is in town!
Bad boys get punished
And happy ones enjoy the saloon!
Listening to Rick's stories of gone by time when Pioneertown was a prime spot for shooting movies is an interesting experience
DAY 1 - From Santa Monica to Big Bear Lake
The big day for Stefan, Manfred, Martin, Markus, Rita and Anton from Austria (with tour guides Ted from Holland and Manuel form Italy) has arrived! Time to get those Harleys on the road and start cruising America! In the morning we go trough Santa Monica Beach, Sunset Boulevard, Beverly Hills, Hollywood... And then up on Angeles Crest Hwy on great mountain sceneries! Our destination is Big Bear Lake, among pines and cooler breeze.
Rita walking the Walk of Fame
The "gang" around Hollywood
Perhaps the most famous cinema in the world: The Grauman's Chinese Theatre
Yes... at that point we are kinda sure we are in Hollywood, aren't we?
Seeeelfie time for tour guide Manuel
Portions here are always gigantic, and this burger confirms it
Posing before Silverwood lake
And finally on the shore of Big Bear lake
Someone is ready for a beach walk!
The sky is perfectly blue, the sun shines bright, the breeze is caressing gently our face and the temperature is warm but not too hot. Where can we be? California of course!
A legendary special tour is about to start... Stefan, Anton, Rita, Manfred, Markus, Martin are all excited to vroom vroom the new 2014 Harleys waiting for us in Santa Monica. We are going to Beerly Hills and Hollywood tomorrow, and then east towards Bernardino mountains. What a great ride to start this 3 weeks long motorcycle tour across California, Arizona, Utah and Nevada!