Text & Photos: Martin Haid & Manuel Marabese
DAY 9 - THE LAST DAY OF BEST OF AMERICA
Hooray, hooray, not any snow today!!!
The reward for the last days freezing is today. Sun, nice riding and at lunch a picnic.
We start from Zion to Las Vegas, also called Sin City.
Highlight of the day is the Valley Of Fire as you can imagine when looking at the following pictures.
The big BMWs with Rina & Tim and Denisse & Cesar.
Gaby can't deside what view to freeze first with her camera.
Cesar and Jonathan, the other ones are somewhere taking photos.
Our picnic spot in the Valley Of Fire, before the hungry bikers savage this place of silence.
Here they come raiding the outdoor-restaurant ...
Gaby followed by Denisse and Ceasar.
Rina and Tim, behind them Martha (known former as Licia) and Bruno and last but not least tourguide Manuel (an example of "free riding" as we've learned).
Oops! Jonathan is too quick, don't catch him. Sorry, Jonathan!
--- missing image because of speeding ---
They have conquered it!
Martin the ccok, Cesar, Martha, Bruno, Denisse, Rina, Gaby, Tim and Jonathan. Behind the camera is Manuel.
Shortly before arriving in Vegas - main thing at an U.S.-car: a big block V8 and an exhaust like a stovepipe !
Try to hook up your offroader in Europe to take it with you into holiday-season, police will stop you without humor !
The first view of Las Vegas, Nevada.
... and first dipping into this awesome City.
The Residence Inn Marriott - our hotel, not so far from the strip.
The farewell evening for Denisse and Cesar is placed at the Bahama Breeze, the rest of the group you'll find again on the CBE1501, the extension tour from Las Vegas to Los Angeles.
The group of Best Of America - the best group of america at the moment !
Martha, Gaby, Denisse, the roman emperor Cesar, Martin, Jonathan, Rina, Tim, Bruno, camera director Manuel - and in the background the tallest waitress of Vegas.
Thanks to Denisse and Cesar for joining us, it is a pleasure to know you, the two Venezuelans of Florida. We hope to see you again! Maybe on another tour?
Last impressions of Sin City ...
... and a first impression of the new Edelweiss "van", OK Rainer?
After yesterdays winterdream we looked outside the window in the night to see the weather and what it will be tomorrow ... it was like this!
But today in the morning it might have changed - yes, into THIS!!!!!
So we decide to visit Bryce Canyon with the shuttle bus and start the bike tour a little bit later. Bryce Canyon is amazing but also in motocycle gear we are freezing, e.g. Bruno and Martin.
After returning to the hotel we wait at the lobby for better conditions, and after an hour we take the chance to start biking and we get rewarded for our braveness with views like this.
The sunny part of our riding day starts ... until the snow comes back.
After a while we are chilled to the bones, wet, but still good humored !
Jonathan, Rina, Gaby, Bruno and Tim.
Licia is Manuel's passenger in the van.
Denisse and Cesar are driving ahead to Springsdale - they are so quick that we can't get a picture .
And suddenly the sun smiles with us. A crazy day!
What a day! We start with mild temperature from Moab but as soon as we enter San Rafael desert a strong wind brings heavy rain and a very moody sky. After a tasty Mexican lunch in Capitol Reef we start climbing scenic highway 12 through Dixie national forest and when we pass the elevation of 8500ft the rain drops start to become slush... Gaby asks me (Manuel) "How far to the summit?" ... Well when I reply her "still another 1000ft of elevation" I saw her smile transformed into the typical adventure grin...
From now on this tour has a new name: America Adventure Extreme!!! And the name of the group of brave riders and passengers? The Unstoppables!
We did it !!!!!!!!
Manuel two hours before: " It might be A LITTLE RAINY, let's put on the rain gear."
A nice place for the hard-earned coffee stop in Escalante.
Today it was hard work, normaly MM's business days look like this ... (sorry Manuel, now the office knows)
On Moab Rest Day we do about 150 miles and have our first picnic, because our group wanted to collect so many impressions until now, that it wasn't possible to do the outdoor lunch on the designated days.
We drive through Canyonland National Park and Arches National Park, namly Gaby, Rina, Tim and Martin.
Today's birthday child Denisse and Cesar drive on their on to the picnic spot, where Manuel is prepairing the meal.
Licia, Bruno and Jonathan do a real rest day on the pool and in the rooms.
At the Grand View in Canyonland National Park the incredible canyons of Colorado River behind the left plateau and Green River behind the right plateau meet here at Meander Canyon, so Colorado gets even bigger here.
Rina evertime looking for a good picture.
Tim everytime looking for Rina.
Gaby smiling although she's not feeling so well (maybe a souvenir from the "gas-station-smelling-Jeep" from yesterday).
They've special moto gear in Canada for their warm temperatures, as you see !
After changing to Arches National Park we met Denisse, Cesar and Manuel at the picnic spot at Devils Garden, were Denisse got a first gratulation to her 27th birthday. The party will follow after dinner (sorry no cameras allowed).
Our group in action on the way back to the Holiday Inn-Jacuzzi!
The 27 year old girl Denisse and her Boss Ceasar followed bei Gaby ... and the Canadian Express Rina and Tim.
It's the day of the huge rocks and an uncountable number of colors. We enter the Monument Valley, do an offroad section in 4x4s (and the brave tourguides on two GSs) and go up to the north, crossing another part of Navajo territory until we reach Moab. It's overwhelming, see he pictures ...
You probably know this picture ... Hollywood western movies and blockbusters were produced here ... we're in Monument Valley.
Let's take a promotion-picture for our helmet brand with our model Manuel.
Manuel freezing amazing moments with our group.
A few little stones ...
On the right you see the Tourguide's 2014 helmet and on the left the new one from 2016 named Typ Flintstone.
One of the Navajos with his Taxi-Jeep. "The car is smelling inside like a gas station", Gaby told us ...
... but sitting on a GS she is smiling again!
The same with Denisse and Cesar!
Lunch stop at Navajo Twin Rocks
We hope our bikes don't get too hot so far away from cold home state?
One the way to Moab we also pass Wilson Arch. Rina bought new batteries before, climbs up the arch and now she's running somewhere through Dry Valley until her dashboard shows "low battery". Tim is hardly following her. We hope to see them tomorrow at breakfast again.
A last rock for today.
Yeah! We have reached the hotel in Moab with its pool and jacuzzi for our tired bodies !!!!!!
A great day is ahead of us. Most of the group chose to go on the superlong route: over 300 miles covering Gran Canyon, Navaho Nation and the superstar Antelope Canyon, arriving in the evening in Kayenta, just at the door of Monument Valley. All in one day! We start with the amazement of Motherpoint view on the south rim of Gran Canyon.
Selfie time for Manuel
Human being is so small compared to this majestic natural wonder.
Gaby ready for a flight!
Martin, Bruno and Licia admiring the various geological levels of the canyon walls.
Just 20 miles ride and we get to Desert View, which is ironically showing us more water the mother view, since from here you get a better glimpse of the Colorado river, the powerful artist thatcreated this landscape millions of years ago.
Inside the "fake ruined" watchtower you can sample some fine Native American arts.
Cameron trading post is our lunch break, surely not alone: it looks like all the motorcyclists riding in Southwest this period decided to merge here! For the long route group just a quick picnic style lunch because we want to get on time to Antelope Canyon that can be accessed only with a little bit of hurry.
How lucky we are, just arrived and the next entrance is scheduled in just 5 min!
Entering the Lower Antelope Canyon, V-shaped and therefore very narrow at the bottom is a touching experience.
The shades and color contrasts here are simply astounding!
The Upper Antelope gets often jammed, that´s why Manuel has decided to come to the Lower instead, much more laidback. We are often the only ones in the various passages.
Everyone keeps shooting pictures like there is no tomorrow. Every corner is truly unique.
Tim and Rina happily posing in one of the narrows.
Gaby super happy. It was actually her proposals to go on the superlong route today and after experiencing this marvel everyone is grateful to her!
Again Rina and Tim for a good portrait shot under the wedding arch... More romantic than a gondola in Venice.
Everchanging colors, every step is a new perspective. This place is sacred for the NAtive Americans, and for them entering this gorge is like stepping inside a cathedral. The sense of silence and respect for the immense power of mighty Mother Nature is strong here.
Edelweiss promo shot, check! Royalties t Manuel pls.
We are coming towards the exit of the canyon while our Navaho guide Emerson is telling how is life in the Nation, giving us some interesting insights and also geological explanations.
Yes we made it! A very long day but surely rewarding, I am sure everyone is falling asleep quite earlx tonight, charging batteries for Monument Valley coming up tomorrow.
Good morning! Perfect sky here in Arizona! The short winter storm over California has passed and now we enjoy a late spring weather.
Today we ride on the Mother Road, the historical Route 66. First stop Oatman, famous gold mining town at the begining of the 20th century. Here Bruno and Licia posing for us.
Oatman is also famous for its donkeys, still peacefully filling Main Street.
Also here we are not the only bikers. Route 66 is fascinating for every motorcyclist.
The road gets even more interesting climbing Sitgreavse Pass, the highest point before reaching Kingman.
Bruno and Licia on their Harley, a classic one!
Jonathan cruising on the BMW LT with Manuel´s beamer on the side.
Tim and Rina on the RT with a wide vista on the background.
Denisse and Cesar waving from the GTL.
Kingman is our lunch stop, at the Retro style Diner Mr D´z, but before that we still have a bit of time for the Powerhouse and Route 66 museum.
Burger, fries and coke... As American as it can get...
Group shot with an old Chevvi truck.
And Rina is trying some new outfit... naaa that helmet ain´t good for touring, but keep it for the next Sturgis or European Bike Week at Faaker see!
Hackberry, a vintage shop along the old Route 66, unmissable stop as well.
You can even play your fav oldies here! Or not?
One last souvenir stop before reaching Williams, now it´s time for Seligman!
New day, new landscape! What a different from ocean front in Santa Monica, eh?
Everyone is getting ready to start the ride towards Joshua Tree Park in the Mohave desert. Here Bruno and Licia on the brand new Electra Glide.
Gaby on her white chic GS700, behind her Jonathan on his own LT and Cesar und Denisse on the new GTL. Ready??? Go!
First stop is Pioneertown, a movie set created for Wild West Movies and now it has become a neat tourist attraction.
Someone is enjoying a moment of rest... right Gaby?
Making friends with a talkative local....
And here we go, our first group shot! Everyone still looking very fresh, let´s see the comparison at the end of the tour after Vegas!
Oh cowboys on iron horses, please spare my life!
Vaste vistas over endless horizons, the south west USA is truly unique.
The ride has been long but now we can enjoy a lakeside dinner on the patio of London Bridge Resort. Yes, the real London Bridge from 19th century has been smantled, shipped and rebuilt here on Lake Havasu in the 60ies... as crazy as it sounds.
FIRST RIDING DAY - Santa Monica to Big Bear
The first riding day started at the Loews in Santa Monica, only Licia and Bruno came not until Griffith Observatory to the group, because they had to pick up the fully equipped 2014 Harley with Martin before. Martin navigated them to Griffith Park and so also did the rest of the day - that's not usually - with the group as a sweeper in the van. He was very happy that the van has a heater - see a few pictures below, than you understand why ...
At Griffith Observatory - see the hard-earned HD!
On Angeles Crest Highway - with a few snow in the background ...
... with snow at the sides and fog everywhere ...
... with ICY-signs ...
... with stones on the surface ("Watch the surface!", as we told them in the briefing.).
The Garmin didn't show the temperature: -2° Celsius!
Frozen but happy bikerseverywhere!
Licia and Bruno
Rina and Gabi
Denisse and Cesar and TG Manuel
Rina and Timothy
At Lunch-Stop we found that sign - they're kidding, no more snow please.
A windy road and a Harley in the USA - that's easy living. ... and this bloody damn ICY-sign in the background. Would have been a perfect picture, but this sign ! Is Licia driving? I can't see Bruno.
Our Hotel in Big Bear - beautiful & beautiful landscape & friendly, nice people from the hotel. The Tourguides are happy!
THE ARRIVAL DAY
First time in The USA, first time on a real Tour - not for Manuel but for me (Martin). The day before the tour started I was a little bit nervous, a little bit optimistic, an a little bit confused about the many things that I only knew from the theoretic part. Fortunately I tried to put the optimistic thoughts in front of all others, because I needed them in the beginning, when a few (only a few ) things didn't work like Manuel and Martin wished it for their first tour in common. Our Van, the white on the right side, I found after a little Odyssee around the L.A. International Airport, and it works well, but it's not high enough to put a BMW 1200 LT or 1600 GTL inside. So we transported a 700GS and a 800GS with the van (800GS with unrigged windscreen, because to high for the van) and took a taxi from Santa Monica back to Long Beach to ride the big BMWs to the Hotel.
Our Hotel in Santa Monica, good for guests with a little bit money left, but very bad for tour guides, who need nice and quick service !
Another task to solve was to swap the wrong delivered Harley in a right one - on riding day 1 in the morning! ... but we got it