Day: 67
Date: 08/06
City: Modesto, California
Miles ridden: 127
Cumulative miles: 6107

In the morning we went to the bike shop in San Francisco where we ordered two new back tyres yesterday. While the tyres got fitted we went to the AAA to get a map for South America and to have a look at what is available for the USA. On the way we stumbled over a shoe shop and got a pair of shoes so Sigrid so she could wear her skirt with something other than bike boots or her pink crocs 🙂.

At the AAA, we found a map for South America but nothing good for the USA. Then we went to McDonalds to SMS Vincent (a friend of ours from Germany) and let him know that we were on our way to Yosemite. We got the call that the tyres were fitted, so we went back, talked to the guys and the girl about our trip and left the shop. They did a marvellous job to fit our tyres in just under two hours; the first estimation was three or more.

On our way out we took a couple of pictures from of a different bridge- Not golden gate 🙂. The bridge has two stories, one for each direction.

Then we left San Francisco on a highway, the traffic was very slow, so we decided to change the GPS to avoid highway. And so it did. We only made 20 miles in the next hour. So we decided to have a coffee break and after looking at the map we decided to go back onto the highway. The traffic on the highway was still a bit slow, but as soon we entered the 120 traffic started to flow. We stopped to buy some strawberries

and continued to Twain Hard.
We came to stretch of a road with 2 lanes. A vehicle came from the left side and turned into the right lane, so we kept our speed and moved to the left lane. After overtaking it, I moved back to the right lane. As soon I was in the lane, my bike started to wobble. Hrm, that didn’t feel right. The wobble became stronger, so I slowed down. The wobble became less frequently but the amplitude was stronger. That didn’t feel right at all, so if slowing down didn’t help, so I tried to accelerate…….

The full-on gear test
I lost control of the bike and it flipped. I came off and was sliding down the road, I remember that I could see the visor on the helmet getting scratched and I thought the legs don’t get as hot as Wombat said (he had an accident last year). Anyway, after a short time I stopped sliding and thought @#$%^! Lucky for me, the car following saw the whole thing unfolding and kept its distance and stopped in time. As it happened, the driver was a country doctor on vacation.
A couple of minutes later a paramedic (Eric) who just finished his shift passed by and also stopped to help. I was in good hands! Sigrid arrived and was happy to see me responsive. At this point of time I started to complain about my left hand. It hurt, a lot.
The ambo arrived, they looked at my back; to do so they cut my Jacket open and then the shirt… My Ulysses club shirt from the AGM last year… no, not this shirt….. Their response was that they have to cut it. They cut the trousers as well, but this time they assured me that they were wrecked anyway. The gloves were wrecked as well but they came off without a problem. The only thing that survived are the boots, they were scratched but otherwise ok.  So medic measured my blood pressure, and I did hear him say to get a helicopter to lift me out.

What?!?  A helicopter?? Only my hand was hurting, the rest was fine! I asked him why and he said that my blood pressure was too low. I told him that this happens to me when I’m in strong pain.
“Ok” he said, “I’ll give it another chance”, and measured it again. This time the blood pressure was better.
Ok, so I got to ride in the ambulance to the Oakdale hospital. After xraying and then assessing the x rays, I was transported to Modesto, apparently the food is better and they have a happy hour…. Or they have an Orthopaedic surgeon who could have a look at my arm.  Personally I preferred my story.

On that transport we meet Pat,

She was driving the ambulance and made sure that Sigrid could follow on her bike. She rides as well and has some connections to motorcyclist here in Modesto. When we arrived in the Modesto hospital, the surgeon had gone home, so an emergency doctor had a look at it, knocked me out, and tried to get the wrist aligned to put it into a splint. At 2.30 AM I was discharged with all my papers and x-rays and asked to make an appointment on Monday with the orthopaedic surgeon. I like the fancy look of my trouser-flares. Those are going to be modern again!

The hospital was really helpful and organized a motel and a taxi for us. Sigrid followed the taxi to the hotel and we arrived there at 3 AM. What a day!

Day: 66
Date: 07/06
City: San Francisco, California
Miles ridden: 30
Cumulative miles: 5926

Called the tyre guys in the morning, both had to order the 2nd pair of tyres in. So we decided to order them with the bike shop closest to us . We would get up in the morning, get the tyres fitted and ride off to the Yosemite NP.

Then we started 2 up and went to Staples – like an office supply store – to order new business cards for our journey, as we gave our last card away yesterday.  After that we drove to the Richmond BART station. We parked our bike there and secured it with the security chain from Wombat and put the cover over. I must admit the surrounding didn’t fill me with great confidence that we still would find everything when we returned…

From here we were using the train to go into San Franscisco. The train traveled under the bay and is fully automated, where the train driver is only there as a backup and controls the closing of the doors.

Anyway, we arrived at Powel Station where we joined the long queue to hop on the cable car. After 3 cars where gone it was our turn. We started to sit in the car, but after a couple of stations, some seats outside became available. We took them and I could stand on the outside and hang onto the car. At the end we left the car at Lombard Street.

We walked down Lombard street and continued to the piers where there is apparently good and cheap seafood available

We had a look at the sea lions at the pier and had some clam chowder in a bread bowl. Actually, I got a refill. And by that I mean, after we had eaten all the chowder and the bread bowl was left, I went back and asked for a refill. First the cook thought I was joking and said there was no refill, then I told him that we very much liked his chowder, and we came all the way from Australia to taste it, but the bread was now a bit dry. He agreed to refill it for 2 bucks 😀

Anyway, after a nice filling meal we went back to the cable car, waited in a queue for 2 cars to go before it was our turn. Hopped on the car, went back to the BART station, hopped onto the BART train, and returned to our motorbike. Everything was there as we left it. As I said before, most of the people are good and you must be lucky to meet somebody who is not 😀

Then we went back to Staples to get our business cards and copies of our motorcycle title which we laminated there (for Central/South America). For tea we bought tuna salad and beer and went to the hotel to see the sunset, eating tuna salad.

Planned the day ahead and booked the accommodation for tomorrow.

Day: 63
Date: 04/06
City: Morro, California
Miles ridden: 184
Cumulative miles: 5439

This morning we looked how far we had to go today, with San Fracisco being the target. We decided to have an easy day and avoid the interstates and travel on highway 1 instead, which would be much quicker. After discovering that the Luxor in Las Vegas charged us more than 300 US$, it took us a while to figure out where most of the charges are coming from. The 300$ charge we couldn’t figure out all, so we sent an email to them to request a detailed bill. Booking the accommodation and writing the email took us until 11 AM, so it was a late start. After packing the bikes and filling up it was noon and the weather was still cloudy. We rode to the beach and keept riding, but the temperature was rather cold. After a while I decided to stop at a beach restaurant, the Neptune Net.


There were multiple bikes parked and the restaurant looked rather busy, indicating it was the right place to be. We had some average coffee, chauder and fish and chips. It was averagely tasty (except the coffee, which was worse than average… It was close to bad and burned, which might have something to do with it was sitting there since the morning, or maybe even the morning yesterday).

At the restaurant I got my heated liner out and connected it, so did Sigrid. The ride after that was windy but rather pleasant (and warm). We continued until we came to a State beach, the sun came out and I thought that would be the right place to have a break. Since we were not willing to pay 10US$/bike for the entry, we used the bench on the entry of the park to have a quick rest. Sigrid got rid of her heated liner while I left my on, just in case. After riding for another hour, it became rather cold again. We stopped and Sigrid got her jacket on again. The landscape was great, the hill keep the clouds back and there were plenty of fields. Some of them had Strawberries, so we stopped at the next stall and bought a punnet for only 2US$. The strawberries were huge, after a short test if they glow in the dark we tasted them. They were huge and sweet, like somebody planted sugar in the strawberries, but just the right amount.

We finally arrived at the hotel, the owner upgraded us to a suite and put us at on the ground floor. The room was great, even better for a budget price (50US$/night including tax, breakfast and WiFi). On the way down we could hear some seals making noise. When we entered a restaurant we could see them as well. The food, the red and the sunset was nice.


Day: 64
Date: 05/06
City: Morro, California
Miles ridden: 0
Cumulative miles: 5686

We added a rest day, slept in, bought some stuff that we needed and planned our trip up to Seattle. Had a long nap, upgraded our software for the communication equipment, had a look at the Venus transit (with a sort of pinhole camera), had Mexican for tea and went to bed. Nothing exciting to report, but a nice and relaxing day!

Day: 65
Date: 06/06
City: San Francisco, California
Miles ridden: 210
Cumulative miles: 5896

We got up a bit earlier. And had a look at the Morro rock were the seals and the otters could be seen.

We saw some otters close to the shore, tied up with seaweed to stay stationary and one seal on the other side. We put our heated liners on, and we were happy that we did it. After a while it got windy and cold. We road towards San Francisco and stopped at the Fernwood Motel, had some ice cream and a coffee.


After that we continued to San Francisco. On our last stop we filled the bike up, but this time is was a car wash business. We realised this after starting to fill the bikes. Anyway, the supervisor gave us the receipt and directed us out of the queue. After the loo break we had a coffee and while drinking the coffee we started to talk to the supervisor about our plans. He talked to his work collegues and after a while we gave him our last card and took a picture of the two.

Then we continued to San Francisco, to see the Golden Gate Bridge. The GPS guided us over the bridge and at the other side it told us take the next possible exit. It turned out that we turned around, when I noticed it, it was too late, and there was no way to turn back. Anyway, in the middle of the bridge, the GPS told us to go ‘off road’ and turn right for 500 feet…  That would be off the bridge (@#$%!!). When I was setting up our route, I selected the Golden Gate Bridge as waypoint and I must have missed it by a couple of mm, so the GPS thought it would be a point 500 feet off the bridge. For this it calculated the route, we had to pass the waypoint first, then turn around and then go off the bridge 🙂. How considerate. I guess Garmin has some room for improvement there. Anyway, on the way back we had to pay 6$ for each bike (the other way was free). So we paid and passed the bridge and turned around to have a look at the Bridge Centre. There was a nice view onto the bridge and there we met as well Glenn. He is from Humboldt County, California. He saw our map and we started talking. He was fascinated by our journey and he would like it if we could meet some of the kids which were just walking the bridge.

We did our own thing, took a couple of pictures, went to the shop and came back to the bikes. It just happened that the kids arrived and we had a brief talk about our plans

From there we rode to our accommodation, this time the GPS didn’t ask us to jump off the bridge. It turned out that I booked it one day too early, so we agreed to pay the non-internet prices and forget the booking from the previous day. So we did. After getting into our room and parking the bikes (rather difficult with the carpark on a steep hill). We had a nice meal, talked to Wombat and Val and planned our trip for tomorrow.

Day: 60
Date: 01/06
City: Barstow, California
Miles ridden: 182
Cumulative miles:5191

We packet everything and carried all of our stuff to the car park. It was really hot. Here is a view from the top of the car park, I thought the view  of the mountain was great.


After both bikes were packet we had a look at the Titanic exhibition, but unfortunately no pictures could be taken. It shows the story of the Titanic from the cradle to the grave, supported by pieces recovered from the bottom of the sea. They also had a piece of frozen seawater, I didn’t realize that saltwater ice in the sea is much colder than zero degrees because of the salt contents. The exhibition was nice and cool. After that, we rode to the Mirage to have a look at Sigfrid’s and Roy’s secret garden. We arrived there around lunch and it was stinking hot, so guess what the panther, lion and puma did? Right! They had a nap, great timing 😛 (I didn’t bother to put the pictures up), but the dolphins were active, that really saved the day 🙂

Below are the Diddles in front of large fish tank in the entrance hall of the Mirage, the a jumping dolphin and a view from the underwater window.


Then we headed off to the BMW dealership to have a look for the Schuberth C3 helmets (Sigrid has size C3W 55 and I have C3 59). It was still stinking hot. We found the helmets were quite nice but our communication equipment wouldn’t fit. A bit frustrated we started to head towards Barstow, only 150 miles, but it’s around 40 degree Celsius and the wind was hot. It didn’t get any better when we were riding thought the Mojave desert. We saw a truck or bus that was completely burned out on the opposite highway lane and that some poor bugger tried to move it from the road. There was only one lane and in no time we could see a traffic jam and plenty of cars on the side with their bonnet open. At the next stop we made sure that we had enough water, just in case. The temperature was still around 40 degrees. After some short water stops we arrived in Barstow. The first thing was to get the bathers on and hop into the pool! The pool was not heated so it was nice, cool, and refreshing. We had and early night.

Day: 61
Date: 02/06
City: Los Angeles, California
Miles ridden: 153
Cumulative miles: 5344

Had breakfast in the room, in the breakfast room (entrance) there were only 2 tables and both were busy. We organized a hotel in Los Angeles and since we only had a 2 hour ride today, and the room was available after 3PM, we decided to have a look at the ghost town ‘Calico’ just seven miles from our hotel.

Calico is a rebuild ghost town. In the late 18 hundreds it was town with around 2000 people and a couple of silver mines. When the price for silver sunk, the population shrunk and at the beginning of the 20th century it was a ghost town. Anyway, the town was on a hill and in the middle of a desert. Most of the rebuilt house had some sort of shop in them. There was as also a duel going on (for show only) and a train, that drove around the mines. It was stinking hot but all shops were air conditioned 😀.  It was quite interesting to see how the people lived/survived 100 year ago in a desert.


After we looked at all the houses, we rode to Los Angeles and straight to the hotel. After bringing all our stuff into the room we jumped into the pool. Oh! We also took the laptops to the pool and I noticed that the beer must have dried out, all letters where working again! One less thing to worry about. After our swim we went to WalMart riding two-up to buy some stuff that we needed. (That is, a swim suit for Sigird, new short trousers for Sigrid, because we left the old ones somewhere). On the way back we stopped at a Vietnamese Restaurant, great food and we payed only US$20.

Day: 62
Date: 03/06
City: Los Angeles, California
Miles ridden: 95
Cumulative miles: 5439

In the morning we road to the Griffith Conservatorium to see the Hollywood sign. When we arrived at the top of the mountain and the end of the road, there were no car parks left, but just in front of the entry there were plenty of motorcycle parks, all free

We took the pictures of the Hollywood sign and then headed into the Observatory. There were some exhibitions about astronomy and physics, some physics experiments and the Foucault Pendulum. That prooved that the earth is rotating 🙂

After that we rode to the walk of fame,

and walked it up to the Chinese Theatre, where famous people left their hand and foot prints.


After that we walked back, and did some riding through the hills. There is some really nice views from the hills to LA and also overlooking some great houses. Then we arrived in Santa Monica pier, the end of route 66. We walked to the front of the pier, which was huge. There was a merry go round, some stalls as well as a restaurant and some live music.


After taking some pictures, we went back to the bike and rode to the Venice Beach. The weather became cloudier and when we arrived at the Venice beach the sun was hiding behind the clouds. We dipped our feed into the ocean,

and had a look at the body builder hall of fame and some gym equipment. Unfortunately the  gym was closed.  So we bought some icecream, sat at the beach for a bit and went home after that. There was no sunset since the sun was behind clouds. The ride back was ok, we took the highway which was fast (since the traffic is easy on Sundays). Had something to eat at the Vietnamese place from yesterday and went to bed.



Day: 57
Date: 29/05
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Miles ridden: 194
Cumulative miles: 4986


Sigrid went swimming in the morning then we got ready to ride to Las Vegas. Below is the view of our hotel in Hurricane.

After riding across the border to Nevada and passing through nice desert with long, initially stretchy and later on windy, roads, we arrived at the new Hover Dam Bridge. The view from here was breathtaking; Val doesn’t like heights, so she waited for us at the beginning of the bridge. I didn’t know that one side of the bridge is in Nevada and the other in Arizona.

The view from the new bridge onto the dam.

After the bridge walk we road down to the Hoover Dam car par but on the Nevada side it costs 7$ per bike, so we went to the car park on the Arizona side, which was free. For Wombat and Val it was too hot so they continued to Las Vegas. Sigrid was keen to take a guided tour so we waited and only just managed to get into the last tour. We went down to have a look at the turbines and some other infrastructure. It was interesting to talk to the guides, they mentioned that they have never seen the water level as low as it currently is. It looks like you can see the change of weather pattern all over the world.


The four towers are the water intake for the turbines. On the right picture you can see the dam and the new bridge.

These are both overflow channels, they are huge.

After the guided tour we set off to Las Vegas, to the Luxor Hotel, aka “the Pyramid”. We had just booked the accommodation in the morning and when we arrived we were positively surprised, the negative critics in the Tripadvisor nearly prevented us from booking it. After seeing the rooms, we decided to stay for another 2 days. On the way to the room after we parked the bikes we were approached by some guys that sell time shares and they offered us free breakfast and four free tickets to a show and a fifty dollar food voucher. We told them that we have no money but agreed to come and have a look tomorrow, afterall there’s a free breakfast was included 🙂
(We are on a budget after all 😉 ) When we checked in, we meet a guy from Tassi (Tim) who lived in Alaska for several years. We meet him again when we went to the bar, he was there with some work mates. We got his card so we will send him an e-mail to get some more info about Alaska.

Below is the view inside in our hotel/Pyramid.



Day: 58
Date: 30/05
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Miles ridden: 0
Cumulative miles: 4986

This morning, we went in the to our time share sales pitch. Our sales rep was a nice guy who rides motorcycles himself. He had a little hangover from yesterday and after describing our situation (travelling) he didn’t put much pressure on us at all, so we got out without purchasing anything. We did get a free breakfast and something for lunch, including 2 gift vouchers for 2 shows and two 25$ restaurant vouchers. After such an exhausting morning, we returned to our hotel via another passage:

Slept for a bit and went then for a swim. That is the view of the hotel from one of the five pools.

For dinner we went with Wombat and Val to a Mexican restaurant to celebrate our non timeshare purchase, we ordered 6 tacos and 6 beers for each couple.

After dinner we were walking the Strip. Below is our hotel entrance.

Below are a view onto the hotels Excalibur and New York.


And there is the Bellagio, that has water fountains synchronized with music every 15 min. The girls on the right…well that wasn’t my idea J

The Caesar’s palace, where we got lost.

There was as well that very nice motorbike, hmm just for show.

We arrived at treasure island just after a show so we waited for another 30 min. to see the next one. It was impressive how much effort they put into a free show.

On our way home we found the pub below, I liked the name of it.

Day: 59
Date: 31/05
City: Las Vegas, Nevada
Miles ridden: 23
Cumulative miles: 5009

In the morning we were looking at the internet for a 2nd computer, just in case that our lap top breaks down completely. We meet with Alan in the Harley Cafe for lunch. There were Harleys moving around in the shop, suspended from the ceiling by a moving chain. Allan is a Ulysses club member but living in the USA. He gave us good tips for a trip around Las Vegas and the west coast


We left a bit earlier, went to M&M shop and saw a short 3D M&M movie. Then we bought a small laptop for Sigrid, that we could use as an emergency unit should the big one break. When we came back, we had a swim and discussed our travel plans. Wombat and Val didn’t want to go to L.A. since they would fly home from there, so they wanted to spend more time in some National Parks. Since we did not plan to come back to LA, we decided to split up and meet, at the latest, back in Bellingham.

Dinner at the buffet in an egyptian ambiente. The food was good and plenty, we all were really full, great food and desserts for not much money

Sigrid and I went for another walk to the Bellagio, saw two fountains shows then went home.

On the way home we strolled through one hotel were they had an entire area sculptured with flowers.


Day: 56
Date: 28/05
City: Hurricane, Utah
Miles ridden: 88
Cumulative miles:4792

We had breakfast at a Diner that was done up like it had been transported from the 60’s. We picked it since we got 20% off from the hotel we stayed at.

Than we were heading to Zion NP. Riding on the highway there was suddenly a dog in the middle of the road. We all swerved around him, not sure if the car behind us did the same. When we arrived in Zion NP we found ourselves in the middle of a traffic jam. That was really unexpected; we didn’t have a traffic jam since New York and all of the sudden in a National Park?

We waited for a while and when the traffic started to move we realized that the reason for the jam was that we had to pass through a 1.1 mile long tunnel, and the ranger only allowed on direction to travel at the time. We think the reason for that was the RVs as they had to drive in the middle of the tunnel, because the sides of the tunnel were too low. On the other side of the tunnel there were switchbacks with a beautiful views. 😀

Anyway when we arrived at the Information centre, we were searching for motorbike/car park for a while. After we finally found one, we boarded the park bus and hopped off at every possible viewpoint.

At some stage we found the following sign, I don’t think anybody would walk this way anyway 😉

The difference between the Brice Canyon and Zion NP is that in Bryce you walk at the rim, same as the Grand Canyon. In the Zion NP you walk at the bottom of the gorge.

We looked at all view points, the last of which was the ‘Temple of Sinawava’ which has access to the water. Since the weather was quite warm, Sigrid wanted to walk through it.

We walked a bit further while Wombat and Val rested at a shady location, where they were examined by a squirrel that tried to open the zipper of their bag. Then we took the bus down to the Zion lodge, where we had late lunch. After lunch we returned to our bikes and were back onto the road to Hurricane where we booked into a nice hotel. It had Pool, Spa, breakfast and internet connection for only 49US$.

I nearly forgot to mention it, but I dropped my bike in the front of the hotel entrance, not sure why. Sigrid took the picture as proof, and I promise it was the bike that was leaking there!

Las Vegas we are coming!

Day: 55
Date: 27/05
City: Hatch, Utah
Miles ridden: 128
Cumulative miles:4704

After a relaxing day, we set off for new adventures. Starting our bikes was easier this morning, turns out that dumping 64L of petrol and refilling the tanks solved the problem. In the end it really appears to have been dirty fuel that caused the problems.

Our first destination was a ride to the petroglyph in the Parowan gap. When we came closer to the gap, it got really cold very quickly. When we arrived, a gusty wind was blowing and we put our liner into our jackets.

The gap, the petroglyphs and putting the liner in

We took a couple of pictures and started to ride to Bryce Canyon NP. It was nice and warm with the heated liner plugged into the bike. It did get a bit windy whenever we hit the highway or were crossing some plains. We made a food and petrol stop and continued to Bryce Canyon, but first we passed through the Red Canyon. The pictures don’t do the colour justice; the red was much brighter in reality.

When arrived in Bryce Canyon, we went into the Visitor Centre where Sigrid met Bryce, a soft toy squirrel; she couldn’t put it down again.

I must admit it looks really cute, so we added him as a new member in our travel group. The naming was easy, we found him in Bryce Canyon so we called him ‘Bryce’. To tour around Brice Canyon is easy, a bus service drives you around, nothing to pay as it’s all part of the park fee. So we all hopped onto a bus and drove to Bryce Point, had a look and took some pictures. The view was amazing.

Wombat and Val continued with the bus to the next view point, Sigrid and I walked a bit further down to take some more pictures. We arranged to meet at the Visitor Centre when everybody finished sightseeing.

The next stop for us was Inspiration Point. The walk was a bit steep but the view was rewarding.


We had some delicious lunch (muffins, banana and water), then continued to Sunset Point took a couple of pictures, and here is “Bryce’s” first appearance.

On our way to the sunrise point, we meet a nice couple, George and Ruth Dunham from Winter Haven, Florida.

We talked for a bit while we walked to the Sunrise point. George gave us some hints on Alaska, they have been there before and suggested some nice area to visit.  When we arrived at Sunrise point, we took a couple of more pictures, said goodbye and walked to the bus station. When getting back to the Visitor centre, Val was waiting for us while Wombat had gone to look at other viewpoints that were only reachable with your own vehicle. Val was a bit concerned that Wombat would not be back early enough for dinner and that we had to ride at night. So we called the restaurant to check, and they confirmed that they’d serve us until 9:00PM. That was enough time for us to get there. We looked at the sunset time and the estimated time to get home. When we decided to leave, Wombat arrived, just in time. We arrived at the motel at sunset, so all went well. Part of the ride was into the sunset, sounds romantic but is really a pain since you can’t see much of the road. Arriving at the motel, we still got something to eat.

Tomorrow we will visit Zion NP and ride towards Las Vegas.

Day: 52
Date: 24/05
City: Kanab, Utah
Miles ridden: 213
Cumulative miles: 4464


In the morning Wombat fitted the old GPS to Val’s bike, which included wiring it up. That meant that he had to remove the side panniers again to fit the wire:

During this time Val had a look at available hotels in Kanab, found something available but the best rate was 100U$/day. Reason for that seems to be the American Memorial Day public holiday. It seems like we have to pre book the next couple of days, at least until Sunday. Wombat and Val repacked their luggage and sent something back to Stephen. This gave me time to pack our panniers… with some of them I had my doubts that everything would fit inside…But with a bit of pressure and force, it did fit (don’t open the lit again! :P).

After we fitted everything in our pannier I updated our blog. We left the campground at 13:00 and went through the Grant Canyon, stopped a couple of times and had a look at some lookouts. The Diddles were a bit scared to look the other way, I guess they don’t like heights.

The whole ride to Kanab was awesome. The south rim of the Grand Canyon was amazing and so was coming down to the plains. We stopped at one of these old bridges

And had a look at a bridge crossing the Colorado river.

When we arrived in Kanab, we unpacked and went for dinner to a steakhouse and had an early evening. Well, sort off. I called Oma & Opa to congratulate Oma on her birthday. We talked about our last adventures and how Oma celebrated her birthday and how our Great-grandchild developed. After starting to write the latest blog, Hugo called and we talked for two hours on Skype and then I updated the diary.

Day: 53
Date: 25/05
City: Parowan, Utah
Miles ridden:
Cumulative miles:

After breakfast we had a look for accommodation close to Bryce NP. It looks like all the places are booked for the memorial weekend. Finally we found something below the 100US$ mark in Parowan, it even had a pool and a spa. Parowan is a ski resort, so it shouldn’t be too busy at this time of year and it was a bit off the track from Bryce NP. Sigrid and Val booked the accommodation and then we went off to fill the bikes up. That was the plan. At the petrol station Sigrid had a look if she could find some toothpaste and some other small things, but the station didn’t have any of it. So we were heading off to Bryce NP….well Wombat and Val were, I rode two metre when the engine stalled. I tried to start the bike but it didn’t start. After checking that there was petrol, I noticed that the bike would idle if I pulled the choke. But as soon I touched the throttle the engine would just die. It felt a bit like I did run out of petrol. After looking like a pig into a clockwork (German expression for looking busy but not knowing what to do) Wombat came back to check were we were. After describing the problem he guessed that we had water in the petrol, so after some revving the bike with and later without choke it seemed to run.

Ok, I hopped on the bike and was ready to take off but Sigrid’s bike developed the same symptoms. Wombat road back to Val to let her know what happened and I treated Sigrid’s bike the same way as we were treating mine. After a while it would run without choke and it would accelerate fine. Off we went. We met Wombat and Val on the way out of the town; they were just on their way to us. So they turned around and we were finally heading toward Bryce Canyon. It turned out to be more difficult than we thought; there were gusts of winds up to 60 miles/hour which nearly threw us off the road. I must admit, it was a bit easier for Sigrid and for me, since our bike were not packed as high as Wombat and Val’s, but it was a challenge to stay on the road. So after a while we found a nice stop (in Hatch) to have some late lunch. During lunch we decided to skip Brice Canyon because of the winds. We would arrive at our accommodation a bit earlier, have a swim and spa and a nice dinner. Or that was the plan. When we went out to hit the road, our bikes wouldn’t start again.
Sigrid went over to the petrol station and got some fuel & carbie cleaner fluid. We put it into both tanks. It didn’t seem to make a hug difference. Well after several restarts and revving we got Sigrid’s bike running, but I was concerned that we would flatten the battery if we would try that a couple of more times. My bike refused to start. So we started to release the fuel from the carbie bowl, just in case there was water or dirt in. When I undid the screw, the fuel started to run onto the starter motor. I let out quiet a bit of fuel, but after a while I looked where the fuel was running. Well it was running onto the starter motor, then onto the chain, ……wait, what? No! Not the chain!

When I realised that, I closed the screw, wiped the remaining petrol off (wouldn’t make any difference, but it felt better) and started to unpack my tool pannier. I got some fuel hose out and plugged it into the carbie bowl and let the petrol run into an empty bottle of coke. It took a while to get some petrol out. Wombat was suggesting to dump more fuel and fill up with high octane fuel. So I organised a bucked and drained 5 litre, pushed the bike to the petrol station opposite, filled it up with high octane fuel, but it didn’t seem to make any difference. So after a while we slowly got my bike running as well and finally off we went.

The ride was amazing, as were the winds! We went up to a pass that was ~ 10570 feet and it suddenly got rather fresh. We stopped on the ‘Cedar Break National Monument’, and we had a look at a lookout. It was an amazing view. We were standing on the rim of a cliff, and the cliff was red stone and it looked like an amphitheatre, but the seats where spikes and in the middle there was some sort of creek.

From there we progressed towards our accommodation through roads that reminded me on Austria. I guess it would be similar, since we are in the middle of a ski area. When we arrived Wombat and I oiled our chains, on my part it was just to try to compensate for the petrol that I let run of the chain before. Then we had a pool/spa session, the spa water was really warm. After that we went to the pizza restaurant on the side of the hotel, and…… it was closing. The lady closing up the shop enquired for us in the kitchen if we could have a pizza to take away, but the pizza oven was already switched off. So we asked if we would have a chance of scoring some pasta, and we got lucky. We got take away fettuccini, salad and garlic bread. Below is the team that provided us with food for the night.

We were waiting with a beer until our dinner was ready for the takeout.

While paying we had a short talk about where we are from and we mentioned that it is hard to find accommodation for the next days, because of ‘Memorial Day’. The lady (Rebecca & Bred) offered us to stay at her house if we didn’t find anything else, we were amazed! She introduced us briefly to her hubby and said that he would show us around at their house tomorrow. We accepted happily. We enjoyed the fettuccine, garlic bread and salad.

After dinner, Val saw a red illuminated P on the mountain – and the story is that this ‘P’ is illuminated once in a year, when the graduation happens, and that was just that day.

I took a picture of it. Then we talked to a lady who was living here before – she had moved to Arizona, but still felt home here – and then we dropped into to bed. What a day!

Day: 49
Date: 21/05
City: Tusayan, Arizona
Miles ridden:
Cumulative miles:


We packed up again. When I saw our stuff as well as Wombats and Val stuff on a bench, I was wondering how it would fit onto the bikes.

At the end of the day it did.  A short farewell from Tod and Gaila and off we went.

Mike was coming with us too. He had wanted to get an oil change done in Flagstaff but the workshop was closed on Mondays, so he decided to come with us to the Grand Canyon. On the way to flagstaff I guided all of us through the University campus, because the GPS didn’t know that one of the roads was a one way street. We wriggled our way out of there. After twice running in circles, we drove further back and finally got out.
Back to Flagstaff, Wombat was expecting two parcels at the hotel, one from Garmin and one from Twisted Throttle. When we arrived, only one was there, the Garmin one. Sigrid and I went to the post office to get my battery charger for the helmet camera, which was there this time. So putting the name on the parcel seems to help…. Who knew? 😛
Getting back to the hotel, Val was looking at accommodation around the Grand Canyon. Nothing was available. After some telephone calls she found a camp ground, just outside of the Grand Canyon NP for just 26US$ including Wi-Fi and power in the tent. So we went to Tusayan and pitched the tents. We camped on a hill, the underground was a bit rocky, no mains power and only marginal Wi-Fi but we had the view. Wombat felt a bit dizzy when he pitched the tent, not sure what it was, luckily it went away after a couple of hours. After tea we went to the Information Center with the IMAX cinema across the road. There we enquired about the busses to and within the National Park. When we came back, we met our neighbours, 3 Germans (Father with 2 sons). They just came back from a long hike to the base of the Grand Canyon. They went down the Kaibab Trail, walked on the Grand Canyon and came up the Bright Angel Trail (the easy trail). All up 12 hours of hiking! So we’ll consider going down all the way, but we would have to set ourselves a time limit when we have to turn back.

Day: 50
Date: 22/05
City: Tusayan, Arizona
Miles ridden:
Cumulative miles:

Got up early (6AM), went to McDonalds for a short breakfast and then to the Grand Canyon. We carried plenty of water. When we arrived, we got straight to the bus. We arrived at the South Kaibab Trail at 8:30 AM, so we calculated that we should turn around between 11:30…12:00. We were amazed when we saw the Grand Canyon for the first time.

It was much bigger than I had it expected. The first decent was relatively steep; you can see the people from the top (little black dots in the bottom middle of the picture).


The walk to our first view point was partially in shaded, so it was not too hot.

After the first view point it changed and it was considerably hotter. On the way to our second view point, ‘Cedar Ridge’ we saw some cacti flowering,

And a squirrel that wanted to be a film star.

The time that we needed to arrive at the 2nd view point was good enough that we could make it all the way down. There were some warning signs that said that it would not be recommended to go down and up again at the same day.

After Cedar Ridge the path became a bit steeper

but the heat was still bearabl (While going down 🙂 ) We meet a couple of horse/donkey groups which were supporting the accommodation at the bottom with food and other materials and carrying some hikers up.

When we arrived at the 3rd point (Skeleton Point) we started to feel the heat and our legs. It took us just under 2 hours to arrive here. So we looked for a shady place, took a couple of pictures of the one bit of the Colorado river that we could see and talked to some people passing by.

All of them had accommodation booked at the base and it seems that the way down would take a bit longer than we thought. We had so far travelled two hours, the long trip would take us another 10 hours. I was not sure if we could manage that, since we were going only downhill and felt a bit tired already. So we decided to have a nice lunch (with Muesli bars and water) in our shady place. After an hour or so we started our return trip, it was really hard not to continue, particular after we could see the Colorado River. The temperature did rise considerably in the meantime; by now it must have been 35 degrees. So we started the same way up that we came down. The view was stunning

and we could look back onto the track that we just came (white zick zack) .

The temperature kept rising, so we decided not to push it and make frequently stops and water refills. After ~ 4 hours of walking (with breaks) we arrived he top again and we were happy that we didn’t go down to the river. That would be something for the next time, but we would book accommodation at the bottom and make it a 2 day trip (maybe on the way to Mexico).

We went back with the bus to the Information Centre and changed our clothes. By this time I was so tired that I had a power nap on the table/bench. Wombat and Val parked on the side of our bike so we left them a note that we would go to the sunset at Pima Point. We rode to the marked plaza, parked the bike, had something to eat (a banana) and hopped on the bus to the sunset. Looking at the sunset was great,


For the first time I tried the time lapse mode on my Video camera. It worked well, I’ll have to use it more often from now on. We had some Tonic water to celebrate our first sunset that we watched. And yes, it was tonic water, the champagne in the village was not cold :/

After the sunset we hopped on the bus back to the marketplace. On the way back, a lady ask us about the Diddles, so we started to chat. She and her partner travelled quite a bit and they recommended some places in Belize and Costa Rica to us. It turned out that they managed big jots all over the world. Anyway, we had dinner at the market place and rode back in the dark. We saw something that looked like a fox crossing the street but nothing else (lucky us). When we arrived at the tent site, Wombat was fitting his GPS to the bike in the dark. We had a beer and I was catching up on my diary. Then,….. I tipped beer over my laptop, *&^%$%#@#@@,.to cut the story short and reduce the amount of cursing, only some keys of the keyboard kept working, the rest was drunk and refused to work at all. I had a look at the keyboard (it could be easily removed) but there was not much to repair, it looked like a sealed unit. Ok, I had a shower and went to bed… possibly grumbling a little.

Day: 51
Date: 23/05
City: Tusayan, Arizona
Miles ridden:
Cumulative miles: 4251

Sigrid and I discussed our options today; we had to find out if the laptop would work with a USB keyboard. After some mucking around we found an internet cafe where we could borrow a USB keyboard, it worked. So we searched on the internet for some rollable keyboards, didn’t find any which could be delivered over night (most of them are from China and it would take 2 weeks to arrive). So we opted for a normal USB keyboard, called into Flagstaff IT shops if they had them in stock and send Wombat the address. Wombat was in Flagstaff to pick up his parcel from the hotel. He bought a wireless keyboard that was smaller than the normal one, (he couldn’t fit the normal on into his pannier), which was great, since that meant that it would fit into our panniers as well. Below my precious new keyboard J. By the way, that ‘accident’ did show us that we really need a second laptop since we use it for our banking and I would not like to use a PC in an internet cafe for it.

Wombat fitted an additional carrier rack plate onto his back carrier and installed the new communication headset.

Knock, knock, can you hear me?

Oh, yes I can J

Sigrid and I did some blogging and email. In the evening we went to a Mexican Restaurant, Val and Sigrid had a Mexican coffee with all sorts of spirit and some cream on top, not sure if there was any coffee in at all 😀

Wombat was allowed to have a tiny sip as well.

After the dinner we went to see a movie about the Grand Canyon in the IMAX theatre opposite the road,

which we really enjoyed. It was great evening.

Day: 46 – 49
Date: 17/05 – 20/05
City: Mormon Lake, Arizona
Miles ridden: 32
Cumulative miles: 4133

Today is Sigrid’s birthday. When I woke up I congratulated Sigrid to her birthday, then we switched the Laptop on and logged in into Sigrid’s Skype account. We got a call from Simon, Niko, Anna, Silas, Oma and Opa and they congratulated Sigrid. Then we went to have breakfast and Val put the candles on the birthday cake that I organized earlier and lit them. When we arrived in the breakfast room we sang happy birthday for Sigrid.

After breakfast, Sigrid and I had a short pool/spa session and then started to pack. Back in the room Sigrid received another birthday call this time from Oma Inge.. During the time Wombat packed, a Red Indian accompanied him and told him stories.

After a while a second Indian came, saw that Wombat was occupied and came up to us and ask for a dollar to buy some food, so Sigrid offered him blueberry muffin. He was happy to get them and after telling us where he was from and that he is in the process of building a house, he left us, but Wombat was still stuck with his Indian. He only reluctantly left after a while. We got onto the bikes and left for Mormon lake. When we arrived it was a great atmosphere. At first it was a bit difficult to find a good camping spot. After some trial and error, Wombat located a nice area and we pitched our tent for the first time. It was a great feeling to finally camp.

After the tent was erected, we started to talk to people that passed by and talked to a guy from Alaska (not Fairbanks). Sigrid invited our new neighbours Tad and Gaila to a piece of her birthday cake. Tad and Gaila had been travelling for five weeks though the USA and where planning to travel to Mexico as well.

In the evening we started to wander around and found a truck with an Australian flag. We walked over and had a chat to the guy. He originated from Australia but was living in the USA for some years now. He and his partner were currently at the beginning of a round the world trip. His partner was from the USA and both were planning to get married on Saturday during happy hour. Going to the restaurant in the evening was a common idea, so we had to wait for an hour before a table become available. Sitting inside in the waiting area, Wombat and I tried to play Checkers, but we couldn’t agree on the rules. So we started to play chess, but we couldn’t finish the game since we got a table (bummer). We ordered our meals,

and got some freshly made bread with it. The bread tasted a bit funny, and looking at it we found that it was mouldy. We let the waiter know about the unwanted feature; she apologised and says she would inform her boss. The boss came, apologised and said that the food was free for us. Cool! We should always have some mouldy bread in our pockets. That would be good for our budget 😉
A guy with a guitar was going around and singing some songs, not very well but entertaining. When he arrived at our table, I ask him if he could sing happy birthday for Sigrid, so he got the attention of the restaurant and asked everybody to sing with him. Sigrid was a bit embarrassed but happy.


Next day in the morning there was the opening ceremony for the expo, and when we looked around we recognized some people that we have seen on the Horizon Unlimited DVDs


On this day we went to plenty of courses, e.g safety during traveling, risk mediation, cooking in one pot. The picture below is from a guy who was famous and cooked privately for rich people, until he decided that’s it and started traveling around the world on a motorcycle with sidecar. He gave us some nice recipes for one pot cooking.

And there was Mexico for beginners, we took some photos instead of taking notes, below are some examples.

This course gave us the confidences that we could do it but we should have a look where we cross the border and that we should avoid Mexico City. The rest of the country seems to be ok. It was a busy day. Mike arrived in the afternoon; he came a long way from New Mexico.

The last course was held by a couple that talked about the mishaps in Africa, and a very sad story about how the woman killed a child through an accident and the aftermath of that. It was a very emotional finish of the courses for the day. Then there was the happy hour, we had a couple of beers, Val bought some burger and we watched some Video’s.


The next day we were busy throughout the day attending all sorts of interesting courses, mostly about traveling Central and South America. At the night was a happy hour in the tent area, and just behind the tent there were some animal enclosures and one of them had some Bison’s. It looks like the Diddles were not really sure about the safe distance to these huge animals J

And then there was the wedding. It was very basic but nice.


On the last day breakfast was done by the exhibitors, we were walking around, talking to the exhibitors and scoring some breakfast.

Back to the tent, we thought we might make a group photo from our camp group. From the right, Gaila, Tad, Sigrid, Mike, Val, Wombat and me, and of course the Diddles, Wombat and Rudi.

In the evening there was an organize BBQ in the tent area and as special extra: A Solar Eclipse!

Tad organized some glasses for us so we could watch it and even take some pictures.

After the Eclipse, we meet a couple from Brisbane, Carol and Ken. They had arrived from traveling South and Middle America in the last couple of Month. We got plenty of information from them. When it got too cold in the tent, we moved into the restaurant and keept talking for hours. Mike was there as well, and in the end I adjusted our travel schedule and added Bolivia to it 😀