Date: 10/08
City: Vancouver, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 147
Cumulative kilometre: 57055
Street: N/A
Weather: Sunny, warm

We packed the bike and said goodbye to Dave in the morning, the weather was a bit foggy and coolish. We arrived at the border a short while later. Dave suggested choosing a smaller border crossing, since waiting times on the main one could be very long, so we did. We got over the border in no time. When we came closer to Vancouver, it got hotter and hotter. We found a reasonable priced hotel close to/in downtown.

After we unpacked, we organized some brochures to make up our mind what we would like to see. At the end we settled for visiting Stanley Park, which is just a large green park area in downtown Vancouver. Just before we arrived at the park, we passed a square with sculptures which carried huge life vests. That made us curious, so we parked the bike and had a closer look.

It turned out that this was a Life Vest awareness exercise and the organizer dressed the sculptures with the oversized live vests. Sigrid actively participated for the good course; I guess she has to grow a bit before the vest fitsJ

We found out that the sculptures are called the A-maze-ing Laughter sculptures, and they don’t wear life vests normally J

Then we entered the park, following the road along the beach. All of the sudden we saw lots of people doing synchronized yoga.

It turned out that this was a yoga event where people would do yoga for the whole day. Exploring close by we found some totem poles, so we had a look at these and their story as well.

Some of the poles even had an explanation on the side.

And looking back from the totem poles, across the bay, was downtown Vancouver, I like the contrast from old to new.

We continued to ride around the park and took a couple of pictures before we settled on a place to watch the sunset.

During the time we were sitting and watching the sunset, a guy proposed just in front of us and she was over the moon, well you couldn’t ignore the screaming of joy.

We just sat back and enjoyed the sunset.

After sunset we drove home, what a beautiful day.

Date: 11/08
City: Vancouver, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 23
Cumulative kilometre: 57078
Street: N/A
Weather: Cloudy, rain, Sunny, warm

It was raining in the morning, so we took our time to get ready. The plan for today was to have a look at the Grouse Mountain and if the weather permits, walking up a path that is called ‘the grind’. As we found out, it is a 2.9km path with 850m elevation, well that doesn’t sound too bad, doesn’t it? We arrived in the car park and left as much riding gear as possible at the bike. The weather was great and the sun was shining, so off we went.

A sign suggested that an average person would need something between 90..120 minutes to get to the top and the record is 23 minutes. After the first quarter it was obvious that we would take us around two hours to get to the top. Below are some pictures where we tried to look relaxed J

But this is how it rellay looked at the quarter and half way marks:

People told us that it gets even steeper after the half way mark, I thougth they were joking.

But in the end we made it, around two hours.

From here on we used the chairlift to get to the Eye of the Wind, which is a wind turbine with a viewing platform on top.

The top of the turbine had a nice view over Vancouver; unfortunately it was a bit hazy today.

For safety reasons it was not allowed to walk the Grind down, so we had to use the lift (phew…). The plan for tomorrow is to get back to the Seattle motorcyclist retreat, Gaila’s and Tad’s casa.

Date: 09/08
City: Seattle, Washington
Kilometres ridden: 67
Cumulative kilometre: 56908
Street: N/A
Weather: Sunny, warm

We meet Dave last year at the horizon unlimited meeting and he mentioned that we should visit him when we pass through Seattle the next time. With that in mind, Sigrid contacted Dave via e-mail and he was happy to see us on the weekend. So the plan for today was getting from the ferry, find a McDonalds, verify via the free internet that the world was still turning and then ride to Dave’s place. This went through my head when I looked out of the cabin window early in the morning and noticed a beautiful sunrise. It’s not very often that I’m up so early, so I had to take some pictures.

Not long after we arrived in Bellingham which was covered in fog. It looked like an acient mystic city.

From the ferry we rode torwards Dave’s home, with a short stop a McDonalds, just to see what the world was doing in the last three days. We had no internet conectivity on the ferry, so we had IWS (Internet Withdraw Symptons). Oh and finally we’ve got some response to our add in Craigslist, so our internet session took a bit longer then we thought. After setting off again we found an intersting street sign 🙂

When we arrived a bit later Ray, Dave’s son, welcomed us. Not long after, Dave arrived and he showed us around. I must admit, I really like his fully equipped workshop, it is a man’s dream. A shed filled with all the machinery you can think off. His workshop also has a serious side; Dave designed and is selling a rugged toolbox for a 1200GS. While we were talking about our trip, he fixed one of our auxiliary food pegs, which bent too far to the front. Dave was using an Arc welder and I watched curiously, since I have no idea about welding.

The same day Greg arrived. Greg is a fellow motorcycle rider from California who was just passing through. Greg and Dave met on an – interesting – guided Mexico tour. They had a lot of story’s and anecdote to share about this trip. Below is a picture of Greg on the left and Dave on the right.

In the evening we saw a deer with her fawn, just walking in Dave’s garden and eating the plums lying on the ground.

Tomorrow we will visit Vancouver for a couple of days, before we return to the Seattle biker retreat, Ted’s & Gaila’s casa 🙂

Date: 19 – 20/06
City: Hope, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 263
Cumulative kilometre: 46972
Street: Paved Highway
Weather: Cloudy, rain/ fresh

We settled our noble steeds and were ready to leave around 10AM. Tad and Gaila gave us last instruction how to prevent back pain during traveling, so we had a short yoga session in the garageJ. Now prepared for the road, we said good bye to our friends, and drove off.

Tad recommend that we  take a small detour to ride via Chuckanut Drive instead of the highway, which was a really good suggestion. We really enjoyed it, thanks Tad!!

Just before the border it started to drizzle, so we put our raingear on and went through the border. Not long after, the drizzle turned into a downpour, so we took it easy on the highway and looked for accommodation in Hope, our destination for today. And we found a great hotel with hot tub and a heated pool for a great price.

The next morning it was raining even harder than the previous evening, so we decided to sit in the hot tub a bit longer and have a look at the weather tomorrow. We got a mail from Gerald, a guy we met in Nasca, Peru. He invited us to his house not far from here, so we loosly made an appointment for tomorrow. We started to hear news that large areas in Alberta are flooded  and that roads are closed. As we found out, one of the roads is the one we wanted to take to Banff. Let’s see how it goes, we will have to take it one step at a time

Date: 21/06
City: Pritchard, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 289
Cumulative kilometre: 47261
Street: Highway
Weather: Sunny, warm

The weather looked much better today. Looking at the road report showed us that the road to Banff is still closed due to high river levels caused by the rain last night. It was still cloudy but the heavy rain had stopped. So we packed up and left to meet Gerald. The road was in pristine condition and it was enjoyable to follow the meandering river. When we arrived at Gerald’s house we were greeted by two curious horses.

We settled in and not long after Mike, his friend, came over to say hello. We talked for a while when he mentioned that his horses need new shoes and that the farrier would do this tomorrow morning. Great, we’ll check it out, since I haven’t seen a Ferrier at work. We talked for a while and after dinner Gerald showed us around his property. He has some hundred chickens and when we told him that we had four and would bring them to the Vet if they got sick, he smiled.

The two horse that greeted us where Mike’s, so we had a short stroll to see Geralds horses which were on another field.

After a nice salmon dinner we chatted for a while before going to bed. What a pleasant day.

Date: 22/06
City: Halcyon Hot Springs, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 318
Cumulative kilometre: 47579
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

After breakfast we went to a place where Mike’s horses got new shoes and a pedicure. It was the first time that I saw how it’s done.

We watched the farrier for a while. Then we returned to Gerald’s house, packed the bikes, took a couple pictures before we said good bye.

We decided to make a detour and stay at a hot spring, and see when the road to Banff is open again. So we followed the scenic Highway One and when it started to rain, we pulled in at a rest stop. By chance this was the place where the last spike was driven to finish the Ocean to Ocean railway connection.

We put our raingear on and continued to our final location a hot spring. To get to the hot spring we had to make a ferry crossing, which was not that exciting since it was pouring down when we crossed the river.

After a short ride we arrived at the Halcyon Hot Springs, let’s say we didn’t camp since it was raining; instead we took a nice block house.

The pool was nice and warm, so we stayed there until sunset, the view from there was just amazing.

At night we looked at the internet and found out that the road to Banff was open again!

Date: 23/06 – 25/06
City: Banff, Canada
Kilometres ridden: 423
Cumulative kilometre: 48002
Street: single/double lane highway
Weather: Sunny, cloudy, rainy, foggy/ warm, cold

We couldn’t resist having a dip in the morning before we left.

Today the rain was gone so we went back over the ferry to Highway One. This time the ferry crossing was really enjoyable.

The scenery on the highway looks more impressive when it doesn’t rain.

The next mountain pass had a bit of fog, which looked great.

The road to Banff has been open, but everything south or east from Banff was still closed. When we arrived in Banff we got an idea why. The part of the park was flooded by the river close bye.

In Banff we got a nice hotel with a great view from the room, have a look.

I really like this area with the beautiful scenery. The next few days we took some time for maintenance, strolled through Banff and hiked to the hoodoos, a stone formation that looks like a column. The view was as always fantastic and the sign posting for the tracking path was, well, lets say fair :P. Sometimes we were not sure if we were on the right way or if we were walking in a dry river bed. I think was possibly was both. 😀

When we arrived, there were tour busses, that’s when we realised that we could have followed the road….But what would be the fun in that? 😛

Sigrid did well with her leg getting over that terrain.

On our way we saw some Ground squirrels and met some deer which weren’t bothered by us at all.

Arriving back in Banff, we decided to have a look around before we returned to the hotel. We had a look at the Dominion Park Branch. In this building Canadas first National Park was declared in 1885. The building looked great and the view back to Banff and the mountains behind was just awesome.

Tomorrow we will start our last leg, getting up to Alaska and then to Prudhoe Bay.

Date: 16/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46709
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today we went sightseeing with Tad and Gaila. First we had a look at the buzzing Pike Place Market, is one of the oldest continually operated public farmers’ markets in the United States.

There we could see the guys throwing fish, which is quite unique. If somebody purchases a fish from the outside of the stall, a guy throws the fish to the cashier who wraps it up. If you look hard, there is a big fish mid-air in this picture:

On our way back we saw the first Starbucks shop, but the queues were too long so we gave that a miss.

We saw an artist who was playing a guitar and balancing another guitar on his chin. To top it up, he was twirling a hula hoop at the same time. How is that for coordination?

On our way to the space needle we found some water features. Sigrid and Gaila couldn’t resist.

Well at least at this water feature, the next one was different kettle of fish. We decided that the day was not hot enough and we didn’t have our bathers with us, so we posed instead.

Next stop was the Space Needle

We took an elevator to the visitor deck and took some pictures from there. The day was a bit cloudy but the view was still great.

Right beside the Space Needle was a Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibition. Mackenzie and Adam – another motorcycle couple from Tasmania – were raving about this exhibition, so we decided to have a look at it. Below are some pictures from this incredible exhibition – all the items made out of glass.

Below are some pictures of a ceiling.

And then there is the glass house

and the outside garden with glass sculptures and flowers.

Next we met with Tad and Gaila in the EMP building (in this case, EMP stands for Experience Music Project 😀). The form inside and outside was so unique that I wondered how somebody can come up with something like it. It turned out, that the architect designed the building by slicing electric guitars and using them as building blocks.

From here we went to the IMAX cinema to watch Superman in 3D. The seats are so big that you feel really small.

Everybody got some of these glasses to protect your eyes from debris flying around in the 3D movie 😉

The movie was nice, we got lots more information why Krypton exploded and why superman lost his parents.. you see, cinema has educational value 😀.
On our way back we passed the Space Needle again, this time at night.

What an amazing day.


Date: 14/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 53
Cumulative kilometre: 46656
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

Yesterday we booked our bikes in for maintenance at a workshop outside of Seattle. Today we dropped them off and Gaila was nice enough to drive us back.

On our way back we passed Microsoft, so Sigrid was keen to get her picture taken in front of the site.

Gaila told us about a troll under a bridge; we were certainly keen to see that. And here is a troll under the bridge. What you can’t see is that the troll holds a VW Beatle in left hand.

The next stop was the restaurant where the surprise party was organised. It worked great and Phoenix enjoyed the surprise and the marvellous cake. We met a young English motorcyclist who is on its way to Prudhoe Bay, we will see if we can meet him in Alaska and do the last bit together.

We enjoyed the whole evening with food and cocktails – enough said – and got back home pretty late but happy 😀


Date: 15/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 53
Cumulative kilometre: 46709
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, warm

Today a group ride was planned and since our bikes were in the workshop, Gaila offered her BMW F650 for us to ride two-up. Well as you can imagine, Gaila had to twist my arm very hard for that…  😉
It gave us the opportunity to see how the BMW compared with our DR650. Unfortunately the BMW performed verrry well.

After a short ride in the big group we split up. We had to get back to the workshop which was servicing our bikes, luckily via a detour through a national forest partially following a river.

The way to the workshop took longer then expected, so we had to hurry a bit, which was fun as well 😀. Gaila and Tad dropped us off at the workshop. They went back home and to their other appointments. We waited until the bikes were ready and went home as well.

Date: 12/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46603
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny/ warm

After breakfast we called the shipping company and asked about our bikes. It turned out they have been shipped via truck from LA and not via airplane. Phew! That explains the long delay. The estimated time of arrival was today around lunch, which worked well. Around noon, I saw that the bikes had arrived. We used the free shuttle bus to drop us off at the airport cargo area, got the paper work and made our way to Customs via taxi. The taxi driver had a hard time to find the address, which I thought was funny. Eventually we got there and got the paper work processed. The customs officer was great. We talked about our trip and he gave us some suggestion what to see around the Banff and Jasper area.

We rushed back to the cargo area and here we saw our noble steeds again, wrapped and intact! 🙂 Somebody must have a look at the luggage at the bottom, since that was no longer wrapped.

I connected the batteries again, got them off the pallet; put all the luggage back and off we went, back to the hotel.

We had our bikes back, yippe. It was the first time that we shipped the bikes so I was happy to have them back in one piece. When we got back to the hotel our luggage was still not there and it was too late to call the office. We will see what’s going on tomorrow.

Date: 13/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46603
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny, Cloudy/ warm, drizzling

Today we managed to get our luggage back and nothing was missing. So we repacked everything to fit it back into the panniers, packed the bikes and went off to Tad and Gaila’s house a bit outside of Seattle.

Tad and Gaila are a couple we met a year ago at the overland expo close to Flagstaff. They started their journey around the same time as we did and rode all over Central America using back roads where possible. We kept in contact during our trip and when they returned a week ago, they invited us. Gaila likes cooking, we like eating, so it’s a good combination 😉.
To welcome us, Gaila prepared a nice rhubarb pie, hmm, yummy!

In the afternoon we picked up Tad’s bike from the workshop and organized and fitted a new rear tyre for my bike. For some reason after this short trip, Tad had a new-found appreciation of Sigrids endurance sitting on the back of my bike all the the way back from Ushuaia. As he put it, it was “an experience” 😉. I guess he doesn’t like the firm …. wood-like ….. seat 😉.
Oh, I nearly forgot, on our way back my bike stopped on the highway! As it turned out, we have to put petrol into the big tanks, otherwise the bike stops working …  Learn somthing new every day 😀.
We have these 32L tanks and in the end I relied on Tad to give me some of his spare elexier to get home. What a day,we were happy to have all our stuff back and got an amzlingly warm welcome from Gaila and Tad!

Well, it’s not really square one, since we are not flying to New York but to Seattle, but it is the US of A.

Date: 10/06
City: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46603
Street: City roads
Weather: Cloudy, foggy / fresh

Today is the day, we are leaving. We packed the rest of our luggage in the morning and send some parcels away, with things that we didn’t need any more. During the afternoon we had some time to spare, so we talked about our trip and we thought it would be fun to figure out some sorts statistics. Here they are:

Distance on bike:     48851 Km/bike
Petrol used:         2540 litre/bike
Speeding fines:        0
Bribes paid:         0
New front tyres:     2/bike
New back tyres:     4 (5)/bike
Bike failures:         0
Broken limbs:         2 (one per Continent, chance? 🙂 )
Continents visited:     2
Countries visited:     Sigrid 17, Bjoern 16
Border crossings:     Sigrid 33, Bjoern 33

Highest Temperature while riding:      +38C (Mojave Desert, leaving Las Vegas)
Lowest Temperature while riding:     +2C (leaving Terra del Fuego)
Highest Winds on bike:             Peaks up to 90km/h (Rio Grande, Terra del Fuego)

Three hours before departure we got in a taxi. Close to the airport we saw some fog on the side of the road… Ah well; it was only on the side of the road, the airfield looked clear. When we arrived at the airport, guess what, there was a huge long queue, the longest that I have ever seen at check-in for a flight. During the check-in we were told that we have to get our luggage in Mexico City and check it in again. No problem, we have more than 4 hours to do that. We spent our last Argentinian Pesos at McDonalds, it was just enough for a kids meal 😀

Not long after that we boarded the plane. We were sitting there for a while, then the announcement came… There is fog and it could take another 15 to 20 minutes before we would take off.

Well after an hour we got the next announcement. The airport is closed for ,at least, the next two hours. Now it started to get a bit tight for my taste ~ we might miss the connection flight in Mexico City and had to arrange something else to get to Seattle. The good news was that the entertainment system was switched on, so I could start the watching movies. I might have the chance to see them all this time 😛. After two hours the fog was as dense as before, but we took off anyway…. That’s Argentina for you. I was happy that we were in air.

Date: 11/06
City: Seattle, USA
Kilometres ridden: 0
Cumulative kilometre: 46603
Street: City roads
Weather: Sunny/ warm

We landed in Mexico City at 10:30 and left the plane around 10:50, our connection flight would leave at 11:40. At the gate a woman was waiting and calling our names. She rushed us to the customs area and to the luggage area, where we finally got our luggage, went through customs and put the bag on another conveyor. Then we ran to the terminal which our flight was leaving from. Lucky we got our boarding passes in Buenos Aires for all our flights, so we made it just in time.

Next stop Las Vegas!  We arrived in Las Vegas, on time and without any problems and getting through the US border protection and migration went without a hitch. From the plane we saw the hotel Luxor – where we stayed last year.

We had to pick up our luggage and check it in again, since the next flight was a domestic flight. Well, we waited until all the luggage of the luggage carousel was gone and we were the last people standing there. Hmmm, maybe our luggage didn’t make it. So we looked for somebody to talk to, and finally we found a lady looking after the luggage on the carousel. She told us that it would not be unusual that luggage didn’t make it, normally it would arrive the next day. We should put a luggage tracking request in once we get to Seattle and they would deliver the luggage to our hotel. Hrm… We will see I guess.
Walking to our gate, we saw some slot machines, well it wouldn’t be Las Vegas if you couldn’t play the slot machines at the airport 😉

The flight to Seattle was uneventful. In Seattle we went to the Baggage claim area and filled out a tracking request. It turned out, that our luggage got flown to Dallas with Delta, nobody knows why. It should arrive tomorrow evening and if we let them know where we are staying they would deliver it to our hotel. So we looked around for a hotel close by and, after making a couple of phone calls, picked one for a good price and free airport pickup.

First thing at the hotel was to have a look online where our bikes were. I found out that they have been shipped from Los Angeles two days ago, but they didn’t arrive anywhere so far. That is odd, a flight can’t take that long, except if the air plane got lost. It was too late to do anything tonight, so tomorrow morning has to be good enough.

Date: 9/10 – 11/10
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Miles ridden: 0
Cumulative miles: 13026

Not much happening, so I thought I give this post an intriguing headline 😛. We mostly tried to finalized our bike setup, assembled a list of German and Australian Embassies in Central and South America, got all our copies of the official documents done and had a couple of happy hours where we meet a nice couple, Tom and Liza, with their adorable daughter Thea from Arizona and Shelly from Saskatchewan(Canada).

We were sitting in the hot tub, having some drinks, talked about the world and enjoyed our company. Shelly was asking if she could get a ride around the block so we arranged it the next day.

The last day we went shopping, it’s amazing who you meet nowadays in a shop; by the way, I’m the guy with the short sleeve shirt J


Date: 12/10
City: Twentynine Palmes, California
Miles ridden: 264
Cumulative miles: 13290

We got our bikes ready and packed with the new dry sacks and left around 11AM.

We had a nice day, the landscape was flat but surrounded by high mountains.

When we arrived in Twenty-nine Palms, we could see where the name came from. The streets were framed by palms, not sure if that were really twenty-nine, we didn’t count them. We booked into the El Rancho Dolores, it was a nice Motel with a pool, hmmm, the pool was not heated, so no swimming for me.


Date: 13/10
City: El Cajon, California
Miles ridden: 209
Cumulative miles: 13499

It was not very far to El Cajon (San Diego) so we decided in the morning to take the more scenic way to El Cajon – we’d ride through the Joshua Tree National Park.

We have seen a valley of Joshua trees before, but the trees here were larger than the ones we had seen

Our next stop was at a short walk at the Cholla Catus Garden. The cacti looked amazing with the different colours. Turns out you can also use them to scratch your head when the scalp is itchy….

We couldn’t figure out if they were at the beginning to flower or if it just has passed

When the cactus dies, it leaves a wooden spine with amazing patterns.

After we took plenty of pictures, we continued on the scenic route 74 and passed through Indio and Palm Desert. It felt warmer here and when I looked at my GPS I realised that the Cities were 200 feet below sea level. When we left the cities we started to climb and at the top of the mountain pass we stopped at a view point. The view was stunning.

We arrived at El Cajon just before dark. Tomorrow is the day. We go into Mexico.

Date: 4/10
City: Springerville, Arizona
Miles ridden: 291
Cumulative miles: 12631

In the morning we had a great breakfast with Jeff, Judi and Tim with fresh and warm bread rolls! I talked to Jeff to get a bit more info about Baja and Costa Rica and marked some recommended places on our map. Jeff offered yesterday that I could use his tools to grind brackets that hit our tank and to put some holes into the lid of our tube to fit a gun lock through the lid. It took much longer then I thought. Jeff also took a picture of his garage with 7 bikes in it. It looked impressive but I couldn’t convince Sigrid that we need a similar size shed in Adelaide J

We were invited to stay longer, and we really thought about it, but we had booked the bikes in on Saturday and the next day the workshop was open would be Tuesday, so we would lose 3 days. So we took a couple of pictures and said good bye. I would really like to say thank you to Jeff and Judi for making us feel really welcome!


On the ride we passed the Trinity site – the site where the first atomic bomb was ignited.

Other than that, the road was straight, not much to see. So at one break, Sigrid had a power nap and I started to get a bit arty 😀

Just as we got ready to leave, another motorcycle rider arrived, Adam from North Carolina, riding his BMW F650 ST across the country. We had 200 boring miles in front of us, so we decided to ride together until Springerville.

Just 20 miles before our destination, we left New Mexico and entered Arizona.

We found a nice accommodation, and said goodbye to Alex as he had another 200miles to go and it started to get dark. Tomorrow it would be an easy day for us.


Date: 5/10
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Miles ridden: 220
Cumulative miles: 12851

Not much happening on the ride, had a lovely long break at a place that looked like a small western town.

They had certainly a Saloon, but Sigrid didn’t allow me to go inside :/

The last 120 miles we did in one hit. We came down from the mountain into a flat range, it got warm, really warm (95…100) and then we started to see huge cacti. We couldn’t find any view point to stop so we rode until we arrived in the hotel. The Hospitality Suites are great; they have happy hours (free drinks for 90min at the pool), three pools, a hot tub, breakfast (if you book direct with them). We booked over an internet booking site, so to get the breakfast, Sigrid shortened the stay booked to one day, so we didn’t have to pay a penalty and booked the remaining days with the hotel directly, so we get free breakfast for the next 3 days. =)

Date: 6/10
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Miles ridden: 10
Cumulative miles: 12861

In the morning we dropped the bikes off, and Mike the workshop manager was very helpful. He took care of all the request that I had (drill a hole in a lid, have a look where the oil on the sprocket comes from…). We walked around a bit and were waiting for the call that the bikes were finished. On our way we passed through a technology area which had a nice shady place.

We walked into a shopping centre and strolled through the shops. I like palms in the street

When we walked through the side streets we found this front yard.

In the afternoon we picked the bikes up. Mike did let us know that they found the source of the oil leak, it was a grommet on the alternator cap, they fixed it under warranty =). We ask Mike about a route for a test ride and he gave us direction for the Apache Trail. It is a nice ride with a bit of dirt in the middle. He was also showing us some of his photos of different cacti.

Date: 7/10
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Miles ridden: 0
Cumulative miles: 12861

Relaxing day, nothing to be done, just lying at the pool and sleeping. I made some BBQ for lunch, Sigrid put the Australian flag onto the BMW Velcro and then we had a nap after all the strenuous exercise. I guess we have to make sure that we don’t overexert ourselves.

Then I looked up where we were going on our test ride, and when I looked closer at a national monument, just south of the highway 8, I found these signs

Luckily Mike from the motorcycle workshop was suggesting the Apache Trail and even gave us a map. He loves the desert and he promised we would see huge cacti. He told us that a cactus would start to grow an arm only when it was 50 years or older. Since we are not into drugs or human smuggling, we decided to visit the Apache Trail tomorrow. Apparently there was only a short section of dirt road, which was not a single trail but supposingly windy, how bad could that be?

Date: 6/10
City: Phoenix, Arizona
Miles ridden: 165
Cumulative miles: 13026

In the morning we had breakfast and settled on our bikes ready for the test run. So we went over the highway to the Apache trail. The first part was easy, nice paved roads, a bit broken by the weather. We arrive at Tortillia Flat without any problem, the cacti were incredible, I would guess some were as high as a two story building.

Then the challenge started. First the sealed road turned into a straight wide dirt road, just a bit of sand from time to time. In the picture below you can see the road disappearing into the middle of the valley and disappears into the mountain to the left.

Then the road started climbing, the corrugation got deeper, the road twistier, the corner sharper and narrower and then the road had no side barrier any more, but having said that, the view was amazing.

The dirt was only 24 miles, but it was good enough for us to see if something would fall off the bike and that the bike was ready for the next leg. After we had a look at the Roswell Dam – in 1901 it was the highest stone dam in the world – we road back on the highway just to make sure we’d arrive in time for happy hour. What a day!

Date: 3/10
City: High Rolls, New Mexico
Miles ridden: 124
Cumulative miles: 12340

We left our hotel in the morning, no rush since we had an easy day before us. We felt at home as well 🙂

On our way we passed through a remote area and found this sign below. We saw them before, but there was hardly a possibility to stop. So this time we stopped to take a photo…

We arrived at Jeff’s place around 3PM. Jeff welcomed us and introduces us to his wife Judi. Tim was there as well.

We meet Jeff and Tim on a petrol station and after a short talk Jeff invited us to stay with him, so we took him up on it. We were sitting outside and were talking about Jeff’s and Judi’s experience in Mexico, Costa Rica and other parts of Central America. We got really good ideas and tips. When it started to get dark, we moved inside where Judi had prepared dinner for us,

After dinner we were sitting around for a while chatting. Jeff and Tim know each other from army boot camp, which they both attended when they were 17. We picked their brain for our trip, got some advice what to do and not to do and where to go in Mexico or what to do in Alaska. It was really great for us, since they painted Mexico in bright colours. Tim traveled through Mexico with the same amount of Spanish as we haveand a phrase book. That really gave us hope. 🙂 After a couple of beers and wine (Yellowtail!) we solved the world’s problems and then went to bed. It was a very nice room and we slept well. We really felt very welcome here and we enjoyed our stay. Unfortunately we have to leave tomorrow because we already booked maintenance for the bikes.