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Old 12-29-2011, 09:16 AM   #31
Harti OP
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Joined: Sep 2007
Location: Berlin
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Take The Wrong Way Home


Martina's jacket was just fine. Keep in mind that it wasn't too hot on the entire trip and that you can peel yourself out of 3 layers. And the jacket is very protective. Several crashes, no harm whatsoever.

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:20 AM   #32
Harti OP
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I need some help.

My English is not as good as I thought. In order to make some corrections I need to edit my posts. How do I do that?

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Old 12-29-2011, 09:45 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Harti View Post
I need some help.

My English is not as good as I thought. In order to make some corrections I need to edit my posts. How do I do that?

Harti your English is perfectly fine in my opinion, but if you still want to edit, just click on that gear/sprocket looking "edit" button on lower right of your posts, then make the edits, if more detailed edits are necessary click "go advanced"

And thanks for the jacket info.
ADV'ing from America's fine Crapital...
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Old 12-29-2011, 10:29 AM   #34
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Fantastic ride report! Can't wait to read the rest; subscribed!
Semper Fi
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Old 12-29-2011, 12:07 PM   #35
Harti OP
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Take The Wrong Way Home

Utah, Land Of Plenty

Today started with operation "Desert Storm". Literally. Strong winds forced us to stay in the neighborhood and to visit, what's available in the region. Everything was extremely worthy.

We had a close look at Canyon-Land. That came to existence over a few million years, because Green River and Colorado River carved it into the landscape.

In Moab we payed the Arches a visit. Breathtaking...

Last year I was in the vicinity of the Yungas, where a 45 mile stretch from La Paz to Coroico in Bolivia marks the Camino de la Muerte, the most dangerous road worldwide. Why? Because the path is unpaved, single lane with oncoming traffic and covers some 6,000 ft. in altitude. Until a few years ago heavy truck and bus volume made it really deadly, 'cause the weaker has to give way and that's mostly a biker. Today I discovered my own Camino de la Muerte. A serpentine piste of the ugliest kind. Huge potholes and rocks sprinkled the passage and a few thousand feet invited me for a free fall. Nothing happened and I was extremely proud...

Is less really more sometimes? Not easy to answer, when you are in Utah. Utah offers everything in lush quantities. Incredible are the color compositions in Major at sunrise and sunset. And sage has a very typical scent, not at all annoying...

Sometimes the lonesome sound of our BMWs gets mixed with the deep growling of a group of Harleys.

It's crazy, what level our, or at least the American, fun society has reached these days. Next to bike riding you can do mountain biking, canoeing, rafting, camping with insanely expensive gear, 4-wheeling, mountain hiking and so on. And everyone finds a high comfort level, enough room, restaurants and restrooms for free...

Yesterday we passed yet another Nat'l. Park and admired paintings and carvings, hundreds of years old, on wild rock formations. And we made it across another pass full of snow...

When it comes to Bryce Canyon I can hardly think of another superlative . Not visible from the outside it opens up after a few miles off the main road and overwhelms everyone with its intense red and its pure size. All the "ohhs" and "ahhs" make you wonder if there is no other living language...

In the afternoon we met Bob. Bob is the manager of some hot springs a couple of hours north of Brice Canyon. Mike, the owner of the property, used to be a backstage member of the Greatful Dead. As baby boomers they roamed the country in the wild 70's in freak buses, and in some of them you can now stay overnight.

We stayed another day in Monroe, UT, cause the climate in the area promised to be horrible. We wanted to book our next stay ahead and asked if WiFi was available. The receptionist at the motel replied, it's a bit slow today, why?, because of the heavy snowfall. Tja, let's go back to that hot tub again...

Tomorrow I'll talk a little about the weather.


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Old 12-31-2011, 10:51 AM   #36
Harti OP
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Take The Wrong Way Home

Weather, The Extraterrestrial Highway And The Sierra

this is the only street sign without bullet holes...

What's wrong with the picture... end of May on the Trans America Trail... Well, we were not supposed to be going in the middle of winter on that trip. Way too cold...

Anyway, if it's as cold as these days in the Rockies and the Sierras, you have to dress accordingly. For low temperatures and for hot deserts.

E.g. This morning we had drenched our de luxe bodies in the hot springs of Mystic Springs, UT. Heated up as we were, we had no problems for the first 60 miles at 55 degrees. Later we stormed up another pass at around 10,500 ft. Lots of snow, perfect for skiing but as biker we set other priorities. We have to avoid our fingers to freeze off. Heated grips are a good start, good gloves help and a cup of hot tea wins every fight against the cold.


Tja, May and June isn't what it used to be...

I should have seen this coming, but I didn't read the signs correctly...

Actually we were on our way from the hot springs to Ely, NV.

But my wife Martina, or whoever that person next to me is, had insisted already yesterday on riding straight west to Area 51 or Dreamland, known for UFOs to be seen, which has definitely nothing to do with all the testing by the Air Force of new experimental flight devices and aircrafts. In the middle of the Nevada desert, no gas station for 150 miles, a tiny village made of 10 containers, a bar and nothing else. And then they even call it Rachel. What's wrong? No one calls a town Rachel in no mans land after Rachel Green from "Friends", alias Jennifer Aniston, the beautiful, the adorable... I should have known better.

Just before Area 51 Martina, or whoever, invited me for a beer on the side of the road. Usually she allots small amounts, but today she was very generous... while she smiled... yet another evidence...

And then the sudden death of livestock. This cow obviously got scared to death.

Also the strange marks on the pavement. It means probably: "do not land, too many people!"...

And then the other road Martina, or whoever she is, was so eager to take. Straight for miles, made perfectly as a landing strip. She wanted me to ride up and down the street several times, allegedly because she couldn't focus when taking pictures...

And then the similarity. Crazy. How long has this been going on?

One thing is certain: if you don't hear from me in the next few days I'm either in this bar or in 7th heaven with Martina, or whatever she calls herself...

Maybe I should have stayed in heaven...

heavy crosswinds

Going west for 250 miles with headwinds of above 60 miles... that's very demanding. The bike used 50% more gas than usual. The only good thing: the temperature went up.

On our route west there was one major obstacle in the way: the Sierra Nevada. Snowy peaks and passes, all roads to Yosemite Nat'l Park closed... So change of plans.

So off we went to Lake Tahoe. 1960 the Olympic Games took place in Squaw Valley. All the venues in one place and only one resort... unbelievable...

Time for another hot tub.

On our trip around Lake Tahoe we passed the "Schweizer Haus", the "Matterhorn" and a "Bier Stueberl". Just like in the Alps: McDonald's, Starbucks, Aspen-Lodge...


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Old 12-31-2011, 01:00 PM   #37
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HI AMIGOS!!! is awesome report, have a nice ride...........................ride well amigos
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:15 AM   #38
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Ride report is shaping up nicely, anxious to see where you'll take us!
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Old 01-01-2012, 09:37 AM   #39
Harti OP
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Take The Wrong Way Home

Reno, Rainforest And The Pacific Ocean

Reno, NV, is a nice town. Back in 1960 no more than 50,000 people lived here, today Reno has some 220,000 souls, most of which work in the casino and entertainment industry.

The billboard above me stands also for the stiffer economy, as clients are less generous when it comes to spending $$$. And when the overland access roads from Sacramento and San Francisco are closed due to massive snowfalls and Reno can only rely on customers coming into town by air or train, the city suffers even more...

In the mid 1800's gold and the Transcontinental Railway were the main sources of income, until they got replaced in the 20's of last century by the whole variety of gambling.

Interestingly enough Nevada is still the third largest producer of gold worldwide, the "California Zephyr" stops daily on its way from San Francisco to Chicago and Reno still got a good reputation after Las Vegas when it comes to lotteries, roulette and poker...

In Hallelujah Junction, CA, we gassed up for 40 cents more than in Reno, hallelujah, but compared with what you had to pay 10 years ago it's a rip off anyway...

"There is no bad weather, just bad gear"... a favorite saying invented by those, who ride on nice sunny days and get ambushed by a thunderstorm, get wet for a few minutes and wait out the flow of water under the protecting roof of a gas station...

We got the whole package: 6 hours of heavy rain, oncoming cars switching their wipers to "fast", fog with a visibility of less than 150 ft., temperatures around freezing and a lot of curves with asphalt patches to give you the creeps... oh yes, and the Washoe Zephyr, no train this time, but a steady harsh wind...

Our "smart" gear didn't meet our expectations. Martina's gloves were soaked wet after 10 minutes, my cross boots got flooded soon, collars and zippers didn't stand the rain and Martina's waterproof bag wasn't that waterproof
after all...

I really believe there is something like bad weather.

Trees covered by excessive amounts of moss are a clear sign of long periods of rain.

Yesterday we rode through the redwoods for the first time. Awesome... a tree of gigantic proportions. Up to 150 ft. high it is supposed to be the largest tree in the world. Exists only here and in China.

We also met a group of bike riders with some interesting solutions for their baggage problem...

Btw, this is part the Panamericana, a street system stretching from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego in South America, which we partly rode on last year in Peru...

And we visited a Sequoia tree, which is 1,600 years old. You can tell by the rings inside the stem. I wonder what the tree would tell us about America's history, if it could talk...

We still got the cheap B-B-Q grill for 5 $ that we bought at a Home Depot somewhere in the Midwest. Comes in pretty handy after a full day of biking...

The Pacific Ocean is the largest of all oceans. From Alaska to the southern tip of Chile it separates America from Asia and Australia and the today from the tomorrow.

Finally we ended up in Port Orford, the finish line of the Trans America Trail. It's a pity that we could only ride some portions of it due to the long lasting winter in the Rockies and the Sierras... Anyway, we have discovered our own TAT.


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Old 01-01-2012, 10:02 AM   #40
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:*sip Great pics and story telling!!! I am along for the ride! Retirement looks excellent


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Old 01-01-2012, 02:30 PM   #41
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great images, thanks much for sharing - can't wait to see the rest.
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Old 01-01-2012, 03:15 PM   #42
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Thanks for the ride report. Great pictures! Looking forward to the rest of the trip.

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Old 01-03-2012, 09:37 AM   #43
Harti OP
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Take The Wrong Way Home

Oregon and Washington

Once at the Pacific we had some time left before Martina went home to Berlin by plane and I continued my journey overland to Berlin. So we meandered up and down the coast, went to see all the volcanoes in the area and payed Seattle and Vancouver a visit.

Oregon has a lot to offer on a sunny bright day in early summer. Clean water, healthy forests, lush meadows, so that livestock gets confused with paradise until they see the butcher's knife...

They even offer rides through the dunes and high speed trips at the beaches. Why that is good for the environment is not quite clear to me. So with a guilty conscience we rushed to take a few pics and left...

Yesterday we saw only one car in 60 miles. Of course the lady driver stopped for a small talk and in 15 minutes her and our story of our lives were told...

I must say, Americans are polite people. At the gas station, in supermarkets, in restaurants, even at a red light we got asked about our trip.

One of the bigger surprise is, that Oregon has a noteworthy wine industry. And the Merlot we had for dinner was not bad at all...

On our way to the Cascade Lakes District we passed yet another hot spring. Well deserved I must say after all the heavy snow in June...

The Americans have probably not been on the moon. Why? 1966 the entire Apollo crew spent some training units in the Diamond Lake area and they got filmed. Allegedly for study purposes. Are they kiddin' us?

Anyway, my weight felt the same, my bike behaved also like a 600 pound monster. The last eruption in this part of Oregon was 1,600 years ago. And the reason why hardly anything is growing on the otherwise very fertile volcanic soil is, that this is a high altitude desert with extremely little precipitation.

Denise, the owner of the tiniest coffee shop I've ever seen, warned us, that the Cascade Lakes Highway was still closed because of snow... hahaha, in June... we should have listened and could have saved us a 75 mile deviation...

On our way up north you can't avoid grand views of the majestic volcanoes. There is the Mount Hood, which we saw alreadt from a 100 miles away, before we passed the Mt. Jefferson, after Mt. Hood we will see the Mt. Adams, than the Mt. St. Helens, the very one, that exploded in the 80's and shot a major portion of its summit first a few miles up in the air and then down the valleys. And after that one comes Mt Rainier near Seattle.

I took the opportunity and changed my front tire in Portland. No clue, why it wore down so fast compared to the rear rubber or to Martinas tires...

This is probably the story of this trip: the long lasting winter with snow, rain and temperatures at around 50 degrees, no matter whether its cloudy or sunshine...I hate to ride for days in wet gear with cold hands... it's not fair.

We wanted to see the tip of Mt. Rainier. No way. To foggy, too much snow, so we had to give that up again.

In the Olympic Rainforest Martina dropped her bike again. Harmless. Her comment: "It wasn't me...".

So this is funny. At least for Germans. A No-Shooting-Zone... and if you shoot, you tell the cops "uups, I didn't do it on purpose", and if they buy it you get away with it and if not you pay up to 250 $...

Mission accomplished. Today we reached Seattle, the end of the first part of my trip home. We rode 9,000 miles, 2,000 more than expected. We couldn't have done it without our BMW's. No problems whatsoever, excellent fuel consumption, hardly any oil needed... Thanx btw to Continental for the tires and BMW for the gear.

Tomorrow we will airlift my bike from Vancouver to Seoul in Korea. Later today we will hand over Martina's bike to its new owner. At least Martina got the price she expected. And yet it was a sad moment for her to see her bike been taken away...

Sightseeing in Seattle...

... and in Vancouver.

This concludes the first part of my report. Be invited for the second part about Asia and the Silk Road.

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Old 01-03-2012, 11:50 AM   #44
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Excellent report of your North American leg!

Looking forward to reading the rest.
Successfully surviving motorcycling since 1976.
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Old 01-03-2012, 02:31 PM   #45
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Excellent! Can't wait to see the fun stuff to come.
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