Americas Trip 2005 - 2007 / Part USA I

START May 2005
 
USA New York City, Pennsylvania

Hello my dear friends,
it is different than you think!!

I tell you here on these blog's
the story of my 'open end' trip!

When I left home I told my family and friends that I will ride a Royal Enfield motorcycle which I ordered in Munich/Germany, to Spain.

But that never happened – the dealer was running late with my order and told me every week “next week”. After listening to this “next week” for a while I let him know that I am not interested in this deal that way any more and he can keep it. I checked the e-net for dealers in the states and went to the travel agency.

 

“A ticket to New York please!”

Pack my gear, which is quiet a lot, in different bags and started my journey in to unknown at Monday 9th of may 2005!


The same night I arrive at this crazy, incredible and unbelievable New York. After a easy but super save immigration at the JFK airport I take a taxi to lower Manhattan. I know there are busses & metros going, but with all my stuff. I felt I had to spend this 50 $ . I stay at the white house hotel of new York.
Does that sound exclusive and expensive??
It’s everything else then that. It is cheap and has a good location – that’s all. Theses ‘zells’ are just big enough for something like a bed and a little luggage. The whole ‘room’ measures enormous 7 x 5 ft. – crazy!?

The next day I’m not going like a good tourist to see the sights – I take the train to new jersey, to the next Royal Enfield dealer. He doesn’t has what I am looking for and the ‘will’ of selling they show is not too big. Back to the big apple.

With the subway I get easy to the sights like empire state building where I take a visual flight around the city (ooooh I felt sick afterwards – like on a roller coaster), stroll to little Italy, Chinatown, ground zero (enormous crater), battery park where I viewed the statue of liberty and watched people prod a movie.
On an evening I go and see a Broadway show and leave at Thursday morning the city.
By taxi to the bus terminal to catch a bus to Scranton /Pennsylvania.
There I put all my stuff in a motel and search for my Royal Enfield dealer.


Hmmmm – not open yet – so I walk over to the police station. The very friendly and surprisingly helpful sir chief officer Charles is impressed by my idea and starts to call ...... He called here and there, insurance and other official offices! Amazing!
The same way are Lisa & Paul my Royal Enfield dealer, they do what they can do to help me to let my dream come true!!

At Friday the 13th I am that lucky to be able to buy the motorcycle, got a insurance and a number plate. I am almost on the road – babies! The whole Saturday we work at the bike and organize to get ready. The chief of police drops in for a visit and is still fascinated that this idea of riding a ‘vintage’ bike across the states, Canada, central America and south America starts in ‘his’ little town – that never happened in his 21 years of duty!

I don’t know what he has, that never happened the whole 29 years of Henriette alias LUNA!!
So I hope the poring rain stops soon so I can start my journey. First I say thank you to Lisa & Paul for all their incredible help.

After a test ride – “I’m ready to go!”

 

USA
Pennsylvania
CANADA Ontario

I’m on the road . . . .

Monday the 15th of may is my 1st motorcycle day.
The temperatures are still crisp, but I get joined by sunshine.

Fusae (my motorcycle), Moses (my teddy bear on the front fender) myself and all the other stuff are rolling west.

At the grad canyon of Pennsylvania I camp the 1st time and ride the next day slowly to Erie.

It gets a bit cooler and even some raindrops don't stay in the clouds. With a lot of clothes on it is still ice cold when riding.
To camp is not much fun either.
2 sleeping bags (cotton and thermal one), over all the motorcycle jacket and underneath the thermarest mattress.

At the morning there is even ice in the fields - brrrr!
Several day's it's coooooooooold!

To protect my knees from this cold while riding I have a brilliant idea.
OK the idea is not new and I could buy prof. ones, but I don’t want to spend that much money for a temporary thing.
So I cut my nice red thick towel in peaces, stitch well crow on the corners - ready are my adjustable knee warmers!

But to take also care of my motorcycle she gets the first service after 500 miles. The break-in check I ask to do a profesional.

I spend the whole day at uncommon motorcycles and meet Luke.
He just trades his old bullet for an alpha bike.

Evenings we go for a drink and Tuesdays I'm invited at his farm.

I stay a whole week.

We have a good time and I make myself in the household useful.
From daily life to a woodchuck hunt with his engl. dogs I experience almost everything.
Before I get married straight away (even his parents were impressed. . . ), I jump on the motorcycle saddle and pull the throttle! ;o)

To enter Canada is not a problem at all.
I cant believe it - I am at the famous crystal clear Niagara Falls.
56 meters crashes the water in to the depth.
The city looks to me like a huge amusement park. From honey mooners to scary 'creatures' I see everything and everybody.
OK time to move on.
I reach the same day (even without rain) Toronto.

Nicely clean, save and pretty is my first impression of the city and I see her on a special weekend.

"Doors open Toronto"!
Once a year the public has access to 100 cultural, historic, government interesting buildings. cool eh!
Exactly at 'my' weekend!
I enjoy the penthouse view from the 54th floor of a bank building!
Check out the famous hockey stadium ' hall of fame', the old and new justice, a Hindu temple, the CN tower, the enormous Sky dome (baseball hall), walk around Chinatown, the different Kensington market with all its freaks which make it so special and reach the huge university and queens park.

It's easy to get by subway from one spot to the next one before I keep on walking and wondering around.
I am already 3 weeks on the way ant the time just flies by.

After this nice weekend at the metropolis Toronto I keep on riding north.


Slowly I cruise to the beautiful lake Simcoe and at the evening I reach kill bear provincial park - sounds inviting - doesn’t it!?
Especial if you know that out here really bears course around.
During the day it is not that scary if you here any noises - mostly it is anyway only a sweet chip monk - but at night . . . . .
. . . . . at night the whole story looks different.
I don’t want to know what cruises around my tent - mostly racoons which are searching for food.
hmmmm, so where the name kill bear comes from????
- I better don’t ask and think about something else - good night!

At the next morning I am a bit tired (didn’t slept that well), and I know it's going to be a long day. A bit over 450 km I have to go I want to reach Sault Ste Marie to stay 2 nights.
After the 1st hour4 of riding the fog clears up and it becomes a beautiful day.

Incredible, the landscape is just gorgeous - Canada as it is famous for!
Endless beautifully lakes and rivers like diamonds.
To ride the side roads is the best, they are almost empty and I enjoy the coursing, take deep breath having fun and under my 'bud' a motorcycle which runs so far without any problems.

Some of you might think - 450 km that’s not especially a lot - but with my travel speed and the joyce of roads - it is quiet something!
Usually my Fusae loves a speed of 75km/h but the average drops down to 50 km/h.

I am happy to reach the campground (with a sour 'ass') and so I stay 2 nights here before I re-enter the states.

June 2005

USA
Michigan, Wisconsin,
South Dakota, Montana

- no problem -

The immigration back to the USA is quick & easy - yippiyeah, I like it!

After a fantastic day I reached the 'last' corner of Michigan. The last 20 km I follow signs which should lead me to a campground. What the signs promised I really find - a beautiful peninsula at a lake. A huge quite campground and almost no insects. I enjoy a swim - good camping food an fell happy and exhausted a sleep. The next morning I am early up, pack my gear and at 6 am I'm on the road.
I love the rides on backroads and see many animals.

The first 6 hours are good but then it starts to dribble, to rain till i'm riding in heavy shower.
My pants sock the cool 'we' to my socks and all the way to my tiptoe. The boots are flooded soon.
The gloves as well and after 400 miles and 11 long hours I reach Minneapolis.
For the next 2 nights I tell myself that I desirve a real bed, hot shower and a roof over my head. It rains cats and dogs and I am not interested to camp in this condition if there are other possebileties.
I enjoy the 'luxery' and visit at the beginning of the week the Royal Enfield main dealer of the USA.
The road is easy to find, but the office?
I do ask arround and then.... I see the sign -
Royal Enfield - thats the spot I want to go!



It is smaller than I thought - it's 'only' the office and sparepart building as I get told and shown. All the bikes are at a distributer at the east coast. First I need to find out with whom I have been in e-mail contact.

Tait (2nd from right) is the hero of the day. Mr. T. Bolten makes a good phone call to the bigboss Mr. K. Mahoney and then he opens the 'surprise box' fo me!

1. I get a 1st class accomodation in a great hotel, whirlpool, and a super king size bed in the room, pool, hot tub and sauna in the house incl. brakfast for free.
2. I do get support - hmmm what does that mean?
For little reports and some photos I do get spare parts which I need within the states for free and out of the country I pay shipping - wow!
I am courious if that for sure works if I ever need it.

I still dont know who forwarded my e-mail adress to the roadrunner magazine, but I reach the boss of this nice motorcycle magazine and we have an interesting conversation.

If I do the story writing - - - - not sure- - - - but to the offer of an interview & fotoshooting in Los Angeles I say straight away - yes!
Totaly happy and some how with a save feeling I ride further west.

I tell you - here you can see land; land as far as your eyes can see.
From farmland it goes soft over in to grassland which sometimes seems to be endless.
I LOVE IT - it gives me somehow a feeling of having this endless freedom and space. So I crouse totally happy along and enjoy the grat temperatures of arround 35 'C.

After a few hours of riding it become easy tired.

I do have a little radio which I can clip on to my helmet - but out here there are no stations - hmmmmmmmm. So I start to sing.

But as soon as I see the next gasstation (arround 1 1/2 hours later) I better stop to get some new batteries for my disc player - aaaah way better!


I reach save an happy my next destionation - The Badlands!!

It's a special feeling to stay at the edge of those 'cliffs'. It looks like a lunar landscape on a green carpet. Normaly this sandstone formations are on the same colour of underground - everything, bron grayish as I get told. But this year there was a lot of rain and thats the reason for this bright colours.

With black clouds in the sky and already some wind gusts I reach Rapid City. Riding in town and searching for a campground. An other motorcyclist on an old triumph, thumbs up and stearing at my bike is slowly passing me.

With a head moving 'sign' I signal him to the right.

We stop and I ask him for a campground. Cory and I have a great conversation and are jetting away. After a while he offers me to camp at his backyward. When we reached the house we kept talking till I pack my tent up again and move in the house. There is a spare room which I can use. As exchange I make my self useful.

We cut wood and move it arround. Massiv wood fences get build, fire places moved, picnic platform, flower and garden area built.

On a nice day I explore parts of the Black Hills - take pictures of Mt. Rushmore and Crazy Horse memorial - and am just right back in time to take off to the partyweekend in Sturgis.


Fr. Sa and Sunday there is an amazing athmosphere, cool people, freaky bikes and from dif. competitions, fish races to a rock band a lot of going on!


Cory's friends give me a warm welcome feeling and I suck the good vibes up like a sponge bevore I keep on riding west.

A few days later I hike arround the Grand Teton National Park. On a long (28km) hike to a lake over 9000 ft. (3000 meters) above see level I see a lot of animals.

Moose, deer, yellow bellied marmites, squirrels and chip monks. i love the views, the great hikes and fresh air.

If you belive it or not- it reminds me a lot of home. Crazy isn't it?

At home you take everything for granted and then you have to go that far to realize how beautiful it is in good old Austria.
As I can see the snow covered summits of the rockey mountains I start 'jodeling' just for fun.
(for those which understand 'jucktzen' thats the closer expression)


There is something else which I enjoy a lot . . . do you know how great it feels when you are at the open air toilet?!
It feels great when you do your business out in the pure nature, the sun shines on your ass and you can have a relaxed few at the beautiful scenery!

Thats the best toilet on earth!

At the weekend I reach the famous Yellowstone National Park.

Colourful hot pools & mud bubbeling boiling pots.

The gaisier old faithful
attracks daily several 1000 visitors. This gaisier catapults like on a regular scatual a huge steam & waterfountain in the air. The visitors are impressed and you can hear a stunning aaaaah as well as many clicks, clicks, clicks from tries to take photos.

Mostely there is nothing left then a gray shade and smeared lenses - it gives the souveneir shop a good business.

Yeah it's not easy to be a tourist. That's the reason why I pronounce all the time to be a traveler.
Sometimes it doesnt matter and worry me at all how long I am here or there. The same happens here, I enjoy this colourful boiling pots, canyon, animals and all the other highlights for some days.

As soon the sun is gone - it looks that she takes the fun with her!
The temperatures drop at night down to 3 'C. To brush my teeth I have to force the tooth paste to come out the tube and even the breakfast honey you can cut!
Still the days are flying by. Planning where to go, what to do and see, where can I get good food, where are shower at the campground. Not at all national park campgrounds there are showers. So also at Grand Teton. I ride to the next wash house where I meet nice people like Stacy & Sho!

They picked up their Ural which sidecar in Washington state and are traveling to southern California.

We spent a great day together and the funny thing is - people thought we are a crazy family on bikes- such a blast!
Oh yeah what else do I do that the time rushes by.

I do write this stories of my travels for you and hope that you have fun reading it and mabe inspire you or refresh your travel memories.


I send you the best greetings and hope to hear from you one day!

 

July 2005
 
USA Montana
  

Even with the cold temperatures I keep on riding north.
First it should go thru the state Montana and then to Canada.
In south Montana I have to realize that right now I am the only one which 'thinks' like that about the further travels.
After a little break, Fusae (my motorcycle) sounds like a sawing machine and Moses gives me from a save distance (the front fender) a stupid smile.
Baaah!
Fusae doesn’t want to move - not an inch. - waaaah what a awful sound!
I hitch to the next town. Town is more or less already a too big description for this few houses, 3 little shops, gas station with attached workshop, one tavern, one bar and a church - that’s more or less everything what makes Clyde Park. There is no campground and no hotel, but a lot of super nice people.

Dale (pic. center) the gas station and garage owner gives me some space in the back of his workshop to work on Fusae - how nice, real cool garage space!!
Scott (pic. left) the excellent mechanic gives me a hand where ever it is needed and let me know that he is impressed about my technical understanding.
Randy (pic. right) the neighbour offers me accommodation.
So I start to take Fusae apart in to 100 pieces, and see what's wrong.
Oh oh oh - no good!
After a talk with Scott we order parts from Royal Enfield USA and really it is support. A new cylinder head, piston and little parts. With the enormous help of Scott I can take off at the 5th day.

Yippiyeah - back on the road. It is incredible how quick I felt at 'home' with all this nice people!
At the weekend befor July 4th I visit the Glacier National Park and enjoy the beautiful scenery and windy roads. The traffic is crazy and I am happy when I finaly make it over the boarder.