North America 1991

Hi, how are you doing ?

 

After some holiday trips on the motorbike in Europe we want more. We want to make a longer trip. But where to? So we took a dart, threw on the map of the world and....hit the USA. Target accomplished! Now we only have to arrange the shipping of our bikes and go...

After a few months of preparation and route planning we started for a 3 months journey in 1991 to North America. We started with a family visit in Toronto, Canada, and then through the U.S.A and Mexico. We crossed 22 states and after 3 months we added 22.000 km on our Suzuki's.

 

Route North America

Bears and Beer.

 

It took us only two hours to get our motorbikes through the customs after we landed in Toronto, Canada. And then we ride on our own bikes. That feels GREAT! Our family shows us the lovely city Toronto and we make a tour to the Niagra Falls. The amount of water that falls down is impressive, so much power, so much noise. After a few days we hit the highway and come in our first traffic jam of the America's. We take the road along lake Superior and cross the border into the U.S.A. The first days we want to cover a lot of kilometers through Montana and Wyoming to get as quickly as possible to the Rockies. Then we pass over the snow-covered Beartooth highway that goes over 10,000 feet (3100 m). The views are breath taking but the cold wind makes us only stay for a short time.

The Beartooth highway leads us to the northeast entrance of Yellowstone National Park. The park is just opened for the season and not so crowded yet. We pitch the tent on a campsite spot and stay a few days to explore the National Park. We ride around and see a lot of bizons. What are they huge! Offcouse we go to "Old Faithful" geyser, see more hot springs and colored pools.

The next morning we get up early for a hike. We walk a track of 25 km through the forest. It is quiet and we see only a few squirrels and hear some birds. We walk up a hill in dense forest and then suddenly a grizzly bear appears on top of the hill. Shit, what a giant. "Play death", is what the park ranger told us if you meet a grizzly. That is impossible because my heart is beating twice the speed as normally. Before I can take my camera, the bear is running away. Lucky for us the other way...

Back on the campsite we get an official warning from a park ranger because we left our camping stove and food in our tent. "This is against the rules and dangerous, this is bear country!". "You must know that". Really, bears? where....? Now we need a beer......

 

 

Grand Canyon.

 

The sun is burning and it is very hot. Because of the heat I take off my motorbike jacket but ten minutes later I have some blisters of sunburn on my arms, even that I used sunprotection. This day I learned that I always must wear a jacket when I am riding my motorbike...

From the Western movies i remember Monument Valley, but riding here on my own motorbike is a dream comes true. This landscape in Navajo country is breath taking. We stay there to see the sunrise.

 

We are heading to the Grand Canyon and enter through the North Rim. The park is separated in North and South Rims by the Colorado river, that cuts 1.6 km deep. The views are spectacular. This is not comparable with the pictures we saw from travel books. It's so huge, big, amazing, breath taking, wunderschon, fantastisch, we don't have enough words for it...

To go to the South Rim it's a 350 km ride, while the distance across the canyon is only 16 km! We do the Desert View Drive and at every viewpoint we stop to absorb the views. Superb! We decide to give our bikes a day rest and walk the Bright Angel trail and hike down to the Colorado river. We enter the gorge and every

meter we descend we start to feel us smaller....WOW! After a hours of hiking we reach the Colorado river. Wild white water is passing at high speed. Some rafs are dancing on the waves. That is spectacular. We cool down our hot feet in the cold water and after a nice picnic we start our way back up. Halfway we are out of drinking water and the heat is getting us. On our last bit of energy we strumble out of the canyon. This was a very though walk, but is was superb.

 

Viva Las Vegas.

 

During the day Las Vegas looks like Death Valley, dead you know. There is no traffic, no people, no neon lights, no nothing. But when it's getting dark the city awakes. You can spend a whole night to see only the outside of the casinos. One more beautiful than the other. The Mirage, Ceasers Palace, it's all amazing. Of course we are gonna take a bet. If we are lucky we can extend our trip....But if we loose all, it's the end of our trip....Mmm, difficult decision... and the money is gone before we notice it. But we have our emergency credit card....Well, beter not, and we come to ourselves and stop gambling. All that gambling made us hungry, but the food and drinks are very cheap in the casinos.

Before we ride back on our bikes to the campsite we take one more look to the beautiful city of lights. At a crossing a man asks "what do you have in the aluminum boxes, pizza's? "That's our luggage", I tell him. But the guy really thought that we were pizza-deliverers.

It is three o'clock in the night when we pass a supermarket. It is open and we need some groceries, so why not. In the big supermarket there is only one woman and a guard, nobody else. It is strange for us to go shopping in the middle of the night. This 24 hour economy we don't have in Holland. The guard noticed our bikes and strange plates. "From which state we are?", he asks. Well, we are from The Netherlands, in Europe.

"And if we ride all the way from The Netherlands?"

 

Baja California.

 

There are a lot of people at the border of Tijuana, Mexico. The most of them want to go to the states and are checked very well. But we "gringo's" have no problems with immigrations and in half an hour we ride our Suzuki 's into the Baja. This is cool. Well, exactly cool isn't the right word. It is more then 35 C, but it is so neat to ride through the Baja desert full of giant cacti. They are at least 3 meters. We stop for a lunch break at a huge cactus and try to get some shade. A few minutes later Vultures circle above us in the sky. One is coming down and lands in the cactus. Does he see us as lunch???? Well, we can make a great picture. Before his friends get the same idea, we kick on our DR's and start crossing the Baja.

 

In La Paz we go the Ferry terminal to get tickets to Mazatlan on the mainland. There we meet Jack, an American on a XT500. Because we all travel on low budget, we sleep on the deck, instead of in a hut. We talk about travel plans and decide to ride 2 days with Jack. We ride through the beautiful mountain range Sierra de los Huicholes, to Acapulco. Often we have in the late afternoon a tropical shower. This causes flooding and landslides but isn't a problem for our suzuki's to get through.. From Acapulco we are going north again and visit around Ciudad the Mexico the temples of Teotihuacan. Teotihuacan is an ancient city of the Aztecs. It is a huge temple complex with an "avenue of the dead", where believed human sacrifices where done, flanked by the impressive Pyramid of the Sun and Pyramid of the Moon. It is very interesting to learn something about the Aztecs and we are amazed how they could build this temples around 250 AD.

 

 

Jazzing.

 

We are heading along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico and arrive in New Orleans. We decide to give our bikes a day rest and we explore the city by foot. We walk around the French Quarter and sniffing up some blues and jazz. In the afternoon bands walk around and play their songs. This is great and we get in the mood to swing. We go to some pubs and watch many blues and jazz bands till late in the night.

 

At the Key's in Florida we spend a day snorkling and see the most beautiful fish and coral. The souvenir I have got from Florida is the official sunburn during the snorkling...

We are riding back north on our way to Canada over the Blue Ridge Parkway, a nice road through the Appalachian Mountains. We pass the border with Canada and ride to Toronto, where we started our journey 3 months ago. Our aunt and uncle are happy that we are back alive. We spend a few days here and tell all about our adventures.

This was our first long overseas trip and it was superb. We feel it will not be the last....we will be jazzing more...

 

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