Someway we are sure we have a hidden Gollum with us; constantly we do miss items or doing not logical things. OK, the heat is cooking our brains pretty much… but nevertheless we never had so many losses on any journey before. The list is getting longer and longer: Sascha is missing his chain guard (we hoped he forgot to put it back in Prince George when he refilled the scot-oiler, but unfortunately Kelly could not find it). We lost a poach of tobacco, a lens cover of the camera, 3 mini screws of a lens and as some other things! Dam it! The zipper of Sascha´s tank bag is broken and when he put the new tires it took him 3 hours for mine because he misplaced the space holders – how frustrating that was you can probably imagine… Anyhow we hope we can break the jinx and free the Gollum soon.
The days with Patty and Kevin in Salt Lake City were just great. We enjoyed the Spa, cooked together, went to the Air force Museum and met their lovely family. Kevin supplied not only his great workshop but was always there with and helping hand and good advices. And Patty was the best route adviser for all the upcoming national parks. As well we had the chance to adapt a little bit to the hot climate. Thank you both so much for everything!!!
The first destination was Moab, Arches NP and we followed Patty’s guidance to ride the Gemini Bridges Trail. A beautiful off-road track which we really enjoyed even though I struggled here and there a little bit with the parts of fine sand and big rocks in between. So it happened and I had my first crash. Nothing really bad but I was annoyed about myself of course. Suddenly Sascha was shouting `stop where you are!´ There was a section where the track went down steep ( I would say about 80% gradient) for about 150 meter with really deep fine sand and big rocks. At the end we could see a giant rock on the trail and we were wondering if we will be able to go through. Sascha walked it down in the heat to have a closer look and met two motorcycle guys in the shade of the giant rock. They were coming the way up, saw the road condition and decided to have a break before going it up J But they had the good message for us that the trail is much better from now on. We decided it is better if Sascha brings down both bikes. I felt slightly guilty as it was striking hot and he had to walk up and down this sandy section three times now. He brought the bikes down safe and we had all together a break in the shade while inhaling this remarkable deserted area. We did a little detour to the Dead Horse Point (The legend of this name: In the 1800s wild mustang herds were common in this area. This peninsula, 2000 feet above the Colorado River, was used to corral and capture them behind a 50 ft. fence at the neck of the formation. One time a herd of unwanted horses was left out there, where they died of thirst. – what a sad story in such a beautiful place!) Later on after a break at the Colorado River we explored the Arches NP with its stunning stone formations and arches. Our neighbor at the camp side was family originally from Germany, Bavaria who lived several years in the states now moving back home and they supplied us with yummi fruits and chocolate pancakes (we wish you a good start back home!).
The next destination was Bryce NP. But spontaneously we were following some signs which led us to the Natural Bridges NP. A wonderful place with only a few people around. We were told that this is one of the darkest places in the US so we were sitting and watching the stars for a looong time…
The Beartooth Highway was a really great ride and it goes up to 10036 feet (3345 meter). Yellowstone is impressive no question about that. The scenery, the geysers and the wildlife; but suddenly there were everywhere so many people, partially you had to cue up. We were not use to it. Nevertheless we enjoyed the parts we saw but we decided to shorten it a little bit. A funny thing was we met Bill and Josh at the camp site and they gave us one of these hiking dried food bags for the way, “Pad Thai”. Everybody who knows us knows we do love Southeast Asian food especially Pad Thai – but like that??? So we are curious to find out one of these days how the taste is – but for now we will keep it as an emergency reserve. Thank you Bill and Josh! It was a pleasure meeting you and have save travels!
It was not only because of the crowded places we hurried up. In Salt Lake City, were we are just know, we are hosted by Patty and Kevin – thank both of you for your great hospitality and your help!!! They offered us to stay with them and using their workshop. Do you remember the broken gas pipe? Since then we do smell a little bit too much gas all the time, and sometimes the Transalp seems not to take the throttle – it feels like little holes/hick-ups. Sascha is just working on that… I hope we will find out the reason and we are able to fix it. As we were rushing we just went through Grand Teton National Park but really enjoyed the ride – it is certainly worth to spend more time there. Going to Jackson (hey you know the song!?) we were hungry, tired and running late. Just before the sunset we found a place for our tent when we drove 6km into a gravel road a little bit south of Jackson. Surrounded by cows, mosquito’s and birds we felt soon asleep. We woke up early to arrive in time in Salt Lake City. We built down the soaking wet tent (we slept next to a river) with frozen fingers and we hopped onto the bikes. Somehow it felt very strange to me (I did not have a coffee yet!) and I said so to Sascha. He just yawned, yeah me as well… BUT ohhhhh nooooo!!! You have a flat tire!!! Here we go… we used the “fix A flat” as we wanted to get a new tire anyhow. And with some stops at gas stations filling up air we finally made it to Patty and Kevin in Salt Lake City. We started with maybe 2-3°C in the morning and arrived completely sweated and overheated with 36°C. Puhhh we need to get used to the new climate from now on and rearrange our clothing packs.
Oh I nearly forgot to mention our new companions. The 18th June we had our 8th Wedding Anniversary (and 18 years together). Sascha got a little black bear from me to take care of him. Two days later on a very remote recreation camp we found `Pepe´ alone on a bench looking really sad. For sure there is a kid somewhere very sad as well. We decided to take Pepe with us – either we will find his owner somewhere on the way or we will find a new kid taking care of him on our way to Tierra del Fuego. So from now on Kerstin is driving `two-up´ ;)
Cheers and see you soon!
Time is flying, 3 weeks are gone again… how to summarize? The last time we updated the Blog we stayed with Kelly (from ADV Rider) and his lovely dog Bruno in Prince Georg. We had not only the chance to blog but as well to do laundry and some little maintenance. We spend a great time cooking and exchanging experiences. Thank you Kelly for your great hospitality and for the nice ride together on the day we left – and a big hug to Bruno!!! There as well we met Erik; original from Switzerland but living more than 20 years+ in Canada – it was fun to meet you again and again on the road. We wish both of you all the best and hopefully we meet again one day.
Our route is following the famous National Parks. We went through Jasper and Banf in Canada. The Glacier National Park we did not really enter as the “road to the sun” was not open yet and nobody could tell us when they will do so. Instead of that we explored the “Hungry Horse Lake” which we really can recommend. On the way to Yellowstone we heard about the “Beartooth Highway” which leads from the North-East into the Park. While heading that direction we were captured by a real thunderstorm with lightening, heavy rain, hail and strong winds (we were even afraid the motorcycles will be blow away). Luckily we were just standing in front of the “White Sulfur Springs Motel” – the people were really nice and the rooms had reasonable prices and included the usage of the hot springs – so we just checked in. Later on another two motorcyclist (one Indian and one 1800cc Kawasaki) arrived after a 1000km ride from Montana and socked by the rain (unfortunately we forgot your names – sorry! Please send us a message it was really nice meeting you guys!!! Save travels!)
It was time go further north – the most northern part we wanted to visit on this journey is the Arctic Circle. The Dalton Highway was pretty ok and Sascha said it is a trip of about 350km from Healy to the Arctic Circle. After being about 6 hours on the road we reached the point he entered in the GPS but we could not even see a sign. A car came towards us and we asked where the Arctic Circle is and they told us it is another 90 miles (150km) to go and the road will be really muddy and slippery. So what to do – we continued, got coffee and fuel (not really cheap up here) at the Yukon River Roadhouse and finally reached the Arctic Circle. A great place, much warmer than expected and we settled at the free camp site and lightened a fire to fight the monster mosquito’s (the only bad thing at this beautiful place). On the way back we proudly picked our “I crossed the Arctic Circle Certificate” and decided we deserved a SPA-day at the Chena Hot Springs. What a good feeling to bath and hang around in this hot water again and again after all these long riding days. And additional we had time to check the bikes and doing the laundry.
Now it was time to check out the real gold rush area! In Tok we had a nice chat with two gold miners at the liquor shop (where else ;) and settled at “Thompson´s Eagle´s Claw”, a motorcycle camp. A really nice place done by heard. As we are early in the season we stayed alone for that night. The next morning we enjoyed our coffee in the sun and planned to ride the “Top of the world highway” TOW later. But suddenly a thunderstorm with (3 to 4cm) hail appeared and covered everything in white. Unfortunately it continued hail/raining for about 3-4 hours. So we decided to stay one more night. Therefore we enjoyed the great company of 4 other motorcyclists (greetings to Jaakko, Alf, Jep and Philip) this night at the fireplace. They did the TOW that day and did not even see a drop of rain the whole day.
So the next day we went for it. First we had a look at Chicken, an old little gold miming settlement when dark clouds came across the mountains. Kerstin became a little bit nervous as everybody was saying the TOW is awesome but the road will become narrow and winding, with steep dips and can be very slippery when it rains. Nevertheless we went for it. In the end it was a great ride on a well graded wide gravel road. The scenery was nice, the sun was shining and we arrived at the Canadian Border. Just shortly before Dawson we could see the Thunderstorm in the Rocky’s and caught a little rain. We took the ferry over the Yukon and arrived in the famous Dawson City. It is a really nice place with open minded and friendly people and it is a lot of fun to straw around and catching the spirit of this historical gold mining place. We joined the yearly Commissioner´s Tea (who personally welcomed us to Dawson!) at the Commissioner´s Residence and enjoyed speeches, music, tea and homemade dainties. For sure we will have a great evening before we leave tomorrow. See you soon! – Oh wow we just had an earth quake… everything was tumbling but nothing to worry…