Tag Archives: Panam

Outstanding reactions to our `Call for Help´ and meeting the probably best people of California!

The hospitality of Cam and Phil from Cambria is beyond words! They picked us up from the road and made us feel home from the beginning. We spent a lovely time together and they provided the opportunity to us to organize our required fixing of the bikes. The last day Cam took us to a great walk to the sea elephants and to the lighthouse (unfortunately Phil had to go to LA for business that day). And you won’t believe how incredible positive our `call for help´ within the Californian ADV-Rider scene was. What we needed most was a place where we could send the required parts to and a workshop to work on the bikes.  Dave in Escondido offered immediately to use his workshop and we were able to start the shipping of the parts. How fabulous!

So we knew we do have some days to bridge until we get here… and we had the chance to meet and spend time with some incredible lovely people!!! Our first stop was Ventura and there we were invited to stay with Rick. We did not only share riding and travel experiences but also we were invited to ride with the BMW Club of Southern California, where I was taking part as the `steam lock´ (pouring out my coolant all the time). Boys – thank you for your patience and it was a great day and a pleasure to meet you all! By the way, Ventura is a little town at the coast with a bracing atmosphere, with little bars, coffee places and art craft shops without any snobby attitude – worth a visit for sure. Rick was taking us around everywhere, as well to the famous McConnell’s Fine Ice Cream shop – yummi!

We said good bye after lunch at the arrow lake and continued to the Big Bear Lake. Here we had the great pleasure to meet Berndt and stay with him. He traveled a lot already as well through Europe. So we had a beautiful time together sharing stories, cooking, riding around the lake. Unfortunately he crashed a few days ago with the bike so he was still in pain caused of a broken rip. We hope you are getting better soon Berndt!

Not far away from San Diego and the boarder to Mexico we stopped at Escondido. Most of the parts arrived until we arrived (1st August) and we could start to work on the bikes. At the AT the cylinder head cover gasket is changed, the coolant, oil and the tires are new now. The Transalp from Kerstin got the long desired new radiator cap and that should have solved the overheating issue. Kai from the German AT Forum send us a parcel with the parts which have been still missing (petcock, chain guard and the speedometer cable for the AT) arrived just in time… Dave gave us a hand fixing /and pimping the bikes, he had some LED light which he didn’t use anymore so he gave them to me, great improvement,,, THERE WILL BE LIGHT! For Kerstin he produced, welded an new fixation for her bash plate and lifted the Side stand a bit so she has it easier to lift the bike. Great stuff, now we are ready to go!)

Anyhow! At this point we would like to say AN BIG THANK YOU to ALL of you!!! You all were an incredible help to fix our bikes and getting prepared for the next chapter of our journey: Central America. And honestly we hope to see you again; don´t forget to let us know whenever you come to Germany/Europe!!!

Small little things here and there need to be done, but nothing really serious anymore (touch wood!!!). After having all done at Dave’s Garage we continued our trip towards San Diego where we met Randy and his dog Doc. Randy is the creator of the SADAR (San Diego Adventure Rider) Forum. He took us out for some sightseeing, beers and pizza and we had a great evening together in downtown SD… And will have tonight as well. And tomorrow we are going to the boarder and into Baja, MeXico! So stay tuned and you will get some more news the next time we get internet…

Quest for help before we enter the Baja California and Mexico

Crossing back to the west on the Tioga Pass Road we had a much clearer view today unless the fire was ongoing. But at the same time it became much more crowded as it was Friday and we hurried to leave the park.  Due to the fire we had to make a little detour to reach the Big Basin Redwoods State Park south of San Francisco. And again it was a loooong and hot drive through endless plantation areas with no camping options. Just with the dawn we arrived at the park when they told us everything is full and booked out… Suddenly there was a voice behind me, explaining to the woman behind the counter that his camp site would easily fit another tent. I could have kissed Roy!

This is how we met Roy and Rosy from UK who travelled a month through USA on bike they bought here. (Thank you for sharing this place with us! It was a pleasure meeting you and we wish you a save trip home and crossing fingers that you can sell the bike for a good price again!) They as well recommended a place at the coast road to us. As we were queuing in the traffic yam half of the day we started early to watch out for any camping opportunity. But it seemed hopeless. Everywhere we saw the signs FULL and BOOKED. Exactly at the camp which was recommended by Roy and Rosy we were lucky again. Emily and Arron shared their camp spot with us – thank you folks!

We were thinking of staying another night as we liked the cliffs and smell of the sea. But we were restless as we had some issues with the bikes since the couple of days. The AT seems to leak oil somewhere at the cylinder head; the TA was suddenly drinking water like a camel after a marathon and still having some power hiccups… so we continued in the mist along the coastline. A little bit further south we had a stop at the elephant seal view point. So funny to watch them; they scratch there bally or there forehead while bathing in the sun and rolling over the beach. And impressing to see them fighting and listening to their balking. We started a chat with Cam from the `Friends of The Elephant Seal´ and after a while it turned out that she and her husband are motorcyclists as well; so we were sharing travel experiences and they found out about our issues as well. Spontaneously we were invited to stay with them, using their garage to find out more details and which spare parts we might need – overwhelmed of their hospitality we agreed to meet later at their house in Cambria. We used the time and enjoyed the seaside and watching the seals and did even some more sightseeing. Indescribably how lucky and happy we are. We started immediately the research on the bikes and trying now to find any place south of here where we can order the parts to and can work on the issues. We would not like to cross over to Mexico/ Baja California before the defects are repaired. Cambria has a bracing climate; you always have a fresh breeze from the sea, it is green and we do hope to see a whale in one of these days. We are incredible thankful to Cam and Phil! These `rest´ gave us the opportunity to find solutions for our troubles with the bikes. Finally we had the chance to calm down…

Where the Gollum is hiding? Great off-road trail, beautiful Arches and stunning Natural Bridges

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…  

New companions, first flat tire, amazing people, sceneries and little problems with the Transalp

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!)

3 times lucky in one day!

We are just having a day off at the Bear River Camp in Steward. With WI-Fi, hot showers and a sheltered place. It was time to check the motorcycles, a proper cleaning of ourselves and our clothes – and of course to keep you informed on how and what we are doing ;)

So far we had a great time during our first 3 weeks of the journey. We already have seen many incredible places, met a lot of nice people and camped in beautiful and free places. We love cooking and sitting at the fireplace and enjoy the scenic landscapes while driving. In one place Sascha cought a GIGANTIG pike (he would say 1,5 meter ;))) and I have to say it was the most delicious fish I ever had! The next day we passed a crashed and rolled over truck which was loaded with 40 tons of fresh salmon on ice and we took one out to pimp up our dinner.

Nothing really bad happened so far but we had one really Lucky Day – 3 times luck: On the way down we heard about the Canol Road, a 230 km gravel road winding through 2000 meter high mountains and we decided to do it. The opinions where different when we were asking people if it is open and OK or not… so there was no other way as testing it. We crossed the sign `closed road´ and already after the first meters we met a bear mother with her calve on the road just 50 meters in front of us. She was turning to us and evaluating if we will harm her or not several times. I, Kerstin, was in front and had already the bear spray in my hands and my knees turned into gum and were shivering. I knew we do not have a chance to turn the bikes that quickly on this narrow gravel road if she starts to run – but finally she decided it will be fine and she walked away into the forest.

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The first Lucky time! I think I was doing pretty well on that road, speeding around the turns (this is at least what Sascha said). The ground was pretty compact, not too loose and not too muddy. But suddenly, out of nothing, there was a muddy part which made me tumbling and jumping and I just made it while standing up and opening the throttle. Sascha had the camera running and we had a look at it later – I could not believe I did it!

[Sascha: I couldn’t believe it as well! I already slowed down and was in disaster recovery mode… And then? Unbelievable! She did the only right thing FULL THROTTLE! Whow, what a SAVE that was! Congratulations….]

The second Lucky time! The landscape was beautiful and we were the only one on that road. At one point Sascha was saying: `Strange, I do smell gas!´ and I was replying: `I do not and we are in the middle of nowhere, there is nothing the next 100 km in all directions!´ A few seconds later  I did smell gas as well and somehow my left leg felt wet. I looked down and I could see a little waterfall running down over my leg and boot out of my tank. That was not a funny situation at all. First of all the gas we had been just enough to reach the next upcoming gas station, second the smell of gas attracts bears (actually all kind of smell attracts them as well toothpaste – good to know). Third there is NOBODY around here. [Sascha: Last but not least it was gasoline all over the place and lucky us we did have a cigarette stop just one minute before and the engine AND exhaust was still some kind of cold… if not the bike would just have burned down at this time…) Sascha luckily combined rapid and right, it is the 2nd tank pipe (Benzinhahn) which broke and we closed it as quick as possible with a screw. We looked in the tank and were hoping that we are going to make it. And we did!!! Third time LUCK! [Sascha: What a day that was….]

Below you can find the photos from our travel down from Dawson City to here Steward/Hyder. A highlight for Sascha was the Dredge No 4 and of course the fishing success [Sascha: AND THAT KERSTIN WAS DRIVING LIKE A PRO!!]! Both we were enjoying the freedom, the wilderness and the breathtaking landscapes – especially the Salmon Glacier were we went up yesterday afternoon when we arrived here. [Sascha: Loose, and at times deep gravel… Well done Kerstin!]

See you soon and take care!