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Thread: 07.2009 USA & Canada

  1. #1
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    Sep 2004

    07.2009 USA & Canada

    And so the Burgerdom arrived - McDonalds, Arbys, Wendys, Dennys - what's the similarity between them? They all sell burgers!

    Welcome to the United States of America!

    Here's a perfect picture to illustrate it:

    A custom in front of a burger eatery.

    We started off with Yoshua Tree national park that got it's name from the special tree growing there. Some nice sandy dirt roads in the park to torque through on a boxer:

    Quite a decent place to camp, too.

    That's the Yoshua tree I'm talking about.

    Loads of them around...

    Some panoramic examples from the park (click to enlarge each one):

    And then our route led us to the great Grand Canyon - I guess you've heard about it from somewhere?

    Some pics to prove "we've been there and done that" and have one of our boxes ticked in our must-see list:

    Grand Canyon panoramas (click to enlarge each one):

    And some bugs we encountered there:

    This fellow didn't want ta take off from my finger, even when I forced him (click to enlarge to see the hairy bug face):

    He was standing still on my finger:

    But after some big effort with loads of force (almost crushing him) I got him off and he made an angry face with big teeth after that:

    Meanwhile Rocky Mountains showed their signs:

    But soon deserted nature surrounded us - the bliss of California, Utah and Arizona:

    Some guy has ridden off the axle in bad road conditions - the GS just kept going 2-up full gear

    Arizonian panorama (click to enlarge).

    And very obviously - Monument Valley was on the list (click to enarge pics):

    True Western landscapes...

    The famous "Mexican hat" that also gave a name to the village nearby.

    And a long panorama from "cut-out" rocky nature of the Valley of the Gods.

    It may sound wierd, but just few hundred miles from the desert high mountains greeted us, it was all green and bloody cold again!

    The mountains get their reddish colour from iron content - loads of mines around.

    But for a long time we felt like home - the just-got-green trees, chilly fresh air - something we hadn't experienced for a long time.

    Headed to Denver where the famous Woody's Wheel Works was, since we had replaced 3 spokes at once on our rear rim on the way (BMW specifies you can only replace 1 spoke at the time) so we were afraid that it could get worse, so let them check - the rim was quite badly bent, used and abused with rusty spokes. Rebuild would have cost us over 300 USD, but if we gave our old wheel to them they'll give a new rebuilt one with stainless spokes as exchange for 250 USD - the deal was done:

    But then the boring part of the USA began in terms of landscape - crossing central-USA is just grasslands, often bad weather including tornadoes etc. Not that much fun...

    Visited my former English teacher near Milwaukee and in their garage I could do some of the maintenance work, repaint our crash bars that were scratched, bent and thus badly rusty after 30 000 miles of South- and Central-America:

    Fitted a new rear brake disk since the old one was way under minimum allowed thickness.

    Repaired GPS power cable.

    And in Milwaukee we got a good chance to visit Harley-Davidson factory where they make engine's for 'em:

    1930-1935 Flathead.

    1936-1947 Knucklehead.

    1948-1965 Panhead.

    1966-1983 Shovelhead

    1984-current time V2 Evolution

    Managed to sit on some of them:

    Didn't like too much...

    The best one I liked was this:

    At least had a proper front suspension instead of boring telescopic forks, and less chrome

    Miller beer factory was near-by, so obvious "testing visit" was conducted:

    That vast room of beer get's replenished every 24h - beer consumption in USA is something beyond words! And most of it goes to Chicago!

    As electronic music fans we visited Detroit:

    It was quite a "dead" place currently as it is the biggest automotive industry city in the US. Automotive industry does have really bad times currently so no wonder. Detroid just had the highest number of murders per city in the US of A too.

    But at least we got to see the Star Trek exhibition!

    Captain Pickard's room.

    And of course, a mandatory visity to a (vinyl-) record shop was in order:

    Some decent collection of stuff - loads of Motown 7" singles too.

    And the worldfamous Motown was also "a must" picture place:

    Detroit centre looked like this (click to enlarge):

    And then the highlight of the East-Coast of the USA - the very fundamental reason we decided to ride there over the boring central-USA grasslands was...

    New York!

    Through bad rains and storms we arrived to the Manhattan island - and such street picture greeted us, with trees fallen down in sky-scrapers' city:

    Soon we were under David's and Francine's guarding hand in their Manhattan loft that had a superb view over the city and the mystic sky the just-ended storms had created in the sunset - some pics to illustrate it:

    Click to enlarge panoramas.

    City at night:

    And the next day was a walk-around tour in Manhattan, Brooklyn bridge, famous skyscrapers etc:

    Click to enlarge panoramas from NYC:

    The first Apple shop:

    And NYC's Chinatown:

    In Manhattan terms - some affordable BBQ:

    Interesting stuff was for sale in the stores, starting from dried shark fins ending with live frogs... All for eating.

    And again a records shops visit was in order:

    Too expensive in NYC tho and didn't buy anything.

    And one of the boxes ticked - the legendary Blue Note jazzclub:

    NYC metro worked fine:

    And the gay-lesbian festival was on the streets:

    Drag queens'n'stuff.

    A view to the statue of liberty.

    An old cementery in NYC.

    And more skyscrapers:

    And got up to the the top of Empire State Building with some decent breathtaker views:

    Click to enlarge each panorama to see Manhattan's wonders in each direction:

    And 9/11 site - the ground zero:

    But the work was going strong there!

    With David and Francine we got a chance to go one of the ADVrider's meet in NY. Where the blokes arrived with some fancy kit:

    And guys didn't lack the sense of humor obviously - that's Brad.

    And I shamelessly stole one of the Brad's pics from his good camera to be posted here.

    ADVrider's greeting (click to enlarge and see if you can distinguish the two Estonians):

    I just LOVE film cameras you know.

    It was a good social chill-out time there

    And then we rode back to Manhattan through Harlem. Some good night views to Manhattan from the other side of the river (click to enlarge panorama):

    That night I replaced the hard-drive in our computer.

    A video I compiled about the movements in Manhattan. I combined material from David's helmet camera when we rode to ADVrider meet through the city and shots from my equipment to make this video:

    And in the morning it was time to say goodby to our NYC hosts that we were profoundly thankful to and to get on the road - after some relief in NYC - the same stuff all over again:

    And Montreal in Canada wasn't far away:

    We opted to go there because a 2-week long Jazz festival just begun there.

    City itself has some good aura in it:

    Altough in the inland, it's basically on the island separated with rivers so even the big ocean ships can get in there.

    And the Jazz Festival was a nice thing - pity the SoundLantern site is down so I can't put any sound recordings I did there, but at least I have some pics:

    All the city was into music.

    And after Montreal the payoff of coming to East-Coast of North-America started again - riding over the flat lands in bad weather (but aside that it was still worth coming to the East Coast!):

    The best part was Lake Superior surroundings, by area the biggest freshwater lake in the world (click to enlarge panorama):

    Reminded a lot of Scandinavian landscape there. But soon it was all over and agriculture landscapes started for hundreds and hundreds of miles with a straight road:

    There wasn't much to take photos from aside from interesting looking bugs:

    And the best isolated example of the landscapes we found was in the Dinosaur Provincial Park where loads of fossils from dinosaurs have been found:

    We're currently in Calgary in Canada and hoping to do the maintenance work on our trusty R1100GS before we'll head to Alaska.

    That's it folks - it's all there till the very day I'm writing this to you.

    Ride safe, Margus

  2. #2
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Apr 2008
    Wow! terrific pics and report - as if I am there too!
    Looking forward to Calgary etc.
    Last edited by Bem; 13-07-09 at 18:17. Reason: splelling
    to hide a leaf first find a forest

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    ever had the feeling you've been cheated
    Great stuff Margus....

    Back wheel clean up a treat

  4. #4
    Senior member Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Nov 2005
    Lincolnshire UK and Domfront, France
    Very enjoyable - thanks

  5. #5
    Complete Member Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Feb 2003
    Ashford, Middlesex
    Great Photos as always!

    What a waste though...

    Hope she was just there to add moral support.

  6. #6
    Subscriber Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Mar 2007
    Hants / Surrey Border


    Truly inspiring, thanks for sharing your wonderful trip and looking forward to the Alaska pics. Ride safe

  7. #7
    Rambler Click here to find out how to Subscribe
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    Feb 2006

    Looking forward to the next installment

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Csongrad, Hungary. Central Europe
    Amazing as always.
    Thank you for sharing.


  9. #9
    Deleted account W
    Thanks for sharing your trip with us, photos are Margus standard as usual

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    weaving thru' the GATSO's
    Brilliant indeed

    What was the Jazz track you used to the video, really liked that.

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