Yes I am back in California. On thursday my flight went via Zurich to LA and I arrived in the early evening. Flight and custom clearance was smooth and also the way back to the motel, where all my stuff was waiting, was easy. On friday, I went to the BMW dealer in Long Beach, where my bike got the 40.000 km service and a nice pair of additional front lights from Denali. Also the front tire is new and right in the moment, when I wanted to leave the dealer, the warning lamp went on telling me that the gas indicator failed. So back to the dealer and another 3 hours of repair, fortunately without cost, as this was declared a warranty claim. So finally, the bike is ready, all my reduced luggage (I left some stuff in germany) is packed and ready to go.
There is an easy reason, I have interrupted my trip for some days to surprise my nephew and godson at his wedding in the northern part of germany. And to keep it a surprise, I couldn't write it here as I knew that he is reading my blog regularly. It was good to see the family and it was a marvelous wedding party. Thanks Lena and Michael for the invitation and also from here again all the best to you!
And I will enjoy the last days and fly back to LA on thursday, August 20, get my bike from the service and hopefully everything is checked and ready for Mexico. Talk to you then in a few days.
Another day along the coast and by chance, I stop at a parking lot where the Elephant Seals are at home and laying lazy at the beach or the younger male ones fighting with each other to demonstrate strenght... propably to define the role in the group or to impress the female ones which didn't bother at all.
Then I made my way to Los Angeles, where my bike urgently needs a service at the local BMW dealer and I will take the time to relax some days and discover the city or just do the necessary tasks such as laundry, bike check, luggage review etc. I think, every biker is always lamenting about to much luggage! Same with me and every morning the question starts, where to put what. I have in meanwhile established, where the things should go, but still it is not perfect and for example the woolen underwear is in meanwhile just balast.
Well, we will see and maybe at the end of my trip, the luggage will be reduced to the half.
Yes, today I was lazy and started late. Again along the coast with fog in the morning which was distroyed by the sun only in the afternoon. Today I started early enough to search for an overnight stay and found in Ragged Point a very nice motel right above the sea with excellent dinner. There I met Mitch and his 2 friends. We were exchanging our tours, where from and where to and Mitch was very excited about my plannings and started to think about, joining me. Well first he had to finish his tour and then we will see. In any case, he wanted to stay in contact with me.
Today, after a marvelous ride along the coast on the Highway 1, I was desperately searching for a camp ground but everything was fully booked. Finally I asked at a motel and got the answer to get a room for 265$. Crazy but the other motels around charged even more than 300$. And in fact the last one, who took a room came at 3 in the morning as the hotel manager told me the next morning. Well it's July and weekend and everybody want to go to the seaside it seems...
After a relaxing day at the beach now again on the bike. Today when I started, the cost was coverd with fog coming from the sea. It was a very mystic atmosphere. And it was cool with all the breeze from the sea and no sun. Therefore almost no pictures, you wouldn't see anything anyhow. But the trip along the highway 1 was anyhow marvelous, always along the coast with a small and very curvy road. Late afternoon I went further inside the country and immediately had 10° more and the sun came out. While it got dark slowly I found a motel near the highway short before the famous San Franzisco bridge. Camp grounds unfortunately are not existant in this corner, it looks more like the area is full with marvelous houses along the bay of san francisco and Porsche, Mercedes and BMW are the most seen car types.
Even south of Eureka, the reedwood forest continued and then I was at the famous highway 101 which goes along the coast most of the time. But the even more beautiful, as smaller with much more
curves is the highway 1, a real must for every biker.
In Dawson I had seen some bikes with the writing: Füken Grüven... now its up to you, to figure out what it could mean. In any case, it fit's to 100% to that road. And then finally I foound the place I was searching for all afternoon long, righ in front of Fort Bragg. A nice little motel right at the pacific beach. You can imagine the program for tomorrow....
Yes I slowly approached California and have found other great curvy roads, partly through forest with the famous redwood trees, huge giants. and as it was at the beginning still hot already in the early morning, the closer I came to the pacific, the colder it was.According to the Holdridge life zones system of bioclimatic classification Eureka, California is situated in or near the cool temperate moist forest biome, which means even inAugust there are average temperatures of about 17°C, and that in California. With these temperatures, I preferred a motel in the middle of the town with a bar&Grill around the corner where I got a steak as big as the plate.
As I was having some water in the left ear which didn't want to come out, I used the morning to make a new experience in the local first aid hospital, where the problem could be solved easily and fast. First I was examied by an american male, but soon after a lady entered and presented herself as Birgitta from Frankfurt, having studied in California and livingand working now in Bend. So even in the middle of Oregon, a german doctor could be found. However, for the 20 min inteventioned they finlly asked 360 dollars. Now I understand, why a health system is so badly needed in the USA.
Right after 12 o'clock I sat on the bike and started towards south, first along the cascade lakes on tiny little roads which suddenly ended in gravel road.... so I found it again. Later on the way took me to crater lake, a former vulcan which collapsed and in the middle a lake was formed. Deep blue water and there was a little road all around. Really impressive! already towards evening, it was time to look for a stay overnight which I found directly at the north river at a little camp ground.
the road from Carson brought me again on nice little curvy roads near the Mount Hood, with 3425 m the highest mountain of Orgeon and another strato-vulcanic mount and then south east to Bend. Eating during the day with this temperatures seems impossible but every hour I made a stop to drink something. With the biker pants and jacket, it is as having your private sauna with you.
The evening before, Josh had given me some recommendations about the trip and where to find nice curvy roads. I first headed south and then east to the Mount Rainier National Park, all around the mountain to then follow some marvelous curvy roads towards south. The trip was one of the most beautiful ones up to now. Often I was driving through forest areas with enough cool shadows not to be cooked totally and every now and then along nice river beads. Short after Carson I found a camping area at the hood river, which is having dimension as a lake. A refreshing bath in the evening rounded up the marvelous day.
Well finally it is time to say good bye to Canada and to start the next part of my journey, to cross some of the lower 48th, as they say in Alaska. Leaving White Rock, already after some kilometers comes the border to the US and as already trained I take my Carnet de Passage, get within 5 minutes the signatures and stamps from the canadian Boarder and switch to the US boarder. There the waiting starts. First the the officer at the gate explaines me long and bright that there are not many collegues knowing how to handle this document. he knows but is not doing. Instead I am asked to wait in line with others and have the opportunity to see the overwhelming motivation and energy of the US custom officers in action. At one of them, the demotivation is quite obvious and he is dooing everything to avoid any single movement. After a felt 40 minutes he finally signalizes me to come over and show my request. After studying my carnet for 5 minutes he declares that I should wait while he will fill out the required items... and finally starts after another 15 minutes to explain what he has done to another colleague... Well it seems a pity how human capacity is spent there sense- and motivationless.
However I reentered now again the US, now into Washington heading towards Seattle in order to find the Touratech dependency in US. Everything goes well until I approach outer Seattle and there the traffic jam starts and will not end anymore... after more than 2 hours I just want to escape from that city and find a road where my bike and I could stop beeing cooked in the heat.
But all trouble during the day ended more than fine as you will read now. I just restarted to drive further south when at a short stop in Puyallup, somebody crossed by with his car and said: I like your bike! Josh presented himself as a KTM rider and soon after some smalltalk, he asked me where I will stay overnight and if I would like to come home to him and to his family. What a marvelous and kind surprize, I followed him, he prepared dinner for me, I was immediately integrated in his family and we were sitting the evening in the garden, discussing the world. The next morning all the four, Josh, Char, Kyalin and Corrie welcomed me for breakfast and waved me a good bye and good wishes for the road. Thank you Howell Family for that marvelous and unexpected stay at your house!