I would admit the headline is a little sensational but at the time of driving through Oregon I did think there was something odd about the Beaver state. In my many years of driving round Europe and now the USA I have found that all petrol stations have turned into self-service affairs. You get there, you you fill up your tank, you pay and then you drive off.
But in Oregon - oh nooooo.
End of the trip in Chicago, Illinois
Today marked the first week since I hit the road. It seems like ages since I departed Chicago and I must say the trip has given me the desired effect and changed my perspective on biking and bikers. Long I thought them to be criminal gang associated thugs. But the truth really is far faaar from that misconception. They are a really friendly bunch of people that will always help each-other in trouble.
Distance travelled: ~8,000 miles (just under 13,000 km)
The 17 states that I had a chance to see:
Illinois Milwaukee (briefly) Minessota (briefly) North Dakota South Dakota Wyoming Montana Idaho (briefly) Washington Oregon California Nevada Arizona Utah Colorado (briefly) Nebraska (briefly) Iowa (briefly) People met: loads
Technical issues with the motorcycle: almost none, substantial oil addition in Utah at about 6.125 miles into trip. When I wrote this article I seemed to have completely forgotten about my problem getting the bike started on Day 1, when I was still on the Eaglerider carpark in Chicago.
Chicago river from Lower North Lakeshore drive
Drove from Morris, Illinois in the morning straight downtown. Although sometimes glitchy the built-in Android turn-by-turn satnav saved the day by giving me good verbal instructions to guide me to the Monaco hotel where I stayed until my flight on Tuesday. Left most of the luggage there and then drove to the Eaglerider shop at the Chicago, Countryside Harley-Davidson branch. Very thrilling ride but not that difficult.
After completing my wish of seeing the Grand Canyon I realized I need to start towards Chicago. The day before sort of already was a travel east but it was more south-east than northeast which it should have been. I started from the Colorado town of Grand Junction . The previous day travel was not pleasant at all. More like excruciatingly hot. It felt like I was in a stove and the air just kept getting hotter and there was no way of getting out.
Panoramic view of the Grand Canyon - Click image to enlarge
And this was the penultimate final destination on my trip. Amaaaazing and truly awe inspiring. Those who have seen it probably know what I mean. Just the size of the whole landscape really gets you.
I was really on my way to Chicago but after sleeping on my thoughts when I was in St. George in Utah I decided to give it a go.
Road down Death Valley
Decided to give it a go and hope it doesn’t bite me in the backside if I turn out to be late for my bike drop-off on Saturday I. Chicago. I decided I really wanted to see at least some of Grand Canyon and I went for it. From Bishop in California I headed southeast towards Las Vegas by crossing the “infamous” Death Valley. In fact its not that scary and there is even a small basic petrol station and motel there.
Yosemite national park
I put these two together as I visited them on the same day. They are only about 4 hours drive from each other. I started the day in Santa Rosa and headed down highway 101 that leads into San Francisco over the Golden Gate bridge. The bridge always used to be a toll one as I recall but now they have a silly electronic system where your plate is scanned and then your account gets charged.
The name sounds like something from a children’s adventure book, perhaps depicting an overgrown legume, but this was an actually road-sign I saw in northern California that was inviting me to leave the route 101 and explore its mysteries.
This is actually the name of a byway, a road that runs close to the Route 101 but is much MUCH nicer. The roads twists and rolls round enormous Redwood trees, which are really sequoia trees.