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Offline Mother

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Riding across the USA on a Harley

I had a dream to ride a bike across America one day; here is the story of my dream that became a reality

NEW YORK 6/9/2010
(Always wanted to go see the, so called, best city in the world)


We landed in Atlanta via Delta airlines 15 hr flight from Johannesburg then it was 2 hrs to New York
Arrived at our hotel near Central Park about mid day on Monday which was the USA Labour Day long weekend
After freshening up we spent the afternoon mixing with the locals and walking around Central Park .It was laid back and enjoyable seeing all the new Yorkers out and about in the park…frizzbies/ kites etc and people just chilling it was contagious and we had a great time floating around eating ice cream and taking in this beautiful place so far from home…police presence was noticeable everywhere, the black and white cars of NYPD and now and again we saw some of the NYPD on horseback. Strolling around the park…the atmosphere was very relaxing though













An early night to rid the jet lag and the next day saw us off shopping and getting a closer look of NY...Although my SA phone was on roaming we couldn’t use it …got to do with a 3 bandwidth vs a 4 bandwidth in the States. So I bought an unblocked Iphone and we where back in business communicating with family and friends
We had lunch on top of Lucy’s a Mexican restaurant in the middle of NYC it was great just relaxing there and checking out the folks of NY
We visited the empire state building late in the afternoon and I officially asked my long time girlfriend, Leonie, to marry me on the top (86 floors) (thort it would be memorable…lucky she said yes)
We stayed on top of the ESB till late to see the lights of NY then later we went to see Times Square, it was pumping with people , bright lights and bill boards…there was such a vibe it’s hard to explain.
We found the NY subway a tad confusing in the beginning and took one or two wrong trains before we finally got it sorted…the public system rocks to get around and fairly cheap too

Next day we where up early to take a taxi to JFK as we where on our way to Orlando (two and a half hr flight)to pick up our rented Harley and chill a few days at Disney etc

ORLANDO 9/9/12010

When we landed it was clear skies but hot …very very hot and humid…we stayed at the Galleria hotel just outside the Disney resorts.
After freshening up, we took a taxi to down town Disney resort and later had the best ribs ever at the Planet Hollywood restaurant.

Next day we dedicated to sorting out our rental and getting some Harley stuff I wanted. We left the hotel early via taxi and $90 later found ourselves at the wrong branch of Orlando Harley so after a bit of shopping…the dealer arranged for us to get to the proper branch………….

I had booked a Road King as I have one back in SA .We had bought our own luggage roll to just pop on the sissy bar…I was frustrated when they showed us a plain Rd King.. no touring seat or sissy bar for Leonie and then to top it all gave me a hard time….for wanting to fit an cigarette adapter to power my GPS....so long story short we changed the bike at the same rate , to a standard Electra Glide…which im also used too as I also have a Electra Glide Ultra Classic Limited at home…this one was basic with 96 cubes vs. mine a little more grunt at  103cubes….this was as good as it was going to get and I was more worried about riding on  the right hand side…..although later I did miss the highway pegs which gives one the opportunity to stretch ones legs while on the ride




By the way the best advise ever given to me by one of the Wild dogs on the forum was taking a GPS….that was the best advice ever and we never got lost and wasted holiday time running around in circles

We met Chad at the Orlando dealership who I had spoken to from SA and it was nice just meeting some helpful folks
We had a slight dilemma with our luggage roll and some excess shopping we had done in NY and on the advice of my mate John who lives in both Washington and San Francisco….our afternoons first ride on the bike was in search of a post office…thanks again GPS…..we ended up posting 2 boxes of stuff to Johns office in San Francisco…cheap, and our problem of too much luggage was now solved….we would get it from him at the end of our trip..

Day three in Orlando we spent at Universal studio resorts doing all the rides and shows we could fit in…it was a gas and the highlight was the Harry Potter ride in spite of waiting 1hr in the queue…well worth a visit and if you into this you can spend a whole week there…some of the rides/shows we saw where MIB/Disaster Movie show/Twister/Terminator 3D/Posiedon/Jurassic park water ride/Spider man 3D it cost us $112 each for the day for two parks…and our day was full….reminded me a lot of Euro Disney when I took my daughter Nicola  for her 13th birthday…We just did one venue in Orlando ,there are lots more…but we where here to ride a Harley from one side of America to the other….

11/9/2010
We left very early to avoid traffic and for me to get used to riding on the wrong side of the road…the plan was to go 80miles in the wrong direction east to the Atlantic and Daytona Beach as I wanted to start from coast to coast



It was very hot and humid around 98 degrees Fahrenheit  
From Daytona beach we headed up to Jacksonville then west towards New Orleans on the Interstate 10, speed limit was 70 miles on the open road and 55 mil in town on flyovers and off ramps speed limit was 45miles …I was blown away by the 6 lane highways in some places and the interstates are two lanes one way and two lanes the other
Petrol prices where around $2.99 and $2.80 per gallon and there are 3.89 litres in a gallon and 1 mile =1.6km…you do the math at the time of our trip the rand to dollar was around 7.5 I budgeted around 8 to 1

Day one was a long day and we could not make New Orleans so we decided to head for Pensacola beach a total of 600 miles or 960km for the day...this was the only time it rained on our trip and there was a brief afternoon down pour the relief from the heat was welcome we didn’t even use our rain suits
Pensacola had a nice holiday fibe and was full of local tourists for the weekend...we stayed at the Days Inn on the beach as many places where full...we swam in the pool and walked on the beach...this being the Gulf of Mexico. That evening we had crab for the first time at a restaurant called Crabs







The next day was a short day and we only did around 200miles to New Orleans

When one crosses into a State for the first time, they have info centres at the rest areas and we stopped here to ask as to where was the best places to stay and the best things to see on a short visit....the people where always very helpful and with the help of the GPS we where at our chosen destination in no time

Rest area



In new Orleans we stayed at a little hotel in the French quarter which is the place to stay in down town New Orleans...this is where the Mardigrah takes place and the famous Bourbon street is...the night life was amazing with live music everywhere....this place certainly rocked...we stayed 2 days here.




Had always wanted to go down the mighty Mississippi in a steam boat so that evening we took the sundowners cruise trip which included a meal on the Natchez ...it is hard to explain the experience...jazz/blues band on board...traditional food and decor...lazing down the Mississippi ....an experience I will never forget





Our last day we spent in town and riding the tram through the suburbs of NO the houses look just like in the movies with the porches and American flags hanging
We spent the evening having supper and going from bar to bar in Bourbon street experiencing the live music and the vibe NO had to offer




Both of us learnt how to greet NO style.......”Who Dat!!!” Like “Howzit!!” in SA


Here is part 2
http://www.wilddog.za.net/forum/index.php?topic=58812.msg0#new

« Last Edit: November 03, 2010, 02:22:08 pm by Mother »
mother ....only half a word ;-)
 

Offline letsgofishing

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2010, 12:03:31 pm »
Great stuff guys - looking forward to the rest!
There is nothing you can do about the past and you can't predict the future...all you have is the now...live it to the fullest.

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Offline Domino

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2010, 12:06:13 pm »
Interesting, and something different! Keep it coming....
 

Offline Gat Slag

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2010, 01:04:36 pm »
Eish, great stuff!  :thumleft:
 

Offline CorCorlia

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #4 on: October 29, 2010, 01:52:10 pm »
This is awesome!!  Congratulations on the engagement!!  :thumleft: :thumleft: :thumleft:

Can't wait for the rest!  :drif:
 

Offline Skattie

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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2013, 10:03:43 am »
great news....we are planning to go again this year Sept.....this time across the  central part....cant wait...will post again once it all takes shape...
mother ....only half a word ;-)
 

Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 12:06:37 pm »
been a bit busy with work and stuff
but we did the States again for the third time....feel very blessed to have done it again
this time we Flew into Orlando from Atlanta and SA
got a beautiful red Harley couch this time
trip went from Orlando to Miami then Key West...highway one over the ocean was the coolest ride ever
loved Key West took a boat cruise
then from there up to Tampa got caught in a mother of a monsoon rain for about 50 miles going through the Everglades
stayed in a place called Inverness then on to Helen just north of Atlanta near the Tail of the Dragon.....what a ride.....beautiful mountain lakes trees tunnels over the roads...was beathtaking......311 turns in 11 miles......every biker should have this place on his bucket list
from there we did Nashville and high light being the Gran Ol Oprey
next day Memphis and visiting Graceland was just memorable like I cannot explain....think differently about Elvis since then in a good way
from there we headed to Kansas City and whilst there did the Harley Factory.....steel cap tour....what an experience.....if you love bikes and Harleys a must do......4 hours later we headed out direction Denver
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Offline Pistonpete

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #8 on: January 09, 2014, 12:23:17 pm »
sub
'Routine is the thief of time'
 

Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #9 on: January 09, 2014, 12:23:42 pm »
Denver....Colorado is a beautiful place
we where a bit disappointed in Colorado Springs ......too much of a big town I expected a quaint place which it wasn't so we ended up in Manitau Springs more of a historical place reminded me of Clarens just bigger
the ride across the Rockies was one of the best rides of of my life
staying in CowBoy town of Uray  Riding the million dollar Highway......visiting Silverton....shaving my head in Durango.....all experiences of a lifetime and worthy of a bucket list trip
From Colorado we headed to the four corners monument....nothing much there but to say we done it was cool....bought a few trinkets from the Navajo Stalls and it was cool standing in all four states at one time....Arizona..New Mexico..Utah and Colorado
my Mate had arranged to spend a few days in Vegas and then hire a car or bike to come out and meet us we had agreed to meet in Monument Valley Utah.....the place of the Navajo and cowboy mountains as you might remember from the movies
we caught up with Gerhard and Anita in Mexican Hat....it was so cool to meet your mates in a strange land it makes it almost feel like home.....needless to say he went big and hired a Dodge Muscle car.......beautiful powerful thing I even took it for a spin
Monument valley was breathtakingly beautiful and well worth the visit
from there we went to the North Rim Grand Canyon park lucky for us we got the last bungalow they had......just to let you know we never booked our trip at all only the bike the flights in and out .......everything in between was random
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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #10 on: January 09, 2014, 12:36:44 pm »
grand canyon to vegas......the last time I did this trip was in 2010.....see earlier trip post......we did this section back at night in the full moon because we underestimated the distance from vegas to the grand canyon.....even then it was awesome
this time it was cool and we left early the next day the plan was to spend some relaxing time in vegas with our mates
if you recall in 2010 we got married on that trip in vegas so our plan this time was to go see places we had not been to previously
like the old vegas strip a few new places the beer hause etc and this time we also got to see Elton John at Caesars Palace that in itself an experience
its nice when you get to know your way around places you have toured we stayed at the Carriage house luxury apartments....this time sharing a two be with our friends and the rates where reasonable as the plan is to entice you to come to vegas to spend your money
we love the history channel......so went past the pawn shop......sorry forgot to tell you we also did the American pickers shop in Nashville that was cool too
did visit a mother of a Harley shop Red Rock Harley to see all the new 2014 models for Gerhard and get a bit of retail therapy
on our third rest day in vegas we said bye to our friends from Cape Town....their holiday over but not ours
mother ....only half a word ;-)
 

Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #11 on: January 09, 2014, 12:56:08 pm »
from vegas......
now I always wanted to ride death valley the hottest place in the States...and this trip was it....
we headed out past the area 51 to death valley.....the wind was blowing like hell and it was as hot as hell...despite all this it was good to be back on the bike
death valley some part is 100feet below sea level its like a place from another planet....dry harsh and very very  hot I got a temp reading of 50 degree Celsius
even with the heat it was a beautiful place and worth the ride.....at one place we stopped for refreshments the crows stood around almost as if waiting for us to give in to the heat and harshness of the place
also the fuel was the most expensive here of the whole trip
after the break and the crows we headed on the plan was to get to Yosemite.....pronounced Yo sem iny by the yanks a park something similar to Yellowstone without the volcanic activity
anyway as we where travelling through the heat of death valley and where coming down the valley I noticed this wall of sand being blown through the valley and we were headed in the same direction.....sand storm
well let me tell you not a pleasant experience we could hardly see two meters and I was really worried some one was going to plow into us or us into them
this carried on for about ten miles then we got out of it much to my relief.....we where caked in dust and I could hardly see out of the screen so as soon as we got to a garage I had to do some cleaning....
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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2014, 01:18:41 pm »
after the sand storm
we headed to a place called Lee Vinning just outside Yosemite Park
it couldn't have been more than 200 miles from the 50 degree temps and as we climbed out of the desert into the mountains it became really really cold and I measured minus 1.5 degrees by the time we got to Lee Vinning......how is that for a contrast all on the same day
Leonie defrosted and de sanded under a hot shower....and later we had a good meal and beer in the little town
the next morning it was piss cold and we dressed up with all we had as we had mostly prepared for warm weather when doing a trip across the states in Autumn or Fall as they call it
when we left the motel there where snow capped mountains all around and after checking the road was clear we headed off to Yosemite park
well breath-taking is too easy a word to describe the place
I felt truly in a zone....very ....extremely ....privileged to be biking through this wonderful place....absolutely a bucket list place and I was very grateful we had included it in our planned route
also very fortunate that we could ride it after recent forest fires had devastated large parts of the western side
from here we headed to our final destination San Francisco
we really love this place and all our trips have ended here
I always describe it to folks like Cape Town on Steroids
SF is a special place to me .....also we get to know it a bit more every time we spend a few rest days there
this trip was no exception and we spent the last three days of our holiday exploring the city and surrounds
our third trip to the USA
all of them have been special in their own way this to me was the most consistently beautiful  and scenic trip
but hey maybe im just getting older and my memory going
thanks that I could share
I will dig a few pics and load if you interested
certainly a bucket trip....pity the rand is going to hell at the moment
mother ....only half a word ;-)
 

Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2014, 02:02:32 pm »

Miami


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2014, 02:04:15 pm »

Homey car in Miami


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2014, 02:05:47 pm »


The road over the sea to Key West


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2014, 02:07:51 pm »


Key West


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2014, 02:10:46 pm »


Cruise and booze Key West


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2014, 02:14:34 pm »


Wet after the rain in the Everglades


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Offline Mother

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Re: a wilddog members take on Riding across the USA on a Harley part 1
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2014, 02:15:06 pm »
 :ricky:
« Last Edit: January 09, 2014, 05:21:20 pm by Mother »
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