Im going to post a few photos in this thread and update it as I travel, so bookmark the thread and Ill update it when I have internet.
Oahu Hawaii was our first stop, Sunset Beach was our first chance to hit the sand, very different from back home and an amazing surf spot.
Surfing Sunset Beach as the sun goes down is the definition of living!
Obviously surfing in Hawaii is the centre point of the country, its everywhere you look and I learnt a lot about the roots of surfing.
I also learnt quickly that Toyotas were popular, this Tacoma was one of the first lifted trucks I saw, I would see many many more in Hawaii.
Surf cultured vehicles like this old wagon were cool to see.
High or low this place was brimming with cool Toyotas.
I got used to LHD really quickly and now it feels normal to me.
Our hire car was a Jeep, the soft top was cool but a pain in the ass to remove and refit.
We flew out of Oahu and into Maui for Memorial day, we were greeted with wheelie bars and drag cars!
Not to mention more lifted trucks!
Harleys were everywhere in Oahu and Maui and for good reason, theres nothing else id rather be on in this amazing place. Its weird seeing people ride with no helmet, that would be a super crazy feeling.
This dude was loving memorial day, good luck parking this at the airport!
As much as early americana cars are dated now I still love them, this Corvette was clean!
Maui Sunset’s were perfect every single night, they were also the start of “happy hour” I can’t get over how cheap alcohol is here.
We took a charter out to an island and went snorkeling with green sea turtles, amazing coral and fish, I was loving it, got a bit too much tan and they had cocktails on the boat, loved it.
I love seeing anything from the 70’s this guy was living the Mid Econo-lyf.
Another thing that I loved was people in the back of utes, we do it on farms in Aus but these guys do it on the streets and highways, holding the boards in the back has never been easier.
We love the heat and the beach.
We jumped on a plane back to Oahu and then to LA and then to Boston, then straight on train down to Providence.
We took a drive to Newport while I filled in time waiting for Mark the previous owner of my new car
We ate some chowder and checked out the Fish.
Its crazy travelling from county to country and seeing different car styles, this low Miata was low.
It was finally time to drive out to North Scituate
Finally I set eyes on my van! I had google mapped the hell out of this property for the last month.
For many months I was trawling Craigslist, eBay and every single car sales site in the USA. I didnt want to waste $4,000 plus on a hire van to get me from NYC to LA over a 2 months, I wanted to get something that I could bring home with me and remember for our lifetime, our honeymoon van.
The chance to own something that is very old, rare, unique and different made me a man on a mission. USA has the most amazing classic Americana vehicles for sale. I almost gave up after months of either crappy vans or crappy owners that wouldn’t be prepared to help me.
This is what I bought, a 1965 Ford Econoline 8 door heavy duty with a 300ci 6cyl engine and a 9″ diff that will transport Celia and I from Rhode Island to LA and everywhere inbetween.
So today was the culmination of many many months of research and procrastination, its a huge effort buying a car sight unseen, trusting the seller, registering and insuring it in another country and then organising the shipping but the pay off is about to happen.
Tomorrow Ill be waiting in the DMV line ready to drive away with some fresh new licence plates and call the road home for the next few months. Like I said I will update this post and keep the photos flowing, USA here we come!
So this morning (my birthday) I woke up and packed to head to the DMV office, we got there an hour early and were already 15th in line, by the time the doors opened there were over 100 people in the line, it was madness like I had never seen before, a few guys tried to push in and almost started a fight. Crazy!
So I get in there and hand the officials my paperwork and tell them what I am doing, my new address and so forth, they said flat out NO you cant, I almost cried, I really did. I asked them what I can do to get around all the issues, he said I needed proof of address, we both left feeling pretty dejected and then started thinking of ways around it.
So we went to the local bank and sat down with the manager, told her our problem and if she can help. She did and we opened up a bank account, then she printed out some proof of residence forms for the DMV, we cant thank her enough.
So we go back to the DMV and they accept the paperwork, they directed us to another department to pay the 7% sales tax and then to another department to get the paper work to send the car home.
4 hours later I have the plates and all the paper work, registration, insurance and an American bank account with 25$ in it. We had not even driven the van yet.
So I drop off our $66 hire car that we had for two days and catch a cab from Providence to Scituate making sure the shonky driver was taking the correct route, I was sure that we were going to crash, it was the worst driving. We get to the van and hit the road, 3 speed column was tricky, the clutch really solid, the brakes very solid (did a few emergency lock ups to see how it would do) but everything worked as it should. Oh except the door locks, the key I have only works in the ignition (no one locks anything in North Scituate, true) so im booked in with a locksmith for tomorrow morning. I stopped into the local Auto Parts store and grabbed a tool kit and the essentials, now parked at our hotel for the night im busy fixing up all the little things for our journey.
Its a pretty amazing feeling driving something like this, its not easy, its not fun, its hard work, theres no AC, no fan, the engine is red hot and its beside you, its bare bones but theres just something about the feeling you get looking down at those gauges, gripping that large skinny wheel and steering your way across America that has us hooked. Lets hope we can get some miles under her belt tomorrow.
My wife is actually the most understanding women on the planet, we wont forget my 31st birthday in a very long time thats for sure.
So today started with a trip to the locksmith, last night I was up working on the van in the motel carpark, I had the doors pulled apart and the locks out getting everything prepared for the locksmith. With some new keys and some dry lube everything started working again, I’m not kidding when I say this van has never been locked, I guess you don’t need to in the country.
Oh and I added some ETS stickers too. I checked the water and oil and hit the road bound for NYC.
We hit the I-95 southbound for New York, the van sits on 60mph pretty easily and seems to like that pace, the temp was warm outside and in the traffic got to about 210F at most. I have a switch and thermo on the radiator but only use it in traffic. We saw a few dead racoons and they smell the same as kangaroos so that made us feel at home.
It’s also amazing at the reactions we get, I haven’t pulled up once without having at least one person come and tell me about the one they used to own or how much they love it. People seem pretty excited that cars like this still live and can be driven these distances.
We started getting a few fumes in the cabin about 130 miles down the road, I didn’t think too much off it until the shifter linkage started to lock up.
We pulled over and lifted the dog house cover, there was a lot of fuel leaking out of the carbys inlet feed fitting, I clamped off the feed line, pulled it all apart, cleaned and tightened it all up, fixed the linkage and hit the road again.
Let me just say that life would be sweet in a rent a car, but it just wouldn’t be the same, yes I worry that this may not make the journey but you will never know unless you give it a go right?
Tomorrow we will head for Manhattan and put the van in storage for a few days. After that it’s LA bound with some interesting stops inbetween.
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After our first day driving and fixing those few problems we approached New York, it got really stormy and started hailing so we stayed 30 minutes out of the city.
I was getting familiar with the little quirks that the van has and was starting to really enjoy driving it.
But starting and stopping all the time was proving to be a real effort, the clutch and brakes are really solid on this, we drove right through the heart of the Bronx and I had never seen so many police around.
We sailed over some bridges on our way to Brooklyn
Through some green streets, in fact NYC has way more trees and parks than I thought it would.
We went under a few bridges too, the column shifter is a little hard to work out, im starting to get the hang of it and learn what RPM it requires to select the downshifts easily.
We got to our Motel early and parked the van, we caught the subway into the city, its surprisingly quiet on the subway and easy to navigate around.
We popped out at Times Square and it reminded us of a loud Tokyo.
To get a better look we went to the top of the Rockefeller building.
Then relaxed in the gardens, there are so many squirrels around, they are funny to watch.
So many iconic NYC sights, the street numbers and grid system they have making getting round so simple.
I wish i was doing it on a bike though. I hate walking.
Or even better in a Corvette, it was like 28 degrees C outside and its thermo fans were louder than the engine.
Central Station was impressive.
The roof was some type of gods eye view of the stars.
We found that sound ceiling thing where you talk in the corner and can hear everything in the opposing corner loud and clear.
After catching the subway back to Brooklyn I unpacked the van and saw a few motorcycles parking next door, I started chatting the guys and they invited us over for some steak and beers, we exchanged stories, had some amazing steak that was cooked on maple coals and tasted nothing like I had ever had before, enjoyed way too many beers and met some amazing people that had the most amazing stories to tell.
I loved to hear that they all jump on their bikes and head out of the city and into the bush and surrounding suburbs, they had so much valuable information on our trip across America that we were frantically writing notes in our phones the whole time for things to do.
We stayed till the early ours of the next day, exchanged business cards and promised to meet up before we left, we had an amazing night and cant thank all the guys enough.
The next morning we took the subway back into Manhattan to meet up with Nico, we met Nico last night and he promised me a good coffee, ill go anywhere for a good coffee.
He occupied an amazing top floor office in the gallery district of Chelsea New York, we could see Jersey and the bay area of Manhattan, once a run down railway line now some of the most amazing reclaimed building fitouts and architecture along the shoreline.
We sat down and Nico explained to us what he and the other offices that share the floor work on, its mostly product design with a small workshop for prototyping, it wasn’t a side to New York that I thought I would have the opportunity to see but I was glad I did. We didnt talk much about cars the night before at the garage so it was good to show him what I had done with the Hilux. I think we both left feeling a little inspired and I wish Nico the best of luck in the future.
Theres an old reclaimed railway line called the “Highline” that is now a stretch of plantation that rises above and between the buildings, its a nice walk and another refreshing side to NYC.
Your eyes are never bored here, theres so much to see everywhere you look.
For the car hunter its pretty rare to see much, New Yorks roads are incredibly rough and I would definitely stick to motorcycling around.
Sometimes we found some vintage items, just look at the design on this old trike, its Americas greatest era in design by far!
We walked from Chelsea to the World Trade Center, of course its no longer there but peering up at the skyscrapers you get an idea of the horror that we all saw many years ago on television.
The memorial is moving with this being one of two towers “Ground Zero”
The cascading water breaks the silence as everyone reads the names of the fallen.
We went to the Memorial museum, its was way more amazing than I thought it would be.
Its a must see if your in the area.
There is so much to see that you could be there for a whole day, it’s very personal and sad, there were a lot of people that were brought to tears and every single little detail about everything has been preserved in the memorial.
We walked back to Madison Square gardens as the sun went down.
Checkout a few tourist “must sees” like the flat iron building. It was pretty impressive and an engineering feat.
It makes the most of the land its built on.
Looks out over the gardens as well.
Time Square at night is amazing and weird, its so bright.
These Harley cops were in force, I would have liked to see them in the mid 50s and 60s on full dress Panheads, that would have been a sight to see and hear.
On our way back to the subway there was some movie premier on.
This guy is apparently James Franco and the girls seemed to go weak at the knees for him. Good times!
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We did a bit of Bridge hunting today, both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
They are both grand structures.
We found a few interesting cars in Brooklyn as well, like this Audi.
Some Wall art.
Heaps of cars have these bumper protectors for touch parkers.
Great espresso Coffee takes a little bit of finding, the Brooklyn Roasting Co does it well.
Stock 240SX’s can still be found in the USA, single cam mash ups that we call one-via’s.
But in summer its all about two wheels. Like this beautiful Blue Honda.
We also found this Pump Park, an initiative to keep the city diverse, its amazing how much there is to do for people who love the outdoors in the inner city.
Speaking of loving the outdoors we called in to see Andie at Poler, we met Andie on the first night in Brooklyn, a great guy with a thirst for life.
His dog Jackson is also a great guy.
The shop was amazing, extremely chilled with this little out back relax zone.
Andie hooked us up with some Poler products for our journey as I checked out his Honda, its nice to see so many classics still alive.
This Triumph was parked outside.
Its off road/ street tracker influence’s make it the perfect bike to get in or out of the city in style.
This Ferrari takes on the approach of more is more, mostly money I guess.
Up the street is Feltraiger, a cool chopper inspired clothing company that incorporates many great styling cues into the shopfront.
The Sportster out front was cool, we dont see nearly enough cool Harleys in Australia.
American culture from days gone by is certainly alive and well today.
I cant wait to get to the west coast and see more of this.
Brooklyn at its finest.
I would have loved to go for a blast on this Black Sportster, I have still never ridden a HD.
Just up the street is Jane Motorcycles.
They had some cool bikes like this early Honda.
Plenty of clothes and helmets.
One thing that I like about America is there seems to be a lot of love for rebellion, i’m not sure if its out of control or the police just worry about the things that actually hurt people but if you can ride your illegal motorcycle on one wheel around the streets past police and them not bother to move then thats amazing!
You probably have seen it all before but theres a culture within Brooklyn, Baltimore, the Bronx and Harlem about groups of guys riding dirt bikes at “12 o’clock” I have watched it for a while and it was fun to actually see it. The dark side to this is a lot of bikes get stolen for this purpose, the guys who we had beers with the other night lost many bikes to thieves with this intent.
Another classic Honda on the street.
My first ever live Econoline sighting, this windowed version was good to see.
We took the Staten Island Ferry out of New York to get a different perspective.
And to see the Statue.
Katz Deli is an assault on vegetarians.
The pickles just break up the mass amount of melt in your mouth meat. We had a Pastrami and Beef Brisket sandwiches.
It was founded in 1888 and has been going strong ever since, amazing.
After we awake from our Pastrami hang overs we plan to spend another day exploring NYC, but the urge to get some miles covered takes over and we fire up the Econoline and set our GPS for Nashville Tennessee
Before we leave the big smoke we call into to grab some tunes, this little thing makes wireless listening a breeze.
I navigate through the twists and turns, from New York to Jersey, from Jersey all the way out to Baltimore (yes we saw a few 12 o’clock boys) and then to the country.
Insert about 5 hours of doing this.
Westbound along Interstate 66
We stopped at a Walmart in Virginia and a local started chatting to me about the van, “Dang, that there van you have is f@&cken sweet MAN” he started telling me about his 73 model mid series Econoline then insisted we come check out the river.
So we did and found this car show that seems to happen every month along the river in Front Royal affectionately known as HELL TOWN
These are street cars by the way.
I hear you need a lot of downforce on these Virginian roads
Oh and Cubes
I swear there is more Mustangs in Aus than USA
This was neat.
Nice little Falcon.
I spot some pro-charging happening in that Fox body Mustang.
That haze you get on sundown in America is like nothing I have seen before, its so nice.
From years gone by.
More our style.
This “Rat Rod” was different.
Gun slingen shifter.
I wanted these wheels for the van, I offered a swap, he said “yall aint from round here” no, no we weren’t.
Car of the show award goes to this guy.
It was ridiculous.
Back in the Van and off to some $54 a night accommodation.
Another day done, hopefully tomorrow we murder the miles and end up well west.
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Yesterday morning we awoke before sunrise to get some miles going.
Like every morning I pop the hood and check the water, oil and engine. These Econolines are possibly the worst car for cooling, you see it has a lot of venting in the front but then nothing to force the air through the radiator, it all just passes under the car, to add to that theres no recovery tank so if it gets hot and passes some water its up to you to top it up.
On the road and saying good bye to Front Royal, I like getting out onto the highway, the heat from the motor makes the cabin nice and cosy in the crisp morning air, this is the only time I have worn a jumper since Australia.
As we climb into the mountains the air gets cold, the sun dissapears and the rain starts, im glad the wipers and lights work well.
I pulled into Bristol Motor Speedway to see if anything was happening, it was sunday after all.
This place way HUGE
See what I mean?
I would actually LOVE to go to a Nascar race while I am here, Ill check their schedule.
Infact I could buy a decent Nascar engine and fit it in the van, wheelie bus!
We got passed by a heap of nice muscle cars on the interstate, they all had Powertour 2014 stickers on them, I joked to Celia that we were on our LACK of Power Tour.
We started to think about making a stop after 6 hours of driving, we chose Gatlinburg, to get there we passed through Pigeon Forge, a crazy place that has giant everything, from a real life size Titanic ship and museum to King Kong and everything in between.
We had some ribs in Gatlinburg and took a stroll up the street.
Its known for moonshine and hill billys, its funny how the locals accents change as you travel across America.
In the main street there was a “Star Cars” museum.
I walked in there thinking its some fake “mock ups” not the real things.
I was mistaken, these were all the actual cars that were used in the movies, all with detailed cirtificates.
This was the Panhead engine in the GhostRider chopper that Nicholas Cage rides.
Gone in 60 seconds.
The most stylish man on the planet, James Deane.
Cole Trickle was the man of my childhood, it was good to see the actual car used in making of this film.
Now we are in Nashville, we have severe thunderstorm warnings for tonight so got a motel and the vans undercover for the night.
Today started in Nashville TN, known as Americas country music heartland we didn’t really think it would have a lot to offer us, we didn’t plan on staying the day but the storms that were forecast made the decision to stay an easy one. We buckled up and headed into town.
In America good expresso coffee is hard to find, we were excited to check out the Barista Parlour for breakfast.
It didn’t disappoint, in fact it was just what we needed.
There was some cool stuff to check out too.
Motorcycles, cars and coffee, perfect.
We will definitely head back tomorrow morning.
We took a drive to a little vintage store, found a good vintage “Mexican” rug, although it may be native American I’m not sure.
The loss of troops in the USA is pretty confronting.
We checked out Jack Whites recording studio and shop.
Lots of interesting stuff to see.
For 35c you could step into this booth and record your own record.
Then back into downtown Nashville, I mounted a wheel chock under my drivers seat as the hand brake doesn’t work on the van, I can reach down and slip it under the tyre while my foots still on the brake, I also need to do it if the shifter locks up on me on an incline, old car life hey!
We checked out Hatch show print, they are still printing posters the same way as they did many years ago.
It was good to see an old process still exists.
Other interesting things in the sea of cowboy boots and hats were these bikes.
Bagger Harleys taken to the next level.
Early 1900s single cylinder Harley engine.
This Chopper was a special build for the Johnny Cash museum, we didn’t go in but I had to check out the bike.
Needs a good ride by the looks of it.
We heard this was the best chicken in Tennessee.
It was really amazing, I chose “mild” and it was super hot, I can’t imagine what “hot” would be like.
So thats Nashville done and dusted, I never really enjoy the heart of these cities as we feel they are trying to replicate and cash in on the good old days, its the outskirts where all the good stuff is, its hard to find but rewarding when its found. Tomorrow we are Memphis bound, another few hours in the van, cant wait!
So we were done with Nashville and ready to hit the road for Memphis TN, packing the car early and getting to Memphis early was our plan.
This region is plush and green, trees everywhere.
I wanted to stop into Loretta Lynn’s ranch, its on the way and home to outdoor motocross events.
What I didn’t know is the track was only a small portion of the ranch, its grounds were next level.
We drove around it for probably 15 minutes, it was before 9am so nothing was open.
Loretta Lynn is a country music singer and the daughter of a lucrative coal miner.
Her property is worth stopping in to check out.
We made it to Memphis and hit the tourist drive right away.
Graceland is of course the home of the late king Elvis Presley.
I didn’t know much about Elvis before hand but now I do.
We toured through his house and property and learnt everything about his amazing life.
Ill talk more about his motorcycle addiction later on.
A very smart, generous, talented guy. He gave away the majority of his earnings and possessions.
He played on this piano to his mates the morning before he passed away.
And now rests on his property, the whole tour was pretty moving, people were crying by the end of it.
His car collection was good to see too.
After Graceland we hit Beale street, funnily enough it was bike night, quiet appropriate!
It was next level, grab a massive plastic cup of ice cold beer for $2 and wander the streets looking at all the bikes that rolled in for the night.
Such a perfect warm night for it too!
This Harley was the only “vintage” harley in attendance, Beale street isn’t about bikes, Beale street is about music, created way back in the mid 1800’s its home to greatest Blues performers ever alive.
There were bands up and down the street everywhere.
But the bikes were like nothing I had seen before.
This bagged bagger had a 32″ wheel and some amazing bodywork.
Neons and America go hand in hand.
Cars weren’t allowed to park on bike night, there were plenty cruising around the block, I don’t even know what this is.
After a quick snooze and another rough morning we took in some more sights.
The motel that Martin Luther King was assassinated in front of, this created a rough time for everyone in Memphis.
We called into Sun records and did a tour through, its the home of Elvis’s beginning, he actually did become an overnight sensation.
The guy really was the King
After that we called into Stax, another recording label that took many of the Memphis locals global.
I was sick of walking so we jumped in the van and took a drive, I saw a shop with a Harley in the window and quickly pulled up in the van.
I poked around the shop for a bit, it was clutted, not in a bad way though.
Elvis seemed to pop up everywhere (I would do anything to have those wheels on the van), the shop owner Ron came out to see if I needed to find something, I explained what I was doing and what I was interested in.
He told me to park the van round the front and come into the back room.
Immediately he took me through the workshop and into another world. This 48 Panhead was the first Pan and the last with the springer front end, Ron is a judge for motorcycle shows and at 80 years old hes got more knowledge than I could take in.
We chatted about bikes and he showed me a few he was working on, I started noticing some pretty amazing and unique vintage photos.
I started asking some questions and he led me into another room. In behind his office was just some of his collection of bikes, it was insane.
In the sea of gift shops and people cashing in on tourists it was a breeze of fresh air talking to Ron.
These were all his bikes.
And if you understand the value in vintage Harley Davidsons then you will know that you wouldnt show this to everyone.
So we chatted for a while and I delved deeper into his collection.
He pointed out bits and pieces in every corner.
I was speechless just trying to take it all in.
Since researching this America trip I started to get pretty deep into vintage choppers and Harleys, to see all this stuff in one place and talk to the builder was something really special.
That Sporster in the previous picture was modified by Ron into this chopper, as the decades went by he had a change of heart and returned it back to a completely stock bike, thats a lot of work, considering he moulded the frame and went all psychedelic on it.
As I flipped the pages I could see Ron thinking about everything, hes 80 now and very rarely rides, I bet he has the fondest memories though, he has the most amazing stories to tell.
Casually flicking through he remarks “oh and heres Lisa Presley riding this kart we modified for Elvis” like it was nothing at all.
Infact Ron had a lot to do with Elvis and all the bikes he rode.
They built this trike for Elvis, they made a foot clutch so Elvis could use both hands to sign posters for fans.
They also built and serviced his Harleys, this one a very famous Panhead.
The photo made it onto something you may have seen before.
I questioned Ron about Elvis’s K model 883, I wondered where it was, I think its the most beautiful bike he owned. Ron’s friend owned it for a bit and I believe its in a museum up north somewhere.
Thats Ron on his Triumph, just below it was his 34 Ford hotrod that he built and regrets selling, I could spend weeks looking through all of this.
Id like to thank Ron for taking the time out of his day to show me huge part of his life, he’s a quiet guy, I think thats what makes it so special. He has devoted his life to motorcycles and has a hell of a lot to show for it, I believe he had a hand in creating the most amazing era of motorcycling in the USA, I can’t help but to think that the 50s 60s, and early 70s would have been an amazing time to be alive in America. I mean just look at that photo of Ron sailing down the highway on that chopper, all the best Ron and thanks for the gifts!
Late afternoon rolled around we headed west bound on the I-40 to Hot Springs.
Its good to leave the big city behind and head into the country.
These interstate roads can get pretty wild though, about 15 minutes out of Memphis the skies turned black, the air switched from a humid warmth to instant cold and the lighting, thunder and gusty winds whipped up. Theres lightning all around us and it got pretty interesting there for a few minutes, I held on tight and got through the other side. Its twister country after all and I can see exactly how they start. The van sits on 60-65mph and the trucks typically do around 75mph.
Im glad we chose to start in Boston and head to LA, driving west is never boring, if your early mornings are filled with morning sun in the rear view mirror and your late afternoons look like this then your in for a show every single day.
Im pretty proud of how the vans holding up, I was worried how it would be on fuel but it seems ok, I get 225 miles to a tank and it takes about 12 gallons to fill, im running premium in it and it costs around $42 each fill, to do the 5,000 miles I predict we will do it will cost around $900, I have worked out all its little quirks, its start up procedures and the way it likes to be driven, its a lot more relaxing now and the white knuckle ride it was at the start is just plain fun.
After a good nights sleep in Hot Springs Arkansas we got in the Econoline and headed west again. This time bound for Tulsa Oklahoma.
Trucks gone wild!
We were interested to get some history on the native Americans so we called into the Cherokee Heritage Center.
It was interesting to see the culture.
And methods they used to live by.
They have some pretty amazing outfits.
After that we hit the road again and spent the night in Tulsa Oklahoma.
Tulsa is the start of some of the remaining Route 66 highway, known as the main street of USA it ran from LA to Chicago.
Its amazing how much “old” stuff is still left on it.
We visited a motorcycle museum in Warwick Oklahoma
Infact theres small museums everywhere along Route 66
It was great to see some dirt track bikes.
Id love an XR750 Harley but these two were nice.
There were a few trials bikes aswell as some road bikes.
Ill buy one to ride and one to keep in a box for later.
Driving through these old towns is weird, you can see that in their prime they would have been bustling communities, then BANG nothing but tumbleweed.
There are thousands of amazing classic cars rotting along the old 66, I saw two Econolines and many other cool 60’s vans and sportscars.
I was driving the van and all of a sudden the clutch pedal hit the floor, turns out the split pin in the linkage broke, Celia got a hair pin out of here case for me, I bent it up, refitted the linkage and hit the road again.
We jumped back onto the modern day highway and set sail for Amerillo Texas.
The change in scenery was huge, Texas had just miles of nothing.
But nothing is the perfect setting for a sunset.
We quenched our hunger at the Big Texan, these guys will give you a free 72 ounce steak with all the trimmings if you can finish it in an hour, I was hungry but thats over 2kg of meat so I passed on that.
Nothing but trucks and trains.
This service station had a cool little car display.
With a tin Econoline pickup.
More trains and highway.
I took a lot of the exits onto the old Route 66 towns, this one had another display.
I love nostalgia drag photos.
And their subject, these Halibrand wheels get me all worked up, need to do a spindle conversion on the van when I get home.
What a time to be alive in the USA.
As we approached Albuquerque things got really rocky.
Albuquerque amazed me, this just seemed like another country to me. It was so different to anything we had seen. Such a different style of people lived here.
It got really hot, I had a head wind too.
The vans about as aerodynamic as a double decker bus and it gets affected a lot on the road by wind and passing trucks. The heat was starting to get to it too, the rolling hills gave it no rest and the temp got up to 230 degrees F.
So I turned off onto the Historic Route 66 (which follows the new highway, its just slower) and gave the van a little rest, at 50 mph it could take on any conditions, but at 60 it starts to get warm.
The scenery changed again and we were in Indian country now.
We pulled up in Gallup for the night. Today was definitely the hardest I have pushed the van, its starting to leak a bit of oil from the rear main seal and the gearbox so I have to keep on top of the fluids every day, I have no doubt it will make it but its going to need some work at the end of the journey I think.
Yesterday morning we woke up in Gallup after a good nights sleep.
Drove west over the New Mexico and Arizona borders.
I took as many little Historic Route 66 detours as possible to break up the boring highways and extreme winds, the van gets thrown around with trucks passing at 80mph and me struggling at 60mph.
We have passed through some climates this trip, Arizona was by far the most hot and dry of them all. We found this river and had and swim, hung our underwear off the mirror and kept motoring to the meteorite crater.
A picture will never do this justice, its massive, of course it had a full museum and gift shop attached.
We got into Flagstaff and hunted out some cheap accom, its pretty easy to stay in comfort in the country for around $60 a night.
Flagstaff is the closest town to the Grand Canyon, its also one of the darkest cities in the world, by that they mean no interruption from cities glow for stargazers.
So we took a drive up the mountain and overlooked Flagstaff.
So this morning we got up and headed north for the Grand Canyon, intent on missing the crowds and beating the wind it was really early.
It was the only time I have closed off the headlight vents and tried out the heater, those two knobs get pulled out and the heater works a charm. Nothing like 1960s engineering!
Breakfast on the run.
We pulled up and WOW.
Its truly astonishing.
Pictures can’t do this place justice.
Its a must see.
Even the squirrels were friendly.
Its THIIIIIISSSSS big
Registered cars in Arizona take things to the next level, I am very very jealous of what’s streetable in the USA.
We took a break for a bit and then decided to hit it back to Flagstaff, we picked up a couple of Californians that had a leaking Ford Fiesta, the dealership serviced it and didn’t tighten the filter, it pumped all its oil out and they were stranded, oh and it was their honeymoon aswell.
Next up its Vegas! for a few nights, and then its CA all the way till the end, i’m trawling Craigslist at the moment to find some vintage wheels for the van before it goes in the container bound for Australia.
Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th Update June 18th
Today we say goodbye to the historic Route 66, but not before we rack up a few more miles on it.
Just out of Flagstaff is Bearizona. It would have been the perfect photo if the moon was full!
After you pay $20 each you drive through some cattle grids and into a wildlife park, the drive through nature of it was questionable, the animals had very little space.
Its Arizona and there’s basically no grass or comfort for these animals. Its not the way I wanted to see bears for the first time, infact I felt a bit bad investing in this.
There were other animals that looked a touch happier though.
These bear cubs were having the time of their lives.
Goat kids are always funny.
He has stink face.
American fox’s are different to ours.
Bored as hell!
A white fox, different.
I cant remember what this is, some form of lion cat.
Hopefully our entry fee goes to some form of conservation plan.
Back on the road and into Williams, more route 66 gift shops and old diners.
We stayed on 66 for a few hours making our way west, it was good to spend time away from the I-40 and all of its trucks.
Theres not much to see apart from a heap of roadside meerkats.
Then you hit the rocky hills and its gets pretty wild, we have passed so many changes in scenery its amazing.
Our last stop on 66 and its back on the Highway.
5pm in these parts is the heat of the day, these hills 40 miles out of Vegas were incredible.
5pm is also the hottest, the van was getting a little warm and pushing it up the hills got a little tough, having the engine beside you and the cover that sits next to you reaching over 70 degrees C has a lot of downsides (lucky I love the heat) but the upside is hearing exactly whats happening with the engine, I could hear a little ticking every now and then, it was detonating a little so I made sure to keep the throttle position minimal, I always fill it with “Premium” Unleaded but its still really crap, infact USA’s fuel is junk, their regular is 87 and premium 91. I’m not sure if its the same rating system but our is Aus is 98.
Then things get exciting.
We made it to LV! Cruise the strip in the van and park it at the hotel.
We booked a few nights in this place.
We got some pizza for dinner and took in all the sights, not really sure if i’m a fan of Vegas or not.
Tomorrow the van can rest and we can check out the sights of Vegas. So far we have completed 3488 miles or 5613 km in the van and still have the west coast to do, cant wait!
I woke up this morning and checked out some Vegas, there was a car display in the neighbouring Casino.
There were mainly stock high end vintage cars but there were a few special race cars too.
Like this one.
1983 Aero is beautiful.
Rear wheel and vent art.
Rewind a few decades
Such a great and classic colour combo.
Vintage race cars always have the classiest interiors.
I captured a glimpse of this and was immediately in love.
I didn’t know who Ann Margaret was till now, not sure who I love more now.
There’s something amazing about a vintage chopper thats almost impossible to replicate.
This “Panhead” (a panhead is called a panhead as it has an “oil pan” looking pair of rocker covers, before the panhead was the knucklehead, and after the panhead was the shovelhead, the later shovelhead used “cone” cases so it was called a cone shovel) was missing a few vitals but you get the idea.
I have seen a twin side draft on a panhead before in photos but this was my first in real life, wow what a menacing view, I guess if you were into 1980’s rallying you could jet this up pretty nicely.
Wheel and tyre combo is on-point, cracking of tyres hints to its vintage-icity
Girder front suspension is rock solid!
So I started to do some research on Ann, read this to find out more about her.
This is a similar bike but its clearly Triumph powered.
I spent a little bit more time scouring out what else was in stock, I’m totally sold on this wheel tyre combo for the van, if you know anyone with some for sale then hit me up, would be rad to get it looking good for Cali!
After the car display we jumped on the bus and took a short run up the strip to Fremont Street, the original Las Vegas.
Inside one of the casinos there was a shark and fish tank that has a clear waterslide running through the middle, oh vegas!
Fremont St was way nicer than the strip itself.
The strip was just full of really really messy people and nothing much other than huge Casinos that you get lost in.
It was slower and more relaxed on Fremont St.
East Fremont was the best though, they had this shopping/ dining area made up of old shipping containers.
They had a moonlight cinema on the grass and were playing the Sandlot Kids, we grabbed a few beers and relaxed, not what I had planned to be doing in Vegas haha.
The next morning was HOT, it was 40 degrees, we planned to check out and head to LA across the desert, as soon as we jumped in the van and headed down the strip in the traffic we knew it wasnt a good idea.
So we went back to Fremont Street and enjoyed a few drinks, checked out the mob museum and all the sights.
7pm came around and it had cooled down to about 38 degrees (seriously) I love the heat and would be quiet happy to drive in it but the van doesn’t like it, we took off and made our way out of Vegas and into the nothing, it didn’t cool down one bit, infact it seemed to get hotter, the van was detonating slightly up the hills so I had to back it down to about 45mph at some stages, it gradually cooled down and after navigating the hills coming into Los Angeles it cooled right down.
It’s a good feeling being in California, it’s been a dream for a long time and I cant wait to spend the next couple of weeks exploring everything it has to offer.
This morning we woke up in California, so excited to start looking around, we are back in the land of excellent coffee and we needed it as I had some plans.
I had been searching for rims for the van on Craigslist and found a guy nearby who had a set off his Mustang for sale. Being saturday morning the usually bad LA traffic was unusually quiet.
I wanted this wheel tyre combo to match the era of the van, you cant go wrong with Cragar S/S wheels and BF T/A tyres.
I was lucky the guy had a tune up shop and was happy to help fit them.
His skill in this area was questionable and we drove off with loose wheelnuts (he rattle gunned them on too, I was nervouse the whole time thinking the studs were going to shear off)
They are 14×7 with 225 tyres, a big increase in width on the stock tyres.
I wanted to go 15×10″ on the rear but had no idea of the backspacing required.
But for a quarter of the purchase price and only 50 miles of use they were perfect for me.
After a few tacos on Laguna beach we headed to the Cycle Zombies x Dice magazine launch
It was held in the Stance Socks headquarters
There were so many unbelievable bikes here.
Both inside and out.
Not to mention cars too.
We stayed for a while, enjoyed a few beers and took it all in.
Then when it was time to leave we headed back up the coast toward Huntington Beach.
We checked out the beach.
Got some food and cruised the strip before calling it a night.
Tommorow, SoCal cycle swap meet, lets see what we can find.
Yesterday morning we hit the SoCal cycle swap meet
I was overwhelmed at the amount of awesome for sale.
It was 100x better than any swap I had ever been to.
I didn’t ask how much this was, better not knowing I guess.
The parking lot was full of bikes too.
Better warm it up before you blast home.
Im starting to love the late sportster chops, here in USA you can get a clean sportster for $3500 and then hardtail it, I think im sold! Infact this bike pulled up next to us near Huntington beach on our way down the coast, it sounded and looked amazing on the road.
On our way down the coast there was cool stuff everywhere.
I love Cali
We stopped in at Carlsbad for a milkshake and took in the sights.
The cars I mean
Sunday afternoon cruise
Baha bugs and all.
Infact hardcore offroad machines are everywhere down here.
This Tacoma was in the build.
You can appreciate the change in track with stock fenders.
Heres one with aftermarket fenders, trying to cover all that width.
We called in to Seaweed and Gravel a cool store just out of Carlsbad.
The Gravel component.
The Seaweed component.
We are on our way to San Diego to catch up with Matt Powers
Theres so much to see on the 101 down the coast, its way better than the freeway.
As the sun set we called it a night at Encinitas.
Today we head to San Diego, fun times.
The last couple of days have been so good, as we drove into San Diego things got relaxing.
We pulled up at one of the many surf spots along the coastline and relaxed for a while where we met up with Matt Powers
He was about to go for a surf so we tagged along and took a walk on the beach.
Matt insisted we try the tacos at his favorite spot, we jumped in his electric kart and took a some wide open throttle round abouts into Palm Beach.
The next morning we hooked up a trim at Matt’s friends barbers place “Leftys” it’s good to get a clean up, I feel fresh as anything.
You can never go wrong with a barber trim.
After that we hit the streets on the bikes, these beach cruiser bikes are everywhere, for good reason too, they look good and are pretty comfy.
Matt showed us all thats good with San Diego, there’s a lot thats good.
That night we went over to Max’s place and hung out with some beers and tacos, the San Diego experience was a memorable one, i’d like to thank Matt and his friends for showing us a good time, we have been away for a while and to hang out with some friends was a great change.
The next morning we hit the road again, the 101 north back to LA, there’s so much to see on this road.
Its the old highway and it follows the coastline, you find yourself pulling over at every opportunity.
You cant let a view like this go un photographed.
Laguna Beach is a special spot, be sure to stop in if your ever in the area.
Back in the car and back on the 101.
We pass Huntington Beach as the sun starts to set.
Then long Beach
Not long after long beach we say goodbye to the coastline for a bit and head to the airport. We aren’t going home though, not yet.
Yesterday we picked up my good friend Dean Walters from the airport, he flew in from Australia to spend a few weeks with us and enjoy everything California.
That means things are going to look professional around here, Dean loves the van and so do we!
We all took a drive to Venice Beach for an early morning burrito and coffee, not far away was a few motorcycle shops, Garage Company was one of them (thanks Ross from Supacustom for the tip)
Yoshi the owner (hes Japanese) had some amazing stuff either for sale or display, I didn’t want to ask and be tempted because I cant afford it.
So much history.
So much helmet too.
I looooooved this hardtail Triumph.
See you at Born Free Yoshi!
We then navigated the LA traffic and went to Hollywood, Rodeo Drive, Sunset Strip, Griffith Park and everything inbetween.
See the sign?
We checked out the observatory
And the view.
Then checked out Santa Monica Pier and called it a night.
Yesterday we headed out of the city and down the coast
Crossing through Long Beaches industrial area
Then along the coast with a lot of fun stuff to see along the way.
The destination is Born Free 6 a custom vintage chopper show.
BornFree starts on Saturday but ShowClass magazine held a “Peoples Choice” voting night on the friday night. I voted for this PanHead and it won.
I loved this 2013 Sportster, seeing these bikes in real life has made me appreciate them a lot more, this is an example that they dont need to be “vintage’ to look cool, a little EFI would help in the mornings.
It was a good chance to get a feel for the way the weekend was going to go.
I have no idea why I love these bikes but I just do!
We ended up taking this guy home in the van after he got a flat tyre.
In a few minutes we are off to the show and preparing to be blown away by the biggest gathering of custom motorcycles we have ever seen.
Hope everyone makes it!
Born Free 6
I have been interested in choppers for a while now, they aren’t really the type of bike you can just go “oh you know what ill build (or buy) a chopper” I think theres that much history in these bikes that requires you to learn about them before doing anything with them.
I have wanted to see the Born Free show for many years, its the one place in the world that’s saturated with vintage choppers for one whole weekend.
Yesterday I was blown away with the quality and craftsmanship of many of the bikes. There were so many amazing bikes and to see them all in one place was really special.
It wasn’t just the bikes that I came to see either, it was the industry, the cars, the people and the whole atmosphere.
Vintage vans are king here, I think everyone seeks that image of freedom, pulling up beside a river and camping the night, its the American freedom and art that was present in the 60’s and 70’s that make people want to relive those days even if they wernt around then.
But I think its gone further than that, people are reinventing what “Vintage” means and adding a modern day touch that brings new life.
I like it, I always thought that I was hung up the “new” and didn’t really appreciate the old but owning my van and seeing the “vintage” America I can safely say that I love it.
Seeing these bikes being ridden makes me so excited to get behind the bars.
Hopefully I can get something happening.
Update June the 30th Update June the 30th Update June the 30th Update June the 30th Update June the 30th Update June the 30th
So yesterday was Sunday, the last day of the Born Free motorcycle show, I actually came away from the event with next to no photos, I think I enjoyed it so much I just took everything in. For a few years I have been learning about theses bikes and in Australia its rare to see a group of them together so this show taught me a lot.
I have been looking for a bike for a long time, I wanted to build my own, I wanted to start with something clean and stock and build it the way I thought it should be built, with this trip to the USA planned I started searching for bikes right away, they are generally less than half the price here than in Australia. I looked for over 3 months and didn’t find much, theres tonnes of bikes but nothing I was comfortable buying and riding straight away until I found this.
Its a 1967 Harley XLCH Sportster with a fresh 1000cc engine, I wanted a mid 50’s Panhead chopper but the budget just didn’t allow it, I think its a good thing because a sportster is a good stepping stone to a Panhead, this Ironhead has some upgrades to the internals and some good bits that I really love, apart from some very minor styling changes that I will make once I get home its perfect for what I want, a rider!
After stuffing round with PayPal (sorry Gram) we loaded the bike and could get out of the city. 1967 bike inside a 1965 van!
A quick gas stop and we were on the 101 heading north up the west coast.
I love the coastline and these roads are amazing, the surf was good too, moments after this shot Dean haggled with a local surfer and ended up catching a few waves on his board.
Getting it done.
I took the opportunity to get the bike out of the van and fire it up, with two primes on the throttle, some choke, 2 slow kicks, get it to the compression stroke, then throw all your weight on that kicker, BAM it fires up, I have never ridden anything that sounds and feels like this.
Its not easy working out the left side brake and right side shifter.
But once I got the hang of it it was smooth sailing.
The torque makes it easy to ride, I have never had a bike that I could travel long distances on.
But this just begs you to keep going, Celia’s stoked that theres room for her too! Happy wife happy life….
Tomorrow we will get a few more miles done in both the van and the bike, check out some more surf spots and enjoy the west coast, we love this place!
Overdue update! 6th July
Time was running out and we had to keep moving.
The destination was Big Sur, up the highway and along the west coast.
We stayed the night in Santa Barbara, a great little beachside town with lots of good food and coffee, oh the coffee!
The Econoline battled on through all the hills, the road was unbelievable.
It twists and turns, you go through the clouds, past amazing sightseeing turn offs and then over the rugged coastline.
Amazing views around every corner.
Then the coast disappears and the pine trees reach to the skies.
Big Sur in the afternoon is incredible.
The clouds open up and the temp rises, we say hi to the wildlife and then decide to do the rest on two wheels.
These guys were everywhere.
All suited up and ready to ride, it’s a good feeling blasting through the pine trees with the flickering afternoon sunset.
The smell of the forest, the crisp air and the view out from the handlebars puts us in another world.
We pack the bike up and head off to some more cheap accommodation.
In the morning we head to Santa Cruz and meet up with a surfer named C J Nelson.
Then hit it to San Francisco.
We took in some sights and navigated the crazy streets.
Not having a handbrake in a heavy manual van wasnt the most ideal situation I had been in.
The streets were soooo steep.
We then spent the night at Deans friends place, he showed us a bunch of American drinking games, sure enough we were pretty shady for the next day.
Which was the 4th of July!
We took a drive out to Shawn Hibmacronans work space, I have known Shawn for a little while and was keen to see the Econoline in the build phase.
I asked Shawn if he could help me make some removable foot pegs for Celia on the Harley.
We brainstormed how to do it and came up with a neat solution.
He had all the tools to make life easy.
Oh and the skills.
In no time we had it all bolted up and ready to go.
His workspace is the old Naval base, its the perfect place for some photos.
Miles and miles of concrete.
I helped Shawn pack up and we thought we would measure the drop he made to his Econoline, thats 12.5 inches lower than mine, he wins!
We all headed up onto the roof and had a BBQ and beers while the fireworks exploded all around us, my first July 4th will be remembered forever, we had a blast and I can’t thank Shawn enough for his hospitality.
Up early again and this time off to Yosemite national park. It was hot, a pleasant change from the cold SF breeze, we made it to the outskirts of the park and decided to stay the night at a small wood cabin RV park, Celia and I took the Harley back to the closest town to get some steaks, corn and salad.
As the sun dropped the place just became amazingly beautiful, Dean and I took a walk into the forest and collected some wood. There were bears around too so we were warned to keep our food all locked up.
We made a fire and waited for it to burn down to the right temp for cooking. It was the best meal I have had on the whole trip, just good steak with salt and pepper dry rub thrown on a grill over the coals, that smokey taste ahhhh, theres nothing like living like this!
Up early the next day and into the park.
We were blown away.
The size and enormity of everything is difficult to comprehend.
Dean just about jumped from the moving van to grab all the shots.
We had a chat to guy from Ohio who had been riding this little Sportster around, it was nice.
We needed a swim, and we found it at the waterfall.
Theres only one way to get into ice cold water.
After we dried off we checked out more sights on the way out.
It was just never ending, the size of this place has to be seen to be believed.
Back on the road and bound for Fresno for the night.
After a good nights sleep in Fresno we were off to the Sequoia National Park.Sequoia trees are the largest trees in the world, they dwarf anything that rolls past them.
The road out of Sequoia NP was a steep drop from 7000ft, so much so the vans brakes got a little warm and we had to pull up to cool it down, we found a nice fresh water river so we jumped the fence and spent a few hours swimming.
The next morning we hit the road to LA, this was Deans last day so we wanted to get back to the airport asap.
Theres one hill about 100 miles out of LA and its a killer, the van got pretty warm (warmer than it ever had been) and it started to ping under load, we pulled up and let it cool with the trucks that were doing the same thing.
Deans time with us was up, it was good having him along and the photos he captured will stay with us forever. Thanks brother!
Celia and I stayed the night near the airport and then headed East to Palm Springs. Celia booked ACE Hotel, its a great place, its an old 60’s motel and diner and reflects the city its in, Palm Springs is like stepping back in time, its like a small version of Vegas that never really took off.
Palm Springs is 2 hours out of LA and its in the desert! Its over 100 degrees pretty much every single day over summer and the nights don’t get much cooler. Personally I love the heat and am making the most of it before I head home to winter.
We took a drive to Joshua Tree, its a town that backs onto a national park, the national park is just rocks and these Joshua trees.
Its pretty crazy out here, we saw lots of different wildlife, Roadrunner birds were the highlight, they actually can run pretty fast, just like the cartoon.
On the way back into town there are so many amazing old cars rotting away.
This Econoline was pretty defeated but could be brought back to life, thats 4 I have seen so far rotting away. I have kept tabs on their location just incase I return with a truck.
Back at the pool enjoying an afternoon swim.
Our two days at ACE Hotel and Swim club were relaxing, we enjoyed the 100+ degrees but it was time to move on.
Time to head back on the highway and into LA.
Whats normally a two hour trip lasted us all day, we gave the Econoline a rest at Yucaipa Swim Park and joined the kids on the waterslide.
We have done pretty well to avoid most of the crazy LA traffic, at times it gets heavy but I guess summer vacation helps.
We stayed in Hollywood and visited the Roland Sands and PowerPlant Motorcycles opening party.
Outside there was plenty to see.
Im still wanting that early 1950’s Panhead, maybe one day!
Inside the shop was setup and looking good.
But its the workshops I like to see.
This workshop has been here for a while, the shops new but the workshops old.
Which gives it tonnes of character.
The next morning we headed over to Encino, where I filled the van with more bikes, no point bringing an empty van home right?
Then went back to Mooneyes open day.
It was almost over, heaps of people were leaving.
But we got to see inside the workshops which is what matters to me.
Theres garages full of the most amazing hot rod parts.
The workshop is where Moon build there spun aluminum tanks, they are art!
After Mooneyes we headed back to Sunset Blvd and visited a heap of shops, then got a room for the night and organized all the import approval paperwork for the 4 vehicles that need to be shipped on Monday, its all ending pretty fast, with only two days left i’ll be sad to leave America and its bountiful supply of amazing things.
Well I am sitting here at the airport killing some time and writing my last post, I can’t believe its all over. This afternoon we dropped off the car, made sure all the bikes were tied down, organised all my import paperwork and made sure everything is ready to load and ship.
There was heaps of cool stuff being exported out of the USA to all kinds of countries, motorcycles and classic cars were the majority.
I pulled all the licence plates off the van and the bikes and put them in my bags. I had so much stuff that I quickly jumped on Craigslist and found a nice RB signature Ogio 9800. We used Lyft a cool new app that is basically a 1/3 cost taxi service, the guy showed up straight away, loaded our gear, took me to the guys house who was selling the bag, we grabbed it then went to LAX.
I can’t wait till our van lands back in Australia, for 45 days its been running every single day, taking us to every place we wanted to see, we did over 7,000 miles in it and it never skipped a beat, sure it takes a little bit of work every day to top up the water, oil, warm it up and check everything over but its been the best car we could ask for. Its nearly 50 years old, I don’t know any of its history, where its been but it handled the journey like its done it before, it taught me about all the things you don’t need in a car, I learnt to love everything it did wrong and everything that wasnt perfect about it. Travelling another country can sometimes feel very foreign, for us it felt like home, every time we jumped in that van we were at home.
Carrying on the 1960’s tradition is the bikes, I bought a 1967 Ironhead Harley for myself, I found a 1968 Ironhead Harley for my Dad and a little something to replace Celia’s KTM back home. When I researched this trip I knew motorcycling was going to be a highlight, the weather, the parts, the mass amount of motorcycles sold here in the 1960’s and 70’s has created an insane amount of cool bikes available, chopper shows like BornFree is what I came here to see, I didn’t care too much to find any drifting in the USA, to me my trips to Japan nailed that aspect and nothing would compare. Ill never forget the feeling of riding that Harley through the sun drenched forest roads of Big Sur, or along the West Coasts Highway 1 watching the surf roll in while the warm summers sea breeze leaves salt all over my glasses. To me those moments leave me feeling more alive than any rollercoaster ride at Disneyland could ever give.
USA has been an amazing adventure for us, we dreamt about visiting America and to do it like this was beyond our wildest dreams, we met some great people, we saw some unbelievable sights, with the end of every day we learnt and laughed and looked back on the days experiences together, we took chances in the belief that if they didn’t go to plan then we would tackle them together, our van and our motorcycles will be the material things that remind us of the USA, but the people and experiences we encountered along the way will always leave us with the fondest memories of an amazing country.