4 Dutch Guys on Harleys Tour
American Southwest & National Parks
by The Four Dutch Guys - Gert, Dirk, Karl and Jerry - May 2010
As with all trips, you make plans for years but never get around to doing so. Well, this time we did.
Having set a date, we went on line to find a good bike for a good price. After a few quotes we decided on California Motorcycle Adventures. This turned out to be a great choice. The request for a quote and other questions was answered very clear and fast.
Fast forward to pick-up day.
Having arrived at the shop after a very long flight we found 4 shining Harley Davidsons Electra Glide Classics. An impressive sight! After a clear instruction by Scott we packed the bikes and set of on our three week tour of the west coast of the USA. We all ride bikes, but none of us had ridden a Harley before. So straight on to the twist and turns through Redwood Forrest to the shoreline of the Big Sur route 1. Was daunting to say the least. But breathtaking!
Day 2 we ride the last part of the coastal route before heading inland through endless plantations of oranges, nuts and other tropical fruits. The scents you experience on a bike are wonderful. These things you miss when travelling by car. On the other hand, riding through some of the oilfields the smell is something you can do without.
We continue east on the long busy highway. At a steady 65 mph on cruise control listening to the radio with the steady rumble of the big V-twin in the background. This is it! This is what we expected from the American dream. The freedom and the endless road ahead. We see so many things along the way. I cannot mention them all, but a few things stick out: like the junction James Dean died in a car crash, Mojave Airport where airliners are mothballed. And of course the last piece of the original Route 66. Both towns at the beginning/end of route 66 are stunning. Kingsman and Seligman.
Onwards to the Grand Canyon. Something you have to see at least once in your lifetime. Words cannot do justice to its grandeur and splendor. On we ride to Indian country in Monument Valley. Again breathtaking. To see things we only know from tv and books in real life is awesome. We take in all the sights.
We ride all the way to Arches National Park. After a few days in Moab we cut across Canyonlands National Park and ride to Capitol Reef National Park, then along route 12 through Grand Staircase Escalante to Bryce Canyon National Park. All the before mentioned are places you have to see to believe its beauty!
After this we spent a few days in Zion National Park. We try to comprehend what we are doing and seeing. But our minds are going in overload. To see so many wonders of nature in such a relative short distance is mindboggling. All this time the Harleys are the perfect companion. Not missing a beat. A very surprising comfortable and agile bike.
By this time we are heading west towards Las Vegas. Not the best place for a bike, but still a city to enjoy. To see it is to believe it ! Do visit the Harley Davidson Cafe on the strip. The heat in Vegas is nothing compared to what we ride into in Death Valley. As long as you keep riding it is bearable. But as soon as you stop in the sweltering 115 F heat, you feel very overdressed in your protective clothing.
We head west towards Yosemite National Park. We cannot reach Yosemite due to snow. Can you believe it! Ok. So we head north and visit Bodie. A so called ghost town. To reach it we carefully navigate the last mile on a dirt track. Very dusty and bumpy. (Don't tell Scott). Well worth the trip. We press on north to Lake Tahoe. We circle the lake anti clockwise. Again breathtaking scenery.
We head west to the coast, passing Sacramento on the north side. Then we experience our first day of rain. It was torrential rain and we are soaked to the bone! We need all our focus to stay on the road. We planned to visit some of the vineyards for some wine tasting, but the rain changed our plans. Shame. Maybe next time? We find a motel in Santa Rosa where we can dry all our clothing. The next day is dry and sunny again and we ride the coastal road to San Francisco.
We end up high above the Golden Gate Bridge. This is it guys, the last leg of our roadtrip. We spent a few days in San Francisco visiting places like Alcatraz and ride the cable car. We celebrate one of the guys birthday by renting a limo for a tour of San Francisco.
Shame, Shame, Shame, but the three week trip is coming to an end. We travelled 3200 miles in three weeks. We realized a long standing dream. We got a lot more than we ever dreamed of. We all agree that the bikes were a pleasant surprise. We selected Harleys for the most simple reason: If you want to experience a part of the USA you must do it on an American icon.
The four Dutch Guys.
Gert, Dirk, Karl and Jerry.
For more testimonials and reviews from our motorcycle rental riders, check out the links below:
- Testimonials / Reviews from 2012
- Testimonials / Reviews from 2011
- Testimonials / Reviews from 2010
- Testimonials / Reviews from 2009
- Testimonials / Reviews from 2008
- Article-length Rider Stories & Photos