Thursday, September 1, 2016


Our eight week ride from Nova Scotia to the west coast of USA is now over.  What a journey.  We enjoyed the freedom of riding every day and not having any particular plans about where we had to be at the end of each day.  That's an opportunity that is rarely afforded us in our daily lives.

It goes without saying that Ellie (our 1975 Moto Guzzi 850 Eldorado Police Special) performed admirably.  We had the deepest sense that she was happy to be on the road doing what she does best.  We are proud to own her.

We were often asked what we've seen?  And did we see this?  And did we see that?   The answer is we saw what was on offer along our path.  We can't do the road south, or the road north, we can only ride the road we've taken.  Which made me think about the parallels between that and our everyday lives.  We have our own paths to follow and how important it is to make the most of that opportunity.  While we're on one road, we can't possibly be doing another.

We are humbled by the friends we've made along the way.  You are all wonderful people and should be proud of who you are.  The generosity and help given us on our travels can not be underestimated.  Our time with each of you will be treasured.

Asked would we do it all again?  Sure, Why Not.
Paul & Kerry

Wednesday, August 31, 2016


Today we fly home.  Two months on the road and now it's over.  We were surprisingly in a very relaxed state (thanks to Regina).  Patrick left early for a golf tournament but I managed to say goodbye before he drove off.  We spent the morning sorting through our paperwork and getting the export documents together for Ellie and the V700.  Regina made bruschetta for lunch which was yum.
We sorted through our gear and managed to pack it all in our newly acquired suitcases.  While we were relaxing and enjoying the outdoor bird display the elusive Coopers Hawk decided to make an appearance.  We'd heard stories about him every day so how fortunate that we finally got to see him (and just in the nick of time).  What a beautiful bird.
(Shakespeare's) Juliet's words to Romeo "Parting is such sweet sorrow..." came to mind when it came time to say goodbye to Ellie.  It was hard to leave her.  She carried us 12,584 kms (7,240 miles) and as such a strong bond has formed between man and machine.
I had a parting shot with Regina before it was in the car and off to the airport.  We viewed a magnificent sunset on the way...
In this next shot, if you look carefully, you'll see the fog crawling over the San Franciscan hills. We had a quiet chuckle thinking about the next plane load of tourists freezing to (near) death when they arrive in the city.
Our time here has now drawn to an end. The airport looms.
Goodbye USA.  Goodbye Canada.  It's been a FABULOUS journey.   Our only hope now is we can get back sooner, rather than later.  Ciao.


Mid-morning we drove to Miles (part of Fremont) to check out the 'Hot August Niles' Hot Rod and Car Show.  We were very excited to see the show as we'd seen very few older American cars in our travels.
There was a lot of 'WOW' factor on display.   No need for words, just check out the photo's…                   

We came across this shop 'Don's Auto Parts' and I don't think we've ever seen a shop so chocka-block full of stuff.  It was definitely a case of standing room only (and even then you'd have to breathe in!).  Apparently the owner knew where everything was though.  A veritable Aladdin's Cave that's for sure.
Back to the car show...
WOW, what a display.  We enjoyed every minute spent at the Hot Rod show.  How could we not?  Back home Patrick got busy and nailed up a Tasmanian flag in our honour.
We spent a very pleasant afternoon relaxing in the back yard, eating nibbles and supping on drinks with a few guests popping in throughout the afternoon.  Ricky & Jodie were first to arrive, followed by Andrew and later on Mike.  Lots of laughter and chatter followed up with a barbecue.
What a perfect way to spend our last full day in U.S.A.  Thanks again Patrick & Regina.



We left mid-morning for the city of San Francisco with Patrick as our guide.  He has a route planned out that he uses for all visitors that maximizes our time in the city by seeing as many of the main attractions as possible.  How could we refuse!
First stop Treasure Island - that sounds inviting but unfortunately that low cloud mixed with fire-smoke was hanging over the bay which reduced visibility to the city.  No matter, we were still able to see the outline of the city in the distance.
It was back over the Oakland Bay Bridge to explore the streets of San Francisco - the Financial District, Chinatown and more.
It was during the next stage of the tour that we worked out why Patrick enjoys taking his visitors in to the city.   He directed our attention to something ahead and then, without warning, turned sharp left down the steepest street in San Francisco!  We thought we'd driven over a cliff...!!!   After the yell and screams we realized we were still alive and looked at Patrick sitting there calmly with a smirk on his face.  We will never forget that moment!   Filbert Street has a gradient of 31.5% (or 17.5 degrees).  The photo below is the 'flat' section of Filbert Street.
We regained our composure but was on alert from then on!  Next stop was the famous Lombard Street with eight steep switchbacks, bordered by Victorian mansions and beautiful gardens (see stock photo).
Patrick then dropped us at the Powell/Mason Cable Car turnaround and we rode the cable car through the streets of San Fran.  It's the one 'have-to' thing that must be done when visiting this city.
We got off at the Cable Car Museum and learnt about the history and workings of this unique transport cable system.  It was quite fascinating and we were super impressed with it's layout.  It also gave us an overview of the city and it's drama's with earthquakes and fire.
We then were off to explore the bay area...
...and drove beside Crissy Field along the shores of the bay to Fort Point.  It was built in the mid 1800's and is located at the entrance to San Francisco Bay and situated under the base of the Golden Gate Bridge.
We had great views of the G.G.Bridge from the top of the fort.  Surprisingly, the bridge is not that old.  It was built between 1933-1937.
We had planned to walk across the bridge but from the top of the fort we experienced bitterly cold wind which nearly knocked us off our feet.  It was an easy decision to not walk the bridge.  From here we went to the Maritime Museum.  The first thing we saw was the copper-clad stern of the Gold Rush ship 'Niantic'.  It was discovered 20 feet below street level.  There are almost 40 ships buried beneath downtown San Francisco.
Unfortunately the rest of the museum was closed due to a meeting in progress but there was more to see along Hyde St. Pier.
We continued along the waterfront to the famous Fisherman's Wharf.  A place to people watch, eat, admire the buildings and shops and enjoy the street entertainment.
We found the Antique Coin Operated Arcade and had a wow of a time in there. We were greeted by 'Laughing Sal' and that set the scene for the rest of the visit.  Sal is almost 7 feet tall and has an infectious belly laugh.  Paul thrashed me at air hockey but it wasn't before we had several drawn-out battles.
We exited the arcade where a submarine and naval ship were docked.
We walked along the waterfront and could not pass by BOUDIN's bread shop.  We couldn't believe how big it was and  how wonderful a bread shop could be.
One of the street entertainers was absolutely amazing to watch.  He was Jordan B.Wilson and goes by the stage name of 'Lone Sound Ranger'.  You'll see from the pictures that he was master of multiple instruments, a one-man band.
We had good views of Alcatraz...
Further along the walkway towards Pier 39 we enjoyed the gardens and then it was time to meet up with Patrick again.
We got to see another section of the city environs by driving home over the Oakland Bay Bridge and down the eastern side of San Fran Bay to Fremont.  An excellent day followed up by a lovely evening meal with Patrick & Regina.   Thanks Patrick, tour guide extraordinaire.