Previously on The Pineapple Story I was in Boise changing my chain and sprockets and now I’m in Moab, 5000km further in 12 days. I’ve been riding it hard since I left Boise, with breaking my personal record of 680 kilometer in one day, some of it on dirt roads. And I had a fucking blast! I stayed with Lance here, who runs a motorcycle rental company and owned the first Honda Africa Twin in the whole of the USA. Pretty cool right?
I went trough windy roads, over mountains, next to some creeks, took the Lemhi pass, a gravel road over a mountain with a fantastic view. I will tell you something about the views here. Its beautiful EVERYWHERE. Sometimes I just can’t believe it. I’m still waiting to see some ugliness. I’m really impressed with the USA. The vastness and diversity in landscape is incredible and hard to grasp. Some Harley dudes came up to me on a gas station, impressed by my bike and my story. They offered me some money, which I refused. They kept on pushing and put it in my pocket and said I had to drink some beers with it. Okay then… Well, thats one way of earning money. They all wanted a sticker and a picture and they set off with my sticker on their helmets. I was happy. After being 9 hours on my bike, I found myself in Montana and I had my first solo camping experience in one of the most amazing campsites i’ve visited. 360 degree view next to a lake, mountains in the distance and no trees. I’ve never experienced such a silent place. Normally I turn on some music if I go camping, but the silence was so present I didn’t even think of putting on music.
The next day I set off early in the morning to visit Yellowstone National Park. Saw some deer on my way out, and a bird of prey really close on a pole. Every morning I wake up really happy witnessing all this and enjoying the freedom of riding my bike alone in these amazing landscapes. I was a little disappointed in Yellowstone because of the tourism. Cars everywhere and way to slow speed limits to drive a bike. I had my thumb between my chain and sprocket while lubing the chain so I was in some pain and didn’t really enjoy it. So I just drove trough Yellowstone, saw some wild bizon which is always cool but that was it. I would meet up with Dia, the owner of the Harley Shop that I met in Anchorage, so I kept a good pace. I rode trough Wyoming and trough the small village of Wind River, which is a movie on Netflix right now and I happened to see one week earlier. Cool. Wyoming is incredibly big and impressive. The mountains have the strangest colours and sometimes you find yourself driving straight for 200 kilometers with maybe passing 5 cars. I saw pronghorn all along the way. I made it to Longmont in Colorado where I would meet up with Dia. We went to a restaurant and had some beers. It was nice seeing a familiar face again.
The day after I felt horrible. I guess the long drives and the diet of Top Ramen Noodles demanded his toll. Dia needed to catch her plane so I was on my own and on the road again. I wanted to see the hotel that inspired Stephen King for the shining and where some scenes were filmed for Dumb & Dumber. It was really impressive, but unfortunately nothing was filmed here for The Shining by Kubrick. I was a little bit disappointed but you can’t have everything right? I still wasn’t feeling really good and decided to book a hotel for the first time to get some rest. I rode over the Rocky Mountains (which are amazing). I was at 3700 meter high. Its getting Autumn here, so I saw all sorts of yellow, green and red. Its beyond! I arrived at my hotel pretty early and went to the hotsprings to relax. The day after I went to a hostel and decided to feed myself properly and sleep good. I realised later that it was probably the altitude that did it. On my way to my second hostel I passed a shooting range, just by the side of the road. Decided to take a stop and have a talk. Some Americans really love their guns, its not a lie. Things are crazy and wild over here.
I picked a nice route trough Colorado and it was beautiful. Again. I know! I rode the Million Dollar Highway which was pretty impressive. I decided to take a shortcut which was a really bad idea. It was really steep, with big cliffs. So If I fell I was practically dead. I figured to turn my bike around as soon as I had the opportunity. I kept on going until I came upon a really big gap in the road. I went in and when I came out my front wheel went up because of all the weight on the back. I dropped the bike on a steep small road at an altitude of 3200 meter with rocks as big as babies heads. This was stupid. I managed to drag the bike over the ground and got it up. After dropping it another time and one hour later I was back where I started. I’ve found out it was prohibited for motorcycles and that Black Bear Pass is one of the most difficult off roads in the whole state of Colorado. Woepsie Daizieeeeeee.
Had some nice campfires by myself while camping, and was invited again by some really nice people on a campground one evening. Apparently I was camping at the place where they mined the Uranium for the Atomic bomb on Hiroshima. The guy that told me was the son of a chemist who worked on this project. Sad history but really interesting. There were some old Indian ruins and If I got lucky, I would maybe find an arrowhead he told me. I wasn’t lucky. Next morning I drove the 141 highway from Naturita to Grand Junction because I was told that it was very beautiful. It was beyond beautiful and it was the first time in my whole life that a landscape got me emotional. I ended up driving the 141 up and back and took a gravel road to Moab where I’m currently at.
Arriving in Moab I found an ADVrider host for the evening, his wife was from Belgium and it was cool to speak some flemish again. Monique has skin cancer and the day after she started bleeding again after a surgery so I couldn’t stay in the house because they had to go to the hospital again. They drove me to the other ADVrider in town, Chris. Well I’ll tell you, Chris is an amazing guy who ownes some property that is described by the locals as a junkyard. He likes to call it a gemyard. He has old schoolbuses here, some RV’s, trailers, motorcycles and a big shop. He showed me around and gave me the biggest RV and said I could stay as long as I want. Oh yeah, and fun surprise he said, there are also four girls staying here. I decided to take a holiday within my holiday (I know, I’m spoiled) and stay a few days to hang out with people my age. The other people staying at the gemyard are four girls. Maia is a climber who lives in her van, Noelle drives a motorcycle (10 point extra for being cool), Anna is a skydiver and I’m teaching Kima how to drive her 1977 Honda motorcycle. I’m in good company. The past few days I’ve been hanging out. Chris took me for a job in the middle of nowhere in the desert. Tree hours of driving with a 4×4 in the most amazing landscape I’ve ever seen. Moab is the shit. You have worldclass sports of everything here. Rafting, climbing, hiking, mountainbiking, dirtbiking, jeepriding, canyoning, you name it, they’ve got it. This is also where a lot of Western movies where being shot (I love Westerns), where Thelma & Louise ride their car of the cliff, the opening shot of Indiana Jones and the last crusade was filmed and some other movies got their amazing scenery shots. Chris took me on a motorcycle ride, 150 kilometers of perfect road in the mountains. I think this was the best drive of my life. We were racing this thing!
Anna, the skydivester told me I could volunteer at the skydive festival coming up and get a free jump. Well, thats what I did. I was the trashcan master of the event and had to empty the trashcans. Read: empty 10 cans of trash during the day and that was it… Met a bunch of cool people and went skydiving which is THE SHIT!!!!! Holy fuck, this was so cool I’m seriously thinking of getting my license so I can jump on my own. My instructor lives in Colombia normally and when he heard about my trip he didn’t even let me tip him, and invited me over to his house in Colombia when i’m there and I can stay as long as I want. I’m on a good wave here.
Whats even better, Chris is going to Wasteland Weekend, a post apocalyptic event in the Mojave desert in California which is a little bit like Burning Man, but smaller and everything is in the sylte of Mad Max. If I wanted to join him? F*ck yeah? So tomorrow i’m setting off for this event. Its a three day drive, five day festival, and three days back. I’ve been helping out Chris during the week to paint his badass school bus and work on a 1954 Dodge Truck where we installed some speakers on, and mounted a droptank from an airplane that looks like a bomb. We put a horse sadle on it so we can ride it during the festival. Every time I think things can’t get better, they just do!!!!!!!!
The other night I met Matthew, a wild spirit on a Harley Davidson who feels like he’s Eazy Rider. We rode off to a bar when it was driving, revving our motorcycles and going fast. All of a sudden this dude jumps on his saddle, and let go of the handlebars. This guy is nuts!!!!! He is surfing his motorcycle at 100km per hour when all of a sudden he almost crashes. That was a close call. Crazy people here in Moab. But I’m really happy I can hang out people my age, have campfires and meeting the kindest spirits. This is all about extremes here. I love the desert and I love Moab. Lost a piece of my soul here.
Getting ready for Wasteland weekend and tell you all about it when I’m back!