Episode 0: Preparing to launch

I've liked motorcycles for as long as I can remember...

When I was maybe 10 years old, growing up in Berlin (West) in Germany, I remember flipping through a coffee table book at my local library. The book had beautiful full-page pictures of a motorcycle trip through the “Wild Wild West” of the United States. It showed deserts and long roads with absolutely no sign of human existence in sight.

I stared at those pictures, and my 10-year old brain thought:

….whow, I can't imagine what it must be like to ride through that kind of landscape. I wish I can make it to the USA just once in my lifetime, that would be awesome. Riding a motorcycle in those places will probably never happen though, might as well dream about riding a bike on the moon.

Fast forward 40 years…

I’ve been living and working in the US for the last 15 years. I came here, started working immediately after getting my permanent residency (=“Green Card”) and have not really had a break since. The few days of vacation per year were spent either visiting my family in Germany, visiting my wife’s family, or soaking up as much relaxation as I can fit into the remaining 5 days of vacation….

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Beware of Rattlesnakes in Badlands National Park

Episode 1: Michigan to Badlands

Leaving home

No idea what I expected. Maybe feeling as excited as if I would go for an epic round the world trip? When it was time to take off I just put on my helmet, fired up the V-Star and drove off. It makes sense of course, it's just a little 6-week trip - something that others do on a regular basis without even thinking it's anything special. The difference for me is just that I haven't had any time off in such a long time that it felt really special.

Heading West

The initial goal was to head west as quickly as possible, to get somewhere that is not my "backyard" anymore. Past Chicago and into Iowa for my first camp at Lake MacBride State Park.

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