U.S.A. -00

    • This is a short version of the trip. We traveled for three weeks and I took almost 100 pictures on the trip.

Travel Route
Finally the eleven months of slavery ended and I’m back where I belong!

Chicago

No sushi hereTo keep a tradition alive, we upgraded the rental car from a mid size to a 4WD. We ended up with a Chevy Blazer for only an extra $105. The first stop was Milwaukee where we checked out the Miller brewery and Harley Davidson’s headquarters.

Badlands, Black Mountains

More rock formations...The next day we drove to Fargo, ND and on the third day we reached Rapid City, SD. Just before, there’s the Badlands national park with a lot of strange rock formations with odd (moonlike?) shapes and beautiful colors. The strange thing about it is that everything around it is totally flat.
What are you doing up there?I can recommend the buffalo steak at the Firehouse Brewery in Rapid City, just look out for the calamari. We also stopped by at a really big Harley Davidson shop before we headed for Mt. Rushmore which was pretty disappointing. I mean, it sure is impressive and all but after you have taken the picture there’s absolutely nothing to do there.
Crazy HorseLuckily we also visited the Crazy Horse monument and that one is really cool. Besides being much larger (largest in the world of course) it’s not finished yet so you can visit several times and see the changes over time. The visitors center is large with a lot of interesting things about indians. We stayed for hours (compared to 10 minutes at Mt. Rushmore).

Sturgis, Little Big Horn

The stone marks the spot where Custer diedPassed through Deadwood where Wild Bill Hickock bought it. Continued to Sturgis which is almost like a ghost town, must be a strange feeling for the few thousand residents during that week every year when they get invaded by bikers. Rolling on the interstate towards Billings, we stopped at Little Big Horn just in time for an improvised reconstruction of the battle, very interesting.

Yellowstone

Climbing towards YellowstoneOn the way to Yellowstone we drove through Red Lodge, a genuine old west town. The climb up to Yellowstone is awesome.
One of many geysersThe park itself is beautiful but it’s the amount of animals that is so special about it. We saw all kinds of animals, buffalos, goats and bears at really close range. The geysers are really impressive even though Old Faithful had just had an eruption before we got there and we didn’t have time to wait for another.

Grand Teton

The silouette of Grand TetonAfter Yellowstone comes Grand Teton. It’s just as beautiful but we don’t see much animals here but the scenery sure is grand with the mountain range in sight all the time.

Moab

Early birdsAfter Grand Teton we passed through Jackson Hole, a ski resort where many rich people live, e.g. Harrison Ford. Staying overnight in Idaho Falls before going to Moab in Utah where we meet Dale at Elite Motorcycle Tours.
On top of the worldDale agrees to take us out the next day even though we hadn’t booked in advance. When we get there 0700 in the morning Dale is already loading up the bikes. The bikes look new but are actually better since they have been modified with a lot of stuff that you only know about if you have been riding in the desert for as long as Dale has.
Dirty happy bastardsThe ride is fantastic, the combination of my biggest interest (motorcycles) and Utah’s fabulous scenery can’t be described in words. The day was absolutely perfect with Dale being the perfect guide. The tour was so good that I actually bought a motocross bike when I got home to Sweden so I can practice before riding with Dale again.

Las Vegas

Hoover DamPassed through Flagstaff on the way to Las Vegas. Starting to know the city now, for the first time we actually found the movie theater at the first try.
Flamingo HiltonWhen we crossed the Hoover Dam we had 44 degrees C (112 degrees F)! Checked in at the new Paris Hotel Casino, got a room on the 26th floor.
Paris HotelThe hotel is very beautiful with an inner ceiling like the Venetian and Caesars.
View from the Eiffel towerWent to Studio 54 at the MGM and checked out the view from the Eiffel tower, probably one of the best views of Las Vegas available. Also has to recomend the Tsunami Grill at the Venetian, the best chinese food I have ever eaten and really good drinks too.

Los Angeles

The MansionOn the way to LA we had 47 degrees C (117 degrees F) in Baker. We met my cousin Jennifer, we’re staying with her for the rest of the trip. Have to recomend another great restaurant, the El Compadre on Sunset, a fantastic Mexican restaurant.
Angeles Crest HwySpent the days crousing around LA, went up into the mountains for the first time. Read about the Angeles Crest highway years ago in a motorcycle magazine and now I can understand why it’s so popular with bikers. It’s a beautiful twisty mountain road.
Willow SpringsAfter we crossed the mountains we headed north to Rosamond. Couldn’t get into Edwards Air Force Base but went to Willow Springs Racetrack instead. There was no activity on the track for the moment but it’s usually a very busy track. Other than races many magazines test the new bikes there.
Me on a beach north of LAOf course you can’t be in LA without going to the beach. We usually went to Manhattan Beach or Hermosa Beach for swimming. My other cousin Csilla flied in from Detroit to meet us, we took her on a road trip to Oxnard on the Pacific Coast Highway which is very beautiful.

San Diego

Those blonds just ahead are hotCsilla, Anders and me took a drive to San Diego. There we went to the world famous zoo where all the animals seems to be really really tired. We also met an old collegue of Csilla, we went to the gaslamp district to eat and found a great place, La Strada. Afterwards we moved on to a bar called The Field, it’s an Irish bar with a good selection of beer and whisky (they had Laphroaig).
One lazy bastardThe next day we went to Coronado, they didn’t let us in to check out the big carriers so we watch ed them from the San Diego side instead. Continued to Mission Beach where MTV on the Beach is shot. They were filming when we got there as you can see on the picture. Mission Beach is pretty much like Venice and Santa Monica.

Back in LA

Anders, me and Csilla at LAXBack in LA we listened to Tjaikovskij at Hollywood Bowl, a fantastic experience. We also went to Universal Studios to see the new T2 3D, it’s the best 3D ever! Arnold rocks!
Two losers on a benchOne of the last days we went on a V.I.P. tour at Paramount that Jonalyn’s boyfriend Eric fixed. He works there. The tour was very good but the tour guide was even better.

The End

Everything has an end and we had to leave sunny California for rainy Sweden. There was some weather problems in Chicago so when we got there we had just missed our connection. Therefor we got booked with British Airways over London again and sure enough they lost my baggage again!