U.S.A.

S.M.S. received

20 September 2008 12.47pm At border waiting in queue to get into USA. Then heading towards Seattle. Staying with CMA'ers in Olympia tonight.
21 September 2008 21.09pm Went to Church (www.championcenter.com ) (www.kevingerald.tv) with Larry,Billy and Barbara. Had a great day.
23 September 2008 8.34.34am On the move now, heading for the Redwood National Park on the coast. Hopefully we get Internet.
23 September 2008 21.19.49pm: Safely in Red Wood National Park, California. Good weather all day, stars shining through the trees Thank you Jesus for the Blessings.
25 September 2008 22.49.26pm We are safe in Castro Valley, San Fransisco. Staying with CMA'ers John and Sharon. Thankyou Jesus for the warm day on the famous Highway 1
1st October 2008 11.17.15am: We are having a late breakfast outside of the Yosemite National Park with Rene, he will then head North and we will go South to Death Valley National Park
2nd October 2008 09'07'11am: From 9'C (3000m) to 42'C (-75m below sea level. Bush camped next to Death Valley National Park, weather just perfect, thank you Jesus. Now heading for Wickenburg AR via Las Vegas and Hoover Dam
4th October 2008 11;19;48am Great, we are on our way to Grand Canyon
We met up with Rene Cormier from Canada  a fellow biker we met in Dubai, just outside Yosemite National Park...  before heading for Death Valley Nature Reserve, where we camped in a bush camp next to the reserve We are packing up now from Harm and Ina in Wickenburg (Arizona) and plan to ride to the south rim of the Grand Canyon, possibly spend the night there. Tomorrow we might do the North rim of the Canyon, and plan to go into Utah etc. We will spend the next week between Utah and Colorado, before we will make way to Arkansas for the rally
SMS 7th October 2008 15.25.21pm
So much for sunny hot Arizona - it's pouring with rain, the temp has dropped to 4'C, oh and we drove over a snake! Now we are in a laundromat drying our cloths! Tee hee hee we are having fun.

Email sent 7th October 2008 11.55pm

Vancouver to San Fransisco
 

We had a fantastic time travelling through British Columbia, Canada.  The highlight being the Cassiar Highway with the Bear Glacier outside Stewart and Maziadan Lake.  Once again the Lord blessed us by letting our path cross with the Comparelli family. Paul and Gheri were our hosts in Houston while we waited for the new bearing to arrive from Vancouver.  Paul and his daughter Jo, took us to one of their favourite old camping spots which was on a river where the salmon come to spawn and the Grizzlies come to feed... unfortunately we did not see any bears but we saw loads of fish (reds? ... sorry Paul I can’t remember the names of the fish!!) eagles and fly fishermen trying their very best to catch the fish.  We had a fantastic time listening to Paul tell us the stories of his families travels and adventures by bicycle... yes they are far more adventurous than we are!   We left the wonderful comfort of the Comparelli house and headed down to Vancouver.  Because we decided to do this stretch in one go, 1100km’s, we arrived at the camp site in the town of Mission after dark.  The ground was so hard that we could not knock in the tent pegs, so we had to use rocks to keep the tent sturdy.  When we got up the next morning we were greeted by the most amazing site.  We were amongst extremely tall trees with moss growing everywhere, down the trunks, on the branches and on almost all the rocks and bits of dead wood on the ground. There were little grey squirrels dashing up and down the trees and scurrying along the paths through the trees.  It was so wonderful to see, fairytale stuff.

Not even 30 km’s down the road we crossed back into the USA.  It was a beautiful day; overcast with rain threatening and we were travelling through a lovely farming area.  The closer we got to Seattle, Washington the more the rain fell.  Seattle is known as the city with liquid sunshine!!  We drove past the world’s biggest building by volume (which also has the biggest doors in the world) ... the Boeing factory, WOW - what a sight!  On our way to the Boeing Visitors Centre, we passed a few brave souls standing in the rain holding their ‘We are on strike’ signs - what a disappointment for us... we so wanted to do the tour of the Boeing factory but due to the strike..... it was closed. Poor Boeing, they are not only losing money by not delivering their aircraft on time but they are also not making any money from the tourists!  So we headed back out in the rain towards Olympia and the home of CMA members, Larry and Billy.  Larry was waiting for us outside and showed us to drive straight into the garage.  Sjoe, it was good to get out of the wet gloves and we discovered that the Seattle rain had worked its way right through our rain gear and we were pretty damp inside.  But after the warm welcome from Billy and Larry we were settled in no time.Larry Charmaine & Billy Billy is the bubbliest person and she is just full of spontaneous laughter.  Our good friend and sister in Christ (CMA Montana), Biker Barb, was in town to celebrate her dad’s 84th birthday.  Hallelujah, Praise the Lord.  Barbara came over to the house early on Sunday and we all went to Larry and Billy’s church (www.championcenter.com ) (www.kevingerald.tv).  It is one of those American churches that you get to see of God TV.  It was a fantastic service on ‘Stop dating the Church’, Pastor Kevin introduced us to ‘Ima Fended’, ‘Bill d’Wall’, ‘Les Structure’ and ‘Ivana Break’!  We all had a fantastic day of wonderful fellowship.

The next morning after a hearty homemade breakfast, the four of us headed to the ‘Museum of Flight’ which has the largest and most comprehensive collection of aerospace artefacts in the western United States. It took us the whole day to walk through the museum, we saw the Red Barn – the Boeing Company's original manufacturing plant; aircraft from World War I & II; the famous BlackbirdCharmaine in Blackbird and in the museums airpark we went onboard the Concorde and America’s first jet Air Force One. Later that evening we joined the local CMA chapter at one of their meetings.  Biker Barb also came to the meeting and we had tons of fun together, with lots of laughter.  It’s always tough leaving friends behind, but thanks to our bond through Christ we know we will see each other again.   Once again we were on the road heading south, this time travelling through Oregon and straight into California.  Yeeha, the golden state with loads of sun shine!  We camped the night in the Redwoods State Park, the home to the giant sequoia trees, the largest living organisms on Earth.  What a sight – these trees are not only as wide as some of the huge Baobab trees in Africa but they are three times the height... some record trees have been measured to be 94.8 m (311 ft) in height and 17 m (57 ft) in diameter.GS & Giant Redwood  Oh, we had a little visitor at our camp site in the morning, a cute little kitty. It was popping in and out of the under growth in our camp area and even went into the tent in a real playful mood.  It purred and smoozed up against us and curled up on my lap when i was eating my muesli... I just couldn’t resist pouring some milk onto the ground for the kitty.  Oh, boy it just lapped it up and then happily returned to its owner.  We were now on the coast road and admiring the beautiful Pacific Ocean.  The scenery changed from thick forest to open flat almost savanna type conditions, just like the West Coast of South Africa.  We passed many cattle ranches and stunning coastal homes, some perched high up on the cliff edges with the most spectacular views. 

We were just about at the San Raphael BMW dealership when we heard a new ting-ting rattling sound which had us both looking down to see what had come loose.... nothing... we shook our heads in wonder and blamed the exhaust extension knocking against the pannier!  We stopped at BMW as the GS needed a new front tire and for the first time some new brake pads. A little further down the road we stopped to make a phone call and as I was pulling the bike back for J we heard the ting-ting again.  This time I was in a position to look at the back wheel and guess what I saw..... a bolt/cap was bouncing around next to the brake disc and every time it got to one of the spokes it went ting.  I took it out and held it up for J to look at .... he frowned and said ‘broken spoke’!  Now let me explain something to all of you..... that little bolt/cap was not wedged or stuck in a closed area; it was free to fall to the ground at any time. Yet again saw a miracle and received another blessing from the Lord as it could only have been His hand holding it in that position for us to find.  We went straight back to BMW and bought the one and only spoke that they had in stock. Thank you Jesus



Epos gestuur 8 Oktober 2008 12.17pm

Moah Utah

Ons is veilig in Moab, Utah. Ons het 'n wonderlike 4 dae gehad vandat ons weg is by Harm en Ina (Ben se male) in Wickenburg. Van daar af is ons na die Suid rim van die Grand Canyon, waar ons geslaap het. Die Grand Canyon is presies wat ons verwag het dit moet wees, Awsome! Na die Grand Canyon is ons na die bekende Monument Valey, die plek waar so baie Western Cowboy flieks al gemaak was. Die aand daar was spesiaal, en ons kon die sonsondergang en opkoms waardeer oor die masiewe rots formasies wat so uniek is aan Monument Valey.
Johan Utah Muddy RoadsNa Monument Valy is ons na die Canyon Lands Park, maar deur 'n
"shortcut" wat ons oor 'n bergreeks geneem het (2600m) deur die pragtigste scenery in die omgewing. Die pad was egter 'n ander storie, het ons heel dag geneem om die 150km van modderpad af te le. Slippy Slidy op party plekke. Nou is ons by Moab, waar ons die volgende 2 nagte sal deurbring en die area verken. Die area hier lyk soortgelyk aan die Noorde van Namibie, redelik droog en oop.

Epos gestuur 10 Oktober 2008 2.25pm

San Fransisco to Moab

Ons is tans in 'n dorpie met die naam van Moab, in die staat Utah (VSA). Ons vat dit rustig en geniet die rustigheid vir 'n slag. Ons het die afgelope tyd aangestoot om te vlug vir die koue weer in die noorde. Die weer is lekker aangenaam hier in Moab. San Fransisco was besonders mooi gewees. Met ons aankoms in San Fransisco het ons oor die 6.5km lange Richmond San Rafael Brug gery wat ons oor 'n deel van die pragtige San Fransisco Bay geneem het. Aan ons regterkant kon ons die bekende Alcatraz tronk en eiland sien. Dis waar die bekende Sean Connery (en Nicolas Cage) film
"The Rock" afgespeel het.
Charmaine lookout point Golden Gate San FransiscoOns het 3 aande by John en Sharon, CMA lede, gebly. Hulle het ons lekker gespoil deur ons rond te neem deur die stad. John het aangedring en gese ons mag eenvoudig nie San Fransisco verlaat voor ons nie op die Golden Gate Brug gestap het en 'n Kabel karretjie gery het nie. Die Golden Gate brug is een van Amerika se bekende simbole van vooruitstrewendheid. Toe ons so oor 'n deel van die brug stap bewonder ek hoe groot die struktuur werklik is, dit laat die Stormsrivier brug in Suid Afrika na 'n skaalmodel lyk, en om te dink dit was gebou in die 1930's. Daar was 'n snaakse waarskuwingsteken op die brug wat se dat selfmoord het tragiese en traumatiese gevolge, so moet nie spring nie. Dele van San Fransisco het ons baie aan die Kaap laat herinner, veral die waterfront, wat amper identies lyk. Ek het gewonder waar is die kabel karretjies wat John so baie van praat, aangesien ek geen berge in die omgewing gesien het waarteen kabelkarretjies opseil nie, todat hy ons een uitwys. Dis nie 'n kabel karretjie soos ons dit ken nie, dis meer soos 'n Tram, of trein wat in die pad loop. Waar die kabel in die prentjie kom is dat dit aangedryf word deur 'n kabel wat onder die grond loop. Die rede omdat hulle deur kabels aangedryf word is omdat die bulte en afdraende in die stad geweldig steil is. Die kabelkarretjies is 'n groot toeriste aantrekking vir die stad, en ons het eers na die 4de of 5de probeerslag plek gevind op een van die karretjies. Die plek was egter aan die buitekant en ons het net soos in die films gehang aan die sykant van die karretjie. Dit was 'n besonderse belewenis wat ons verseker nooit sal vergeet nie.Johan on Tram San Fransisco Ons 'driver' was 'n kaart gewees en was 'n vermaaklikheid op sy eie. Toe ons by sy vriendin se winkel verby ry, het hy ons almal laat skree en wuif vir haar, ja, hy het werklik ons trippie besonders en vol pret gemaak. Dankie John en Sharon (Al kan jy nie Afrikaans lees nie), ons waardeer jul gasvreiheid geweldig baie.
 
Die sondag (28/09) was dit my verjaarsdag, en ons is toe weg uit San Fransisco na die Laguna Seca renbaan. Vir die motorfiets geesdriftiges is daardie naam sinonoem met een van die wereld se bekendste draaie, die 'Corkscrew". Dit was die finale ren van die Amerikaanse Nationale Superbike wedrenne. John het vir ons gratis ingang gereel, aangesien CMA daar uithelp as deel van hul uitreiking en diens tot nie nie gelowige bikers. Hulle het 'n tent waar bikers hulle helmet en klere inhandig vir bewaring tydens die renne, en alles vir gratis. Ons het so baie geleer van CMA hier in die VSA, en sal die kennis verseker kan gebruik in die toekoms waar die Here ons ookal laat vestig na die toer. Omdat dit my verjaarsdag was, het die CMA ouens van Paso Robles ons gebles met 'n nag in 'n nice hotel kamer op hul dorp.Charmaine & Johan Laguna Seca
Maandag is ons weg uit Paso Robles en het die groen Kalifornia kus veruil vir 'n baie droe, amper woestyn, binneland. Die droe deel het gou weer berge geraak toe ons nader aan die Yosemite (spreek dit uit soos 'jose-mitie') Nationale park kom. Yosemite is bekend vir sy oop rotse waarteen bergklimmers hule verlustig. Die rotsformasies is masief, dink aan Paarl Rots, en maal dit met 20, dan het jy die idee. Die kaal rots is 1km hoog, en dit neem die algemene klimmer 5 dae om te klim tot bo, ja, 5 dae. My bek het oopgehang om te sien hoe die manne teen daardie rots uitklim. Hulle oornag 4 keer teen die vertikale rots voor hulle bo uitkom. Ons het een ou se tent-kontrapsie aanskou wat so halfpad teen die rots gahang het. Nee my maat, gee my eerder die GS en ek is gelukkig, die manne speel op Avbob se stoep. Volgens die klimmers is dit 'n 'baie veilige' sportsoort, min mense het al geval en gesterf. Ek is bly om dit te hoor.
 
By Yosemite het ons 'n klein ruinie gehad met Rene Cornier. Rene is 'n Kanadees wat om die wereld gery het met sy F650GSJohan Charmaine & Rene Yosemite National Park (150,000km). Hy het by ons in Dubai gebly net voor ons daar weg is, en het Oos gery deur Rusland ens. Hy was op sy laaste strek op pad Kanada toe. Ons het die 2 aande lekker stories om die kampvuur vertel, en ek kon vir die eerste keer op my duitse opvou rooster braai. Van Yosemite af is ons suid deur Death Valey. Ek het al so baie van Death Valey gehoor, en was vasberade om daardeur te ry, ten spyte van almal se waarskuwing dat ons nie moet nie. Hulle rede was dat dit te warm in die valei is, maar ons ken mos van warmte, en sal nie ons laat bang praat nie. Net voor Death Valey maak ek die GS vol petrol, en vul ons al ons watersakke net ingeval, ons gaan egter mos nou woestyn area binne. Die Noordelike deel was grondpad, en nie te warm nie. Die kaktus-tiepe plantegroei en berge was besonders mooi in die noorde. Hoe verder suid ons kom, hoe laer sak ons af en hoe warmer raak dit, tot ons by 42gradeC en -75m (onder seevlak) kom. Regte Dubai weer, maar gelukkig geen bedompigheid nie, so eintlik lekkerder as Dubai. Dit was toe nie so erg nie, maar dit was snaaks om te dink dat ons die oggend weg is by Yosemite terwyl dit 9gradeC, en bo 3000m was. Net buite Death Valey waar dit so bietjie koeler was het ons kamp opgeslaan vir die nag, en 'n besonderse sonsondergang aanskou.GS in Death Valley
 
Die volgende dag redelik vroeg is ons daar weg en is deur Las Vegas na friende van ons in Arizona. Las Vegas se buitewyke lyk soos 'n baie skoon weergawe van Dubai se beste woonareas (Silicone Oasis ens). Ons het egter uitgesien oom met die bekende "Las Vegas Strip" af te ry, en ons het dit toe ook gedoen. Hotelle en Casinos links en regs van die pad so ver jy kan sien. Ek wens ons kon dit in die nag sien met al sy liggies, maar selfs in die dag was dit besonders mooi gewees. Heelpad het ou Elvis se "Viva Las Vegas" liedjie in my kop vasgesteek. Net buite die "strip" besef jy weer dat jy eintlik in die woestyn is, dis 2 verskillende werelde binne 'n kwessie van 'n paar meter. Na Vegas is ons oor die bekende Hover Damwal, en in Arizona in. Arizona het ons hoogs beindruk. Amerikaners kyk amper neer op die suidelike staat aangesien dit volgens hulle woestyn en warm is. Die ding van Arizona is dat dit so 'n groot verskydenheid het, en die natuurskoon is op baie plekke soortgelyk aan wat ons in Namibie het. Iets wat Namibie wel nie het nie, is die besonders pragtige Saguaro - kaktusse soos ek nog net op die Cowboy films gesien het. In 'n dorpie met die naam van Wickenburg bly twee oud-Kapenaars en CMA lede, Harm en Ina Kruger. Ons het tog te lekker by hulle gekuier en was bly om te sien hoe goed dit met hule gaan. Harm is die trotse eienaar van 'n V-Strom (Nie dat ek opgewonde kan raak oor 'n Suzuki nie) en het al die hele Arizona en buurstate platgery. Dankie julle vir die lekker kuiertjie, ons mis julle al klaar. Van Wickenburg af is ons weer noord na die Grand Canyon, nog 'n plek wat ek al lank oor droom om te sien. Die Grand Canyon is soos sy naam heet, grand, en woorde kan die Canyon nie mooi beskryf nie. selfs 'n foto doen dit ook nie. Dis te groot om werklik te begryp hoe masief dit is. Die een ding wat ons verbaas het was dat die omgewing by die Canyon nie droog en woestyn was nie, inteendeel, was dit groen, bebos en vrek koud, bonop het dit nog gereen ook toe ons daar was. Die aand was goed koud, en dit het ons laat besluit om eerder die Noord-rim (wat kouer is) 'n mis te gee en het reguit na Monument Valey gery. 'n Tragiese ding vir ons Charmaine lookout point Grand Canyonvan die Canyon se Informasie Borde (pro Evelotion) is dat hulle mense vertel in hoeveel miljoene jare die Canyon gevorm is deur die Colorado Rivier, terwyl dit so duidelik sigbaar is dat dit iets baie groter as die Colorado rivier moes gewees het (Soos Noag se Vloed) om die Grand Canyon te vorm. Ek glo elkeen het sy reg tot sy opinie, maar om dit aan mense te 'verkoop' as die waarheid terwyl daar geen konkrete bewyse is nie, stem ek nie mee saam nie.
 
Monument Valey was nog een van daardie plekke wat net vir my bekend was in die destydse John Wayne films. Ons het die aand daar deurgebring en het die sonsondergang en opkoms bewonder met die pragtige rotsformawsies wat soos Monumente op die horison sit. Pragtig.Monument Valey is gelee op die grens van Aizona en Utah, en is deel van 'n groot Indiaan Reservaat. Daar is egter heelwat van hierdie Indiaan Reservate in die VSA (en ook Kanada). Dis ongelukkig oplettend om te sien hoe agteraf hierdie reservate is teenoor die res van die land. Dis presies hoe ons destydse Transkei en Ciskei was, en word deur hul eie mense regeer, maar kripeer in die elende en dronkenskap. Ek wonder maar net oor hierdie konsep. . . . . . . . . .Die Indiane het 'n besonderse kultuur, maar is soos baie ander nie-Europese kulture heeltemal uitgesterf. Hulle is geklee in gewone klere en ry met dieselfde voertuie as ander mense, wat het ek dan nou ook verwag, dis die 21ste eeu waar perd ry en pyl en boog skiet uit die mode is vir aledaagse lewe. 
 
Camping Monument ValleyNa Monument Valey het ek besluit om 'n kort pad te neem na Moab. Die kortpad was toe geen kortpad nie, en was 'n avontuur op sy eie. Die pad was natuurlik 'n grondpad en het ons oor berge en dale geneem deur die moderigste paaie in 'n baie lang tyd. Dit het ons heeldag geneem om die 200km af te le, maar dit was die moeite werd, aangesien ons geleentheid gehad het om ons "Off Road" vernuf te verfris en was ons geseen met die mooiste natuurtonele wat die omgewing kan bied. Die aand het ons lekker pootuit by 'n kampterein aangekom, en geslaap soos klippe. Die pad van daar af na Moab was sonder enige opwinding, en ons was bly om vir 'n slag vroeg by 'n kampplek aan te kom. Moab is 'n regte avontuur-buitelug mens se speelplek. Hier is baie 4x4 Jeeps met sulke masiewwe wiele vir die 4x4 roetes in die omgewing, bergfietsryers, Kajakke vir rivier toere op die Colorado rivier en nog vele meer. Ons rus maar net en vang bietjie op met ons agterstallige eposse.

Email sent 11 October 2008 : 8;19pm
 

We are currently in Taos, New Mexico, and is heading East to the border of Texas for today. The Autum colors of Colorado and New Mexico is stunning, yellow and gold wherever you look. We've been riding through some light snow in Colorado yesterday as we came over the Rocky Mountains (3300m).

Epos gestuur :13 Oktober 2008 2.33am

Ons het gisteraand in Clayton (New Mexico) gebly, en vandag heel dag deur die reen deur Texas (Amarillo) gery, en slaap vanaand in Weatherton, Oklahoma. More ry ons na Oklahoma City, waar ons 2 of 3 aande gaan bly en hopelik so paar onderdele vir die bike op te tel wat ek later gaan instaleer by die Rally.

SMS received 14 October 2008 18:47:07pm Hallelujah, Praise the Lord! We are safely in Hatfield at the CMA camp site. Weather much warmer after riding 5 days in rain, sky should be clear tomorrow.

Email sent 31st October 2008 1.54am
 

Moab to Mena

We've spent the last two weeks here in Mena, Arkansas (USA). Upon our arrival here at the head courters of CMA (USA) we've attended the long awaiting Changing of the Colours Rally, the International Conference and we are partaking in the Fast Lane Rally this weekend. Moab. . . . . . , we left Moab (Utah) the morning early and drove east into the state of Colorado. The Western side of Colorado is high in altitude and the chance of snowfall was increasing this time of the year, therefore we opt just to do a small part of Colorado. We drove through the small town of Ouray, deep into the Rocky Mountains. The road between Ouray and Durango goes over three mountain passes, each going higher than 3200m. Yes, and you've guessed it, it snowed up on these mountain tops. Luckily the snow melted as soon as it fell on the road, almost like dry-ice. I’m sure this is a different type of snow than what they get in mid winter. The snow that fell next to the road coloured the grass and bushes white and beautiful. The colours of the trees all over were awesome, yellow as far as the eye can see, with white mountain tops for the perfect back ground.  The scenery is the type that makes the perfect puzzle picture, beautiful to look at but tuff to build.

At Durango we had a quick lunch to warm us up and decided that we need to get down to lower altitude before we will even consider camping.  Camping in below freezing temperatures is not what we do for fun, especially as our sleeping bags and clothes are not meant to handle that cold temperatures. We crossed into the Northern part of New Mexico, and camped out for the night at Chama. The next morning we left Chama and drove direct East on Route 64 through some of the most stunning scenery we've seen in the Southern part of USA. The elevation was still high and the colours of the leaves were bright to golden yellow. Again, puzzle-like picture perfect scenery. When we came near the town of Toas, we noticed a lot of tarantulas (big spiders) crossing the road. In the town we ask the lady who served us coffee about these monstrous tarantulas (spiders) and she assured us it is normal and an everyday occurrence. So we've decided not to ever camp in Toas, despite of its beautiful setting and atmosphere. All the buildings in the town are earthy and "old style", almost Flintstones-like. After Toas we entered a rainy section and decided to look for a cheap motel in the town of Clayton. We came to the conclusion that there is no such thing as a cheap motel in America. The cheapest we could find was a wooden bungalow at a KOA campground. KOA is an American campsite franchise. We took some DVD's on loan from the camp site shop and settled in for an early night watching movies while the rain was pouring outside. About halfway into the first movie we got itchy, and realised that we have been bitten by something. Upon further investigation we found some bed bugs on the bed that has been chewing on us and is now nicely settled in our sleeping bags and sheets. We woke up the owners and told them about the situation, and they were friendly to us and allowed us to sleep in the Laundry/Office building. This meant that our early night was out the door, as we had to wash and dry all our clothes that were in the room, as well as our sleeping bags, in order to get rid of the bed bugs. It was way past midnight when we got to bed. Next morning we were up early and watched the weather, hoping the rain will stop, but instead we were heading right into the "eye" of the storm' according to the weather forecast. There was no way around it, so we decided to brave it and head directly into the storm and into Texas. The road sign that welcomed us into Texas proclaimed proudly that Texas is the home of President George W Bush. We did not enjoy our ride through Texas, as the rain was bucketing down on us. We decided to get on the big Interstate freeway, as my visibility was shortened due to the rain and fog in my visor, I reckon it would be safer on a wide road than a narrow one. At the town of Groom, next to the Freeway (I40) we came across a massive cross. Some rich guy decided to build this cross as an outreach and reminder of Christ Jesus to the passing motorists on the Interstate Highway. It stands 19 stories high and can be seen (on a clear day) from 20 miles away. We stopped and checked it out. At the foot of the cross there are a few life size sculptures that describe step by step the crucifixion of Jesus. It is extremely well done and they even have a souvenir shop where you can buy Christian literature.  After we spend about an hour there, we were back on the wet road and crossed into Oklahoma. The scenery was flat, but green; you can tell they get a lot of rain in this part of the country. We had a strong side wind to negotiate with too. At the town of Weatherford, 100km before Oklahoma City we pulled into a motel and called it a day. We've learned our lesson on "cheap" places, so did not bother to look for any cheaper ones this time. In Weatherford we discovered a wonderful old style road side diner. I guess this was our first real American restaurant, if there is such a thing. It is on the old historic Route 66, and they play only 60’s music, and served us great food too. The next day it rained so hard we decided to stay another day in hopes that the rain will stop. The rain did not stop, so we set out the next day and drove all the way to Mena, Arkansas, mostly in the rain, again.

Iron Mountain Hatfield Arkansas USAThe Changing of the Colours rally is CMA USA's biggest gathering of its members. It is a time to fellowship with one another and gets encouraged on the spiritual side of life. We had teachings twice a day and awesome Praise and Worship. Here we met a lot of new fiends in CMA and was encouraged by the unity we have in this ministry. Although we are from different parts of the world and from very different back grounds, we are like minded when it comes to our enthusiasm towards Christ and Motorcycles. It was wonderful to meet up with "old friends" we met during the CMA South Dakota and Sturgis rally earlier this year. The International Conference followed shortly after the rally, and here we met CMA leaders from all over the world, including Mexico and Argentina, whom we look forward to meet up with later on our journey.  The GS is also undergoing major maintenance as well as a scheduled service. I replaced the right hand side throttle body, as the shaft and bush has been worn out and the engine has been running very uneven on low rpm's because of that. The other big job has been the new rear wheel bearing modification. The new non stock bearing seems like it will be the final answer for our wheel bearing problems. Only time will tell, and we are about to take it to the ultimate test through Central and South America. I will (on a later stage) add a page to our website that describes in detail the modification and how to do it if you wish to do the same to your GS. For starters the bearing has been expensive and hard to find, but if it means no more break downs on the road, it is worth the investment

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