Friday, June 24, 2011
21 June 2011
Every journey begins with the first step - in this case a looonnng one. Since my childhood days of watching "Then Came Bronson" i have dreamed of touring the USA on a motorbike. About six months ago the signposts of my life were saying "do it now". Since then i have been researching, planning and preparing, and established a start date of 21 June 2011. After some anxious days monitoring the volcanic ash cloud that was grounding flights out of NZ, my departure on the morning of 21 June was cleared for takeoff. I flew from Auckland to Sydney, Sydney to LA, LA to St. Louis. The only dramas i had were having my toothpaste confiscated in Sydney and having my just renewed New Zealand passport questioned by Customs in LA. My freshly renewed NZ passport showed that i was born in Mexico (the country) instead of Mexico (the small town in Missouri). Fortunately, my USA passport was all in order and that is all that US Customs cared about as far as me entering the USA. We'll see what happens when i try to get back into NZ.
Bob Honz of Gateway BMW, whom i purchased my BMW R1200RT from, picked me up at the airport at 6PM, took me by the showroom to have a look at the bike and have a couple of beers.The total transit time from when i left my house until arriving at the dealership was 35 hours and i wasn't able to sleep during any of it. After chatting with Bob and some other staff over some brews, Bob left me with his pickup at the motel so i could drive myself back to the dealership the next morning.
The Super 8 motel reminded me of the Memphis hotel in Jim Jarmusch's film "Mystery Train". The staff were real characters but my basic needs were met and i got a good nights sleep until the jet lag woke me at about 5:30.