Christmas Message 2013


Well Christmas is sneaking up on us fast so we thought it was time we wished everyone a Happy Christmas, we can’t be six months behind on that. We have pushed hard on the blogs in the last few days and successfully reached the end of our Canadian section, we will return in the new year crossing the border into Alaska.

Christmas in San Francisco

Christmas in San Francisco

As we said in the last blog we are in San Francisco house sitting for some friends we met in Alaska. We intend to make the most of a quiet house and research Mexico and Central America, visas, routes, sightseeing, safety etc and get a few more blogs written.

The weather in San Francisco is lovely at the moment so we will explore more of the city and surrounds as well. Patrick and Regina have kindly said we can join them for Christmas dinner so we will not be on our own for Christmas which is nice.

Golden gate bridge San Francisco

Golden gate bridge San Francisco

This is traditionally the time of year for being a bit reflective about the year that has past and it has predominantly been a good one for us. Most of you who follow our blogs know how our year up to June has progressed.

In April we flew home (UK) for three weeks via Kuala Lumpur where we stopped and explored this fascinating city for three days en route.

It was nice to catch up with our families and some of our friends albeit very briefly and it gave us the opportunity to apply for our full USA visa while we were there. Our journey re-started with us meeting Harri (one of our longest loyal followers) in Vancouver before travelling up the west coast of Canada which was a great ride. Canada was everything we hoped it would be: beautiful, wild open country with seemingly endless scenery.

Our favourite place in the Americas so far would have to be Alaska though and we were lucky enough to spend a month and half in glorious weather riding just about every road there is up there. Although it is part of the USA it is like a different country and we loved its jaw dropping scenery, wildlife and friendly people. It truly is still a wild frontier.

Kev and Karen at the Artic circle Alaska

Kev and Karen at the Arctic circle Alaska

 

Canada had more treats in store however and the ride back south along a different route had more eye popping scenery when we got down to Jasper, Yoho, the Kootenays and Waterton National Parks.

Our entry into America didn’t go quite so smoothly partly because we were much later than we intended and were dodging snow in Montana and then were thwarted by the government shut down. We lucked out by meeting Jim and family at Yellowstone whose company we enjoyed and who gave us a plan B and a fresh start in Seattle.

 

Pringle ducklips

Pringle ducklips, messing about with Jim and family en route to Seattle

 

We really liked Seattle and met some great people there including the guys and girls of Moto International who were great company and good friends to us.

Patrick, Karen and Dave at Moto International, Seattle

Patrick, Karen and Dave at Moto International, Seattle

 

We left Seattle via a ferry and travelled around the Olympic peninsula and down the spectacular Hwy 101 which clings determinedly to the coast right the way down through Washington and Oregon to California where it turns into the equally scenic Highway 1. The ride south through the U.S.A has been a cold and occasionally wet one due to the time of year but we have still enjoyed it despite the occasional hardships.

San Francisco has given us a welcome spell of warmth and a chance for a catch up. We also met long time followers, friends and helpers Pat and Regina who have done so much to help us the last few years. Of course a lot of this is still to be blogged and the fact that we have packed so much in this year has meant that it has been happening faster than we could write about it.

Highway 1 hugging the coastline

Highway 1 hugging the coastline

 

The bike has been a trooper and the only nagging problem this last year has been the problem with the dual output coils which has now been solved by ditching them and fitting 4 x stock Guzzi coils (2 under the tank and 2 under the sidepanels) It is running well and we have been trying to get it as ready as we can for the harder roads ahead in Central and South America as and when the opportunity arises.

Montana in the snow

Montana in the snow

 

The world has become a much smaller a place for us as the number of people we now regard as friends has grown considerably and although we may not individually contact everyone, we think of you often on our travels as various situations or a contact will remind us of an event or person.

Sadly we also know some of you have had a troubled year and heartbreak and our hearts and thoughts have been with you. We also know many others have overcome great hurdles and been inspirational to us.

We have been immensely fortunate in our travels for we have met truly remarkable people who have opened their hearts and doors to us and welcomed us into their lives like family it has been these encounters that have made our journey special.

 

 

It just remains for us to wish you a Happy Christmas and to thank you for following our travels in 2013. Here to a great 2014 and many more adventures yet to come !

 

 

  1. #1 by Kev & Karen on December 24, 2013 - 10:12 pm

    Thanks for the sentimental clap trap, it’s nice to hear.
    Give Mika a kiss and love to all, have a great Christmas.
    K & K

  2. #2 by Ken on December 24, 2013 - 9:08 am

    Hey you guys still trying to keep up with you. A few others have crossed my path in recent month but not on a bike. On foot mainly. Going to Peter and Helens for Boxing day. Mika is fine but slower ! Anyway good to see you are still going, although you may not be aware of it you still inspire many to follow in your footsteps. Wish it was me. Have a good Xmas wherever you you are and continue to follow your dreams to the end.
    Can’t believe I just wrote all that sentimental clap trap. But you know what I mean. Best Wishes for 2014. Ken

  3. #3 by Jane on December 23, 2013 - 10:13 am

    Good to know you are still having a fantastic time, we love following your adventures. Have a great Christmas. With Love Jane & James xxx

  4. #4 by Kev & Karen on December 22, 2013 - 10:27 pm

    Have a great Christmas it was a pleasure to meet you both and the wine was delicious.
    I still laugh at the photo of Kev trying to make friends with your dog!
    Karen and Kev

  5. #5 by Charlie Boyd on December 22, 2013 - 9:28 pm

    Kev and Karen,
    Just wanted to wish you both a happy holiday season and safe travels with more adventure I can read about when you get back on the road. All the best, Charlie and Barb

(will not be published)