How do you know when you are on the trip of a lifetime? How do you know when you are in “holiday heaven”?
This time last year, give or take a week, I returned home from what I described prior departure as the trip of my lifetime. A year later I know for sure that it was indeed the best trip of my life… so far! I wrote about it extensively here on Splodz Blogz in the months after we got back, doing my best to summarise my experience in seven reasonably short blog posts without boring you to death with something that was a very personal ambition. I am, of course, referring to my motorcycle tour of the Wild West of America – Harley Davidson motorbikes, American roads, movie set scenery.
There was one very specific moment on that trip when I knew I was in holiday heaven. It was a Tuesday, we had been experiencing the Wild West for a few days already, I’d got used to my rather massive Harley Davidson Fat Boy (1600cc of all-American grunt), as well as the early breakfasts so we could be on the road without Eagle Rider tour group in good time. The previous day had been rather spectacular, what with a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, the taking of that photo of me with my feet hanging over the cliff, riding across to Mexican Hat and having a tour of the Monument Valley area by a native Navajo Indian. Spectacular.
However, incredibly, that was about to be beaten. I sat on my bike and dutifully followed Jeff, our tour leader, out of the car park of the Kayenta Monument Valley Inn, and headed along the 163 to Monument Valley to see it on the motorbikes. We stopped at the state line between Arizona and Utah for a few photographs, before getting back on the road for some serious miles in the glorious (very hot desert) sunshine towards Bryce Canyon.
With my legs and arms outstretched, sat on the incredibly comfortable seat, I looked in my mirrors to see whereabouts LincsGeek was behind me. A smile developed across my face, growing gradually until it was stretched right across from one ear to another. We were on that road. The road from all the movies. You know; the spot where a bearded Forrest Gump decided to stop running. At that precise moment Jeff turned a bit in the seat of his beautiful blue machine and pointed his camera at me. Click. That photograph of the long road up to Monument Valley, all red and orange and iconic, had me in front centre. Me. Riding a Harley. In the Wild West of America. Wow.
We rode on and I continued to smile, desperate to see the photo, eager to get a copy of the snap that would sum up my two week tour. I couldn’t wait to see it, share it, tell everyone about it. When people see it even a year on I enjoy piping up to say “that’s me, right there, in the middle, riding the Harley through Monument Valley”. I will never get tired of saying that. Holiday heaven? Oh yes. Trip of a lifetime? No doubt.
The whole trip was holiday heaven for me, right from the moment we landed in Los Angeles to leaving again just over two weeks later. There were incredible moments every single day, with something new to look at around every corner and over every mountain pass. After the mountains there was the pacific coast, and that was also amazing. I fell in love with so many new-to-me places, and have images permanently etched in my mind of the perfect view. I’m often asked if I would recommend this tour, this kind of travelling, to others – and the answer is quite simply yes.
Is there one holiday that sticks out in your mind as the trip you will never forget? Is that because it was your holiday heaven or holiday hell? Comment below, I’d really love to hear your stories.
This is my entry into the Ocean Finance Holiday Heaven or Hell Blogger Competition. I’m taking part because it’s the perfect excuse to reminisce about that trip again!
Read the full account of my Wild West adventure:
- Part 1 – Going Guided
- Part 2 – Fat Boys and Softails
- Part 3 – The Hottest Place on Earth
- Part 4 – Movie Set Scenery
- Part 5 – We’re All Going on a Bear Hunt
- Part 6 – One Day in San Francisco
- Part 7 – The Sea is Still There