WildWest 2.0: Between Sierra Nevada and Moab

The idea, to find the Wild in the West becomes more and more reality. As soon as I leave the beaten tracks people and landscapes surprise me. Robert for example is the only person to live in the abandond Mining Town of Cerro Gordo. He himself cares for all the buildings of the town. If he wants to collect his mail from the letterbox he needs to drive 45 minutes on a dirtroad to reach the nearest asphalt road. The postman doesn't come any closer.

North of Lake Powell you'll find yourself in sheer serenity. The Smokey Mountains are rugged enough to keep the visitors of the nearby Grand Canyon away. Grand Canyons North RIm is closed for the winter season but another spot is accessible all year round. However, you won't meet many people there as the dirtroad is roughly 100kms (62miles) long.

I hope that the snow doesn't catch me though temperatures are already pretty low. The onboard-thermometer of the BMW displayed -8°C (17°F) today.

WildWest 2.0: Death Valley

Some of the passes crossing the Sierra Nevada are already closed for winter and even some routes in Yosemite are no longer accessible. Via Sherman Pass I made it across the mountains without hitting the snow. This early morning I rode to the Panamint Dunes in Death Valley to shoot some timelapses. The track became a bit rough at the end but if it would have been easy everyone would do it, wouldn't they? ;-)

On the road for Wildwest 2.0

Welcome to California, bye bye San Francisco!
I'm leaving the Fog City on the Pacific Ocean for my new Multimedia Project eastwards as far as the snow lets me ride. I'll travel the spectecular landscapes of Utah, Arizona and Colorado intensivly. But why so late in the year. Because the air is crisp and the deserts will cool down a little. Perfect conditions for film and photography in Wildwest 2.0!
Here are some first impressions.

Wild Western Alps

Hannibal did it, the Tour de France does it every year and now it's our turn again: Besides gorgeous passes the Western Alps offer fascinating side shows. And we're part of them. Check out my latest story in Motorrad. (German only)

When Engineers were artists, too.

On our scouting trip across Colorado we bumped into the Gateway Automuseum. John Hendricks, the founder of Discovery Channel, has arranged a unique compilation of American Classic Cars. Worth a visit!

07/20/17

Nine years with the BMW HP2

The HP2 had just been released when I had a chat with Herbert Schwarz (Touratech). The only missing gadgets on this fabulous bike we found were a bigger tank and a luggage systemt to make it the perfect travelling bike. It didn't take long an Touratech designed a tank and a pannier rack. But the best of all was yet to come: I was given a completely equipped HP2 for "Via Mediterra - The journey around the Med".
After nine month on the roads and tracks around the Mediterranean Sea I had enough material to edit a movie, a coffee table book and an awarded multimedia show. Meanwhile a lot of things have changed. Some of the countries I was privileged to visit suffer from instability and travellers find it difficult or even dangerous to go there.
One thing didn't change over the past years: I was still allowed to use the HP2. Now, after nearly 90.000kms the bike is returning to the shed it came from, to Touratech. I feel some melancholy in my throat as that bike has taken me to so many exciting places, to so many wonderful people. The memory will remain.
Thank you Herbert, thank you Touratech!

More wild mountains! Picos de Europa

Spain is different. Especially the north. Lush meadows, a rough sea, Swiss-like mountains and Scottish weather. People speak a language which is more difficult to learn than Klingon. The common Spanish stereotypes fit to the Basque country and Cantabria like a penguin to a bullfighting arena. If you go there forget everything you've learned about Spain and discover a new country! The new report in MOTORRAD.

Four Reports in Special Edition of MOTORRAD

The French Alps, Teneriffe, Saxony-Anhalt and Morocco: MOTORRAD has just published for of my reports in their brandnew special edition for motorcycle touring. Enjoy!

Africa: Planning replaces Chance by Mistake

It should have been a standard vacation. Without bikes. Two weeks in Kenya. But we reckoned without our friend Riz Jiwa. Now we learn how planning replaces chance by mistake. The full report in the current issue of MOTORRAD (german only).

Watch a new dimension: Mediafestival 2017

The 9th international Mediafestival in Villingen-Schwenningen/Germany opens its gates from March 10. to 12. Besides several showacts selected photographers will present their best work on 12 high definition TechniTwin ISIO 4K-screens. With 8 million pixels on 65 inch a new dimension in watching becomes real. I feel privileged to be one of the photographer being invited to show their pictures. To get a glimpse of what you may expect have a look at these 2 out of 50 photographies. More information about the festival here.

Also brand new ...

is the trailer for my new motorcycle adventure in the Pyrenees, whose 400 kilometres of granite, running from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic, are the ideal setting for spectacular nature, quaint stories and they provide the perfect mixture of a holiday and adventure destination. Check it out!

In the slipstream of a good summer:


Drizzling rain, fog and freezing temperatures: Who wouldn't escape the local weather if he could? I thought of escaping to Southern France....
Published in the recent MOTORRAD 25/2016.

Israel and the Negev Desert

This summer we've been for two weeks in Israel. Despite the political tensions the country and especially its people are worth a visit. We've spent most of the time in the fabulous Negev Desert and I took the opportunity to test the new Sony DSC RX10III. Compared to my Canon SLR's it is lighter, films in 4K and takes slomo's with 250fps in full HD. It will be part of next year’s film project. Here are some pictures and a quick video we took on our journey. Enjoy!

Harz Banger

Saxony- Anhalt is full of contrasts. From the Elbe-wetlands to do-gooders, from riders paradise Harz to the inventors of time. Curves, cult and oddities, it's all there. Any proves? What about a motorcycle-tandem or the German relatives of Her Majesty the Queen? And most of all: I need to go to the hairdresser! Why? Check out current MOTORRAD 20/2016. (German only)

Travel Event times 4

Touratechs Travel Event 2016 got me involved four times: Two photo workshops were focussed on the special needs of motorcyclists and moto travellers to easily increase their skills and knowledge.

The classroom turned lateron into a multimedia cinema when I showed my new live-report about the Pyrenean Adventures. That was great fun with a great audience!

One of the highlights on Saturday evening was the presentation of the Hellas Rally. It was a big challenge and at the same time a great pleasure for me to be the anchorman of the show. The reactions of the audience to this combined photo and movie project were absolutely exciting. Last but not least due to the excellent work of Jan-Peter-Sölter und Marcel Manske. Have a look into the faces of the spectators and you know what I mean. The final applause was also a big "thank you" for Meletis Stamatis, the organiser of the succesful Hellas Rally.

Full house during the live-report "Pyrenean Adventures".
Spectators enjoying the Hellas Rally presentation.
Hick Town of Good Hope

There are places that will change your mind. There are journeys from which you will return as another person. And then there are those blank spots on your personal map. Regions you've never come in touch with. And it's them to offer the biggest surprises.

That's what I felt when I've toured Brandenburg, one of Germanys eastern States. But all those surprises would have been nothing without the help of Ruttker Stellke who was both an excellent guide and rider. Thank you Ruttker. See the whole story in MOTORRAD 2016/13 (German only).

Hellas Rally

At this years Hellas Rally I had the opportunity to accompany Dirk von Zitzewitz on the Touratech Africa Twin RR. 168 Rider from 14 nations gathered on Evia, Greece' second largest island for a spectacular event. Most of the riders, some of them top-notch Dakar pilots, had lightwight thumpers. Not an easy task for Dirk to compete with them. But Dirk was ready to surprise everyone with an astonishing race. On day one he took over the lead in the twin cylinder class and was on no. 12 in the overall ranking. But that was just the start.

After the finish line on the last day Dirk von Zitzewitz and the Touratech-Team had two reasons to party: They won the two cylinder class and the surprising place two in the overall standings. The award ceremony on Edipsous crowded city square saw the Touratech-Team respectively in high spirits. This year’s Hellas Rally gave them more than they expected.

For me it was a very good experience to be with Dirk and the Touratech Team. Even though a well known rule became true every day: There's only one who has to be faster than the rider. The photographer.

More infos, pictures and videos are at Touratech.

Rule of the three

MOTORRAD has just published three of my reports in their current special edition "Unterwegs Spezial 2016": "Corsica and the Holy Grail", "The Icecream-Tour" and "Wild Roads in France". Get a copy here (German only). Enjoy!

Perfect end of the season

The fully sold out "Neue Tonhalle" in Villingen-Schwenningen marked the perfect end of my live-reports in spring 2016. I'd like to thank everyone who came to watch my shows and as well those who contributed to the succes.

The next opportunities to meet are just ahead: From June, 10th -12th I'll be at the Touratech-Travel Event in Niedereschach/Germany. On Friday and Saturday I'm offering free photo-workshops for motorcycle travellers. And on Saturday at 12:30 I'll be showing my new live-report "Pyrenees - Between Atlantic and the Med".

I'm looking forward to meeting you!

Good things to come ...

With great thanks to Marc Prinz, my new homepage is finally online. I'm looking forward to your comments via email or on facebook. Or even better: in real life! One of the next opportunities to meet will be on the 29th of April in Villingen-Schwenningen, where I'll be showing "Via Mediterra - The journey around the Med".

Talking about "Via Mediterra": The third edition of the DVD is now available. I never estimated such a success, and I thank everyone who contributed, in whatever way, to achieve that. For all those still looking for their copy, you can get yours from the web shop or at one of the many events.

Anything else?

Oh yes! In the 8/2016 issue of MOTORRAD you'll find my report about touring Tenerife. With a motorcycle across the holiday island? Make sure you check it out!

See you soon!

Dirk Schäfer

Dirk Schäfer

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