This photo was taken from the roof of the Riad Dar Chamaa in Ouarzazate. At this point, we had long since arrived, and some of the events leading up to this moment included me almost becoming a hood ornament on an aged Mercedes after being over-anxious to get through a traffic circle. Also, we got chased and harassed by a kid on one of those mini motorcycles, the ones with wheels not much bigger than skateboard wheels. At one point I thought Tim was going to backhand him into the gutter. We had several Blackhawk Down moments navigating through traffic until we reached the hilltop Riad and rolled the bikes inside the gate. It was truly an oasis after a long day of moto. What’s a Riad? It’s a hotel or inn with an open air center courtyard. Someday I’ll do a post just about Riads, because we stayed in a lot of them.

KTM motorcycles lined up in courtyard of hotel in Morocco.

The KTMs were ready for the next day.

 

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The problem with our Morocco moto trip with Tim Skilton and Edo Mossi of Loco For Motos, there was no problem. The problem is, after the trip, I never really did a very good job of sharing all the wonderful photos that were collected from this trip. Dude, you should do an ADVrider post. No time for that. I’m starting a new feature here on the old IAATB blog: Morocco Moto Trip Photo of the Day, or POD, as my friends at Snowbird call them. I may not post one every day, see. I may forget, or have other important stuff to do. But I’m going to post as many as I can, in no logical order, with a few notes about each one, so followers can get a sense of what a great trip this was. So great, that even a year later, we’re still thinking about the places we went, the people we met, the windows that got kicked in during street riots, the stimulating massages, well, you get the picture. The first Morocco POD needs no commentary. You figure it out.

Photo taken in the Erg Chegaga dunes of Morocco

Nacho Libre of the Erg Chegaga. Photo by Dave, Ben or Steve.

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This was supposed to be a 2012 New Year’s Resolution post, all about looking forward to riding more, drinking less, being helpful to fellow mankind, all that altruistic looking forward type of stuff. I’ll be honest. After how 2011 closed down for me, it’s hard to muster any sort of goodwill and cheer. I lost my father to cancer in the darkest days of December, and I still haven’t come to terms with what that means in the long haul. I miss him, and yet it hasn’t sunk in that he’s gone.

While back at my mother’s house, my childhood home, we were going through some old photos my mom had been given by her mother and her aunt. In this age where everything is digital, like images, we sometimes forget where certain terms in our language came from, for example “thumbing through old photos.” There we were, putting our thumbs on the corners of these little pieces of history, many of which I had never laid my eyes on before. One photo stood out, of my grandfather on an old vintage motorcycle. I wish I knew more about him, his motorcycling habits. You see, my mother never knew him. He died in Europe in World War II before my mother was born. Pretty common back then. He was in a bomber, shot down behind enemy lines, and was later buried in a military cemetery in Belgium. My mother only knew of him what my aunt (his sister) told her: he was a free spirit who liked to ski and ride motorcycles, and I think that’s why my mother’s aunt always had a soft spot for me.

So as I look at the photo below, I have no idea what year or make and model my grandfather’s bike was. From casual online research, people tell me it’s likely a late 1930s Harley Davidson. I also heard a story that at one time he had an Indian, but it must have been a different bike. All I know as I look at this photo and try to make out the details, my grandfather was ready for adventure. The boxes on the back sort of give it away.

Photo circa 1939 of my Grandfather on a vintage motorcycle.

Photo circa 1939 of my Grandfather on a vintage motorcycle.

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