As I have traveled throughout the years for work and pleasure, I have run across some truly interesting things. For the longest time I carried a camera at all times and snapped some pics here and there. But in the last few years I have really gotten in to photography. I picked up a Nikon D3000 SLR camera and started experimenting with various camera angles, lighting, and now some of the stock settings on the camera. I found that using the landscape setting gave me the best contrasting light usually and that I got the best shots closer to the subject.
I have really gotten lucky with my picture taking getting some incredible shots. And I have also gotten even luckier to have most of them in the settings that they were taken in.
Such was the case on a recent non-moto related trip that carried me through the outskirts of Death Valley. I was scouting a small restaurant in Shoshone for our Death Valley tour, and continuing from there on into Baker, California. I was also using a new camera lenses and its weight made the camera feel clumsy in my hands.
As I rounded the corner and started into their small parking lot, i noticed the usual Harley crowd lined up along the fence with chrome a-blazing. And I noticed a few Ducatis as well. Searching for a parking stall my attention was drawn to a black, Ducati Multi Strada parked in the middle of the parking lot on its center stand.
It looked oddly out of place. And being parked so far away from the other bikes I couldn’t help but check it out. I hoped out of my truck camera in hand and immediately recognized the bike as one I had seen recently.
We are sponsored by REV’IT! so I immediately recognized their logo on the side of the bike. And the Africa Unite logo on the side of the bike was familiar also. Was this one of the Marley brother’s bikes? I wasn’t sure at first. And then there it was; The Marley Brothers Coffee logo on the side. Yes indeed this was one of the bikes. I had seen pictures of all of the brothers on their bikes and this was Rohan’s bike. I am of course a big fan of their TV series and their Africa trip.
I quickly scanned the parking lot but didn’t see any of the other bikes. Just some older Ducati’s parked along the fence. I remembered seeing a sign on the road that had mentioned a “special event” but I wasn’t sure if it pertained to the bike. Were the Marley’s playing a concert in Death Valley?
I started taking some quick shots of the bike with my camera getting some cool angles. As I did, I noticed a man walking towards me. Turning to him he asked me if I was the police there to give him a ticket (I work in a law enforcement job and I was in uniform). I smiled at him and said no. He said then take all the pictures you want. At this point I had to ask, was Rohan Marley in Shoshone?
The man introduced himself as Steven and told me that no Rohan was not there. He was riding the bike. He confirmed that the bike was in fact the Rohan Marley bike, and it was owned by David ALexanian who lives in Southern California. He and his two pals were over from Scotland and were taking a trip around the Western United States. He had borrowed the bike for his trip.
Most riders may know David Alexanian. He was the producer of the series Long Way Around and Long Way Down in which Ewen McGregor and Charlie Boorman traveled on their respective RTW trips and produced the trip for television. Apparently David is also the producer for the Marley Brothers Africa Trip as well and owns the bikes.
It may not be well known but Rohan Marley has continued with his family’s roots and founded and operates Marley Coffee. Their specialty is organic, sustainable coffee. The Marley brothers, sons of the late Bob Marley took a motorcycle road trip of Africa recently and documented their travel in a TV series for Discovery Channel. Of course Ziggy Marley is a Grammy award winning song writer and singer, and Robbie Marley has went on to do professional stuntman work on motorcycles in movies such as The Fast And The Furious. For more information about their coffee click here. To learn more about their Africa Road Trip click here.
Steven, myself and his pals got to chat a bit about their trip and the directions they were headed. They had already ridden much of California and were pressing on into Las Vegas. I was able to give them some helpful travel suggestions and show them some cool places to ride nearby.
I continued my scouting of the diner, and couldn’t help noticing as I drove off that I had a craving for dark roasted coffee and the song “Love is My Religion ” playing in my head as I drove off into the desert towards Baker. Just goes to show you. You never know what or who you might run into along the way.
See more pictures here.