The Bumblebee and the Vespa 2014

I think it's time for me to redefine what this new blog is about. In the past I've posted individual blogs for motorcycle/motor scooter rides to places like Alaska, Nova Scotia, Key West, Mexico, Canada, New York, etc. That's all well and good but it seems nowadays I'm dividing my rides into shorter ones comprised of two or more weeks each on different bikes. The total time and mileage is about the same, it's just split into multiple rides with a break somewhere in the middle.

The summer of 2014 serves as a good example of that wherein I rode south to Tombstone, AZ on my '92 BMW R100GS Bumblebee/Ural sidecar rig, (phew!) then returned home for a few days and set out again on my '07 Vespa 250ie motor scooter to visit Canada. That summer has gone and the seasons have changed as will the reports, some will be about shorter rides, some will be about maintenance, and maybe on occasion I'll post a photo or two just for interest. I may even introduce other bikes, a few of which are lurking under cover in the barn...

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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Jul 01 - Day 08 Bumblebee - Clayton, NM

Easy interesting ride today, especially since I changed course from Cheyenne, WY and headed for Clayton, NM. The reason being was we'd recently watched a video on OPB about the dust bowl that occurred during the 30's and I realized I was close to the area. So much for riding to Cheyenne but maybe that can come later. After looking at the map for NM and comparing it to dust bowl maps I picked out Clayton as it fell within the western portion of the areas hardest hit.

I won't bore you with highway no's and all that as I simply follow the GPS instructions and whenever I want to look at something off course I do so, then let the Garmin person guide me back on track. An example would be the case of the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum in Santa Fe which I entered into the program as a way point to visit while heading to Clayton.

Following the GPS directions through the winding somewhat convoluted streets I arrived in front of the museum mid-day with plenty of time for a brief visit. Then I hit a snag, nothing terrible but the problem with her museum is that it's located in a highly congested part of Santa Fe with very limited parking. Given the choice between walking a gazillion blocks in the hot sun wearing a black riding outfit or simply moving on I chose the obvious. Maybe another time when things aren't as busy I'll have another go at it but not today.

So I pushed on. The weather became much cooler in the higher elevations and the greenery was a welcome sight. Occasionally I stopped to look at points of interest signs or divert down a small road just to see what was there. The most interesting village was probably Wagon Mound although Watrous was pretty cool too and I spent lots of time tooling around the old streets gawking at houses & buildings. The hack draws lots of looks and friendly waves wherever I go so I don't worry about offending anyone, people seem to be drawn to the notion of traveling around in a sidecar.

Eventually I began to make progress in my day's ride, still pausing to take photos but covering a respectable number of miles. I arrived in Clayton in the late afternoon and checked into a newer Days Inn, way more money than previous Motel 6 offerings but worth it. I crabbed to the front desk gal that my room only had two flat screen TVs and why wasn't there one in the bathroom? Har har, funny LL. Early dinner was at a burn-your-lips-off Mexican place and I was finished with that and had everything unloaded and done for the day before 6:00 pm. Question for self to ponder: Why would anyone operate a Mexican restaurant without Cerveza on the menu?

Anyhoo here's the daily pics:

I didn't realize there were Civil War battles this far west. Duh...

Watrous is a small community, lots of old buildings like this one are still standing. Or maybe laying down resting.

I don't know what the sign says either. Maybe I need glasses?

This is the main drag through Watrous. Horses seemed to love this place but posing for pics was out. I was the traffic today. Maybe for this month too?

I've no earthly idea what La Junta means. Nor do I wish to know.

Ah yes, the old Wagon Hump land mark. Just in case you took a Luigi instead of a Raoul in yer wagon. Just sayin'

Spirited bunch of sign painters live around here. You know what's funny? No graffiti anywhere. I like that. 

I actually read these things. I'm probably the only person on the entire planet who does. But then I'm easily entertained as Herself will tell you. 

Some times I even take pics of their pics. Izzat normal? No?

See what I mean about the sign painters?

Today's detour was through downtown Springfield. Road work and all that was the reason.. Actually I think it's likely a permanent ploy designed to draw traffic through their business district. Traffic = money?  Clever buggers, wot?

More Springfield anxiously awaits your pleasure....

Bye bye Springfield, until next time.. 

I broke the law when I took this one. "Do Not Drive On Shoulders" was way too tempting for me. Besides look at all the creepy vegetation that's taking over. Can't have that can we?

"Oh give me land, lotsa land under starry skies above, don' fence me in...." Wait a minute, that song was about Texas wasn't it?

Oh man, different day, same tongue. Hey, izzat thing getting coated?

Dead & abandoned, just like in the video. Bummer. 

Speaking of the dead right next door is a cemetery. 

Cemeteries intrigue me but being the sensitive guy I am I didn't climb over the gate to take pictures. Besides being sensitive the notion of getting shot at by the Otto folks for poking around has limited appeal. Uh oh, here comes Mr. Otto.... 

We be comin' to Clayton!

Hard to imagine this as part of the dust bowl but it was. 

Poseur poseur poseur! 

Any closer and BB'd be inside my room. 

My room. Poor me. Only two flat screens....whatever is I gonna do?

You may have noticed I don't post pics of Motel 6, right? 

That'll do it, gotta go sit in my sitting room and watch the telly.
Another day, another 303 happy saddle sore miles. Huge dark clouds up there tonight but as I recall in the dust bowl video they just float on by and dump their rain somewhere else. We shall see....


  1. You sure are putting a lot of miles between there and home, riding around on that contraption you call a "hack". Hope you're having fun in the sun, we like the pics!

  2. Well hello there Honey, I think I've figured out what was preventing the comments from posting. Duh.


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