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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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Jul 17 - Day 14 Vespa 250 - The Dalles, OR

Linda and Riley were up early to give me a nice send-off, took a few pics and then I was on the road again.

Vroom vroom! Maybe Buzz buzz would be more accurate?
Poor Riley just doesn't get it, always wants to ride along even though he's never been allowed out the gate on his own.

Oh noooo!

Wait, you forgot me!

The morning started out nice and sunny at our place albeit a bit on the crisp side temperature-wise.
Still I figured it would warm up so I didn't wear anything really warm, just the same outfit I'd worn on the ride to Tombstone on the Bumblebee. For the most part that worked alright but I did stop and change into my warmer gloves after a few miles.

By the time I reached Coos Bay which is around 35 miles north of our home I was ready for breakfast. Naturally I stopped off at my favorite place and scarfed down THE BIG BREAKFAST.

There were several Corvette guys doing the same thing and I noted one of their rides was the same beastie I'd owned back in 1982. Mine had been converted to the roadster model which GM had stopped building for a few years and the only way you could get one was through a custom shop. Or buy a used '81 like I did. Easier that way I think.
This puppy  brought back memories
After breakfast I headed on over to the local lock & key shop to see if I could have a couple keys duplicated. You know how it goes when you only have a single example, right? You lose the damn thing. So far I'd been lucky but heading out on the road I wanted to have backups.
Nice folks run this small business in Coos Bay
The gal working the service counter tried several times to duplicate a security key for my GPS mounting bracket but never could get it to work. Apparently the blank is a special design so I'll try to order one through the manufacturer. Bummer!

So it was back on the road riding north; the sunny weather continued and eventually it began to warm up a bit. My hands welcomed that part. North of  Reedsport there's a small public park where you can launch boats, go clamming, even do a little camping if you can deal with no hook-ups. Primitive is how they describe it and there was only one RV there.

Dead Bi-valves. 
Limited facilities but at least they provided an alternative to big trees.
After the rest stop I continued on to Florence where suddenly for no explicable reason the red scooter turned east onto the highway leading to Eugene. No reason that I could fathom but that's what happened. So since I was heading that way I decided why not stop by Wheel Works and say hello to Bill Cole the owner who is also the guy who sold me the red Vespa? It was after all his very own personal scooter before he sold it to me and I was sure he'd be glad to see it again.

Happy red Vespa! But no Bill....

Ultra expensive faux oil and spare drive belt
Turned out that our arrival was right in the middle of Bill's lunch break and he was long gone. At least the stop wasn't for nothing, I picked up a quart of the correct oil plus a spare drive belt just in case. In case of what I'm not sure as my track record for changing belts on scooters hasn't exactly brought me admiration from the wrenching crowd.

Leaving Wheel Works I let the dumb-ass GPS lead me through way too many of Eugene's back alleys in search of a gas station. Eventually we arrived at one and low and behold, it was located right next to the freeway entrance leading to I-5 northbound. How interesting I thought, maybe I should follow it and see where it takes me? I kept stopping for more fuel and each time I left the station it was only to land exactly on an on-ramp leading to I-5 north.

As I was riding on I-5 towards Portland traffic started to snarl up and I could see it was going to get worse. Along about that time a group of six Harley riders overtook me in the inside lane and since my lane was balled up I swiftly moved over into the center of their group. I think I startled hell out of them but they seemed to accept me and I rode with them for the next 40 miles or so. A red Vespa among Harley guys...

So anyway this strange I-5 phenomena continued until I arrived at the Multnomah Falls exit east of Portland which happens to be located on I-84. Hmmm...puzzling.... I decided if I took that exit and maybe posed as a tourist and took a photo or two maybe when I re-entered the freeway it would turn north again.

Multnomah Falls is off in the distance across the highway. See it? Squint a little....
Turned out the exit from the falls viewing place pushed me back onto I-84 heading east again. Crimoney that's scary. Not wanting to tempt fate I continued following the road east, finally arriving at The Dalles where I recalled staying at a very nice Motel 6 not long back. 

By this time I was getting pooped and besides it was nearing my dinner time so I checked in and immediately went to dinner at Cousin's, a restaurant close by the motel. I ordered up a manly dinner of suds followed by dead bovine laced with gravy, carrots, and onions.

22 oz of Manly suds  - a buck off during happy hour. I was happy

Dead bovine marinated in mystery gravy. Yum.

What sort of people would leave their tractor in the middle of a restaurant?

All of this manliness food and activities made me want to bark like a dog but being a gentleman I refrain from such nonsense, choosing instead to return to my rented room for the evening. The nice young lady at the front desk just now called to see if I'm happy with the room to which I said absolutely, all is well. I've no idea where tomorrow will take me but that's part of the pleasure of wandering about aimlessly. 

338 miles today...who'd a thunk it?


1 comment:

  1. Hmmm...thought you would be heading in a more northwesterly into B.C., wasn't that the plan? Oh yeah, the plan is that there NO plan. :-)


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