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...

Navigating this blog is easy, just scroll down the list of posts by date to whatever interests you, click on it and you're in. Photos can be viewed in larger format by clicking on them.

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Jul 18 - Day 15 Vespa 250 - It's HOT in Boise

The thing about Motel 6 is everything is dead simple. No frills such as breakfast, no Kleenex, no Hair Dryers, no Fridge or Microwave. Just a TV and free coffee in the morning if you don't mind trudging to the office to get it. I did that this morning and when I got back to the room with it I must have squeezed the cup a bit hard as the plastic lid popped off. That triggered my manly reflexes and my grip increased ten-fold which sent most of the coffee into orbit, a lot of which landed on my hand. I might mention that instead of pouring from one of the air pots I'd opted for the pot that had just finished brewing, ergo it was about as close to boiling as it could get. Nice. Cleaned up the mess with one of the crisp white wash cloths. No Kleenex, see?

The Red Vespa survived the night without any unscheduled visitors in spite of the warning signs posted in the parking area. I'd locked the steering which in turn locks the saddle and glove box so if anyone wants to go for a spin they'll have to work pretty hard at it.

Good morning Red Vespa person
The fact that Motel 6 doesn't provide hair dryers wasn't really an issue this morning as there seemed to be a force 7 gale passing through The Dalles. By the time I'd loaded up all my gear my hair [what little of it remains] was dry and sporting that air-hose look.

I be stylin'

Moving right along with the continuing saga I saddled up and hit the first gas station for a fill-up, then went to look for an auto parts store as I needed to buy ANOTHER funnel for adding oil. Exactly like the two at home, one of which I bought just a few days ago when I was riding the Bumblebee. Duh..

My favorite store
The kindly folks at Garmin & Co directed me to the nearest O'Reilly store where I scored a third funnel. Outside in their parking lot I hunkered down ready to do the biz but with the engine now warmed up it showed the oil level right where it's supposed to be. Odd. OMG, I just realized how exciting this blog must be, reading about the oil level in my motor scooter. That's got to be right up there with listening to paint dry.

Hey, how 'bout this: Yesterday just as I'd passed through Gardiner [the little burg just north of Reedsport] I spotted the granddaddy of all road kills, an adult black bear. It wasn't all torn up so whatever took it out must have had rubber bumpers. Now that's pretty exciting, eh? Like to hear about my breakfast at McDonald's? No?

OK, so I stopped for yet another and hopefully better photo of The Dalles dam with Mt Hood in the background. The resulting images were dismal so I trashed them. Blankety-blank telephoto! Blankety-blank dam!

The Dalles Dam. How much excitement can one person handle in a single day?
Eventually morning turned into afternoon, miles piled up, as did gas stops - the red beast manages better than 60 mpg even with the flogging it gets. Lunch I can't seem to recall, something about a PayDay candy bar lurks in my memory.

More stops at view points, some were actual and some were imaginary just because the shoulder on the road was wide enough to park on.

Looks a bit hazy to me

Another plaque telling folks what the grand view is all about. 

And finally the grand view itself. Yippee. 

Having exhausted my picture taking urges mostly because I'd just passed through this way a few days ago I elected to press on, hoping to reach Boise, ID for the night's stay. I made good time  and lucked out finding a really nice Comfort Inn for a reasonable price so here I am. Denny's is right next door which should tell you all you need to know about my upcoming dinner.

361 miles today, not bad for a little Red Vespa. Where am I going? Sort of east I think. For awhile.


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