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.

Finally, if you'd care to post comments please do so, I'd love to hear from you. CLICK ON "NO COMMENTS" TO ENTER YOUR REMARKS. That seems really silly but that's how it works. The entry window is located at the bottom of each screen. Thanks for visiting, I hope you enjoy your stay.


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Jul 24 - Day 21 Vespa 250 - Arlington WA more gloomy rain

This morning the rain continues but the weather people say it will be gone, maybe later today. After breakfast I wandered outside for a look-see and things appeared about the same as when I checked in, dark & drizzly. Yuk!

Lovely, just lovely...
After breakfast the morning front desk lady caught up with me in the entrance and said "You should have parked your bike under our covered area. I see that you've got a cover for it but next time please do that." Now that's pretty nice I think. The scooter was totally soaked when I put it to bed but I covered it up just for security reasons. Out of sight, out of temptation, or at least that's the idea.

Ugh...water...double ugh

Wonder where the covered parking is? The lobby maybe?
Since it was still raining I decided I might as well stick around in my room for awhile. Check out time is noon which means I can hang around for 3 more hours. Cool.. Putting my soggy boots on this morning was definitely not nice but maybe they'll be better later. They smell kinda funny though..sort of swamp-like..

So what's to do in a motel room for 3 hours? Why not watch COPS Reloaded? "Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do when they come for you? Bad boy" 

Getcher Hands up! Gettem Up! Do it NOW!

Whoa! Da door's stuck man...Don' shoot!

Don' shoot! I'm down, I'm crawlin' see? Don' shoot me!

Hey Roscoe, you want that guy? Hmm?
Day time just doesn't get any better than this. Bad boy, bad boy, whatcha gonna do, whatcha gonna do when they come for yoooouuuuu!

But wait, Paternity Court is next. Whoa!

You did  WHAT?!! With BOTH of them?!!! What's wrong with you girl?
I don't know, I just like to do it, that's all. What can I say?
I hung around the motel room until 11:30 or so, then since the rain was light and I was getting antsy I turned in my card keys and bagged it. Once again I found myself rolling down I-5, this time to the south and in the rain. The sky to the west still looked pretty dark and I figured it would be chancy to take the coastal route home.

With that in mind I thought I might as well continue towards home and maybe stay overnight in Portland. For some reason I seemed to make pretty good time until I reached Seattle and then everything went into slow motion. I read somewhere recently that Seattle no longer has a rush hour; their traffic is so heavy it's stop & go 24/7. I believe it.

Eventually I cleared the area and stopped for a lunch break at a rest stop somewhere south of Olympia.

I seem to have developed a very casual attitude towards neatness when I park the scooter for short rests, lunch, etc. 

These 3 guys worked on that van the whole time I was at the rest stop having lunch. The big challenge seemed to be getting the hood closed when they were finished. Finally one of them grabbed hold of the hood brace and yanked on it hard enough to bend it and down it came.

I reached Portland at 3:45 pm and it took till 4:45 pm to clear the city. Evidently Seattle doesn't have a monopoly on traffic congestion. Instead of staying overnight I continued on; I figured as long as I wasn't tired I might as well keep riding.

The freeway traffic sped up to normal until I entered the Salem area and once again got to play stop & go for awhile. Once cleared of that things remained free and I made really good time, riding around 70 mph.

I saw the longest traffic stop ever in my whole life in the north bound lane around Brownsville. From what I could see a semi-truck trailer had burned and the emergency guys were loading it onto a gigantic wrecker. Cars were backed up for a good ten miles, never saw anything that bad before. Boy was I ever glad it wasn't in the south bound lanes.

After that not much happened, had to wait for short periods at a couple of construction zones but they weren't bad. I took the Drain exit off I-5 and rode on, through Elkton and Scottsburg, turning south onto US 101 at Reedsport. The traffic was light and it was an easy ride.

I stopped for another break at the Elk viewing area just east of Reeds Port. The herd is really huge this year and the tourists love to watch them.

Resident Elk herd east of Reeds Port
The buggers came right up to the rails and watched the people.
Once I had my fill of Elk viewing I continued homeward, stopping for gas in Coos Bay, then rode non-stop the rest of the way. I arrived home just before 10:00 pm, a little saddle-sore but not bad.

Overall I had a pretty good time on this trip. I covered 2,265 miles and saw some nice country. I wish that damn thunderstorm hadn't hit as hard as it did; I'd have liked to tour Vancouver Island again but I guess I'll have to wait till next time.

The Vespa performed well and I'm pretty enthusiastic about touring on it again. My only complaint and it's a small one is I wish it had just a tad more power; some of the hills we climbed took every once of juice it could muster. Maybe that's why they make the 300?
Almost home when this was taken. Sun was going down.
Today's ride was around 419 miles, quite a bit more than I expected. So that's it, case closed, done deal. Hope you liked the pics & the silly comments.


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