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 9, 2015

Jul 09 - Day 07 2015 Tour - Deadwood, SD

I continued east today; tomorrow morning at 10:00 am I have an appointment to have new tires put on at the BMW shop in Sturgis. I'd overnight at Deadwood, a distance of just a few miles from the shop, give or take.

The route east would take me through Buffalo country and although I kept my eyes peeled the whole time I never once caught sight of one. I did see a Red Tailed Hawk though, and that was quite a sight. It looked like it may have been on the hunt the way it was circling the grain fields below.

One hugely important attraction along the way was the Little Bighorn Battlefield where George Custer made his infamous Last Stand. It's located at Crow Agency, MT and is easy to find. 
Admission for old geezers is ten bucks - no special rates for holders of the Golden Eagle National Park Pass. Not sure why that is but I paid the fee and slid in.The park is well organized and they give you a nice packet of information to help you with a self-guided walking tour. The day was turning hot so it would more of a shuffling tour for me. I started with the museum in the Visitors Center, lots to see there and a small store for souvenir hunters. Sorry kiddies, no little tommy-hawks or  bow & arrow sets, just stuffed bunnies & books & T-shirts.

Graveyards are always interesting to me, I like to read the names & dates on the headstones. I especially like reading the personal information if there is any. Kinda creepy, huh?
There are hundreds of fallen soldiers interned here, many dating back to the mid-1800s

You can walk up the hill to the Last Stand Memorial and Indian Memorial. People holding handicapped parking permits are allowed to drive up. Dumb asses without them are also allowed to drive up since they're special and it gives the Park Ranger a chance to exercise his drill sergeant yell.

The Last Stand Ranger Talk is conducted here and was really informative.


Seems like a very small piece of real estate to die  for. Not everyone did, there were plenty of survivors. Lots and lots of Indians for instance. Also quite a number non-attendee white soldiers. 
On the patio outside of the Visitors Center a Battle Talk is performed four times each day. Artifacts such as a tee-pee, weapons, Indian saddles, etc. are there for viewing. I liked the tee-pee better than the soldiers tent.

I got saddle sore just looking at those things. The Indians were tough people 

After the Little Bighorn Battlefield tour it was back on the road for me. The Crow Agency is comprised of several million acres and driving through it is a bit depressing. Housing and living conditions look to be on the poverty level for the most part. I'd agree with the Park Ranger giving the talk at the Last Stand, the US Army may have lost the battle but the Indians lost their way of life.

Shut down forever
Antelope! I saw a herd of a dozen or more including little ones.

Lunch stop was at the Cashway Cafe. Cash meaning just that, forget about your plastic cards, they have an ATM inside for your convenience. I had a Patty Melt and it was to die for.
On down the road I noticed my speedometer & odometer both stopped functioning. It's probably a cable issue as I had the whole unit overhauled. I'm OK as long as the GPS holds out. I pulled off at a road house to see if I could spot the problem but no such luck. Maybe the BMW shop will take a look at if for me tomorrow.

Here's the place I stopped at, very interesting fun place to be when things get popping. You gotta love sawdust floors.

No idea what the coffin's for. Photos maybe?

After stopping to look at my speedometer I ran out of gas. Nice time to see how far the reserve would take me so I opted for that. Around 25 miles I'd say, then things really do stop dead. That's why I carry a spare gallon in the trunk. Yup. Old Wiley me.

A half mile or so before reaching the motel I was stuck in one last construction zone that delayed us for almost 30 minutes. Then to make things interesting we drove/rode through a half-mile of watered down muddy streets thus ensuring every vehicle would be nice and grungy. 

Welcome to Deadwood
The Comfort Inn is packed to the gizzard. I decided to wash  as much crud off the bike as I could manage so it would look somewhat presentable at the dealers tomorrow. Then I took a long nap. 



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