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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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Jul 15 - Day 13 2015 Tour - Salmon, ID

Shoot, I just fumbled and poked the publish button instead of the save so my first version of today's post is the title.Good thing it wasn't a .45 acp, I'd probably be missing 3 toes and a kneecap. Hmm....maybe I should stay with that and see if anyone notices. Better not, I know at least one person who'd crab at me.

This morning when I left the Stumptown motel the brilliant Montana sunshine had returned in full force but the local temps were still on the crisp side. I wore leather with a T-shirt as I knew it would eventually warm up. Ha ha! Wrong.
What? What?
On the way out of White Fish I rode past a car dealer's place by the name of The Korner Shop. Their showroom had several really delectable bits of eye candy and I had just enough time to pull a hard right into their parking lot. Anyone who rides a hack knows how tricky right-handers are and will appreciate I did so without flying the chair.

Inside I was immediately smitten by a gorgeous '91 Honda NSX, Honda's supercar of the 80s and 90s. It was almost like Karma that it should be there as I was just fantasizing about cars I'd still like to own one day and it's on my short list.
Mamamia, and it's RED too!
Only 91K miles, hardly broken in. Bet the guys at Honda World in Coos Bay would pee their pants if one of these puppies rolled in for service.
 Besides the heart-breaker NSX there were other cool items in the showroom but none spoke to me like it.

I suppose I made a complete fool of myself as I vaguely recall babbling a lot about it but who cares, it's the kind of car that evokes that sort of behavior. I'm pretty sure I mentioned I was interested in it and I'd be getting back to them. Right LL, but when you do don't forget to eyeball your bank account first.

I sort of recall stopping to take this pic but can't place where it was. Next to a street probably. At first I thought it might an old school house or maybe even a small church or mission. Then it appeared to have someone living in it so I moved on. Quickly. Poste haste.

After that short diversion I pressed on, don't recall seeing any sites for a long, long while as my riding went into autopilot while my teeny little mind was elsewhere. Like, if I sold the boat and maybe a few of the bikes and made them an offer would it work? Maybe? How about begging, I'm pretty good at that...

By the time I returned to full consciousness I was well on the way when suddenly out of nowhere I discovered I'd arrived in Labrador! OMG, they've moved it, I thought it was way up north and a lot further to the east. My efforts had paid off, I'd found Labrador and it was in the Bitteroot mountain range!

"Pete" is a true Labrador
Right about that time I saw the first lightning followed by a really loud thunder clap, loud enough and soon enough to demonstrate it was close. Way too close. I'd just finished topping off the fuel as I was entering the Bitteroot mountains figuring gas stations were likely to get scarce. Riding with 6 gallons of gasoline between your knees while Ma Nature plays games with lightning can be a bit unsettling at times.

This was the view less than a mile from the fuel stop

The next lightning strike produced enough static energy to shut down my GPS. Luck was on my side and it came up right away when I rebooted it. With my speedometer & odometer both dead I'd be in dire straits with just a map. Map reading during intensive rain never seems to work well.

Looking back down the road it appeared more nastiness was chasing me. I stopped for a quick pic and within seconds the storm hit. This was serious stuff not to be taken lightly; my riding speed slowed to a crawl as did the few cars that were on the same route. The rain was torrential, hitting as hard as any hail I've experienced. Fun stuff. Dark too.

Eventually after 20 miles or so of twisty roads sporting 25 mile curves I rode out of it. The sun peeked out for a bit and I stopped to look at a couple of points of interest.

Ol' Lewis & Clark were all over the place.
This is Gibbonsville as it is today. No more gold rush, no big settlement, nada, it's just a nice quiet little place that's probably good to live in.

Moving on I continued to follow the tourist route. I think this would be fun to do in an RV provided it was a small one. The corners seemed like they're way too tight for big bus types.
The route I'm following
And a nice little roadside rest stop for those who can't wait.
Busy guys they were.
My intended goal for today was the town of Challis, ID but I spotted a new looking Super-8 in Salmon so it became my newest most favored place to hang out in. I've got a really nice room and there's a *micro-brewery less than a block away so I'm off to pay my respects. They probably serve food too. 224 miles today.

* Follow-up, no such place exists so I hoofed it into town and had dinner at the local Mexican place. Prices were half again as much as our home town favorite but they serve on giant platters big enough to feed two people. I ate all of mine and chugged down a brewsky.  

PS -  I was just heading out for dinner but I couldn't resist capturing what has to be the biggest "I'm a special person" shot yet. Maybe California doesn't respect handicap parking as this moron not only took up 3 spaces and a walkway, but 2 of them are handicapped. Duh....I'm special so those rules don't apply.

Anyway have a good one wherever you are. (Special persons excepted)


  1. That 55 Chevy in the background looks pretty bad ass!!! Let's see...maybe if I sell everything I own...

  2. Don't forget your first born, they sometimes fetch a good price.


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