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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Friday, August 21, 2015

Aug 21 Day 01 - The Old Spanish Trail - Klamath Falls, OR

Each time I set out on a tour I like to joke with friends when asked about where I’m going. I usually respond with “I’m clueless, probably won't know till I hit the end of the driveway”. Strange as that may sound there’s more than a bit of truth to it, I’ve never been particularly good at planning trips and even less adept at carrying out those plans. I sometimes have a general idea such as “Alaska” or “Labrador” but when it comes right down to it I’d be more accurate if I simply said “north” or “south” and see what develops.

This leads me to my current endeavor, the maiden voyage on a new-to-me 2012 Triumph Bonneville. To date my rides on it have been local, less than 100 miles for the most part and never in anything other than daylight and sunshine, a difficult trick for the southern Oregon coast. I’m no total fool though so I’ve packed a wide variety of clothes designed to provide dry warm comfort in the most difficult situations. I’m laughing as I write those words as it’s still August and nationwide temps would favor T-shirts & shorts over rain gear and warm vests. We’ll see how that pans out.

You can see where I’m bound for by the map posted above; of late I’ve become affected by the romance of old cowboy movies and their pioneer history, especially those relating to the great southwest. The Old Spanish Trail, in particular the Southern Borderland Trunk line has captured my imagination and I’ve decided I’d like to explore it. I’m going to skip the western terminus located in the area of Los Angeles (already did the lane-splitting thing) and instead aim for a beginning point somewhere south of Tucson.

Are ya ready Roy? Not now Kemosabi...Oh wait, wrong cowboy...sorry!
Today's ride began in sunshine, the best of all possibilities. I left the dogs outside so the neighbors are probably going ballistic by now. Couldn't be helped, I didn't want to leave them locked up in the house all day and we don't do that often so maybe they* won't mind. 
*The neighbors, not the dogs. 

I stopped for coffee with Jerry on the way through Coquille, around 30 miles east of our place. Our usual haunt wasn't open yet so we went to plan B, another little coffee shop where they serve good rolls and a couple of breakfast choices. I went with the breakfast burrito, a nice item about the size of a human head. 

After breakfast I rode east on highway 42 to Winston, then turned south onto I-5 to Medford where I picked up highway 140 for the run into Klamath Falls. Stopped for gas once, the Bonnie seems to be getting close to 50 mpg. Maybe I should ride faster?

Forest fires were generating so much smoke it was nearly dark in a couple of areas around Medford. Once I headed east up into the mountains the temps dropped to a comfortable level and there wasn't as much smoke. Except for the "Smokies" aka state cops who seemed to be everywhere. I don't know what the attraction was unless it was the large number of bikers out in force. 

At one point I started to turn into a gas station located a few miles west of Klamath Falls but backed away when I saw the 30 or so bikers in line. Unbelievable. I can't imagine what the appeal is for riding in a pack like that but at least it keeps them in one spot which is probably better than having them scattered all over hell and gone on the highways.

East of Medford - smoke from fires very intense
Same locale, lots of smoke
Klamath Lake boat ramp / rest stop just west of Klamath Falls
Pretty lake, but it's a bug heaven
No one fishing today....out of season maybe?
When I arrived in Klamath Falls the temps were still pretty high so I decided to hang it up early and practice unpacking. Maybe watch TV, they might have Shark Tank on.

Quality Inn Klamath Falls
All the new bags have to be handled individually which means a couple of extra trips from the bike to my room. No big deal but I haven't developed a routine yet so it takes a bit more time.
Black bags - lots of gear. Probably too much
End of Day 01 Mileage. Gotta buy gas in the morning. Think I'm getting around 50 mpg.
Not a lot in the way of pictures today, all the smoke spoiled most of the views and I have a hunch that will be a common factor for awhile. I scarfed down the rest of my breakfast burrito for dinner, hope that holds me over till morning as I don't care to venture out again. Heartburn...wuddayuh gonna do? Brap...!



  1. Ugh! Hate seeing the wildfires...hope you're out of the smoke very soon! All is well in Bandon. Ride safe! xox

  2. Great start. Good thing I'm retired now, lots of words to pick through


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