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.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Aug 25 Day 05 - The Old Spanish Trail - Winslow, AZ

For some reason or other I slept late this morning, not stirring until 7:30 am. Maybe it was due to the absence of a pair of pointy noses bugging me to get up but it was really nice no matter what. I had a guilt-free breakfast in the main hotel, oat meal with raisins and brown sugar after which I loaded the bike and set out.

Leaving Kanab, UT I ran south to Fredonia, AZ and followed highway 89a east through the Kaibab National Forest along the Vermilion Cliffs, Marble Canyon, and Echo Cliffs. 89a terminated at Bitter Springs and became highway 89. Snore...yawn...

My first stop of the day occurred when I spotted a sign pointing to the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument. It is in fact a huge park where remains of ancient critters can be found. You can drive around inside the park with a permit, of course, but no taking of artifacts should you find any.
I think I saw the movie...
I popped into the central office for a chat with one of the bearded park guys, ancient looking himself. He made an attempt to explain what 20 million years means but in fact his efforts were wasted on me, I barely grasp the hour thing. No matter, the place looks inviting but not for a Bonneville loaded to the gizzard with baggage so I passed on the tour.

In case you get lost you can follow this simple map to find your way out. Easy.
Big ol' wire mesh monster. I'd love to have this guy for our yard
Moving along on highway 89 took me past lakes with view points like this one which shall remain nameless.

There were gazillions of Asians armed with cameras going hard at it. For travel they seem to prefer soccer vans which resemble circus clown cars when they all get stuffed in.  

This was the only identifying sign in the whole place, ergo no-name water feature
 More riding, more view points of scenic basins and cliffs, thankfully with guard rails.

I'll bet the Mormons get bored as hell with all these red rocks. They probably appreciate the tourist trade though.
This is what I mean when I say I'm glad they have lots of guard rails. Keeps old geezers from stumbling off the path and making a lot of racket on the way to the bottom. 
Mid-afternoon I'd stopped to refuel and get out of my rain gear...what? I didn't mention the rain shower? No matter, while struggling out of the gear I noticed a sign pointing to another tourist attraction, this time it was  the Meteor Crater and only six miles down the road. What the heck, I didn't have a schedule and I like meteors. I think I like them, actually never met one so off I went.

The center is a privately owned operation going back for decades. All the buildings are first class and they maintain the stairs & walkways really nice. Our astronaut program used the crater for training exercises so they've incorporated a bit of that too. All in all it's an interesting place to visit. Old geezers slide in for fifteen buckeroos. 

Say you did something really bad and for punishment they made you fill in the hole. I wonder how many shovels you'd wear out in the process. Strange how the mind wanders sometimes.....

Just as I finished the self-guided tour I felt the first splatter of rain. Then it began to really come down in buckets. I ran to the bike as my helmet was locked facing up, just the thing if you want to catch rain water for a bath or to play with your rubber ducky. Struggling back into the rain gear is about twice as hard if it's already wet and the skies have opened up. 

I took this on the way  out of the park
Lightning was frequent and blinding if you happened to be looking up. Like I was for instance. Whenever I have  to ride in that kind of weather I try not to think about it; after all, you probably wouldn't even know it if you got hammered by one of the big ones. A near miss might be slightly different though. Sizzle fry pop....

Any way I fumbled through the big bad storm and eventually arrived in Winslow AZ, just like in the song and checked into the questionable Quality Inn to dry out. The Bonnie doesn't rate such digs though and has to be content with a thin rain cover. Such is life for the inert machines of the world..

Poor baby, has to sleep outside
So there you have it, another exciting fun-filled  action-packed riot-est day on the road. Tomorrow will no doubt bring more of the same so stay tuned and in the mean time be kind to small furry critters. Rats excepted. You should kill those.


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