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, August 26, 2015

Aug 26 Day 06 - The Old Spanish Trail - Silver City, Nm

And now for today's weather report:
Scorching temps intermingled with lightning,  thunder, heavy rain, possible flash floods. Be alert out there. That's how it went most of the day today, with plenty of nice riding miles in between. 

But here's how it all began: Guilty breakfast at the hotel - eggs - sausage - yogurt - orange juice - room coffee. Umm 

Leaving Winslow I headed in an easterly fashion on highway 40 towards Holbrook. The first thing that caught my eye occurred in the vicinity of Joseph City, a huge plume of what looked like smoke rising hundreds of feet into the sky.

Nasty looking stuff going into the air we breath
Telephoto shot from the same spot
I stopped for a closer view of the source of all the smoke and one of the locals slowed his car and yelled "It's a power plant" at me. Judging from that I expect I wasn't the only one wondering what the source of pollution was.
Walks like a duck, talks like a duck, must be a duck. Pollution? Oh no, it's a coal-fired power plant, that's all.
Not too many miles further into the ride I came upon another of our natural wonders, the petrified forest. I couldn't resist and the nice lady in the ticket booth informed me the five buck fee was going up to ten bucks in October. Lucky me, I saved a fiver by showing up early.

Smallish museum but great dioramas of long dead critters

Outside I encounter the stickery-prickly plant. I don't touch.
This would look nice in a Hard Rock Cafe

This be the man
See them rocks? 
These two babes were really getting into taking selfies using one of those long selfey poles. I saw them taking one that was obviously a video and they had their backs to me. Bet they really love looking at me waving my arms and jumping around in the background when they get home and view the flick. Old guys, we're fun as hell.

Once I'd topped off my fossil-torture-tank I headed out to the parking lot only to find my fine British hand-crafted touring machine surrounded by cast iron loud & obnoxious fat boy bikes. The licence plates were all from Florida which is a long way from home for Harley riders.  
I say Reginald, aren't those overweight ponderous machines made here in the Colonies?
Upon leaving the park you pass through a gauntlet of tourist traps all hawking petrified wood souvenirs. You know, the kind you're not supposed to have? 
 There was one shop peddling crystals, some of which originated from petrified wood.

After leaving the enchanted forest I followed 180 south towards St Johns and eventually Alpine. On the way there were small towns or villages hardly big enough to be on a map but nice little places just the same. While riding through one of them I saw this really pretty herd of red bovines so I did the u-turn thing to go back for a pic.

 Not long after passing the bovine herd I noted the lightning strikes off in the distance and the ominous black clouds gathering over the general direction I was traveling. I decided it was time to stop and suit up, there was no way I would dodge this storm.

 I pulled into this little parking area thinking it was a local church or something and I needed somewhere I could change into my rain gear. Turned out it was nothing more than a glorified rest stop complete with facilities. Pretty snazzy.
I spent the rest of the afternoon getting rained on, sometimes pretty hard. At one point I entered an area posted with flash flood warnings. The water was coming down the road pretty fast and my open-faced helmet had begun to fog up to the point I couldn't see. For once I was glad I'd brought my Schuberth lid with me as it's got a Pin-lock visor shield that won't fog up no matter what. The rain was fierce while I changed into it but it was worth the effort just to see clearly. It continued to pour but I never encountered any flash floods. Got lucky on that one.

The rain came and went and after an hour without it I shucked the jacket as it was getting really hot. I kept the pants on and the jacket handy in case it started up again which it did but not as hard. 

More view points cropped up along the way and I stopped for several of them just to take in the scenery, My last one was at Alpine just before crossing over into New Mexico. Right after that I stopped at the really tiny village of Luna where I gassed up at a single-pump station. I was pleasantly surprised to learn I'd made 60 mpg on that tank of gas, the best so far. It was probably due to the slow pace I'd been riding during the rain storms and the twisty roads in the national parks. The Bonnie has been doing really well for mileage and I'm wondering how much effect the Parabellum windscreen setup is having on it? The factory claimed it would help but I didn't expect that much. 

Hey I can do selfies too.
Last shot of the day, time to hang it up
I arrived at Silver City, NM late afternoon and checked into the local Motel 6. I've stayed here before and it's OK, nothing to brag about but my needs are simple enough and their rates are more than reasonable. Dinner was fit for a hog, a Double Whopper and Haagen-Dazs ice cream. Yummy.



  1. LOL at the petrified forest. More like a petrified stump farm.
    The crystals looked pretty cool.

  2. That's all for tonight, need my beauty rest. Fun read!


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