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, August 27, 2015

Aug 27 Day 07 - The Old Spanish Trail - Van Horn, By God Texas!

Today's the day kiddies, I'm on The Old Spanish Trail Southern Borderland Trunkline. Could'a fooled me, the traffic is amazing. My God, El Paso seemed more like LA than some small cozy little western shoot-em-up. 

But I digress,  the day began with a long friendly conversation with the motel's Mexican yard maintenance man. He's got an old Harley basket case he's attempting to resurrect and asked if I knew anything about them. I don't. That's the God's truth, but he seemed convinced that I must since I was riding a Triumph Bonneville. He was also convinced I must be Mexican because I'm dark skinned (Hey, it's August for crying out loud!) I volunteered I might  be Ethiopian but he wasn't familiar with that particular tribe. 

We waved bye, he wished me a safe journey and I faded off into his imaginary world of Harleys ridden by one of his fellow Hispanics. Life is truly grand sometimes.

Just a few miles down the road I stopped for this historic marker and learned a bit more about the first citizens of the area, the Mogollon  people after which came the Apaches. Us white folks arrived much later in the game.

This is what the surrounding area looks like today, probably not a whole lot different than in times past. Excluding wire fences, tarmac roads, traffic signals, etc.

My second stop of the day was for breakfast at a Denny's in Deming, NM which is also on my list of Old Spanish Trail towns. Something occurred while I was having breakfast that really impressed me. 

An old Mexican guy, possibly a street person, came in and sat down at a table close by mine. I watched as the wait staff obviously ignored him and he didn't seem to mind a bit. When I finished and was paying the tab I commented to the hostess, also Mexican that no one was attending to him. The gal laughed and said "He comes in here often and sits at a table for awhile and watches people, then eventually leaves. He's never once ordered anything and we don't mind that he comes in." I liked that attitude a lot more than running him off. Deming might be the ideal place to live if you longed for Mexico but didn't want to leave the states. 

Out on the road again I spotted another tourist attraction, the oft ignored but seldom passed rest stop. This one was really different, ergo the following pics. You remember Miss Kitty from Gun Smoke, right? Gun Smoke kids, black & white TV. Like before the Internet? Just look at the pictures and don't tax your brain, it's not that important. 

Hombres...aka Real Men, no whiners allowed

aka Miss Kitty
 After leaving Deming I continued east on highway 180 which took me  to Las Cruces where I spotted a sign with Historic Mesilla Village so I peeled off the slab (aka freeway) and headed through town to see it. It's a cool place to visit, old adobe homes and shops that are well preserved. People still live and work there and today it's part of Los Cruces. Which probably means they get taxed to death by the big city folks, right?

Kinda makes you want to break out the old tuba, eh?
Nice yellow convertible next to me
After spending time wandering around Mesilla I continued my ride east. Lunch & a petrol stop at a Pilot station worked well and I got to park next to an old Honda Shadow. Fun. Yippee.

Suds for lunch
After disposing of my manly lunch I took up the high-speed riding the slab thing again until it was time for a break thanks to my manly lunch. The exit to Acala caught my attention as it looked to be sparsely used and was home to a variety of large plants, tall leafy things designed to conceal. Off I went and within 30 seconds of dismounting a pickup truck appeared. Squirm. 

This is Acala or at least the entrance to it, in a nutshell not exactly a center of commerce. Dusty you might even say. But it seems someone must live down there or otherwise why would a truck go down the road?

Being the patient sort that I am I was able to, uh, rest, and once rested continued on my way. The next exit of interest pointed to Fort Hancock, one of the towns on my  list so off I went in search of the fort. Nada, nope, rode through town and couldn't seem to find it. It's an old place and not looking like things are going well, at least for the business community. The school board evidently won a bit of recognition as it was posted as such on the school's reader board . 

Business seems to have slacked off a bit

This is pretty much the town's main drag
Quiet you might say
Plywood sales probably went well for awhile

Church doors seldom close though
Color is everything sometimes
Chile however seems to be a booming business so I popped into the Chile Store for an interview with whoever would be up for such nonsense. Still writing a book you see. Remember Cul de Sac from last year? Like that. Anyway I went in which must have set off their intrusion alarm and the Chile man appeared out of the back somewhere. We chatted it up interview style for awhile, me taking pics and him telling me all about the Chile biz, the 3rd-generation owners, how business was going, all that sort of stuff. 

Finally I asked if he'd mind if I took his picture for the blog to which he agreed but wanted to go get his hat first. God I was praying it would be a giant red Chile like the Cheese heads from WI wear to their football games but nooo, it was just his regular ball cap. 
Shoot, how disappointing. 

They make a gazillion kinds of flavorings. I bought the chicken flavor, probably will burn my guts out.
This is my guy, Mr Chile Man, cap and all. He was really nice.
That was the end of today's adventure, once I left Fort Hancock it was a straight on ride to my destination of Van Horn, Texas. I checked into the Super 8 where they gave me a great discount for being a Veteran. They also put me in the handicapped room, probably because I couldn't understand half of what the receptionist was asking. It was the "Are you a former member of the military?" question that was unfamiliar to my brain, I'm more accustomed to showing AAA or AARP ID, my military status has never come up. Maybe I'll use that more often in the future. Note to self: Why are there no knobs on the inside of the door to my room?

Ride happy, think Mexican.


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