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 28, 2015

Aug 28 Day 08 - The Old Spanish Trail - Del Reo, TX

I took lots of pics today so maybe they'll serve as a substitute for text? Right now it's late, nearly ten pm and I'm a bit pooped so I'll let the photos do most of the talking. 

Van Horn was located at a juncture where I could continue on a more precise version of the Old Spanish Trail or break off the slab and follow a lesser traveled path heading south. I elected to head south along the border and see what crops up. Leaving Van Horn around 9:20 am I set out on US highway 90 towards Marfa. Why Marfa you ask? I haven't a clue, because it's there I guess.

Texas is a state rich in historic events so there are tons of "point of interest stops all along every highway. I made the most of them as my goal wasn't to make time but to see things.

One of the strangest sites I've seen was this small building stuck way out in the middle of nowhere. Read the information plaque for an explanation of what it's all about, then you can explain it to me sometime. 

Shoes and purses seem to be the focus for this particular "art" exhibit. Seems a bit off to me but I saw a  stranger one in an art gallery in San Francisco. Old shoes piled up in a circle on the floor that was supposed to be representative of something. 

Got shoes?

With my art appreciation time fixed I was off  to Valentine. The run was uneventful, the road long, straight, and bumpy as hell. There were a number of caution signs out regarding the poor road condition but I didn't think it was so bad. The suspension mods Jerry did to the Bonnie while he owned it seem to be working great, the ride is smooth and comfortable.

Valentine seems somewhat, uh, abandoned. The houses still occupied have their windows covered up with bed sheets or foil, most likely to help keep the glare from the sun at bay.

There was a lady watering the plants when I stopped to take this photo but she kind of ducked around the porch out of sight so I didn't want to disturb her privacy. I wondered if she happens to be the Kay Johnson on the sign? I'd like to know more about the library.

One thing of interest were the old telegraph lines abandoned along the highway. The went on for miles and nearly all of the wires were drooped down to the ground and broken.

Open range. Lots of green grass for the bovines
Evidently the old Stardust Motel burned down or got beamed up by aliens. All that's left is a depression in the ground where it used to stand.

The Stardust Motel's footprint is all that remains

Marfa at last. And the water's safe to drink too.

I always like to take a shot of the main drag as I enter a town.
Marfa has a number of interesting buildings done in complex architectural styles. The cost to reproduce any of them today would be prohibitive.

The tile work on the Brite building is amazing. It was built in 1831
I spotted this plaque on the way out of Marfa. That's quite a claim, the oldest town in America.

Wherever Presidio was located it doesn't seem to be around any more. Not that I could tell anyway. It's those darned aliens, always beaming things up.

On to Alpine.
Another plaque, another rest stop. 

The Pecos River

Well shoot, I don't know what happened but all the comments I posted on the pics went away when I published this post. Bugger all, and I'm tired so the heck with it.

I'm in Del Reo, Texas tonight, heading further south tomorrow. All is well.



  1. Too bad you didn't hang out in Marfa to see the "Marfa Lights."

  2. Marfa looks like a pretty little town, but the rest of the scenery on your ride today seems to be hot, arid and a desolate. I don't think I would want to visit there. The Prada site is an art installation with a lot of notoriety on the Internet! You were lucky it was on your ride today and you got to see it in person. Ride safe! xox Linda

  3. In Del Rio and heading south? To Eagle Pass? Been through those two towns muchas veces when I was stationed in Texas. That's where we'd cross the border to party in Mexico. Hoo boy!


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