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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Saturday, August 29, 2015

Aug 29 Day 09 - The Old Spanish Trail - Corpus Christi, TX

The Bonnie has been getting pretty grungy these past few days so right after breakfast I got out the wash soap and rag and went at it. It wasn't the best job but with only a small ice bucket full of suds it was OK.

Today's ride took me from Del Reo south on 277 to Eagle Pass where I thought I might stay last night if I made it but luck held and I over-nighted in Del Reo instead. Big difference between those two towns and luck was on my side, Eagle Pass is a rough looking place.

From Eagle Pass I ran south to Laredo, then northeast up 59 to Freer where I stopped for lunch (Gatorade & Snickers). I'd noticed the sky had sort of a murky brown cast to it, about as far as you could see, kind of like pollution. There was also a fairly strong petroleum smell that was enhanced by the hot temps and I finally realized I was in oil well country. Stinky but livable if you can get used to it. After riding fairly fast for a long, long time I escaped from that environment but I won't forget it and I don't envy the men who work in the oil fields.

Looking ahead out of Laredo a few miles
Same place looking back. The heat was intense.
This is what all the fuss is about - Oil is king in this part of Texas
The ride was long and hot and mostly uninteresting but finally I spotted a place worth turning around for. The Long Branch Saloon stood unattended alongside the highway smack dab in the middle of oil country. All along the highway there are dozens of businesses catering to the oil industry, everything from "work force housing" aka short single-wides to tanker trucks for hauling crude. Earth movers abound as do oil rigs and towers, it's amazing how much gear is available. 

You have to admit it's kinda cool. If only it were open

A long porch like this just begs  for folks to sit on
It even has its own windmill water pump
After the Long Branch there wasn't much to take pics of, I just followed the road (more or less) and somehow managed to make my way to Orange Grove  which is on highway 59! No idea how that part happened so I must have taken another wrong turn along the way. 

Eventually I made enough correct turns so that I arrived in Corpus Christi late afternoon. I checked into  the first place I came to that looked decent, another Super 8 motel. The price I was quoted was thirty bucks higher than normal "Because eet eez a weekend and our rates go up during that time." "Phoee to you guys" I said, "I'll take the room for your normal rate or I'm outta here." This was the first time I dickered over room rates but it ticked me off and I said so. Motel 6 isn't that bad and they're always available if you can get there before 5:30 pm or so. The clerk caved in and I took the room, still expensive for what it is but I'd ridden 320 miles today and that was enough

After I finished haggling over the room rates and got checked in I decided it was time for more laundry work. I'd been wearing the same pair of jeans for a solid week now so into the tub they went for a good scrubbing. Jeans aren't going to dry overnight in an air-conditioned room so I cabled and locked them to the Bonnie. While I was at it I gave my socks and unmentionables another wash too so tomorrow I'll be fresh as a daisy. I wish there was some way to clean the jacket liner but I guess it will take a dry cleaner to figure that one out when I get home. Phew....

My socks look like ears on the Bonnie
Bikes make great places to hang laundry out to dry on.
With all the domestic chores finished I scurried over to the nearby WhatABurger joint and ordered their full meal deal which came in a sack about the size of a human head. It also included a "medium size" drink that looked like a quart to me. I had them add fried onions and chili peppers for an extra fifty cents. Sometimes I'm totally fearless.

Back in my room, ready  to scarf down the meal and multi-task writing the blog I soon discovered the lack of WIFI signal. "Of course we have a good strong seegnal, the best I am sure." Some things just can't be lied away nor can they be fixed so I moved my project up to the dining room where the seegnal really ees very good. 

See ya tamale`



1 comment:

  1. I really like the looks of the Long Branch Saloon Dance Hall! I can almost see Kitty inside, hanging out with Sheriff Matt Dillon. And that has got to be the most hilarious way I've ever seen anyone dry their jeans! Ride Safe! xox


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