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.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Aug 30 Day 10 - The Old Spanish Trail - Winnie, TX

So where is Winnie, Texas one might ask? I'll get to that later, more towards the end of the post. Right now I'll begin with the morning breakfast routine at the crumby motel I stayed in. Actually it wasn't all that bad, it just seemed like it after experiencing a good breakfast yesterday. Even the instant oat meal was bland. Ugh.

My jeans and socks were dry enough to wear so I packed up and hit the road further south where I'd get to see the Gulf of Mexico. From Corpus Christie you really can't go a long way south as you'll run into the ocean so I went as far as I could and then turned north east. 

Corpus Christie has more oil and gas rigs and storage facilities than you can imagine. They go on for miles and frankly I got a little bored with them. I expected to see more of a military presence but that must have been in another direction as the only thing I saw was the Lexington aircraft carrier which is now a Naval museum. I rode down into the park area, eyeballed her and completely forgot to take any pics. That's too bad actually as she's loaded to the gills with aircraft that I recall from my own brief naval career.  

My first stop was at Aransas Pass where I watched fishermen doing their thing from shore or wading out into chest deep water. No one caught anything while I watched but a kid on a motor scooter stopped and looked the Bonnie and me over, probably thought I was broke down. As soon as he saw my camera he did a hasty exit back to the road. Must not have wanted to be in the book I'm writing.

This is the bridge I'd just crossed over when I stopped for pics
Does "Welcome Aboard" mean I'm allowed to climb on it?

It was still early Sunday morning so there weren't many people around yet
Before leaving the motel I'd dialed in Port Aransas on the GPS as a way point to visit and it took me way out on the end of a point, then I realized I was heading for a ferry out to a small island. The approach to the ferry was confusing, too many people in Hi-Viz vests waving Hi-Viz wands and I ended up riding up to the boarding point in the out lane instead of the in lane. Probably not a big deal as there were only a half dozen cars waiting. I bet lots of people do the same thing, right?

This is the way to the ferry. The blue sign had all sorts of meaningless information.
Anyway once I arrived at the loading area I asked the bearded toothless guy who seemed to be in charge of such things why there was a big arrow pointing at me instead of towards the ferry. His eyebrows moved up and down rapidly, then I think he realized he was dealing with a loony and smiled at the joke. I told him I didn't have a clue why I'd want to go for a ferry ride and after looking at my map he agreed and said I should turn around and proceed in the direction of the big arrow which would then show the way back from whence I came. Make sense? It did to me.

Another big 'ol oil thingy. There should be a limit on how many  of these are made.
Back on route again I was riding sort of northeast through a small but expensive looking area when I saw a sign directing unsuspecting travelers to Fulton Beach. I followed the little side street and sure enough I soon arrived at a small harbor complete with boats and large scary birds with pointy beaks and even a bait shack. 

 Nice fleet of boats here, expensive looking and probably not owned by the likes of me. That's OK, I have my own aluminum one at home resting in the barn in case I ever get involved in show & tell about boats. 

When I first spotted this guy I went into my stealthiest slow motion mode with camera held as inconspicuously ( my God I spelled that right the first time!) as possible. I took a shot, then moved closer, took another and moved again, etc, until I was only a few feet away from him. He finally grew weary of me, let out a squawk and flew a few feet away, landing on a post where he watched me with his beady eyes. 

I wouldn't want this joker to peck me. He must be the guard bird for the boat people.
The bait shack came with a sleepy looking guy sitting out front texting away on his phone. Or iPad or whatever it was. The sun was shining directly towards my shot so it's not the best but if you look closely you can see the bait guy sitting on the left side of the pic. He kind of reminded me of one of those Asian Kung Fu actors, the one with the weird eye that wandered a lot. I didn't interrupt his texting, no point in that as he'd probably want me to buy some sand shrimp.  

After visiting Fulton Harbor I'd had enough of the Gulf of Mexico so I figured I'd head back to the original mission, the Old Spanish Trail thing. Once I got away from the bay area and inland a ways the oil industry went away and was replaced by cotton fields. I didn't realize Texas was so involved in cotton but they seem to be and like so many things in Texas, they go at it in a large way.

I rode highway 35 northeast to get back on track..
Kinda makes you wanta shuck something doesn't it?

Cotton farms are easier on the eye than oil rigs. Just sayin'
I'd got off to a really early start this morning so I made good time all day. Around noon I stopped for a rest and slugged down more Gatorade. An hour or so later I decided to stop at a Walmart to buy some different sunglasses, ones with blue lenses if they had them. My regular ones have a slight brown tint and they tend to make everything look darker for some reason. Anyway I found two cheap pairs and they helped a lot.

My intended stopping point for the day was Beaumont as it's on my list of Old Spanish Trail cities but after getting keel hauled through Houston I was too beat to continue. My God Houston traffic is awful, you'd think those people would find something else to do on a Sunday other than drive like maniacs on the freeways but no, that's how they seem to spend their time. There were darn few bikes too, which is probably an indicator of how many riders really have a death wish.

Anyway I pulled the plug in the nicest little burg called Winnie with a great La Quinta motel and I'm done for the day. I'll hit the post button and then head for the Cajun eatery next door, see how much more torture my innards can tolerate for the day. Usually I edit my wondrous writing efforts but it's getting late and I don't want to miss dinner so you can send me hate mail if it's awful.



PS - I had fried catfish, coleslaw, hush puppies, & one frosty Corona for dinner. Marvelous!

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