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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Thursday, September 3, 2015

Sep 03 Day 14 - The Old Spanish Trail - Auburn, AL

Easy riding today, not many miles but I saw lots of interesting stuff so there's plenty of pictures. In fact I took so many the batteries in my camera went dead. Maybe there's a message in that?

The day began with the best hotel breakfast yet, a full assortment of the usual goodies plus real bacon! Yum! I expect that's as it should be considering their price point but still it was great and the staff's service was equal to it. 

I left right after breakfast and immediately went the wrong way so I got to see the following sign. You can really tell you're in the deep south when you see business names like this.

Gene you should paint this on your stealth van
 Once I got oriented correctly with the direction I was supposed to be traveling everything went better. I was riding north on back country roads and soon came to Cecil and stopped to look at some of the attractions.

It's a pizza joint today

Leaving Cecil I rode off course for awhile which drives the GPS wild but it's fun just to wander. Alabama's back roads are interesting and the traffic is nearly non-existent.

I've no idea what's back there
 Fort Davis had a few interesting small buildings but only a handful of houses looked occupied. 

The post office was tiny but still operating

A really nice old home next to the post office
Maybe an old school house?
I rode on and in a few more miles came to Tuskegee and the memorial to the Red Tails aka the Tuskegee Airmen, a World War II squadron of all black pilots. It was the first time this had been done and for some it was very controversial. In the end they proved themselves to be equal to their white counterparts and were highly decorated.

Riding into Tuskagee

These were the birds they flew, hence the name "Red Tails"

That's right General, open mouth wide, insert both feet boots & all
The same air strip where they flew training missions from during the war
All of the buildings have been beautifully restored or preserved
After Tuskegee I pushed on and at the end of my day I arrived in Auburn where I stopped off at Skinner's Motorcycle Shop. There I met John Skinner and his technician and also his 3-year old Golden Retriever who I'll try to get a photo of tomorrow. John recommended a motel that was close by and I checked into it. 

To make life easier for his tech I removed the Happy Trail panniers and lugged everything into the motel. That means I'll have to stay here tomorrow night too as they won't have the tires on until after check-out time at the motel. No biggie, I have to stay somewhere anyway so it may as well be here.

I recorded the Bonnie's current odometer reading so I can calculate how many miles were ran on the old tires. The back one is fairly bald and the front isn't far behind it so I'll be glad to get new ones.

Once I'd finished checking into the motel and removing the panniers I noticed a rather unpleasant smell which turned out to be me.... I've been washing out my gear on a regular basis but somehow my Draggin shirt slipped through the cracks and man was it ever filthy. The water turned dark brown as soon as the soap suds hit it. I gave it a thorough washing as well as my socks & other stuff, hope they'll dry by morning as they're hanging all over the Bonnie outside.

For dinner I splurged and hit the Red Lobster next door so now I can barely waddle. It was nice having real food for a change instead of Cliff Bars or a monster burger. Life on the road ain't so bad once you get the routines down.

See ya tamale`


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