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.

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Sunday, September 6, 2015

Sep 06 Day 17 - The Old Spanish Trail - Columbia, KY

Tonight I'm staying at a Best Western Motel in Columbia, Kentucky which is only about fifty miles or so from my friends Dick aka Woody & Linda. I could have pushed on and made it tonight but I was getting pooped and they have a busy schedule on Sundays so this worked out better.

I took a few pics today but mostly I meandered around, checked out some small communities and generally saw some of the back country I'm fond of riding in. Yesterday Linda (mine, not Woody's) commented that I should post Google Maps of where I ride each day, otherwise no one really knows where I'm at. Good point but that's something I've never done so I'll have to learn how. 
So lookee here, a jpeg of a folded map. How cool izzat? Not? Oh.

Update to today's post:

OK, I'm messing around with Google Maps and so far all I've been able to do is set up a link to the map. To see if it  works click on this: Today's route The thing is, this would be the route with alternates they would have you take so I'll have to figure out how to show the exact route I followed. I think that means I'll need the names of all the little burgs I visit or at least the highway designations.

After another motel breakfast of manly food - flakes & OJ, that stuff, I headed north on the nearest freeway. A lot of Bonsai drivers live in this part of the country. 

I reached Tennessee fairly early which is what happens when you merge in with the Bonsais I mentioned earlier. Tennessee, unlike Kentucky is open to marking their state line with welcome signs. Kentucky didn't bother unless the road I took was so remote they simply didn't care to. In either event I was in Kentucky for quite awhile without knowing it.

We're not afraid
Happy Tennessee Bonsai trail

Eventually I bailed off the freeway and rode one of the scenic routes north. It was slower, less traveled, and went through small towns living what, off the land? When I ride through them I always wonder what people do for a living, where do they work, etc. Some times I ask one of the locals which more often than not results in a glassy-eyed stare like I'd just slipped in through the back door or something. 

Turning around after shooting a pic of the road sign my eyes fell on the Bonnie and I thought "What a clean bike it is" so I took another picture of it.

Then it occurred to me I hadn't posted a selfie for a few days and since it wan't raining it seemed like a good opportunity to do so. 

Mr Happy needs a new razor...
The Garmin Lady soon redirected me onto another route north - maybe I was having too much fun on the old one. Maybe I crabbed too much about how tacky some of their road signs are?

Our signs are not tacky

More exciting views of the freeway
So desperate was I for something of interest to photograph I actually turned back to take this one. No simple thing on a freeway. Did you know some freeways have one-way lanes?

Those Crockett guys didn't always plan so well. 
OK so they've got these little access lanes, so what?
One thing that's become apparent to me during my travels back and forth across the country is some states place little value on "rest stops". Tennessee seems to be one of them and when I spotted the sign announcing Standing Stone State Park I figured, uh, well maybe they'll have facilities. They did and as far  as I could tell there was only one in a really huge park. I found it.

Oh boy oh boy oh boy!
In the far end of the park there's a big ol' damn thing holding back the water
Lookee here Linda, a Google Map! I stole it of course
After doing the tour of Standing Rock State Park I headed towards Kentucky again and eventually arrived there but without a clue how that came to be. All I can tell you is when I started getting tired and looked for a motel there were none around. I chased down two different ones both of which were too scary to stay at. Finally the GPS located a Best Western and took me there albeit via the back street behind it. Very weird approach but I was happy to find it.

The reception gal on duty directed me to a family restaurant called The Circle R which sounds more like a cattle branding iron than a restaurant but I went there just the same. I had their daily special, a barbecued pulled-pork sandwich with fries-for-my-thighs and sweet iced tea.

Riding back to the motel I felt some big splats of rain but so far nothing since and it's been more than an hour. I think I'll cover the bike anyway, at least the saddle will be dry if it starts in again.

Pretty exciting day, eh?


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