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, September 11, 2015

Sep 11 Day 22 - The Old Spanish Trail - Rock Springs, WY

I've been making pretty good time for the past couple of days so I figured I'd do it again today. My goal is to clear the Rockies before the weather turns snowy and that can't be too far off.

When I was in Alaska the last time we could see snow moving with a weather front towards us and it was a bit disconcerting to say the least. At that time I was on a sidecar rig which would have been a whole lot more forgiving than the Bonnie.

Then yesterday Linda posted a note telling me snow wouldn't be a threat for quite awhile, at least according to the weather gurus and we all know how accurate those folks are. Anyway I made good time today, cranking out just under 500 miles so I'm a lot closer to home and I can throttle back to my normal snail's pace, maybe take time to gawk at more stuff.

Be that as it may, my photos for today are pretty minimal.

Welcome to Wyoming cowboy

It's a big place, easy to see why people want to live here

I wouldn't mind living here but frankly I don't like snow and I have the feeling it's not an uncommon weather type around these parts. At least that would explain why there's so many miles of snow fencing. Tell me if I'm wrong. I'm not.

Because I was bored and also because I'm really vain I took another couple of selfies today. Notice I don't use one of those silly wands? The other photo looked better but I liked this one the best as it makes me look more like RoboCop. Hard to argue with that, eh?

Somewhere out in the sticker-bushes I had to stop to refuel again and low and behold right next to me in their RV were none other than Ma & Pa Kettle on their dream vacation. Not having the slightest amount of consideration I shot several pics that illustrate just how much stuff you can haul around, given you have plenty of bungee cords and duct tape.

Wouldn't you just love following these people?

The sound inside must be deafening when they go over a bump

I'd pay five bucks just to watch them load this baby. Maybe ten. Serious.
That's about the gist of it for today's ride. The weather starting out looked a bit scary but the weather channel people said not to worry for a few more days so I didn't. I know I said I wouldn't watch that channel any more as it's caused me to turn tail and head home on a couple of rides but since I'm already headed that way I figured it might be fun knowing how awful things might get, like snow drifts in the Rockies for instance. 

Speaking of that, while I was tooling along down I-80 I contemplated just what I'd have for options in the event it really did start snowing. All along I-80 they have yellow lights on signs that say "If these puppies are flashing best you turn your tail around and head the other way as I-80 is shut." Or something like that, maybe not as wordy. But what came to me was I could rent a 4x4 pickup, load the Bonnie in the back, and head on down the line to where it wasn't snowing. Good idea, huh?

Another thing I did, sort of mindless maybe but since I'm so easily entertained I thought it was worth doing. There's somewhere in the neighborhood of a gazillion freight trucks moving along I-80 at any given moment but I wanted a number that was more accurate. I decided I'd count the buggers, not all of them but say 500 and compare that to how much time passed. Then to make things a bit easier I would only count the oncoming trucks as the ones rolling in my direction would get counted more than once due to passing and re-passing, etc. 

I noted the time and began the count. It was fairly easy as they tend to bunch up which makes it simple plus I was riding around 70 mph so the time between them wasn't great. I made it as far as 250, then my mind started to shut down so I did the math and I can tell you this: The number per hour is close to 600, or about 10 per minute on the average. This sampling was taken during the day, late morning actually, and the weather was sunny. Isn't that just Vunderbar? (No, I don't know how to spell that and neither does the stupid spell checker, it thinks I'm trying to spell underwear. Who would ever say "Isn't that just underwear?")

Late afternoon I arrived by choice at Rock Springs, Wyoming and handed over my credit card to the glassy-eyed people at The Outlaw Inn, a Best Western property. Amazingly their rates are less than those greedy dogs I stayed with last night and the facility is ten times as nice. It has a real sit-down restaurant where I had dinner tonight, pan-fried catfish with sides to die for. No, it's not up to par with what you get down south but those people have made cooking catfish into a real art and for the moment I think they're safe. Still it was a tasty meal with good service, all of which I'm grateful for. The same people will be serving breakfast which according to the menu will not resemble what Day's Inn considers acceptable fare. 

So that'll do it, keep the faith....



  1. How come you're not posting any food shots? What were the "to-die-for" sides you had with the catfish? Glad you're slowing down a bit and enjoying the last part of your ride. Just summer is a long way off, better to make the most of it while you can!


  2. Dead plants on a dinner plate do not a great photo make. Not the way I take 'em anyway. Besides, it was a pretty nice restaurant and I didn't want to appear too geeky. Still it's WY and a number of old farts wore their baseball caps at the table. Jeeze I hate that, it looks so dumb. I guess styling is everything when you don't want people to notice you're getting bald. Ugh.


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