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.


Saturday, September 12, 2015

Sep 12 Day 23 - The Old Spanish Trail - Elko, NV

This morning, after a nice breakfast at the Outlaw Motel in Rock Springs I set out for some meandering, figured I'd ride out to see what's up with the Flaming Gorge attraction. What I forgot about was I hadn't topped off the gas as I'd only ridden 68 miles on the last refill so it was way too early for more.

Most days I fill up before setting out but this time I didn't. Lucky for me I thought about it after riding just a few miles up the road to Flaming Gorge. I carry 3 liters with me for emergencies but even with that my range would be limited so I checked the GPS to see where the nearest gas station was. Yeoww, it was 100 miles away! If I arrived at the gas station and they were closed or out of business I wouldn't be able to make it back. No Flaming Gorge for me today, I turned around and headed back to civilization, found a station close to the slab and topped off.

At least I enjoyed the ride out in the country side
 Back on the road it wasn't long before I saw a sign indicating another historic site, this time it was via a turn off through the community of Green River. I bit and spent the next 20 minutes touring the back streets of the town with zero success. What is it with tourist attractions that either disappear or signs without the mileage to them indicated? I gave it up and returned to the freeway.

After leaving the Green River area I noticed there was a brown hue in the air and the further west I traveled the more dense it became. At first I thought it was smoke from the forest fires still burning but the color was more brown, unlike smoke. It also seemed to be coming from one distinct area which I was riding into. Then I saw it, the source was a plant of some kind way off in the distance out in the desert (or prairie, whichever you prefer)

This was taken alongside the freeway west of Green River
A service road led off from the next exit so I took it and rode back a couple miles to see if I could get closer. Another road led off from that and there were signs indicating the companies located on it. I continued onto that road and eventually came to the source of the nasty pollution. 

I rode closer. It was a huge facility belching out foul looking smog-like grime
This is as close as I wanted to get. A couple of trucks going by gave me the fish eye and I figured if I hung around very long taking pictures someone would probably show up wanting to know what I was up to. Damned if I know what I was up to, it was just curiosity that drew me in and I didn't want to start anything with them so I left. 
The day wore on and before I knew it the temperature had begun to rise; it was getting hot so I pulled into a rest stop to make lunch and use the facilities. As it turned out it was the exact same one I'd stopped at in 2010, just before you get to Salt Lake City. 

Yikes! I'm back in Silly-Land! 

This morning I'd worn my leather jacket with the liner zipped in and my winter gloves. At the time it was perfectly suitable considering it was chilly out, especially when it started out at 55 degrees. After lunch it was back to basics, no liner, summer gloves, etc. 

I continued to ride I-80 west of Salt Lake. The smell from the lake is like dead garbage or something, not very nice. The highway is straight as an arrow, boring as the devil and there are signs periodically advising you to pull over and rest if you feel drowsy. I seldom feel drowsy riding a bike although it has actually happened to me.

Mile after mile the road runs straight. Around 100 miles I think.

The haze or smoke in the air was very dense. Forest fires I think.
The heat continued but the overcast sky helped a little as it darkened the sun. Several times severe wind gusts from the side blew me off course but never off the road. It was difficult to handle but not impossible. 

I decided Winnemucca  was further away than I cared to ride in such heat so I stopped for the night at Elko, NV, a moderately sized town with good facilities. There was a Best Western available so that would be my digs for tonight. Subway sounded good for dinner plus Gatorade, all manly road food. Tomorrow I'll press on towards K-Falls or Lake View, not much new to see since I've been through there so often but who knows, maybe I'll spot a Big Foot.

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