Scooter and Canoe: SF to Green River, UT and Back
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Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:30 pm quote
A friend asked me to join his group for a canoe trip down the Green River. I didn't know where the Green River was, may-be in Utah, but saw it as a chance to go for a scooter ride. So that's what I did, and got back about 10 days ago. It's been a few years since I posted to Ride Reports, so I need to remind myself of how this is done.

The trip lasted two weeks. It covered the territory between the San Francisco Bay Area and the town of Green River, UT. I took a lot of pictures - too many for me to post in one sitting. So if it's not impolite, I'd like to post a few pictures a day over a three or four day period, breaking the trip up into getting there, being there and getting back.

This first part covers three days of riding between my home near SF and the town of Green River. I crossed California using two lane roads, mostly Hwy's 12 and 88. Nevada and Utah were all Hwy 50, also known as the Lincoln Hwy, and in Nevada, "The Loneliest Road in America." Hwy 50 is mostly two lanes with a 70 mph speed limit, except a 100 mile stretch in Utah where it combines with US 70 to be four lanes with a 80 mph limit. All of it a joy.

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I haven't figured out a good way to plot on a map, but here you can see the outlines of the states. The black dots are where I spent the night. The blue line is the river trip and van back to the town of Green River.

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This is crossing the Sierra Mountains on Hwy 88, near Caples Lake, a little south of Tahoe. There were thunderstorms for about an hour, with occasional heavy rain.

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I realize this outfit looks pretty goofy, but it is a quick change and keeps me warm and dry.

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The scooter looks somewhat loaded down, but it's well balanced and handles well. All the gear together weighs about 50 pounds.

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Fallon, Nevada...I love small towns.

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The state of Nevada now promotes Hwy 50 as a tourist attraction, somewhat tongue-in-cheek. I'd recommend it.

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I'd guess that I encountered less than ten vehicles per hour, both directions combined, on Hwy 50 in Nevada.

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Stopped for an ice cream cone and to look around in Austin, NV.

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Austin in the background

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Overnight at Great Basin National Park near the eastern border of Nevada

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Servier Lake off to the right

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Made a u-turn to go back and see this place.



Last edited by Bilbo on Tue Jun 19, 2018 10:23 am; edited 3 times in total
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:40 pm quote
There's more...
Just learned that there's a 20 picture limit per post. I had 23 selected for the SF to Green River part of the trip. Here are the other three...

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Center pivots and other wheeled irrigation make those green circles and squares we see when flying over the country.

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US 70 in Utah is a spectacle. Feels like you're riding through a national park.

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Tomorrow is the town of Green River and maybe some of the canoe part of the trip.

Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1296
Location: Minneapolis USA
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:00 am quote
Great Photos
Bilbo,

I enjoy seeing your Vespa all loaded down for a long road trip. Please post more.

Question: When you are on the long road, how often (Time/Miles) do
you stop. I have not went more than one State away on my Vespa.
I usually stop at least every hour to rest and stretch.

Bob Copeland
Minnesota

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Coming back from Wisconsin - Water proof First Gear Bags front and back.

Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Fri Jun 15, 2018 11:24 am quote
Thanks Bob, I will post more soon.

I get off the scooter frequently to take pictures, add gas or have some water. This gets me moving around a bit. It's unusual for me to ride for more than an hour at a time without some activity. -Mike
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Sat Jun 16, 2018 11:08 am quote
Part II - In and around the town of Green River
First some orientation: The Green River itself passes through the town of Green River. The Green River State Park, where my canoe trip started, is on the river and essentially within the town.

I had a couple of days between arriving in the town of Green River and the start of the canoe trip. I really like small towns, so rather than visit the nearby Canyonlands NP, I decided to spend the time exploring the town and surrounding area.

The town of Green River has declined somewhat from it's population peak of the 1960's when uranium was being mined in the area. Now its economy depends on providing services for the travelers of I-70, plus farming, ranching and tourism. There is definitely a sense of town pride, identity and optimism among the residents that gives the place a good feel.

Part of the town's identity is linked to watermelons. Apparently the Green River flood plain soil is good for watermelons, and melons in general. Every year there is a melon festival that draws people from near and far, and is looked forward to as a happy event.

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This motorized vehicle/parade float shows up on Google Maps as "Largest Watermelon."

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Amtrak's California Zepher stops daily in Green River on it's run between Emeryville, CA and Chicago. We're facing Chicago.

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I took a few rides out of town to explore the river and farms upstream.

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Fuel, food and sleep services for the I-70 travelers are the most prominent businesses in town.

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There wasn't a Starbucks in town, but a much better alternative was the Green River Coffee Co. which could also qualifiy as an art and history museum.

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I camped one night at Green River State Park. It was a little more manicured and developed than I'm used to, but the neighbors were nice.

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Part III of my ride report will be a NSR recounting of the historic and heroic canoe trip of five amigos and two guides down the Green River.



Last edited by Bilbo on Wed Jun 20, 2018 7:38 pm; edited 1 time in total
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1296
Location: Minneapolis USA
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:01 pm quote
Super Photos
Bilbo,

Dam, you do a good job of showing the world you ride through. I group ride and get shots of the group when we stop. I have got to take time to show
the countryside.

I enjoy this forum because I can live the adventure in your photos.

I detect, Biblo is Biblo Baggins from the Lord of the Rings.

Bob Minnesota
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Sat Jun 16, 2018 7:45 pm quote
Yes, that Bilbo
Thanks Bob, Yes Bilbo Baggins. Somewhere in the General Topics forum floats a thread about how we decided on our MV names. I'll have to make a post there.
-Mike
Molto Verboso
2013 Vespa 300 Super, 2007 Burgman 400
Joined: 30 Mar 2014
Posts: 1296
Location: Minneapolis USA
Sat Jun 16, 2018 10:08 pm quote
Side Story Bilbo
I was in college and stumbled on the Hobbit and the lord of the rings.
Obviously, the great movies of the same name had not come out yet in 1967.

I could not put the books down. I missed a final exam reading them.
I approached my professor and explained my situation. He was also
a great fan of J R R Tolkien. He immediately understood, and let me take
the exam in the class late.

When my son Brian was born (named by my blushing bride Pam) I always called him Baggins.

Enough said, I can sense you are always up for an adventure on the scooter trail.

Sam Wise
Minnesota
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Sun Jun 17, 2018 6:34 am quote
Nice story, reminds me of a different time. -Mike
Molto Verboso
Triumph Street Scrambler 2018, Suzuki VanVan200 (sold), 2015 Sprint 125 (sold)
Joined: 12 Apr 2015
Posts: 1418
Location: Finland
Sun Jun 17, 2018 10:07 pm quote
Bilbo, great pictures and narrative, thanks for posting this!

I love the picture of map in the beginning of the story - underlines the fact that journey is as important as the destination.

Where I'm living, land is mostly covered in forests. It feels amazing, beautiful and even a bit scary to see the wide open, empty space well present in many of the pics.

In Finland, it's been a bit sad to see that camping is getting more rare and many small camp places have been shut down. It's been always a difficult business here, as long winters make the season short. Glad to see you still have some!
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Tue Jun 19, 2018 7:31 am quote
Thanks RRider, Yes, we're lucky with our landscape over here, a wide variety of looks and lots of it.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Tue Jun 19, 2018 9:45 am quote
Part III - On the River
This is the NSR entry to the thread - a five-day, four-night, 68 mile canoe trip down the river. Every day was an adventure, full of wonder and awe, sometimes exciting but mostly peaceful and serene.

The trip was supplied and curated by Canyonlands Field Institute, a non-profit educational group out of Moab, Utah. We chose CFI so we could learn something along the way, and this mostly flat-water section of the river as an opportunity to slow down, quiet down and immerse ourselves in a different world...no phones, clocks or cell coverage. There were plenty of sights, sounds and thoughts to keep us fully engaged throughout the trip.

We put in our canoes at Green River State Park, a high plains area just a few feet above river level. Gradually, as the days went by, the river edges rose to cliffs hundreds of feet above our canoes. Most days included a small hike into an adjoining canyon bottom or up a canyon side. Take-out was at Mineral Bottoms, on the northern edge of Canyonlands National Park.

There were three or four capsizes of canoes, or personal spills into the river. The guides have a variety of tricks and tools to rescue what they refer to as "unintentional swimmers." Every morning the guides strap down all of the canoe's contents so they don't have to chase after or possibly lose items set adrift from an overturned boat.

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This is Amir, one of our two very capable guides. His professional-grade personal flotation device is full of safety tools, including the multi-purpose knife at the front.

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Occasionally we would paddle and/or hike up an inlet to explore a canyon.

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Take-out at Mineral Bottoms: everyone enhanced with new knowledge and perspective.

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Soon to follow...Part IV - the ride home

Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:01 pm quote
Part IV: The ride home
The return home, Green River to Walnut Creek, was four days across 988 miles. I camped at Bryce Canyon and Yosemite NP's, and stayed at a hotel in Tonopah, NV in between.

Much of the area I saw might be considered desolate, an inhospitable wasteland from 35,000 feet, but I felt a low-grade thrill every minute and mile along the way. Part of it was the majesty and mystery of the landscape, and part was the smile-on-your-face headiness of rolling down the road on a scooter.

Most of my ride through Utah and Nevada was high plains, 4,000 feet and above. It wasn't until I descended from the Sierras to California's Central Valley that I returned to sea level, the first time in two weeks. As a person who's lived his life along the coast, the altitude was something I had been aware of during the trip.

There were many memorable experiences during my trip, but I think what I enjoyed the most was the minute by hour by day passage of time immersed in a strange and different world, It wakes us up, makes us think, wonder and appreciate the world in a new way.

Here are some pictures from the ride home, the last of this thread. Thank you for viewing.

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Hwys 24 and 12 took me across much of central-southern Utah.

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Ruins from recent times offer perspective to our lives.

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Part of the road across Nevada was the official state-described "Extraterrestrial Highway."

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Hwy 375: For all of the 148 miles of Hwy's 375 and 6 between Crystal Springs and Tonopah I was very uncertain that my gas would last.

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Ossessionato
LX150, GTS300, BV350, EN650
Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Posts: 4334
Location: Home of the Alamo
Fri Jun 22, 2018 7:14 am quote
What a great ride report and wonderful pictures. What's the furthest ground you covered in one day? Not important, but just curious as it looks to be quite a ways between a few of those black dots.

Show us more!
Veni, Vidi, Posti
2007 LX150 2015 GTS 2013 BV 350
Joined: 13 Sep 2012
Posts: 7494
Location: Fond du Lac, Wisconsin
Fri Jun 22, 2018 12:33 pm quote
Awesome! Thanks for sharing. Great pictures.

The perfect response to the newbies concerned that riding their scooter 20 miles a day is pushing it too hard.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Fri Jun 22, 2018 2:36 pm quote
Thanks Jet Peddler and Fledermaus,

My biggest day on this trip was 374 miles. Big mile days are not something I aspire to. My goal is to enjoy the area I'm passing through, and for me that usually means quite a few stops and u-turns, with daily mileage somewhere in the 175 to 225 range. I would expect that a person riding alone will generally cover more ground than a group will.
Hooked
Piaggio Fly150 Vespa GTV250ie
Joined: 30 Mar 2013
Posts: 148
Location: Urumchi,China
Mon Jun 25, 2018 8:30 am quote
Re: Scooter and Canoe: SF to Green River, UT and Back
Bilbo wrote:
A friend asked me to join his group for a canoe trip down the Green River. I didn't know where the Green River was, may-be in Utah, but saw it as a chance to go for a scooter ride. So that's what I did, and got back about 10 days ago. It's been a few years since I posted to Ride Reports, so I need to remind myself of how this is done.

The trip lasted two weeks. It covered the territory between the San Francisco Bay Area and the town of Green River, UT. I took a lot of pictures - too many for me to post in one sitting. So if it's not impolite, I'd like to post a few pictures a day over a three or four day period, breaking the trip up into getting there, being there and getting back.

This first part covers three days of riding between my home near SF and the town of Green River. I crossed California using two lane roads, mostly Hwy's 12 and 88. Nevada and Utah were all Hwy 50, also known as the Lincoln Hwy, and in Nevada, "The Loneliest Road in America." Hwy 50 is mostly two lanes with a 70 mph speed limit, except a 100 mile stretch in Utah where it combines with US 70 to be four lanes with a 80 mph limit. All of it a joy.
非常精彩的旅行,照片拍的很美。
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Mon Jun 25, 2018 2:00 pm quote
DaWeiYang,

Thank you for your comment. I apologize that I do not know Chinese, but I remember you from your comment to the
post of my cross-country ride back in 2015.

Mike
Addicted
GTS250
Joined: 08 Apr 2007
Posts: 507
Location: Trowbridge - England
Thu Jun 28, 2018 12:11 am quote
thanks for posting this - love reading about rides (and paddles) like this.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Fri Jun 29, 2018 6:06 am quote
Thanks Martin, I'm glad you enjoyed it. It takes some effort to put together a ride report, but I do it as my small contribution in return for all the benefits that MV provides to me.
Hooked
1986 Honda Elite 150 (sold), 2009 Scarabeo 200 (sold), 2007 GTV "Pazzo"
Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Posts: 298
Location: Talent, Oregon
Sat Jun 30, 2018 5:10 pm quote
Re: Scooter and Canoe: SF to Green River, UT and Back
Great post, Bilbo - and the photos are seriously fabulous. They make me feel like I'm there, with you, on the ride : - )
Member
2013 Vespa GTS300 IE
Joined: 30 Dec 2017
Posts: 31
Location: Destrehan Louisiana (New Orleans)
Sun Jul 01, 2018 1:03 am quote
Great ride report. I discovered your cross country ride report about 9 months ago. http://singlecylinderpsyche.com/

I recently retired and I am considering such a trip.

Thanks for reporting your travels by scooter. You get me thinking and dreaming.
Member
2016 BV350 ABS
Joined: 17 Jul 2016
Posts: 9
Location: Bloomfield, NJ
Sun Jul 01, 2018 8:01 pm quote
Wow! Looks like an amazing trip! Thanks for sharing your experience.
Addicted
GTS 300
Joined: 16 May 2009
Posts: 656
Location: PHX area
Tue Jul 03, 2018 5:09 am quote
That looked like a really great trip!
Addicted
Joined: 26 Mar 2018
Posts: 871
Location: Phoenix, AZ.
Tue Jul 03, 2018 8:38 am quote
Thanks for letting so many of us live vicariously through your well written and photographed travel reports! When the kids are old enough to abandon or ride along on their own scoots we too will explore.
Hooked
'14 Vespa 946, '18 Yamaha Xmax
Joined: 21 May 2016
Posts: 364
Location: Spotsylvania, VA
Thu Jul 05, 2018 6:52 pm quote
Looks like a trip of a lifetime! Thanks so much for sharing with us.

Eric
Molto Verboso
2004 Vespa ET4, 2009 Vespa S150, Suzuki Burgman 200
Joined: 08 Oct 2006
Posts: 1791
Location: Florida Keys
Sun Jul 08, 2018 5:08 am quote
Google translate said:

Very exciting trip. The photos were beautiful.

For my part I enjoyed the text (as I read English) and the photos. Breaking the routine does extend your life as you live the new experiences in the moment. Then I am sure you will waste lots of that time looking back at the pictures! I do that all the time and these are pictures worth viewing.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Sun Jul 08, 2018 4:28 pm quote
Miguel, JP, BDubs, Rajron, Guzzi Gal, Virginian and Conch,

Thanks for your comments. As you know or can imagine, it takes some effort to post a ride report, and it's nice to know that the post is appreciated. Thank you.
Molto Verboso
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300 MP3 250
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 1821
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Tue Aug 07, 2018 3:55 am quote
Bilbo wrote:
Miguel, JP, BDubs, Rajron, Guzzi Gal, Virginian and Conch,

Thanks for your comments. As you know or can imagine, it takes some effort to post a ride report, and it's nice to know that the post is appreciated. Thank you.
Thank you for the ride report.

And I am well aware of the effort it takes to post ride reports. I have gotten lazy lately and just throw up a link to my blogs. I traveled many of the same highways as you this year on my spring ride and I love seeing your prospective of it. I really like the Little A'Le'Inn on the extraterrestrial highway. I have met many a interesting person there, mainly from out of the universe and some out of this galaxy. By the way, they have a secret stash of gas if you need it. But don't count it.

Hopefully it is just a phase and I will get back into ride reports here.

Thanks a again for the great effort.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Tue Aug 07, 2018 9:36 pm quote
Thanks Lostboater, You know. You've made generous contributions to Ride Reports that have been appreciated over the years by many readers and dreamers here at MV.
Molto Verboso
Vespa LX150 GTS250ie GTS300 MP3 250
Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 1821
Location: St. Pete, Fla
Wed Aug 08, 2018 2:19 pm quote
Bilbo wrote:
Thanks Lostboater, You know. You've made generous contributions to Ride Reports that have been appreciated over the years by many readers and dreamers here at MV.
Thank you for your kind remarks sir.
Hooked
Vespa GTS 300
Joined: 04 Mar 2013
Posts: 184
Location: Napier, New Zealand
Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:36 am quote
Untamed West
Hello Bilbo, it has been almost three years since we last communicated, (shame on me) at that time you were inquiring how my wife and i carried our loads on the scooters when we traveled. Well it is very plain to see that you have now become very proficient in packing and carrying your load on the scooter. Having dropped off the radar for quite a while I have recently visited all of your entries and your personal Blog and have thoroughly enjoyed your comments and beautiful photos, you have done your country proud as ambassador for touring America. As I am a very keen reader from a Kindle e-book I had just finished a novel and the e-reader suggested a choice of books that i may enjoy, one i chose was (How the West Was Won) written by Louis L' Amour. I had never heard of him and once I got started I was hooked, he painted an amazing picture of the untamed West in the early 1600's, once completed i down loaded another then another, and as you are well aware that early travel was by foot, canoe, ox drawn wagon and then later horses, train etc. Louis was very descriptive in his detail of the land traveled and the vastness of it, but what really bought it home to me was just how vast your country is when i started viewing your photos and what you photograph is absolutely amazing. Keep up the good work. Although I have not posted anything for a while my wife and I are still enjoying our scooters and still head off for camping weekends away when time allows. All the best Owie. PS just think if this was 400 hundred years ago and you chose to ride across America you had better had chosen a fast horse and had no hair.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:51 pm quote
Owie,

It's good to hear from you. Yes, I remember our communication before my cross-country trip. It was during a time when I was trying to decide how to pack my scooter for the trip. You were helpful with your description of how you and your wife packed your scooters for travel. Glad to learn you're still enjoying your scooters. Take Care. -Mike
Member
None yet
Joined: 04 Nov 2018
Posts: 17
Location: Wisconsin
Tue Nov 13, 2018 7:52 am quote
That trip report was just fantastic! I really enjoyed it.

I'm new to MV and to the idea of tripping on a scooter, so I'm sorry about a question that has likely been addressed elsewhere. I think I saw a reference to bringing along extra gasoline. Did you do that? If yes, how did you pack it? Thanks.
Hooked
GTS 300 Super
Joined: 13 Sep 2017
Posts: 466
Location: West Sacramento, CA
Tue Nov 13, 2018 8:00 am quote
LOVE THE PHOTOS!!!

What an awesome looking adventure! Thanks for sharing.
Hooked
GTS 300
Joined: 19 Aug 2014
Posts: 267
Location: Northern Cal
Tue Nov 13, 2018 9:21 pm quote
WiscScoot
Yes, I carried two one-gallon containers of gas on the front rack and a one-liter bottle of gas under the top box. I used the one-gallon containers almost every day, as they increased my range from just under 150 miles to just under 300 miles. Having two one-gallon containers was a big improvement over the one two-gallon container I carried on my cross-country trip (see singlecylinderpsyche.com link below or http://modernvespa.com/forum/topic142190 in this forum).

Sacto Monkeyboy
Thanks for the comment, makes the effort of posting worth the effort.
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