Scooter to the Moon
Yes! I took my scooter to the Moon last week. Or maybe it was not the Moon, but it was just like it. Well, ok.. I drove to Col de la Bonette at a time in the season where almost nobody can be seen out there.
It all started when I left home for a ride after a long and demanding week of work. The weather was perfect, blue sky, not too warm, not to cold and almost no wind at all. So I left Saint-Paul heading to Vence, and then Col de Vence. I hoped I could see the Alps white peaks from there, but they were still dressed with their rocky grey tone. It was really nice anyways. I decided to head to Coursegoules for a short break and enjoy the sun warmth up there. Very quiet, as usual, I love this place.
I headed back to the sea towards Antibes and then realized what I really wanted is "mountains". So I took the highway and drove to Mercantour Park looking for some indications that Col de la Bonette would still be open. At this time of the year it's usually closed for the season. It was temporarily close the week before, for road works, but since the snow had not fallen yet, maybe this would be my lucky day? And it was!! Passed St-Étienne de Tinée you don't cross a lot of people. In fact, I was almost alone on the road. Maybe one or two cars and a motorcycle. Once I reached the top, around La Cime, it was very cold, windy and barren. Nobody there. Just the sound of wind and maybe a curious eagle flying around in the distance. Camp des Fourches as never been so mysterious, almost a ghost town. And driving through it with the scooter was an amazing experience.
But I realized it was a bit of a risky drive because nobody knew I was there and anything could have happened. And a scooter is not a real motorcycle. It almost turned off on two occasions (pressure, coldness, etc.?) and near La Cime the top speed I had was 20 km/h. But on the way back to the valley, I don't tell you!
Before heading home I ended up on Col de Vence again, I wanted to see it at night, in pitch black. This site is known for UFO seeings and observation, but beside making this trip a bit strange and exciting, I didn't see anything like that. Just the luminous French Riviera cities. Beautiful!
That was a lucky ride to the mountain: the snow came in the day after and Col de la Bonette was officially closed again.
© Normand Primeau