The last post I really had time to write was back on September 11. P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER has since experienced quite a few escapades. I’ll bring ya along through a day to day abbreviated version of the events.
September 11. Original plan, disappear into the Redwoods for some meditation and camping. Instead, I opted for a night in Eureka, pushing very quickly through the Redwood/Coastal route to arrive just as the sun set. I felt very free and happy,the drive was perfect in every way; my mindset correlated with a freedom gained from blogging early that day.
Usually I visit the old growth Redwood forests around Crescent City, so I thought, “hey, try a new spot.” This way I could spend some time in both Eureka and Arcata. I found a cheap KOA, set up the tent before it was totally dark and headed into Eureka. Not much was really going on but I grabbed a fine beer at the local Lost Coast Brewery, chatted with some people and used up some free wi-fi. I had discovered that Northern Cali is remarkably devoid of wireless, more so than any other places I’ve visited. That night I met some characters outside a convenience store and was reminded how many transients visit Humboldt County. The next day I would meet even more drifters when I headed into Arcata, a vector on the Peace map.
September 12. I started the day off with a long steamy shower, (no pics there for you) not sure how long it would be until the next one. I was enjoying camping and cooking up all my goodies on the stove. The delicious Co-op in town was my first stop. The North Coast Co-op is at I & 8th Streets, which can be easily remembered if you say, “I ate.” Anyhow, they have one of the best Co-ops I’ve visited, and everyone in town seems to shop there. I followed the cue of the lady next to me and began sampling the green curry tofu and the vegan mashed potatoes. We struck up conversation and it turns out that Harmony works for the City Council. Throughout the day I also made the acquaintance of a Purple Fairy, Dragon, Lotus and PacMan. Anyhow, she informed me about the radical city regulations that limit the amount of corporations in their county. I was thoroughly impressed-didn’t see any big corps until the edges of town, they are mainly in Eureka. (which is 10 miles away) Honestly, Arcata operates on its own time zone. It’s a bubble. I spent a couple of hours outside the co-op, before meandering over to the town square. Locals and transients alike flock to both of these places.
People watching was at an all time high, I was so completely amused. I met a lady who works for Google maps and I offered her some suggestive comments to improve the map service. One question I had- “What happened to those COMPLETELY MISNAMED STREETS FROM SEATTLE TO PORTLAND?” Being that I’ve used their service extensively, I felt entitled.
Then I approached Robin because he had a VW Bus with two hi-tech monitors and a satellite antenna. He told me a lot of info. about the city and local happenings. As I write this, Robin just left a definition of Peace on the website! Thank you Robin for sharing that with the world! Chuck from Seattle had just pulled into town, so I left Robin and drove back down to Eureka. Chuck was on his way back to Seattle from San Fran, cruising the Coast on his Vespa with some friends. A biker sat down to talk with us and joked that in comparison, he felt kinda slack for riding his big bike such a short distance. I said my final goodbyes to Chuck, leaving quickly since I was determined to reach the Avenue of the Giants, a 32 mile stretch of redwoods along Hwy 101. Oh my Goddess. The drive was astounding. My mouth was constantly open, with the expression, “wow, ” echoing over and over. Right at dusk I pulled into the Burlington Campground. It wasn’t my original choice, but this wound up being a good arrangement. There were more people around and even firewood for sale. The Redwood Umbrella covered me as nightfell. I stoked up a good fire, cooked some beans on it and had a fantastic slumber. The spot I choose had a massive tree with a seat in it, like a huge Ewok throne. The next day I meditated in the massive tree and was really happy about my decision to stay in the Humboldt State Park.
September 13. Awhile back the community updates on zaadz.com had posted a blip about P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. That post has put me in touch with some fine people! Liz Lovejoy (what a great name) had contacted me for a free meal in Ukiah, CA. My friend Oneida had also just called to tell me she was in Latonville. I was under the impression Liz would come first, but it turned out Latonville was actually the next town. I set out totally excited that random fortune would allow me see my good friend-who had moved to Maui last year. She was on the mainland for Earth Dance. Postponing my date with Liz until Friday also meant that I could attend their Pro Peace Rally in front of the courthouse. Everything was quite serendipitous. I saddled up and headed down the Avenue of the Giants. There was a little coffee shop outside of the campground. It seemed very nice. There was a world map up with pins to mark where you were visiting from. Since VA was all filled up with pins, I stuck a pin in the middle of the compass (since I’m from everywhere) and then stuck a Peace Postcard up on the ocean. Just then I noticed the owner staring at me.
“Oh, would it be ok for me to leave this postcard up? I’m putting Peace on the Map, my route around America creates a Peace sign, so I thought it would be cute to put that map on your map.”
(and that is cute)
“Well, you already did, so why ask?”
“Yes, well I realized that might have been presumptuous, so I apologize. (taking down the Postcard.) Is it OK to leave one up here?”
NO ANSWER. NO EYE CONTACT.
Loudly. “Did I offend you sir?”
“No, I just don’t know you and I don’t want to get to know you, or talk to you.”
“Oh, well, I see your sign says this place ‘Is the best espresso on the West Coast’, but, it’s obviously not the friendliest!”
No comment. I threw the peace sign, a hard gesture to make at the moment, and left.
A guy from the Netherlands watched the whole exchange and joined me outside. We talked with two girls on a road trip from the East Coast. That put my morning back into good shape. I pumped some Mc-KOS and headed down the Coast to meet Oneida and her friends. Pulling into Latonville, I was shocked by the amount of hippies everywhere. Also shocked that despite the massive festival happening, the coffeeshop and health food store refused to extend their hours. The coffee shop closed at 1pm. While that’s ridiculous, I kinda respected their convictions.
I pulled up to the entrance to Earth Dance and started telling my whole story. Earth Dance, which I wrote about, is a three day Festival to unite humans, heal the planet, promote consciousness and provide a good electronic soundtrack for all that Peace work. They were totally in support of my trip, and also wary because hundreds of hippies were lined up trying to sneak in or score a free ticket. My friends came out to the gate and signed me up for their work crew. They were building a Sky Lodge, which was a huge tepee structure where 13 grandmother tribal elders held seats throughout the conference. It was a very cool space, designed to honor the bridge between ascendants and descendants. Audre was left at the front gate to ensure I was really leaving the next day. The couldn’t seem to fathom that I was just there to see my friends and camp for a night. The festival sounded amazing, but I didn’t have the money or time to stay for it all. The grounds were empty except for performers, arriving vendors and crew. The scene was bubbling with playfulness and really casual. I had some great conversations with people and then got on the Whale Bus. That’s Jason’s ride. A big charter bus painted like the ocean, once used for a Save the Whales non profit. I took to calling it the Aquarium. I was hanging with the Inspirates, an improv troupe. Hours flew past as we played improv games and laughed hysterically. Jason and Matthew together bought me some “Wing Bling,” so now my thoughts can fly! Thalen, an InsPirate, makes beautiful gold wings that attach to your glasses and now I have my wings! I went to sleep around 4am and was awoken by the incoming festival traffic. The gates had opened at 8am and people were piling in-I had NO idea how big this festival is. I am definitely going to it next year.
September 14. I left Earth Dance by noon, heading on to Ukiah. En route I visited Willits, a tiny town. There I met Malachi, a local artist. He resembled an elf from Lord of the Rings. There was a sadness in his eyes and he told me some personal stuff that just happened. He took a postcard from me, we hugged, and I went to leave. He ran up to me and told me where one of his murals was located in town. He said, “I’ve thought about it, and that mural is how I define Peace.” Below is the picture of Malachi’s peace.
I pulled into Ukiah just in time to attend the Peace Rally. Driving up to the courthouse I saw a pretty sizeable group holding various signs, like, “WHEN THE POWER OF LOVE OVERCOMES THE LOVE OF POWER, THE WORLD WILL KNOW PEACE,” and HONK IF YOU WANT PEACE. There were LOTS of honks. Everyone in attendance was so kind and all very enthusiastic about my peace ride. I was invited to do a radio show interview this coming Sunday-it will be archived online-and I’ll let you know soon. Liz and a big crew invited me to their Code Pink meeting. This was a good chance to meet everyone and have some good political conversation. We talked about impeachment and how to mobilize participation at Peace Rallies. One of the gentlemen there is a teacher. He mentioned that it would be a great assignment to have his class define peace. I hope they do! Look forward to the definitions! Liz, her daughter, and another woman were flying out to D.C. for the March on Washington the next day. This made me excited. I was thinking how the Peace Marchers were in D.C. and that they might get to meet someone I just met while on my Peace Ride. Chills! We all headed our separate ways and I made it to Santa Rosa that night.
September 15. I jumped up ready to go and excited to see my Omega tribe in San Fransisco. Traffic on 101, on a Saturday, had become very miserable. I followed along side the Highway via service roads for awhile. San Fran was only 60 miles away or something, but it felt dangerous to travel 101 in the wind and traffic. Besides, I had never seen this part of the country, so I wound up taking a 3 hour detour through Marin County and Muir Woods. Really, exceptionally beautiful parts of CA! At 4pm. I pulled over to do a Prayer for Peace and join in the Global Ohm, here is a pic of what was right in front of me! See, I fully support the notion that when enough energy is directed towards change, change happens. I rode windy roads that snaked around plummeting cliffs with the ocean crashing below. This ride relaxed me incredibly, more so than plugging through traffic, a mindset necessary for passing over the Golden Gate Bridge. The two miles with zippy traffic on 101 brought me to attention and then the bridge loomed before me. Of course, it was windy, and there was a lot of traffic, but the ride passed without incident. It was a pretty fast commute-didn’t get to see too much scenery because I was focused on the road. Definitely want to thank the message boards over on modernbuddy.com, modernvespa.com, and the flcsc.com for documenting details about traveling the bridges. My visit in the Bay area gave me the chance to take two big bridges, Golden Gate and the bay Bridge. I like the metaphor, crossing bridges and I kept that close to me while riding the Bay Bridge-the more challenging of the two. I threw a triumphant fist in the air as I crossed the Golden Gate, took a picture and then met up with my friend Julie.
Julie is always a fun person to visit and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her three years now. She’s a study in contradictions, young and wise, feisty and sentimental, guarded and open- I call her the Holistic Carnie. She never ceases to bust my ovaries, but at the same time she takes good care of me-thank jules. She shares an apartment with 5 very interesting people in a prime spot, the Lower Haight. It was a community neighborhood and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the big city in the slightest. We went out dancing on Saturday night, at the SOMA. The scene was very surreal and I had a chance to play, talk and dance with my fellow Omegans. Around 4am I took a cab home, after declining a woman’s invitation to take me home. It was very flattering though.
September 16. Julie and I were laying around in a slight coma, after a long night and a big breakfast- when Allison stopped by. She’s another feisty rabble rouser that I adore and who I worked with last year at Omega. We used to do dress up themes when we worked together at Omega, riding around on golf carts and setting up class rooms. Probably my favorite theme was Beach Day, when it was raining and we decided we might as well wear bathing suits if we were going to work out in the rain all day-and our Bonnie and Clyde theme rocked also. She got us moving and we headed to Zeitgest for a Bloody Mary. My old boss had told me to go here and he didn’t steer me wrong. It’s a biker bar-bikes off all sorts. The courtyard was slammed for an afternoon! The bartender bought my drink and showcased a sticker behind the bar. We met a bunch of people there and the conversations delved into all spectrums. One of the tamer questions that went around the table was, “What invention would you create?” I was pleasantly surprised by the answers-almost every hypothetical invention discussed a way to better the environment or reverse the “seemingly hostile brutal nature of man.” Brilliant. I was trying to do some recording, but was almost kicked out because they like to keep a low profile. Julie went to work at the Noc-Noc Bar, me and Allison visited her. There I typed up an extensive P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER update to send out in mass mailing.
September 17. Crossing Bridges. I felt ready for the Bay Bridge, thanks to the detailed instructions on the First and Last Chance Scooter Club in Oakland. I jumped on the highway at 3:15, which was a good time to cross. Traffic was heavy, so no one could speed ridiculously dangerously. It was just a loooooong bridge. Right as I thought it was ending, we went through a tunnel and then bam, more bridge. I felt pretty dam tough as I came off that bridge unscathed. Once in Berkeley, I chatted with a very cool Peacenik lady who gave a $4 bill with Cindy Sheehan’s face on it. Then I met my hostess, Hannah at the Buffalo Exchange and somehow put her on my fully packed scooter I don’t think I will ever do that again, but it worked for 10 blocks. That night I had some chillin time with her and her super great roomate Greg.
September 18. An early nights sleep and late morning rise meant I was well rested. I had many days of busy work while in the Bay area, contacting many people; sending out letters, making phone calls and such. With laundry and most of my errands done, I had time to goof off with Hannah. That night we headed into the city for one last night of play time with Julie and Mikey. We went over the Bay Bridge, West Bound, and I was glad not to need that route back-it’s on the upper deck, more windy. Scary if done at the wrong time of day. That night I met a lot of cool people, talked about the peace project quite a bit. In fact, I was beginning to lose my voice from all the conversing over the weekend.
September 19. Meant to get an earlier start, but once again, it had been a late night. I took a long ride around Berkeley before heading out. It’s a great little city, very progressive and positive. I was searching for the people living in oak trees.
They have chained themselves to trees that might be torn down to build a stadium. A nice lady I met on Monday had told me about this cause. I never found them, but I did notice there is a People’s Park where its okay for transients to live. It’s a big hobo camp, but clean and pretty. It was turning out to be the windiest day I have yet experienced on the road, interfering with my travel time. I wasn’t too worried however, because Dawn and Amanda are really cool ladies. My plan was to cross the San Mateo bridge over the bay, into Palo Alto. But it was WAY to windy-in fact my directions flew away early in the ride. However, it was a nice cruise, only 64 miles away, but took about 4 hours total. 😉
Stay tuned for the rest of the story to unfold. Right now I am heading to San Luis Opisbo, staying for the night and then hoping to catch a rally in Santa Barbara, my first rally ever!
PAZ Y AMOR-alix