The conundrum, thus far unanswered, is how to create the Peace sign, with pieces of the route rerouting me in such a way that creating Peace is impossible.
To continue the outer circle, I need to make this type of line.
That is the highway route. A highway that more than 5 people have asked me not to take. The non-interstate options yield this route, which cuts into the route I did last year, which would ruin the Peace symbol:
Early today, it seemed like a feasible idea to enter Mexico and head West. There is Highway 2 which runs right along the border. Although, I can’t find any info on it. The Mexico/U.S. Embassy website currently warns that travel in Mexico is dangerous due to narcotic trafficking violence. Apparently, I would need temporary insurance to drive in Mexico. This could be bought though. Then I would have to exchange money for pesos and drive off into what sounds like bandit country. I have conflicting thoughts about this.
1) Although this is meant to put Peace on the U.S. map, the new North America theme would still be fine. Our fates our all intertwined.
2) The Peace ride should be taken to places where there is suffering and violence, including them as a reminder that here, in and around our country, we face immediate problems.
3) That the Peace ride is pointless if I take a risk that could compromise my safety.
Now, for the ultimate irony in this conundrum:
That large grey area you see in the photo, the part blocking me from easy, direct passage, is the Barry Goldwater Air Force Range. Yes. They are testing missiles there.
This Southwest section of the Peace sign has been challenging. Extreme heat and winds. Border tensions. Insane speeds. Lack of fuel.
It has also been extremely rewarding. Incredible panoramic views. Interesting, genuine conversations with strangers. Sense of accomplishment with every hour. Deep meditations.
And to my surprise, an unexpected caravan of scooterists meeting me in Bisbee, to bring me into Tucson. That meant a 250 mile roundtrip for them. This was an extremely moving gesture. No riders have gone this distance and it absolutely made my day. 4 riders would complete the round trip-one scoot blew up, the other choked from fuel overfill.
I told each one of them that when I imagined this ride, it was to create community-and so it was significant to me that they came out in support P.E.A.C.E SCOOT. It was a pleasure to ride with all of them, they were very skilled. We dealt with many jerks and had some tense situations with cars cutting into our pack, narrowly avoiding some of the riders.
Mike and his wife run Scoot Over in Tucson. Every person who works there is top notch, I can’t say enough nice things about them. My scooter is in excellent shape now thanks to their mechanic Ron. The generosity of everyone here is astounding. I’m thankful for the generosity and well wishing coming in from everywhere. I feel an immense relief when offered this support.
I am house sitting for the family tonight; feeding the lizards, gerbil and Petey-the 2nd coolest dog ever. Mine being the first. I miss my home, my dog and my partner-I hope we stay strong through this distance. I have little time at the end of the day and sometimes I feel like a jerk for leaving to do this ride. It is nice to have this shelter right now, complete with an espresso machine and wonderful people.
A highlight of my day was visiting with Philip McCalebs brother, John. I had lunch with him and his wife Judy. Although Genuine is my main sponsor, I have yet to meet Philip. My decision to write only one letter for scooter sponsorship has turned out to be the best hunch ever. John and Judy are very kind and entertaining. We talked and ate lunch outside on their patio. It was an enjoyable two hours, never an awkward moment.
Their home is up in the foothills and overlooks the city. Around here the skyline is interrupted by large cacti extending long fingers upward and out. I have never seen anything like this.
Right before leaving, John told me he had been instructed by Philip to take me to buy an ipod! Yes, an iPod. I suppose Philip noticed my complaining these past few days. Mine broke the day I set out and I’ve somehow survived almost 4,000 miles, but have recently begun to crack without one.
Mike and his wife also gave me a gift today-a mesh riding jacket. I first refused, saying it felt selfish to accept it, because my hope is to raise money for others. They told me that I have to take care of myself in order to make this ride, and that I would need a mesh jacket in the conditions ahead. Thank you, thank you all who have made this first 24 hours in Tucson very amazing.
Tomorrow I have plans to attend a Peace meditation ceremony and then to ride motocross bikes with Ron. He’s a motocross competitor, but me-I’m riding on the slow track to get the hang of it.
I should have a definite route planned out West by tomorrow. Shaun has expressed an interest in riding with me to San Fransisco. He is a new rider, but very willing to take the adventure. I believe he is ready for what lies ahead, I’ve been completely honest about it. It is going to be so cool to have company for those 1,500 miles. I’m very excited to welcome a new rider to P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER! He has agreed to blog about his experience on this blog, so stay tuned for that!