There will be posts, soon

The reception here in Minneapolis has been so wonderful. I can’t believe it is already time to go! The days have flown past with lots of group riding, some volunteering, a Peace BBQ at the scoot shop, interviews, dog walking, and chilling with my two fabulous hosts. There will be much to say and I will pick up as promised, with Blue Skies over Lake Wobegon.

Next is Madison, WI and serendipitously, the Dali Lama is there teaching. After deliberation, I have chosen to shell out the $55 to see His Holiness speak and participate in 4 hours of teaching. I believe there is a lot to learn from him.

Herbert reads the blog and offers me Lake Wobegon Amusemints
Lake Wobegon Amusemints

Lake Wobegon, where are you?

The afternoon was windy. Not just fly a kite windy, but make sure the mailbox hasn’t flown away windy. There was a wind advisory out actually. I missed my turn and didn’t realize until I was 40 miles south of where I needed to be. Winds battering me from the northwest made for an impossible backtrack north. I tried. Within one minute my heart was pounding as a tractor trailer passed me and I blew off the road. I mean gusts up to 50 mph were happening.

The Interstate gained an appeal it has never had. I stay off “the slab,” as it’s known to hardcore bikers. Usually the views and culture are meager compared to the rich landscape on the backroads. There it was, Interstate 94, offering me the straightest shot to Fargo, with a tailwind guaranteed. Oh, and even an unexpected overnight visit in Bismarck if all went well. Did I do it? You betcha!

I wasn’t sure Bismarck would be obtainable. That was officially the most wind I’ve driven in for the longest consecutive bout. The Interstate was fine, better than fine. It curved and took me through the Badlands, the painted hills. They looked exactly like the ones in South Dakota, except with some green foilage. It was gorgeous and desolate, with a majority of motorcyclists and an occasional tractor trailer truck. It wasn’t scary and eventually, in the last two hours of the ride, the wind disappeared completely. It was one of the most exhausting 310 mile days that I ever hope to have.

Well, I’ve now visited Bismarck, the capital of North Dakota, the Peace Garden state.That’s about that. I stayed in a hotel and I slept, snoozed hard. Everyone I met was there doing sales work and they were all nice but we couldn’t manage a decent conversation past, “visit this bar in such and such town.”

I set off for Fargo, only 120 miles away. 73 miles later one of the last things I want to happen happens. It sounds bad, but wasn’t as bad as it sounded. I didn’t know this at the time and was really frantic and strangely-depressed. The Interstate isn’t necessarily the best place to break down. People are going too fast to stop. The probably think, “oh, the next person will help.” On the back roads, people always stop within 10 minutes. I was there 2 hours and no one once stopped. The loudness of tractor trailers becomes unsettling and there is no where to pee in privacy.

Genuine offers roadside assistance for a year and mine has expired. The 800 number did locate a tow truck for me though. I gave it a shot on my own, even calling the Harley dealership in the next town. All options were unavailable on a Sunday. Finally the tow showed up and it was truly hysterical. A piece of chipped plywood reluctantly covered the trailer. Two threadbare ratchets were offered. Impossible. Finally, after more were delivered and I secured the scooter, we were dumped at the closest town. Then I received the $220 bill. I offered $100 and made a good case for myself, only to fall on deaf ears.

IMG_1636Finally the next day I made it to Fargo, only with the help of a Genuine rep who just serendipitously happened to be in Fargo and agreed to extract me from Jamestown, ND. My afternoon was spent with Greg. Somehow, he had never heard of P.E.A.C.E Scooter and he asked a lot of questions. I asked him a lot of questions. The day flew past. The Genuine crew contacted their friend Bob at Ma’s Cycles. They fixed up the clutch, which had come loose. Great guys, really helpful. Important pitcrew to have on your side.

70 miles later, I made another distress call to Greg. He was on his way to Wisconsin, and would go right through Minneapolis. He came to save me again and with the help of two construction fellas, Audre was lifted into the truckbed.

Lake Wobegon must be somewhere nearby, in the land of 10,000 lakes.

Most of the ride felt like a lecture, but I was just hot under the collar. Over and over about how I’m doing more than anyone has ever done on this 125cc scooter, weighing it down, riding it wide open throttle, long distance miles in the hot weather. My engine is air cooled, which means the oil is simmering in there. Everything made sense but wasn’t what I wanted to hear at the moment. What I focused on was the patience this guy had with me. And how happy I am that the company has stood behind me every step of the way.

Greg even drove the backroads for the 180 mile stretch. We all tried our best but there was no way to really get in there and fix her without getting to the next Genuine dealer. So I had to compromise by accepting that at least me and Audre were literally on the Peace route, together.
To be continued….Blue Skies Again over Lake Wobegon. The incredible welcoming from cool people into a cool city. And the scooter is alive again…..


Peace Scooter leaves D.C.P.E.A.C.E started one year ago today! It’s still a spanking new fresh baby, there is a lot more to come in the years ahead.
July 15, 2007 I scooted on up to the White House, GWB’s place of business. There I met Denise, who bought me a cup of coffee, and Samuel, who below, offered his definition of Peace. There was symbolism to the departure date, it was in tribute to Jimmy Carter’s “Crisis in Confidence,” speech, an amazing read.

The speech really impacted me because Carter is addressing many of the SAME EXACT issues we face today, 32 years later. Fuel crisis, doubt in our leaders, environmental problems.

What inspired me was his invitation to have honest dialogue with the people and admit things were not so good. He recognized that the public has to be involved in the solution.

Frustrated with our own leadership, and that has a double meaning, the launch from D.C. was not publicized. The trip was meant to celebrate the depth of American experience, to take the sacred idea of Peace away from the capitol and to the people.
Thank you to the people who are supporting P.E.A.C.E and making it the most memorable year of my life!

Below is the first interview I did, with Samuel.

Time alone, set to a tumbleweed symphony

ProppedHighway 200, long neural pathway.
Ascending, descending mountains, one lone scooterist tracing the Continental Divide. Entering into Eastern Montana, the landscape flattens, with rolling hills offering just enough crest to see where I will be in 2 miles. Montana, with Missoula on one end and Circle at the other. The gates, but providence where?

Here, here in my head. I’m staring ahead to the East, the homestretch, stretching for miles without sight of anything except mesmerizing grain. To the North and South the miles of landscape stretch into a blue sky. Yes Big Sky country, big enough to make me understand just how little people really are. And here they are survivors.

Last ditch effortDaisy walks to the door from her lazy chair. Oxygen is in use, air supporting life. Outside the wind offers me little support.

“M’am, I’m going to run out of gas before I reach Jordan.”
“Ok, I’ll turn on the pumps for you.”

With little interest in government taxation and changing times, credit cards are just as obsolete as the dinosaurs that once roamed Montana. It all feels like a joke, but it is my fault for running out of cash. I hate using my credit card.  She gives me the gas instead, with promise I will help someone down the road.

“How long have you been here Daisy?”
“At the shop since 1956, but I was born here. People don’t come around the same anymore.”

Here is there, Sandy Springs Montana. 30 miles from Jordan, MT.

Jordan, refuge to the Freemen militia. In a state where people are bound to the land.
I am eating at Hell Creek, talking to strangers and Daphne is texting, don’t let them buy your drinks, don’t get drunk.  Of course not. But there is common ground to find. Crawford, Waco, Jordan, New Orleans, Selma (Alabama), Seward (Nebraska). Places of extremes. They are on the Peace map for a reason. Each location brings me closer to understanding, myself and others.

Paleontology BobPaleontology Bob is reveling in the journey. He is connecting to the spirit it takes to do this.  This is where we relate. We are both surviving. The next day I will mysteriously run into him twice, by the hotel. He will tell me he’s been thinking about me.

Mr. Ross is asking, “you aren’t vegan are you?”
“Well no sir, I just had a hamburger.”

Montana is the place to eat beef if you must. So I’m invited over, I’ve passed the test. He makes what little money he can from beef. Here cows wander, they are grass fed, they are free of anti-biotics and GMO grains.

Once we are in good I tell him I’ve been vegan. He wants to be disgusted but I am too busy playing both sides. Using expressions and body language to calm him. I present the case of the vegan. A nod of acceptance happens. I will not push my luck this night.
Militia men and dinosaur diggers commend my journey because it mirrors their own desparate survival, adaptation and sometimes conquering of nature. Here, they listen only because I’ve traveled so far.
What will we have to show for it at the end of these days that fill chapters and time?

It has been a long ride, I will go home to my affordable lodge that usually shelters hunters and fishermen. The mileage was 403, short of my hopeful 467 miles to Circle. I was frozen from temperatures that fell 30 degrees short of the previous day. Four layers on my top (two jackets) and two on the bottom. The scooter loved the temp and so we rode.

Rode through a land that could resemble the moon, if only it was covered in grass. A cloak of pink lightly settled over the landscape, like a shawl. In the summer night it is but a quick fix; the sun sets late, at 10pm and is up early. So was I, greeted by a wind that had me at a 45 degree lean most of the day. I have learned to watch the grass and trees to predict the force and direction of the wind. There will be a wind advisory most of the day, with 50 mph gusts.

Paula and JerryNow in Circle, the Bermuda Circle, my scooter won’t start. It is the bond we have there. My bike breaks and they help me fix it and we discuss local gossip. They are surprised I have been led through there twice. Our conversation goes back and forth with ease and I have the feeling I have walked into another set. One where I don’t belong, but am welcomed. I am offered a husband and a job as a ranch hand. Hugs are passed around and I am back on the road.

20,000 Milemarker20,000 miles turns on the odometer, in under a year.

Leaving Circle, I am overwhelmed with all that I have seen, all the places I have left myself, and parts people have given me. I have passed through that final gate, and into North Dakota.

My nose is both bloody and black from dusty winds.  I think if I was to cry it would happen right….now, but my eye sockets are just as dry as my nose from this arid climate.

Pass it onI think back to an unexpected sign I saw outside of Great Falls and the tears stream, for just a moment.

If Montana was a woman she would have ruby lips and piercing blue eyes that make me see into my own soul.
Montana, you are better than therapy.

Apparently, the P.E.A.C.E ride is no different than Hitler

 I’m including this whole conversation because it was a learning experience for me. It was a test, for me not to be judgemental, angry or close minded. To continue to be listen calmly even though I did not agree with almost ANYTHING this gentleman said. I walked away thinking, “what if that guy was God?” What if he was just testing me.

I had hoped to convey that people build you up by showing you were you are weak. Well, someone read this and sent me a good link, (thanks Parker) so I’m putting that right here, it’s a Pema Chodron video. 

I walked out of the store, having bought a banana. I’m in Circle, MT. I was there last year, waylaid for a couple of days and so I’m excited to go visit Paula at the Travelers Inn Motel.  A gentlemen and his family look at the scooter and start asking questions. I go for it and tell them all about the mission, give ’em the spiel. I think it always comes out sounding genuine, because I believe in it with all my heart. Approving nods and ah has are happening. Good. You just never know in certain areas.

They ask, how do you define Peace?

“Well, how I take care of myself, my community and the environment”
“It’s the ability to not always impress my idea of how something should be, but have the humility to accept what is best.
Non-judgement.  Finding alternatives besides anger, violence and judgement to resolve a disagreement. ”
Pause. I could go on.

Something comes up about pacifism. I say I’m peaceful, but that requires action. I say the word pacifism is perceived as non action, but it takes a rather big commitment to  achieve your goals through  non-violence and non-agression. In fact,  I think it’s harder, because, in policy, pacifism isn’t our customary modus operandi.

He says, “Ghandi…”

“Yes, Martin Luther King, yes. Ghandi said that the end is inherent in the means.”

He looks dubious.

“For instance, anger begets anger. War doesn’t bring peace, it brings submission.”

“Hitler defined Peace as submission.”

I think this is where the ball starts rolling. I might miss a couple of lines here, sorry Merit.

I don’t know what I said to that (what do you say to that?)  and it was obvious Merit had his own agenda and has probably used this angle numerous times in his spiel.

He asks if I think Hitler was wrong.

I think about it for a second. “Well, actually, I can understand that what Hitler wanted to protect is people. That’s what he thought he was doing. But killing others to protect his people was clearly wrong. I’m more focused on what he did, and how that mentality can be avoided in our future, than just saying Hitler was wrong.  Hitler was a suffering individual,  his ego cried for attention and power made him feel important.

“Is murder wrong?”

“Yes. Yes it is.”

“How do you know murder is wrong?”

That’s a damn good question. And quite frankly, I’m shocked that we are having this discussion. In front of me, but to Merit’s side, stands his son, perfectly stoic. Merit has the spotlight. I still don’t anticipate what lies ahead. It should have been clear to me that Merit does this often.

“My belief in a greater spirit.”

“A god?”

“I don’t call it a god. I don’t feel like I need to, hmmm, let me explain. I recognize that there is something definitely greater than myself. Knowing this makes me understand that other men/women are small also. If you can appreciate how small you really are, I think you develop an empathy that makes you less competitive, judgemental and violent. We compete to be bigger and more powerful. But we’re all really small.  I think what makes us big is when we work together, despite our differences.”

“So YOU believe murder is wrong.”

“Yes. ??”

“But, how do you KNOW?”

It’s really a life defining moment for me. In my head I see myself  thinking protection is the only justification for harming another person. Then it’s survival right? But in my heart I don’t agree with this. I’m confused now. My approach involves what is an idealistic world, and only faith in that can keep me working towards its creation. This means I have just as much faith as Merit does, although he might disagree, because his faith comes from a specific God and commandments.

“I know because we have hearts that allow us to care and minds that allow us to create a better solution. We have no reason to murder.”

“Then it’s based on what YOU believe, which is really no different than Hitler. He had a belief too.”

Oh this is cheap.

“So how do YOU know murder is wrong?”

“The Bible.”

“See, the thing I don’t understand is that if we are created by a God, he/she/it gave us a brain, right? Did God give us a brain to not exercise it? I think a God would ultimately hope that we don’t need commandments to be good, conscious beings. If God doesn’t want us using our noggins, why are there friggin psychedelics out there?” (I don’t say that part)

He carries on, I can’t remember all of it.

I comment that isn’t it beautiful that I have a grasp on universal truths and I don’t even go to church. I’m trying to find a common ground.

He implies that it’s egotistical of me, similar to Hitler, AGAIN, because I consider myself the governing body of my life.
I say that I have appreciation for all living things and that meditation is my form of prayer.
I say if, I am created in God’s image, then wouldn’t I inherently know the Golden Rules?

If I’m practicing them why would I have to go to church?

Then I ask him about homosexuality. I’m really interested to hear someone say they think it can be cured by God. I’ve heard this before on TV.

“Oh that’s a sin.”

He quotes the passage. I ask if there is more than one. He quotes those also.

I ask if he’s ever considered stoning his neighbor for working on a Sunday?
It’s cheap, I know.  Most Christians, Merit, included, don’t believe they are bound to the Old Testament other the 10 Commandments.

“Oh, that’s Old Testament.”
“So are some of the examples you are giving me and so are the Ten Commandments.”
(which is all SO confusing, because in one part of the Bible Jesus says, if someone hits you on the right cheek, turn other cheek to them also. And then Moses is saying an eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth.)

He proceeds to tell me that homosexuality is a sin, that homosexuals can be forgiven, but it is clear that the Lord does not approve.

I’m wondering if it is a ethical sin, no one gets hurt afterall, except for messy breakups and love triangles. It might be a religious sin, like touching a pigskin (dammed football players) or touching a menstrating woman.

“Can God cure homosexuality?”

He believes that when the homosexual honors God’s will, the act itself will cure those lustings.  He compares it to adultery.
“No where in nature is their homosexuality.”

Ha.  I took biology.
“Monkeys. Monkeys engage in homosexuality and orgies, actually.”

He shrugs it off. He says, “I can see bulls mount bulls, but they are animals, we are better than them.”

I want him to stop comparing adultery to homosexuality. “Adultery is different. You’ve made an oath to your wife through marriage. Aren’t homosexuals created in God’s image also?”

He says that humans are given choices and that we will struggle with sin. So, yes they are created in his image, but it is their challenge to overcome this curse.

I ask if he’s ever lusted for a man, or been in love with one.
He says No.
I tell him he’s fortunate that he hasn’t had to  experience the feeling of loving someone with all your heart only to think it is a sin.
I also mention that the Bible, from my shallow understanding doesn’t condemn loving monogamous homosexual relationships, the focus in the Bible is actually all the gang raping and lusting that’s happening.
And that he should be thankful that God didn’t say it was a sin to love women. Then I ask about the girl on girl action because I’m a little confused by the Bible’s terminology. Seriously, I think there is one reference to it, all the other language is men on men.

I’m being playful at this point, but it’s helping me handle the fact that I’ve just met myself a religious fanatic.

Merit tells me something to the jist of accepting God’s law or continuing to view myself as a cosmic accident.

He tells me, pointing to his dog, that made in God’s image, I am better than his dog, better than the chicken he ate for lunch (rubbing his belly) or the deer, cow, or pig he can run over in his car or shoot in the head.

I’m a little sickened by this.

“Actually, aren’t they God’s creatures too?”
I go onto to say that assuming these creatures are inferior to us has given us a dominion over land and cockiness that mostly leads to a rape of the land. I point out the problems with eating meat just because it’s our God given right. Like all the grain and water that goes into feeding a cow, all the land that grows the grain, and meanwhile people are starving.”

I say that our problem is we think we are better and more important than the land and its animals. I say, maybe we can think, Merit, but look at all the sin it leads us into, huh?

Perhaps those animals that you say are “raping, lusting, looting and pillaging,” (not lying) are actually more divine because they don’t go through the process of sin and choice that we experience.
Then I tell him that indirectly my dog taught me how to treat humans better. And he did, because one day I thought-“geez what if reincarnation is true, and I came back as the dog and he was my owner.”
Probably not gonna happen, but what IF?

Merit said he could tell the conversation was over, shook out his hand, and him and his son walked away. He must do this often, because i’ve never seen a family so patient. We talked for almost an hour and they just stood there. Before he walked away, he told me, “I’m ok, I’m gonna be fine.”

Thanks bud.

To soothe the intensity of this post, watch a funny video by Bill Hicks! Caution, a few F words, if you’re at work, turn down the volume!


Well, I’m sitting here underneath what seems to be a pretty precise half moon. I guess you might want an update on my scooter. I’m busy contemplating how my scooter is like your one, two, three or more bedroom house. Everything I use is on it. 90% of the stuff is functional and the accumulation of stickers and signatures adds decoration. I’m used to every creak, rattle, hum, vibration and vroom-knowing what sound belongs where, and when a sound is awry.

New SaddlebagsSo when I make a change to my scoot, my eyes linger over it and back to it constantly. Today I splurged-a early birthday present to me. New Prima saddlebags. I hung out at the shop for 9 hours today and these beauties came in the mail. I was unpacking boxes and stocking the stuff. My hands traced the lines of the saddlebags inquisitively. Good aerodynamic shape, facile on and off, ample room. They are just as wide and not quite as deep; it is the length, almost form cut for my Buddy, that makes the volume comparable.

I have extolled the virtues of my RevPacks. You can’t buy better quality-totally durable and waterproof. But did I mention the absence of 6 clip straps? No more fiddling for twenty minute. The RevPack shape is also bad in the wind. The zipper entry on my new bags makes for easy in and out. I’ve had some brilliant gear changes in the past three weeks that leave me more time for riding and Peace making.

Nancy gets it. She says, “Oh, it’s like when you paint a room in your house and you keep going back into the room to stare at it.” Exactly.

Saving time is my goal right now. High school, senior year. Either you didn’t want it to end or you just couldn’t wait. In this case, I want to fully experience every moment and possibility left, but look forward to being home. Make sense? Good. I’ve honestly worked on nothing but this ride for more than a year now, even when I wasn’t riding. Four weeks left and I hope to generate a lot of discussion about Peace!

I can only imagine what a solider goes through; a commitment that requires every ounce of your presence, making it seem forbidden to slip ahead into the ‘life after’ scenario. Putting your life on the line for your beliefs. Of course, I just deal with angry ‘cagers’ , bad roads and bad weather- not bombs, hatred, anger, death, blood, lack of privacy and safety.

Makes me appreciate that I can and am out here scooting for Peace.

Speaking of scooting-Audre is ready for tomorrow’s epic haul.  The mechanic’s first impression was that the bike was cutting out because my oil was low. I knew this was wrong. He said I sounded pretty confident of myself. Well, yea. Experience on that one.

I’m just glad the problems are all fixed.Problems that have been building up for awhile, about 2,000 miles and haven’t been resolved until the scooter quit working. I really don’t want to go into it-if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all kind of thing.

I had a lot of shop lessons today.I pulled out the sparkplug. Just two days ago it was close to the perfect color. Today it was black and reeked of gas. Ryan from Genuine called and I gave him a play by play of the past few weeks. He knew exactly the source of the problem.

Once we were all on the same page, it was time to get into the carburetor. Now I know that taking apart and putting back together the carburetor isn’t very daunting at all. Most of the mystery in my engine is gone.  I can’t figure out why no one wanted to go in there before and look at the jet. It’s easy. My jet was clogged.

But on top of that, the fuel valve was filthy. Dave put on a stock fuel filter also. And he discovered that my roller weights were getting flat. That explains some of the excessive vibration I’ve had. He checked the valves and my spark. Dave showed me what he was doing at every step and what to avoid. I helped where I could. He took the scooter on a really long ride and now Audre seems fit as a fiddle.

That said, I’m a little behind, but just check the calendar. It’s updated. If anything, I’ll run a day behind the calendar, but I will catch up since a lot of time is scheduled in Chicago. Lots of riding the next few days, so I’m off to sleep.

Charred RemainsBefore I go, an update on the fire. It was contained when I woke up at 8am. Now charred patches adorn the mountain. Thankfully the fire happened yesterday if it had to happen, because winds gusted at 30 mph today.

LaughterOh, and I also picked up a new paint pen for people to keep leaving their inspiration on the scooter. Gary wrote YNWA. Know what that means?

I do-You will Never Walk Alone. He’s a big Liverpool soccer fan. I’m now properly educated on the origins of what was a kinda lame song turned into a rousing soccer fan anthem. And I recognized that the song is sampled in Pink Floyd’s Fearless, one of my favorite songs.

So, here it is:

Fire on the mountain

IMG_2356The mountain is on fire. The very mountain I hiked three days ago. Firecrackers ruin mountains.

We watched grey puffy smoke roll across the mountains-from the mouth of a fat dragon it seemed. Almost forgettable at first, grey smoke just drifting through a blue sky. Now, helicopters are swooping water from the river;  it seems much like trying to spray a water gun at a massive bonfire. As night fell cooler wind fueled it. Now the flames have grown, at night they appear to be rivers of lava moving in a kink around the mountain.

Fire on the MountainApparently two youngsters birthed this tragedy.  Their parents will substitute college education by paying tens of thousands of dollars in damage control. There will be no firecrackers on the Fourth of July.

It probably won’t be contained until tomorrow. It’s RIGHT outside our house! My eyes are burning and the smell of smoke lingers. It wasn’t the first fire I saw today. The mill, the one on the way back into town, was blazing. The way back into town?

Well, yea. Today’s planned long haul was to Circle, MT, 450 miles.  I was looking forward to surprising Paula at the Traveler’s Inn. I was waylaid in Circle last year, as a matter of fact. So the day found me up and off early, after granola and coffee with Nancy and her visiting mother. About thirty miles outside of town, my speed dropped from 54-30. Lurched. Then the engine cut out. This is when the haze of patience kicks in, like an psychological morphine.

Welcome to Montana. Dead air. No cell phone coverage. I spot a ranch, with a carved wooden sign saying STAFF ONLY. The scoot starts up, so we cautiously roll over the quarter mile gravel driveway. It looked like a compound, as though there should be a lot of life there, but all the buildings were empty. I located the office and introduced myself as the wayward traveler in need of a phone. Months ago, Wendy gave me a calling card. Wow. This is old school. Blessed card, with 750 minutes on it.

IMG_1555I make some calls, trying to problem solve. A call came in for me from Ron, the mechanic at Scoot Over in Tucson. I want to ride, just open throttle and pray it was an “incident.”

But the Rocky Mountains wait around the bend for me, with a climb about 7,000 feet. And there will be no mechanic until Minnesota-almost 1,500 miles. Heading back to Missoula seems more responsible than living on a prayer. A cowboy hears me talking and sends me down the road to the resort mechanics. He guarantees their excellence and experience.

Why not? I talked to Chad. (?) He can only make suggestions, but can’t do any work on the bike, as the “resort” would be liable. After handshakes and well wishes, ya ya-I’m back on the long gravel road.  Patience. Well, the scoot IS running.

I hate these moments. When neither solution is savory, but one gets you immediately closer to your goal. Just as I’m asking myself-who solves this conundrum-the universe calls. The scoot dies. Once. Starts. Dies. Starts. Drive 10 feet. Dead.

Fine, I’m going back east. I’m now a mile from the resort. There is no cellphone coverage. GPS says gas is 8 miles West. 45 minutes later I arrived, through a combination of riding and pushing. It was all downhill, fortunately. I anticipate that the gas station will have a pay phone and food. IMG_1560No pay phone.

The clerk lets me use the phone to call roadside assistance, a one year feature that comes with the Buddy. Turns out the line is for credit cards too, so the bartender at the conjoined restaurant is yelling at me. Unbelievable.
She gives me the number for another line and points to the phone on the wall.  I sit, order french fries and wait for roadside assistance to call. The phone rings, I instinctively pick it up and the bartender yells at me again. As though this dive in a town with pop. 50 receives a high volume of calls. I oblige her by enthusiastically answering “Potomac Bar and Grill.” But the call is for me.

Oh, really? Roadside assistance expired with Audre’s birthday, 3 days ago. At this point I don’t care-I pull out the card-“Genuine is sponsoring this ride, they will approve the extension.”

She calls Genuine, calls me back. Says she spoke to Leah and Leah said NO. I just didn’t believe her, so with evil eyes on me from the bartender, I call Genuine. Cindy confirms there is NO Leah working there and they instantly call Roadside Assistance for me. Sweet. Thanks Genuine.

Hours ago, Scooterville, MT mentioned coming to get me, but I knew they were slammed and it was a ways out to get me. When I tried to call back, three times, no one answered and I decided it best if their patience with me just went to the scooter.

IMG_1561Tow truck guys says 45 minutes. Which turns into two. The bartender publicly shamed me by yelling in front of the barflies-“I DO need my phone back NOW.” It wasn’t the kind of place where you’re welcomed if not a local. So I played four games of pool and read my scooter manual front to back twice. Finally Sean showed up and Audre went somewhat precariously onto the rig.

IMG_2345Return to Scooterville.  Audre is in the shop, but it was closed by the time I arrived-6pm. 8 hours after the breakdown. That’s a day. I now have a sea foam green Buddy loaner. My Scooterville saints have taken me home and fed me and let me chill out. They’re good to me.

Especially when all I wanted to do was get a motel room and sulk. Nancy walked with me to grab coffee and the banter was enjoyable, but I was still beat.My body and mind felt like a noodle, and more than anything, I just wanted to feel, something. Anger? Peace?Sadness?

Frustration? Well, there is some of that. I haven’t felt like my bike was solid for awhile now. I always feel like the scooter shops I visit are frenzied with the scooter craze. The commandment that bikers on the road get first service is somewhat obsolete when shops are scrambling to handle 100% sales increase.Understandably so.

Diagnosis? We’ll see. I know I’m in good hands and I’m sure the sage Genuine mechanics will hold conference with us. It’s obvious that she’s not getting fuel to the engine. Is there a bigger problem than cleaning the carb? We’ll see. The valves will be checked, the coil, the float. Maybe the float cracked.

I’m not an expert, but I’m learning heaps from this trip. After reading I see by my Own Outfit, I long to have my hands dirty and experience the pride found in rigging a solution out of grit and fate. My Buddy’s just not the same as Peter Beagle’s Heinkel though-vintage might just be easier to work on, but require more consistent tinkering.

Either way, keep in mind, Audre’s more than passed the test on performance, she’s not a touring scooter, but has served me well. I don’t know that anyone has ridden this far on a 125cc. They just aren’t meant to go wide open throttle day after day. I’ll keep you posted as I know, looks like I’ll be here until Friday at least.

Me? I’m sad that my homestretch keeps getting spun on its compass. Plans with people will be delayed. Home is getting further away dammit. But this is traveling, this is adventure, home is here now. And I’ve got to stay fluid, I’ve got to be here now. Perhaps I’m really meant to visit the Peace Center here after all!

View from the bottom and the top

PeaceSunday I woke up with a mountain to climb.  The smell of coffee always fills the house in the morning and Nancy is there to greet me. The dogs and cat have taken to piling around me, in the wee hours of the morning. It is home.

Go Chetak GOWe all go about our business and have comical interludes while doing so. The night before we went to the community outdoor film festival. O Brother was showing, by the Coen Brothers.  We scoot around town together, as they own the scooter shop. They also let me test drive scoots and mopeds. It is fun to imagine owning all these other bikes, but time and time again I get back on Audre and know she is the lady for me. Her one year birthday was on July 6.

She understood that I needed a break from sitting on my butt, so off to the mountain I went. Last year Daphne and I went to climb the “M” trail. Daphne was in flip flops last year, so we retreated. It’s base starts at the University of Mountain. It is not the best trail, it is winding, skinny and full of rocks. The views are the best however.

Go tell it on a MountainMissoula is the most active community I’ve ever seen in America. They pool their resources into numerous programs and they actively contribute to maintaing a progressive town. Everyone is super friendly, none of this “look how cool and weird I am,” crap that you find in many “cool” cities. And they decorate their mountains with Peace signs.

All along the trail people said “good morning” and “hi.” I reached the top and soaked in the panorama. It took 40 minutes to climb 700 feet. On the way down I met Karen ( I think, but I’m bad with names). I was halfway down when she yelled, “Look, an osprey above you.”

I filmed it and on her way back down she stopped to ask if I was a film student. I told her about P.E.A.C.E Scooter and it led to a fantastic conversation. Part humor and part straight forward honesty-about Peace of course. We shook hands but she said, “I think I need to give you a hug, actually.” Thanks, that was needed.

I woke up also thinking there was some work to do. The ride of my lifetime will end soon. I never started off with a measurement of success. I just had to scoot. As the months have gone on, slowly turning into a year, expectations developed. Why? Hmm.

Well, I realized that I’ve dedicated my time, safety, life, and money into a demonstration for Peace. And I saw that last year’s March for Peace had a ton of press and supporters. That groups jumped on board to promote them. Sadly, not a single Peace group has made an at large announcement or offered their public support. NUMEROUS INDIVIDUALS have come forward to offer support, and some are affiliated with larger groups. So yesterday I comprised a letter to send out to my contacts.

You can read it here.

Compiling the letter and email list took awhile. I also finalized the calendar dates. Sadly, it seems my arrival in Chicago coincides with AmeriVespa, so I’m staying a week there in hopes I can catch up with certain people. Green ClothesThere will be plenty of work to do there though. At the end of this admin work, I was cranky and hungry.

Off to Good Foods, which beats Whole Foods aka Whole Paycheck, hands down. Back at the homestead I took down my laundry, which on a whim I had earlier hung up to dry and save energy. They smelled sunkissed. Nancy kindly sewed up my pants for me and I put patches on my new Goodwill $2.00 shorts. They are completely utilitarian shorts and so ugly they are cool.

Monday I woke up with a huge must do list before leaving Missoula.Rockin Rudy’s bought some keychains from me. I went to see the mechanic and he was really helpful. He made a quarter turn on the fuel screw in hopes that getting more gas to the engine will help my speed. He showed me exactly how to look at the sparkplug and let me put it back in. It was fun getting my hands dirty. I took off the air filter, discovering it was FILTHY. Perhaps this will help with speed also. I put on the new one. The scoot already feels faster.

Folks I served with todayI took it on a long fast ride to see if adjustments needed to be made. None. After running errands I had time to go volunteer at the local shelter. I wish there were more Poverello Center’s around the country. They provide shelter to women and men. Many shelters around our country DO NOT have space for women. They also provide three meals a day, AA meetings, business classes, clothing and a community room. It is funded almost entirely on community donations. It is the nicest shelter I have seen. It was nice to know that just two hours was helpful to them. I would rather do this work than watch TV, and most Americans watch at least 2 hours a day.

The food was actually edible, no, it was good. I have served food at other shelters that my dog would not eat. It was fun, I served with Shannon. He asked if I liked chess and then showed me his prototype for a round chess board. It is genius. He is looking for investors. China offered but he only wants to develop it here in the U.S. and use solar power at his warehouse.
I wish I could say I played a game on it, but I had to scoot off.

Shannon and his inventionHe’s staying at the shelter. Totally wants to making a living off his invention, but hopes that artists will contribute by designing their own unique pieces-he will provide specs for the rest of the frame. And give them 90% for the sale.

So awesome! How many milleniums has it taken to reinvent the chess board?
He says, “Flat board chess was developed when the world was flat, this is a chess board for the 3rdmillenium.”

OH, you can play BOTH forward and backward at the same time.

He also said, “It’s a game of war. But in the end, no one dies. They just get smarter.”

That I liked. A lot.  It’s a game of strategy that teaches you critical thinking. I put in an order for Christmas time.

When I wake up Tuesday, there will still be a lot to do. There is a Peace center here that I want to visit and I have one of those god awful post office trips planned. The bags are getting to heavy.

The ride isn’t too long though, so leaving late afternoon should be fine.

OH, and I JUST heard news that Shaun has made it home safely to Tucson. He covered 1,000 miles by himself! Congratulations to him!

Hey, lookie here, a neat way to support Peace

P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER keychains

These green keychains appeared, SURPRISE, in the mail, from Philip McCaleb at Genuine Scooters. Thanks Phil, more stuff to carry. Help me lighten the load by buying one, five, ten or twenty…..they are only $5. On Monday I’ll figure out the shipping fee-no handling costs.
See, paypal takes a cut too, so the price is going to be around $5.50 for one.

I’m really happy about how nice these turned out, and you will be too! Thanks!

Growing Peace is Patriotic

Here is an updated photo of Amy’s lawn. Please understand that you too can have something this incredible in your front yard. If you are on my route, I will do it. If not, YOU can do it.


Today’s ride was the longest yet, in time, not mileage. I rode for 1o hours. That’s after counting “lunch break.” But here I am in Missoula, thankful to see friends. Whether they liked it or not, they’ve become accessories in this Peace plan. They kindly host me.

I’m off the road, away from the road rage, away from the impatient traffic. Away from drivers who think wherever they are going is so much more important than considering another person’s life. I suppose terrorizing a scooterist seems like a better option than just waiting 5 minutes for a chance to pass.

So, I’m tired right now. But I want to introduce you to David Hazen, who left a beautiful post on the Wall of Beliefs, and seems to have a really wise blog.

“Peace must be reframed to mean vigorous support for the economic, health, and relationship security of the land in which we live, and of the people with whom we live, in order to be seen as patriotic.”

I encourage you to read the rest and then to go enjoy your independence-in thinking, choosing and creating a better world.

Watch each card you play and play it slow

I re- read the previous blog post, about the Bavarian village escapades. I still don’t feel like the moment was captured.
There I was, totally a zombie, when two really cool individuals appear. I spoke slowly. I could barely speak actually. And somehow, when I didn’t think I could even muster a conversation, the next three hours wound up touching my soul.
It was just the experience that makes me urge people to travel. There were no egos or roles being played. We said things that impacted one another and took moments to say, “hey, let that sink in for a second.” The words flowed and hit places that I know have changed me.

DockingI was very sad to leave these ladies but we had tentative plans to meet in the morning. Becky called to invite me out onto the river. I was sick and wanted to lay in bed, changing my mind to spend two days in Coeur D’ Alene, to two in Leavenworth. I caught Shaun’s cold, the second time on this trip. That’s more than I’ve been sick in years.
They promised to call and have dinner with me. And they did, but events had transpired. By the time their call came through at 4pm, I was driving a Jeep to Seattle, with Audre loaded in the back and two guys sitting in the front.
Going back to Seattle was a hard decision to make. My front end was and still is vibrating much more than it ever has. I was worried it might have something to do with the recent fork change. There was oil on the front tire, weird. I took a photo of it and sent it to Ducati. I talked to Philip McCaleb and even Trey; another really helpful person at Genuine.

Shaun and Chad felt like it was no accident they had made an impromptu decision to come visit me in Leavenworth. Pit CrewBasically, if there was a problem with the front end, I still had 400 miles fast miles to travel, over the mountains before reaching another dealership. Shaun was very sweet to say, “I will do anything I can to make sure nothing bad happens to you.”

I looked over at my KOA neighbors and caught Faith’s eye. They seemed pretty interested in our deliberations. I didn’t believe that Audre would fit in the back of a Jeep Wrangler. Faith encouraged me to solicit Tony’s help. He was already standing up.
“He loves figuring things out. He tinkers, builds, and perfects.”

Well, welcome to the Pit Crew. Turns out he had four tie-downs that would keep Audre’s front end securely hanging out. Adding to the comedy was Shaun’s soon departing flight. We had to load up fast. The five of us broke camp, loaded and secured the scooter, got my refund and we were off. Faith and Tony offered to take Chad’s seat and spare tire to Everett, a closer drive for him than Leavenworth. They have already left their definition of Peace on the Wall of Beliefs. Many thanks to you both!

IMG_1505I didn’t think the dealership had done anything to my scooter, I thought they would be the ones to fix it if something had gone wrong. It turns out the oil on the tire was from the grease used to make the tire change. It had melted at highway heats and collected in the rim. They remounted the tire and checked all the bearings. Everything was stripped off the scooter; mirrors, windscreen and topcase. It didn’t vibrate as much, but still more than it did the previous 18,000 miles. We test drove it in rounds.

“Maybe it’s your gear.”
“Nah, I’ve got the gear down to a science.”

They didn’t find a single problem. It’s still vibrating, but I don’t feel like it was a wasted trip. The scooter has been vibrating like this since my idle was changed and valves done, in San Fran. I thought it would go away with a suspension change. It must be coming from the engine. Ultimately, the handling is fine. Ducati put my conscience at ease-now it’s good vibrations I guess.  At least I know my wheel isn’t gonna fly off.

IMG_1511The other difficult thing about traveling backwards is saying the goodbyes all over again. I really like all these people. And the Pacific North West will be missed. Chad says, “Hey, call me if you need anything. You’ll be SOL though.”
Thanks bud.
At 2pm I zoomed off, heading home for the 2nd time-and hoping to reach Coeur D’ Alene but knowing I wouldn’t. The campground is still charging me for the reservation. IMG_1516Totally unreasonable jerks. Stephen’s Pass welcomed me again. The wind wasn’t as gusty as Monday, but still strong once I passed over. The curves were more fun now that I knew Audre was fit. The GPS is a blessing, but my stats at the end of the day show some sorry news. My average speed over 200 miles was 48mph. Most of the miles have been mountain terrain. But 48 mph?

The reality of what I’m doing is really starting to sink in. This is hardcore. I’m traveling America at average speeds of 48-60 mph, for 22,000 miles. I could have gone around the world by now. Or to Taiwan, where the scooter is manufactured AND BACK. And these roads that most people never travel lead to time capsules of culture. The roads lead to front porches were people wave at the P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER.  The roads curve through towns that only seem to exist because of the road itself. Because those 6 curves of the road bring in travelers with their gas, food and lodging money. It’s a mystery sometimes how people are surviving out here. And how they define Peace.

I find welcoming in unexpected places. I trod up in my orange safety vest with reflective Peace signs and buy water. Conversations get started and laughter exchanged. I go to the next town; fueling up frequently keeps me from blowing past these small dandelions with population 750.IMG_2262

It almost seemed like I could arrive in Coeur D’Alene, if I had been willing to drive two hours in the dark. I was a focused 48 mph bullet through the desolate Highway 2. Up and over hills and seriously-Amber waves of grain. I passed back through the familiar Bavarian village, catching quick, awkward glances of recognition. Then through the Apple Capitol of Washington, a valley oasis hydrated by a beautiful river. Traffic disappeared as I cut through canyons reminiscent of Arizona. Suddenly I was in farmland.  Eastern Washington is very different.
Big transformers clarified how far away the sky is, and contrasted the fields of grain. Today has been hazy, a thick sky-relunctant to  allow the pinks through at sunset.

IMG_2265Ala Cozy sit nexts to the Shell Station, in Coulee, WA.  I can gas up and push on or unsaddle for the night. Dale and his wife (sorry, I’m so bad at names) run a surprisingly cozy establishment out yonder. A Barack Obama 08 sign seems to be the most current thing I glimpse walking into the time capsule. This is the kind of motel before advertising, marketing and pastel sterilization took over the industry. It is a shelter run by people with stories, who love other peoples stories. And it’s just where I want to be tonight.

Earlier it had crossed my mind that Peace might not be a welcomed sentiment as I travel through conservative places during a Patriotic holiday. The story, however, came spilling out. Dale asked a bunch of questions.
“How come?”
“How many more miles?”
“All alone?”
“Are you independently wealthy?”
“Who are you raising money for?”

And the next, very awesome question,”Honey, why don’t we give her the room for free?”

IMG_1526So, here I am, graced once again by the generosity of strangers AND saving more money to donate to charitable organizations. Incredible. Perhaps it’s because I choose to find the beauty in our world that I keep finding it! And tomorrow, I will find more, hopefully docking after a long ride in the very welcoming town of Missoula.

VIDEOS! Of the riding! Warning! Turn your volume down because the wind is obnoxious! Videos are in order of most recent!

The beginning of the end

There it was, the turn East, the invisible archway announcing my arrival upon the homestretch.

And I knew for certain because of the fancy, new to me, although used, GPS system now mounted on my dash. What’s this?

Ha, something I should have done a LONG time ago.
Chad kindly gave me his old GPS. Well, I traded a P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER tshirt for it actually.

No more wasting time and paper plotting and printing out google maps. No more worrying if I might run out of gas. I can run a search and BLAM, all the stations within 50+ miles show up. Fancy. Real fancy and TOTALLY needed. It was going to be the ONE thing I regretted never buying. Ok, and maybe a bigger top case.

I can now keep track of countless statistics- how long my stop breaks are, my average speed, my exact speed. Need a place to camp? BLAM there is the campgrounds location AND phone number!

I also know now that it’s 3,100 miles to Washington D.C. Another 140 to Richmond, where it would be nice to have a party. And then, a final 700 home to Maine. I guess I’ll just ride on home? I can’t think of where to even ship the bike in Maine.

Chuckling hysterically. 3,857 miles, that’s IT!


I can’t believe how elated my mood was from this little piece of technology.
But it couldn’t keep the hail away.

Close to Leavenworth, WA the wind gusts pounded me, even lifting up the front wheel.
Quite a beautiful Wild West scene. Trees bending in the wind, 10,000 foot snow capped mountain peaks encasing the road, and a high river swirling-swollen and frothy rapids.

IMG_1500I was whupped when I stopped for coffee. I must have looked like a zombie when Becky and Kita approached me, commenting about the T.S. Eliot quote on Audre’s flank. I scribbled it on there back in Austin, TX.

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time

They revived me. Totally energetic, wise, friendly ladies-there kayaking the river for a couple of days. The brewing storm finally dropped on us. Thunder, hail, rain and lightning pummeled the village.

Next thing I know, we were searching for good German food in a town that should have some. Leavenworth adopted a Bavarian village theme back in 1960. Yes, this has given them plenty of time to find some German recipes. We kept reaching out to the locals, asking for said culinary spot, but none was recommended. We finally coaxed “The Pub,” from someone. It was “up the hill.”

Hmm. Well that’s funny, because we are in a mountain town.
Finally, we found Ducks and Drakes, aka “the pub.”

Good comfort food and drinks accented the conversation. It never ceases to amaze me just how real you can be with strangers. Lord, try it some day if you don’t know what I’m talking about. It’s like the first time every time-a new confirmation on how warm and genuine a stranger can be. Our three hours together was but a blink.

The conversation covered politics, apocalyptic forecasts, gender, sexuality, travels, kayaking, foreign languages, religion, Bill Gates vs. Steven Jobs, charity, growing up with 14 siblings, transient lifestyles, raising 9 year olds, on and on. No holds barred.
One thing that came up a couple of times was the importance of traveling our own country. Many people want to travel abroad for a grand adventure. But it’s astounding how many cultures and climates our own country has. Last year, one of the first comments made here was,

This is a huge, beautiful world, and most people only see a tiny fraction of it. Explore your own country — meet your own countrymen — then go explore the rest of the world.

I had to check in at the KOA by ten and was sad to hug them goodbye abruptly.

Just thirty minutes later a hard, deep slumber took over me. In 10 hours I would wake up to a text from Shaun. Him and Chad were actually now in Leavenworth. This will be the third time I’ve had to say goodbye to the guy.

Bavarian adventures to be continued!

There was no rain on our Parade

Last year, I rolled in to Seattle with a cowgirl limp. Crossing the Wild West through Big Sky Country and Eastern Washington had proven harder than I imagined. There were some flukes-electrical issue and flat tire. And I was rushing. It’s never palatable to rush these kind of trips. It’s all hazy really. I want to say I didn’t do much on my visit, but then again, I did.

Perhaps this time I just connected with more people. I feel more present and not as exhausted. Seeing familiar faces has given me just the needed boost to push on home the final 3,500 miles.

And maybe the Parade today has something to do with my spirits. I’ve never been to a Pride Parade. Susan, at Scoot Around, told me I could ride in it with the SQREAM scooter club. It’s much better to ride along than watch! Well, maybe. Seattle Pride brings everybody out to the streets-everybody.

At 9am I spot gaggles of googlers staking out their spots. I rush up to the meeting spot, hoping to find a gas station along the way. I don’t and I’m worried that I just might be that one moron who runs out mid parade. Phew. I don’t. It was only a mile stretch after all, but we drove in circles and it took about 80 minutes.

I arrived without any morning percolation and with heavy spirits because Ralph died. I see Tracy, the manager at Buca di Beppa’s. Once again, three times now, she gives me EXACTLY what I need at the moment. Coffee. A Starbucks card. Oh, and bottled water accompanied by trail mix.

While waiting to sign in, a volunteer comes up smiling. I stick out my hand but find myself suddenly captured in a big hug.
“You don’t know how much I needed that.”
The story of Ralph comes pouring out before I can bite my tongue. He starts crying. I feel horrible, yet again. We hug again, me consoling him this time and I go to get my coffee. I make a note to keep my mouth shut about the cat.

IMG_1456Five ladies pull up behind me, on Harleys. The sign in guy asks tenatively “Dykes on Bikes?” Ha.

Soon I am in formation with the SQREAM club. Benjamin is our queen. He bedazzles, leads, and inspires us. We are told to be regal and welcoming; the queenly wave is demonstrated. We practice. The loud thunder of the Dykes on Bikes kicks in.

Apparently, they are the ones who bring out the city residents. And I DO mean the whole city. Not just queer folk. Straight folk, dogs, cats, firemen, kids, grandmothers.

IMG_2220Perhaps the only ones not there were those attending the Mods and Rockers scooter event. Tons of stuff happening in Seattle this weekend.

I however, just didn’t foresee another Parade opportunity in my future; a chance to adorn my scooter with the giant Peace Flag and wave to thousands of people. In fact, as I went about the day later, people approached me saying, “Hey, I saw you earlier at the Parade.” Neat.

After the thunder of Harley’s disappears ahead of us, us scooterists begin our Meep Meeping and ride in circles down the streets; throwing glitter, candy, peace signs and kisses to the SCREAMING crowd. We were second in the Parade; our horns swelling into a motorized mosquito cacophony.
It was quite simply the best gig for a Leo. I was part of a loud, jubilant organism. It just doesn’t happen like this in the Southern Bible Belt, baby. WOW!

If you have found your way to this website because of the many Peace flyers I handed out while parading-thank you. Thanks for making this second visit to the Emerald City sparkle! 😉
You MUST see the many photos. I didn’t take enough. The Parade last 4 hours. I left early to help Chad with the cat.

Secret Sunset Scoot and Skewer

Okay, I rode 18,450 miles before changing the suspension. Perhaps this is even the first historical Buddy suspension change? If not, it’s in the top 10, I bet. Oh, and since the Ducati boys threw on some Conti Zippy 1’s, the final homestretch promises to be even smoother!

Audre (the scooter) also left Ducati with a classy piece of Rat Fink comic art “tattooed on her. Except it’s called “Peace Fink.” Now I have cool art to look at over the next 3,500 miles!


What better way to test this new improved ride than by riding all day? After picking up Audre from the shop, I zoomed off for an afternoon riding with the boys. To be exact; my three friends from last year, Chuck, Ken, and Ralph, and my new friend, Orin. I’ve heard of Orin through the blogosphere and his writing keeps me up to date on Seattle scooter scene. In exchange for the kind words he’s put in for me along the way, I let him ride the Peace Scooter.

I admit, even though I told him, “ride it like you stole it,” after a bit of time passed, I was twitchy.

I was along on their scouting ride for the rally next week. It was a fun ride, but I preferred the one they took me on last year. That was an impromptu ride that the West Enders Club treated me to; we scooted all around Seattle. I enjoy riding with this club. They are all witty, talkative, generous and also-experienced riders. No showboating, they just love riding and they do it well.
After scouting we headed to a BBQ.
Not just any BBQ, mind you, but a rather fun event-the Secret Sunset Scoot and Skewer. They even had buttons made for the event!

Did I mention the jousting?

An hour before sunset we all mounted our steeds and scooted off for the sunset location. There was a good crew of us and with festive attitude we honked and waved at all the oglers. It was quite a bit of riding, almost a mini rally for me at day’s end. Unfortunately and the reason still unknown, my camera shots are lackluster. Perhaps the settings were changed? Sorry guys and gals!

We made it just in time to watch the sunset. It was a moving experience. Heh.


People are good to me. Thanks People!

Watching the sunset made me excited for the turn East that I will soon begin. That final homestrech towards Washington D.C.!

For more videos and photos, visit MY FLICKR!

News 4 Peace. Channel 4 that is!

IMG_2206I made a final stop by Corazzo on the way out of the Rose City. Still hopeful I might get a foosball game out of Chad, I made like I wanted to film the shop. Well, it is a rather nice shop. And I do adore Cletis, the puppy.

Fortunately for Chad, the foosball table was covered with merchandise. I even got a quick glance at the prototype for the Speedway Women’s Mesh jacket-although it was whisked away from me before the camera captured any official glimpse.
We took some photos and I was off for some espresso. I passed out some postcards at Stumptown Coffee and it turns out one of the girls was from Maine. I still get confused where I’m from, exactly.

Yes, yes, I grew up in Virginia, but just two weeks before the P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER ride, I moved all belongings to Maine. Sometimes when people ask I say Maine, sometimes Virginia. The PO Box address for these fine Peace postcards is in Maine.

Speaking of, another one came in! Keep sending ’em in if you’ve got ’em! I would love to do a gallery exhibition with them and photographs of kind folk I’ve met along the way!

IMG_1377The drive to Seattle was long and full of wrong turns, some my fault, some Google’s fault and the rest could have been avoided WITH PROPER ROAD MARKINGS. I crossed a lot of bridges lately, with the route snaking along the Columbia River. After close to a perfect ride, I happened upon a large bridge.

And it was perfect too. Although, traffic was heavy and I spotted a motorcycle, ambulance and fire truck. This was unsettling and I pulled over for a second to call on my angels! Just then I spotted an ambulance headed my way and so I pulled in front of it, knowing they would give me lots of space. Well played.

Halfway through the bridge I entered Washington and raised my arm in victory.

IMG_1379Most of the ride was through small, conservative towns and was speckled with amusing and scary signage. After a 9 hour ride, I arrived at my hosts house. The misdirections added on a bunch of time, but the scenery was purty. An hour before 8pm, I called Shaun.

Remember Shaun? He’s here in Seattle and his friend is hosting us. Shaun let me know that I should push on, despite the hunger and cold. He also told me the sun wouldn’t set until 9pm. Weird, but good. The last stretch was a little tricky, navigating numerous potholes on an industrial road, but I arrived safely nonetheless. His words were the encouragement I needed-as was the festive spirit of a parade that I rode through in Yelm, WA.

IMG_2208I woke up this morning in a fancy high rise apartment with a view of Mt. Rainer. Gorgeous. Oh, and Starbucks brewed fresh for free in the lobby. Schmancy, but FREE. Today was a taking care of business day. Scooter stuff that is.

I know and trust the mechanics at Ducatti Seattle. They work on 15,000 dollar machines after all. Audre needed a full diagnostic and is even having an overnight visit at the doctors. She had a new front fork put on, as well as rear shock, new headlight, oil change, and new back tire. The back tire was iffy-but better to take care of it now before heading into the deserted Big Sky Country.

IMG_1387With my steed taken away, I decided just to hang out at the shop today. Good people there and it was totally chill. So chill that I fell asleep in the showroom reading the Vespa Bible. Robert woke me up and sent me upstairs to the couch, where I took powernap #2.

Perhaps I was pooped from the excitement of an interview with the local news. Wow! A real news interview! Somewhat serendipitously, a reporter was in the shop, switching up her 50cc for a 150cc. David, the dapper, joyous proprietor, connected us. After a look at the scooter and a brief chat, I guess she decided P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER IS newsworthy. WOW!

IMG_1390An hour later Denise and Rey were on location! I tend to be camera shy, but only because most reporters ask dim, slanted questions. But not Denise. Hopefully they do the story justice, it comes out tomorrow. They stayed for over an hour, so it’s hopeful that they wanted to put together a good piece. Denise is a motorcycle rider and also just keen and kindhearted. They both signed the scooter and then Denise let me film her defining Peace! You know that’s cool!

We discussed Peace, anti-war sentiments, alternative transportation, the rigors of a long ride, parking spaces for motorcycles, generosity of strangers, logistics and the origin of the idea to make a 22,000 mile Peace sign.

IMG_2491If you’ve read this blog from the beginning, you know that Seattle rolled out the red carpet last year. I made rounds, checking up on those generous people and saying thanks again. We had dinner at Buca di Bepo’s and the manager covered the whole check. This is a bustling Italian restaurant, apparently a chain, but it feels pretty unique. The staff at this one are really genuine. We talked about peace and traveling to the different people who stopped by the table to say “HI.” Last year Tracy opened the restaurant to cook me up a whopping plate of pasta and then treated me to two nights at the Marriott!

It’s an early night with this crowd, but that’s cool. Chad showed us how to make “fizzy bombs” by dropping Mentos mints into a 2 liter of Diet Coke. It’s a thing Bernard from Still Life with a Woodpecker would have learned how to do in 4th grade. It shot straight up about 4 feet! Big fun!

Since it’s chill tonight, I’m figuring out the schedule for the final part of the route! Only 4,000 miles left! I’ve decided to add a two day stop in Coeur D’ Alene, Idaho, en route to Missoula, MT. Last year I blew through there and it looked very interesting. It is, after all, an area known for white supremacy, so there’s bound to be interesting Peace conversations.

The rest of the weekend will be very hectic. Tomorrow is a group ride and BBQ with the West Enders group. There is a Gay Pride Parade on Sunday, with a group of scooterists riding in it and that could be fun. The same day is the Mods vs. Rockers Scooter Ride. For those who don’t know, this is a classic rivalry between scooterists. It was best dramatized in the rock opera by The Who, turned into a movie also called Quadrophenia. And then there is Eric, a talented writer also on a long scooter haul. Our routes have led us across the country and here at the same time, so hopefully we meet.

Feel free to check out the flickr sets and leave your definition of Peace!
Here is a video of crossing the Burnside Bridge into downtown Portland:
Here is a video of the random parade. They said it was a celebration of the Prairie?!
Here is a video of Corazzo. WOOOO!

Don’t drive the 125cc on the Interstate, that’s plumb silly!

This Portland stop- I can’t say if it went fast or slow. If I stayed just the right length of time or not enough.
Try to imagine what it’s like to find “home” on the road. The whole point of being on the road is that you aren’t at home. So it’s tricky. A seasoned traveler masters the art of appreciating unfamiliar spaces and faces; unfamiliar becomes familiar. Comfort becomes simply a shelter away from the scooter, traffic and elements. Loose definitions.

Since I’m not on a vacation and don’t have money to stay wherever I wish, kind folks around the country host me. And it goes really well. So far there has only been one time that was sorta awkward and that wasn’t because of my host. That was the other person she was also hosting.

maryI rarely visit with folks I’ve known for more than 10 years. I’ve known Erika since 1997. That’s cool. She’s seen me grow up. And her new homestead, Portland is beginning to feel like home. I can navigate around on my own pretty easily.

Thanks to their passion (and funding) I’ve been able to sample lots of tasty vittles. If you visited me here, I would know where to take you. I like that. Of course, there is lots more to explore, I can tell. I’m leaving with a sense that I’ll be back and quite hopefully with the dog and partner. Packing up the bags wasn’t so hard last night; staying has been tough, because I’m jumping ahead of myself. Duh, this isn’t home. I still have 4,000+ miles before I’m home and there’s no time to start missing mine.

My room had exploded, my stuff was everywhere and I caught myself reading three different publications. How nice to pretend I was home, on my floor in our house. I introduced them to Flight of the Conchords and so my evenings have been spent watching TV. Weird. I never do this. I was disappointed that after show 8 the writing wasn’t as good, but there were still some chuckles. Mary rides a scooter, too. Lots of people ride scooters here. There are like 6 scooter shops. And Corazzo, crafter of most things I wear while aboard my scooter-underhoody, jacket, gloves, and messenger bag!

I’m a selective person, I deliberate heavily before I buy. Last year, I searched and searched for a jacket. I looked online and went to motorcycle shops. Finally, at the scooter shop, tucked behind a sparse selection of lame jackets, I see the Corazzo jacket. Of course, it wasn’t my size, but it had lots of potential. The lame local scooter shop said, “two weeks before delivery.” I didn’t believe this and took matters into my own hands. Two days later, I had my Corazzo 5.0 jacket. And it fit, perfectly. Good, I had lost sleep worrying. I was leaving in two days, afterall. I would be screwed if this didn’t work.

IMG_1347Chelsea from Scoot Richmond also gave me her heavier Corazzo. Riding at this year means the weather conditions are volatile. So far, I’ve used three different kinds of jackets to deal with the climate. I’m riding with the heavier one now.

IMG_1350So, here in Portland, I have the chance to visit these fine folks. Cletis, the puppy, greeted me at the door. Then out comes Chad and then Bradford. We chatted; I chased puppy around, playing a fine game of tug of war and even some frisbee. Chad asked for a stack of my postcards and said he stuffs them in with single jacket purchases. That’s so cool. They gave me some hi-tech Carbone gloves. How nice! It’s strange to retire my others, but they are worn and offer no warmth.

Yesterday I was rushing to fit in little stops around the city. So after checking out Chad’s fine scooter, I was off. I’m fascinated with these two wheel machines and there is still much to learn.

Next was a visit with someone I met last year.

IMG_1357Justin, who runs Vespa Portland and Scooter King, which sells Genuine. Justin just switched locations and is now probably the contender for best scooter shop. In his old shop, you had hold your breath to get past someone, now we could breakdance and roller skate inside, it’s a huge warehouse. But it’s accented with warm, smart colors and just the right amount of boutique and rockin warehouse.

I played sales lady and talked to several customer; even helped answer some questions. Justin has more scoots than I’ve seen anywhere around the country. But, he’s out of the Buddy, for right now. IMG_1352This new scooting frenzy is unbelievable. Justin bought some P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER shirts. I wished him lots of luck, left some postcards with him and went to meet my friends for dinner.

The vegetarian dish I had at Swagats was scrumptious. Our conversation was amazing. The ride home was supposed to be easy. We were headed home to finish our shows and trade music. Erika asked if I was ok with the bridge. I thought she meant the Steel Bridge, and that one is ok. But she meant the Stadium Freeway Bridge, which is part of the highway!

I was following her and was still dubious that we were actually getting on the highway, even though we were clearly getting on the highway. I thought to myself that the ramp would actually lead us to another road, which is the case in many cities. You get on just for a second to get you over, if that makes sense.

Then I see, around the bend, a quite expansive bridge. And it’s high up. The wind pummeled me and our merging lane dumped us into the fast lane. A tractor trailer was beside me. And then another behind it. I was in the fast lane going 30. I couldn’t control my scoot in the strong wind, especially right now, with the suspension the way it is. I threw on the hazards and felt like this might be the end. Erika was gone. It was me alone, struggling. She’s not used to scooters. It’s beyond her. She would have no idea what it was like in my head right now. My arms were limp, this happens when I get nervous. I plugged along. People gave me sympathetic looks as they drove by. I think they were scared for me and wanted to distance themselves. Their looks gave reassured me. Had I been in California, someone would have made me a hood ornament. Thanks Oregon!

Phew. I made it and then I was on the Interstate. Yay! I’ve never been so happy to be on an Interstate. I jumped off AT THE FIRST EXIT and navigated my way home. See, I know where I’m going. I actually beat them home, but that’s because they were waiting at the exit further down the road. I almost puked. I had a full belly and there had been no time to steel myself for what was ahead, as I have in most bridge crossing situations.

IMG_2745So that’s my bridge story. We swapped some music and I plotted the route to Seattle. I’m well rested and caught up on work, kinda sorta. I’ve even had some Stumptown espresso. I’m in the Pacific Northwest, afterall, and I know exactly the shop to visit the SECOND I arrive in Seattle. Cafe Vivace. With the cold, I had to cut back on caffeine. Now it’s time to plunge into the thick, pungent espressos that await me. Crude oil. Yum!

I’m excited to switch back into traveler mode. I will be volunteering in Seattle and going on a group ride. If you are there, maybe we can meet. Let’s have some espresso!

Fried Okra, Fried Green Tomatoes- I’m in Love


I’ve moved all my stuff in, I have my own floor here in Portland. The house is so yummy. Can a house be yummy? Well, sure. It’s painted in bright, citrus colors, yellow, tangerine and green, that are oh so pleasant. I have two friends here, no make that three if you count Henry, the dog. Audre is outside, I wish she could come in. We haven’t ridden in two days! She just hit 18,000 miles, yowzers! I’ve been neglecting the classic turning odometer photos.

Portland has been very high on the potential home-to-be one-day-in-the-future list. For now, I happily keep my address near the East Coast Portland, Maine. But the West Coast Portland has many, many prospects. My hosts love eating. That’s mostly what I’ve done so far, along with some nice walks, conversations and lots of work. (blah)

Oh my body, sitting on this scooter for a total of 18,000 miles. Yes, there was a winter break, but I never recooped from the last long haul. And winter is for hibernating! What a great feeling to walk and walk-blood pumping hard through my heart and limbs, with sore legs today.

IMG_1312We went through a lovely rose garden. The dog Henry was almost more pooped than me. We played his favorite game. Check out the little video below– he loves jumping and hanging from the tree. I was worried, but apparently, he is engineered for this. My dog’s favorite exercise is moping. Just kidding, but there is no way the little guy could pull these stunts. Henry is a happy guy after being rescued 4 years ago!

Oh, the food! Last night was homecooking and then my fave-popcorn, with nutritional yeast and Braggs. I introduced Mary and Erika to Flight of the Conchords and we enjoyed many gut laughs. Fun show with songs that get stuck in your head and people wonder, “what, what, what is she singing?!!”

IMG_1325Tonight we indulged at the Screendoor, with lots of great comfort and soul food. Okra! Fried Green Tomatoes! Mac and Cheese! Long gone are the gritty, dilapidated kitchens of NOLA, where only the soulfood shines. Although, there was Louisiana hot sauce on the table, sassing up my greedy portions of okra.

Then it was haircut time. My long, shaggy mane has been obstructing my view. Erika, hair sorceress, took care of this matter. She seems to prefer me with short hair. Oh, kinda sad to watch the curls go. But the new doo is fantastic! My helmet was feeling all pinchy on the temples and back of head. Especially with the hood up, which I need because temps are much cooler here in the NorthWest and might just get cooler as I head into Montana and North Dakota. Bye curls, I’ll grow you again.


After spending the day getting caught up at “work,” I have lots to squeeze in tomorrow. Then it’s on to Seattle, leaving Thursday, I predict. I want to give the chap fixing Audre a bunch of time. He’s facing a lot of work; a new front fork and rear shock. Shaun is in Seattle, so I think I have a place to stay. He was successful in the first half of his solo scoot back home, making it to L.A. Then he bought a plane ticket to Seattle! For those asking how he is-thanks. I told him his fans want him to blog again. Wink. Wink.

Monday I leave Seattle and begin the turn home, heading East again. It’s all going so fast, yet I never feel rushed. But suddenly, it’s almost July! I’m more than halfway done this round! Ahead is Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Pennsylvania and D.C. Then hopefully a victorious arrival at Scoot Richmond, maybe some people to toast with me! I’m tossing around in my head the idea of simply scooting home to Maine. It’s a 675 mile ride, at least. But, hey, that’s just two days!

Oh, the letters people have been sending! Oh, what wonderful people are in the world! Thank you thank you! Kelton-I will try to organize the photos, I promise. Last year I was so good about it. This year there are no stories about the people, places, and things-I know. Sorry! I stayed in a lot of cheap motels last year and had more time alone! At least I promise to do it when I’m done riding.

It’s off to bed so that I can rise early enough to squeeze in a bunch of last minute visits! Ciao from us three, er, four!


Henry’s Dance:

back to top

I feel great again, yay!

A father and daughter just rode past the porch where I sit, typing and drinking coffee. The daughter was on a scooter also, the Lil Rascals kind and she says, “Dad, look a scooter!”

“That’s a Peace Scooter honey!” (they see the signs on my seat cover)

“Actually, it is a P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER”

The morning finds me in Portland. My health is much better now; made better also by the pace at which I’ve been able to travel. Once outside of Chico, CA the roads and drivers were friendlier. Thank you to all the well wishers who wrote encouragement!

IMG_1266In Oregon, they drive at a “reggae pace.” Also helpful is the speed limit, set statewide at 55 mph. Friday night I stayed at the Featherbed Inn, in Chemult, OR, near Crater Lake National Park. After the unwelcome patch of gravel that made me wipe out, I was greeted warmly by a $30 room, dogs, cats, and horses-oh and a comfy featherbed. Neither myself, nor the scooter were hurt in the spill. The saddlebags protrude so far from Audre’s flank that nothing else was harmed. I attempted to catch my footing and push us both upright, but we were on an incline, so at the last moment I bailed, landing upright.

I fed the horses and took some photos. I joked with the owner, Don, about trading in the scooter for his horse. It was a fantasy many years ago to ride cross country on what Tom says,” is the original scooter, one horsepower!” Chemult, OR is a town, or village, maybe one mile long; flanking the road are just a few restaurants, hotels, gas stations and a trailer park. In September, Chemult will be flooded by Japanese mushroom hunters. They are hunting the Maitake, known as the “dancing mushroom, ” because people would dance in celebration when they found it. Why? Well, it is worth its weight in silver.

People pay $35 a pound for it, sometimes more! Maitake has also proven itself as an effective cancer fighter and anti-viral, also used to regulate blood sugar levels. My research show that IT IS NOT a Japanese virility supplement, which I was told. Good, that restored the image of the Featherbed Inn as a quaint, little, rough around the edges but thoroughly charming motel. I don’t want the image stuck in my head of Japanese tourists desperate for an organic viagra!

IMG_2197Time meanders along here in Oregon, slipping slowly into a simple future. Of course, things are probably different here in the big city of Portland. But somehow I wake up and always have an seemingly extra four hours; taking time to relax, read, and enjoy the abundance of health food markets. And to enjoy the routes through gorgeous forests, like the Willamette National Forest, or sprawling farmlands where the greens and yellows of crops stretch for miles before bumping against tall blue and green snowcapped mountains.

IMG_1278My hosts in San Diego, who I miss very much, tried to secure hosting with their sister in Eugene. Sadly, the timing didn’t work for us, but Josna helped recruit a host for me. Jill seemed hesitant, but curious enough to open her small space for me. I arrived to Eugene in time for the Saturday Market, the main reason to visit the town. Many years ago I dropped out of college, ignoring my scholarship in order to experience a different type of education.

Raised mainly in the burbs, I felt a calling to uncover truths that were hidden among all the expectations of what a smart, successful white high school grad should do with her life. Success meant nothing to me if I couldn’t explore what failure meant. In the process of traveling I redefined what success really meant to me; it was the beginning steps of developing my own character, which had been shaped in part by a consumer culture. I lived on the streets, basically, and camped in forests with groups of people. I rarely called home and I found ways to support myself; although I would live on just $10 a day or less.

In the process of removing myself from the culture I was raised in, I became judgemental when I saw other people embodying that culture. I saw them representing the things I had just escaped. That is a natural mindset for many people who begin to experience a drastic change. Of course, anger and judgement are pointless. Really what changed my ways were accepting and forgiving myself-that it took me so long to become appreciative, humbled and deliberate about the way I spend my life here on this Earth.

While visiting Eugene, I saw many people who were searching and had a similar mindset to me years ago. I also saw a lot of stoned hippies and was saddened that it is often easier to get high and let the world and those suffering in it just slip away. People medicate themselves in many ways though, throughout all classes and cultures. I personally feel that the first steps in spiritual awakening are to heal yourself, but then to recognize the intersection between spirituality and activism.

IMG_1279The Saturday Farmers Market takes up four blocks; four blocks full of farm fresh produce, handcrafted wares, street performers, food vendors, stage music and hundreds of observers. I ate a delicious tofu salad on the courthouse steps while taking in the drum circle. The market has been in full swing since 1970.

There is a demand from locals to have local food. There are many benefits. Imagine how tasty and fresh the goods are-chock full of the nutrients you and your kid need. There is less gas used in transport, friendlier for the planet also with less CO2 pumped into the air. This also lowers the price AND your money stays within the community.

I walked around and handed out postcards and then went in search of a scooter shop. Mike was parked next to my scooter and after talking for a bit, offered to lead me to the Triumph shop. It turns out they sell Genuine. The mechanic, Hunter, was very nice to fit in a gear oil change free of charge, on such short notice-they closed in 30 min. I spoke with the owner, Rod, for a few minutes.

IMG_1283He started off his piece by saying, “Well, our political viewpoints differ greatly, but I think it’s honorable what you are doing.”
“Wait, it’s interesting that you have no idea what my political beliefs are, but you think you do because I’m on a Peace ride.”

Grrr. We had a 5 min. conversation and he was right, our beliefs do differ, but I can’t emphasize enough that this ride is NOT about politics. In the 60/70s there was a huge cry from the women’s movement, that “the personal is political.” I’m reversing that to say, “the political is personal.”

After the oil change I went back downtown, enjoyed a Rogue beer at the brewery and caught up on some email. THANK YOU to everyone supporting the raffles. I’ve been hearing from those starting to get their prizes and I”M SO STOKED by your happiness! As I was checking email, Logan walked by and asked to use my computer to check his email. I said No at first, I had little battery power and then I changed my mind and said go for it.

He sat and we talked for a bit and I must have freaked him out because he left without taking the postcard. I said, “Hey, that was a gift.”
“Well, I feel like you are trying to teach me something.”
What was this? The origin of my disappointment went back to my time there in Eugene as a kid. Here was a guy that obviously understands community, rejects consumerism, appreciates living simply and purposefully-but he was angry. Angry that other people don’t get it and judgemental because he does. In a sense, that is being entrenched by the same system that you reject. If, as Ghandi says, “The end is inherent in the means,” then anger doesn’t generate love. If you want people to love themselves and others more, then you can’t hate them because they don’t.

If you think someone is too material, yelling at them about it doesn’t really open their mind, nor teach them about the alternatives. I listened to him judge people who walked by and even my server, Danny, who was a genuinely nice guy. I asked Logan when the last time someone yelling at him made him change his ways. He said never.

He wished me “Good Luck in Eugene,” but in a way that felt passively aggressive. I was lucky however, my host was truly a delight. After eating yet another salad in a field, in the long light of a Solstice day, I headed to Jill’s house. She wasn’t home yet and I took turns reading and catnapping on her couch. IMG_1284I was a little nervous about meeting her, but only because she seemed a little nervous. Like she was asking herself, “what did I agree to?”

Visiting with Jill added at least another 5 years to my life, in just 3 hours. I began asking her about her lifestyle, after noticing bottles of herbs, grains and juice and trays of sprouting seeds. She is a dedicated raw foodist. Nothing she eats has been heated over temperatures of 80-120 degrees. Perhaps it seems difficult to maintain a lifestyle like that, but I’m under the impression that once you begin to experience the health benefits, you are motivated by the way you feel. Like any new behavior, there is transitioning.

But live juice! And vegetables! And sprouts! And fermented cabbage! It was all so tasty! Jill made me lots of samples! I was so excited that she was excited to share information. And she wasn’t critical of me at all- my smoking occasionally and avidly drinking coffee! IMG_1292After I told her how complicated it was to sprout while on the road, which I tried last year, she gave me a sprout bag! A burlap bag that makes it easy to grow sprouts. Now I have a traveling salad bar! Sprouts are like power pellets for Pac-Man. They have tons of anti-oxidants that prevent DNA destruction; they protect against cancers, disease and bone breakdown! They could almost be considered a fountain of life! YUM!

IMG_1290We stayed up until 1 am talking about healthy lifestyles and the problems in the world. And how they just might be related. It was so nice to leave politics out of the conversation; instead talking about actions, like eating and shopping.

We celebrated that health, within just the past 10 years, has been recognized as something you have to pro-actively, daily, cultivate. Before, you just got sick and then got healthy. Now, people are realizing that food=health! The best part of Eugene was my time with Jill. I left the next morning after packing my stuff, including info. she printed out for me on all kinds of stuff, like how to make your cell phone safer. I can’t wait to get home and start eating with more focus on raw foods!

IMG_1297In the late afternoon, after a complicated, but beautiful drive, I arrived at my friends, Mary and Erika. A young, spastic deer ran in front of me. I stopped to photograph it and it came closer. There were many unmarked roads making the drive confusing and even some closed ones! IMG_1301I will be here until Thursday. I have a foozball game and defeat planned at one of my sponsors, Corazzo. I must defeat Chad because back in April, he sold the last pair of Carbone riding gloves,which meant I didn’t get any! If you are local, shoot me an email-let’s explore! The submit button is now working again on the contact form. OOPSIE! Use it NOW!