Nothing runs like a….

P.E.A.C.E Deere

Have I mentioned yet that I want to mow at least one yard in each state into a Peace sign?
I need your help! I haven’t mowed a single lawn yet. I’m passing tons of John Deere’s on these country roads and just longing…..

Run fast to tell your friends, family, co-workers-what have you. Help me get some grass,to mow. Here is the idea. I’ve approached Black and Decker to donate a 24V Electric, Cordless mower to raffle among those who let me mow their lawns. I haven’t heard back yet. Their mower is the better alternative to gas powered mowers, which likely contributes to 5% of our air pollution.

You can reach me about a lawn to mow, or even a place to stay, by using this sweet contact form.

Day 2/3, Eden, NC-Asheville, NC

I had requested the cheapest groundfloor room available in Eden. The motel clerks were very generous and friendly, we talked for awhile. The trade-off for the room placed me near the highly trafficked ice maker and housekeeping laundry room. The first day excitement had me totally amped and I finally drifted off around 2am, only to sleep lightly. At 7am I was awoken by a bunch of hullaboo.

40wThe weather forecast called for intense thunderstorms, but miraculously as soon as a couple of drops fell, I donned my rain suit and the sky cleared. This makes the Sentinel rainsuit truly water, if not storm, repellant! This fortune however was a trade off for what turned into a frustrating day of riding. The ride quickly turned into a horrible series of misdirection and searching for non-existent roads. I traveled on roads that not just took me of course, but roads mislabeled and with the mileage horribly miscalculated. I called the day itself a bad blow job-I was blown around by storm winds and blown off by a disgruntled mean shop clerk. One man kept referring to me as “the boy”. ” The boy needs directions, it sounds to me like the boy can’t follow directions.” I tried big smiles on him, but he wasn’t responsive.

I’m not exaggerating about the re-routing. The predicted mileage, 8 hours before the ride ended, was 200 miles. At the end of the day it was 275. I try to enjoy every moment of the ride, including getting lost; it’s an interesting feeling how everything looks familiar once you’ve circled around and have no bearings. And I was in the middle of North Cackalacky nowhere. Blue Moose BaristasI try to avoid slamming the throttle and get frustrated, despite the fact that it takes 2x as long to reroute. More than halfway through the day I stopped for coffee and conversation with the baristas at the Blue Moose drivethru. I didn’t stay long, as the sky kept changing from sunny to overcast and I was in riding mode. I became lost again when the directions led to a fictional fork in the road. The kinder locals I met at the intersection confirmed that the directions were bunk. Eventually I jumped on Interstate 40, only because 70W dumped right into it. Apparently this was the only way into Asheville or a dirt road over Black Mountain-which I NEVER found.

The scooter hauled up and over the this part of the Eastern Continental Divide, the view was gorgeous and the storm winds had ceased by this point. Suppa TimeI was on the interstate for 25 miles, breaking the law but appreciating the direct route for once in the day. My friend Jaymii gave me the most specific directions to her house. I worked with her and Hannah at Omega and they both greeted me outside. The bags were unpacked and I had some food after a long day. Jaymii and Hannah are both talented ladies; there seems to be no food or item that they can’t craft with expert care. We went out on the town for a burlesque show and then to a bluegrass band at the local brewery. Brew, burlesque and bluegrass- a wonderful conclusion to the day.

It feels like home here, Asheville is often compared to my hometown in Charlottesville; both are the progressive oasis in conservative Southern states. And the Blue Ridge Mountains surround the towns. But, She-ville, as Asheville is called, has NO Ladies Arm Wrasslin League! Saturday was a late night.

We stayed up talking about politics and the importance of one creating the change they want to see in the world instead of hoping the government can do it for you. We discussed what we want in leadership, the odds that we will get it and the general pessimism that surrounds politics these days. Sunday was an early morning, made earlier by the late night. Our destination was Sunny Point cafe, the most scrumptious local spot for brunch. After a true Southern meal of fried green tomatoes and grits we came home to craft, sitting on the lawn in the radiant warmth of the sun. I finally sewed on patches that I’ve been carrying around for a year, in addition to the cool, bright pink sQream patch that came in the mail right before I left town.

I will stay here in Asheville another night. My Aunt lives in Birmingham, AL but she will not be home from the beach until Thursday. Tomorrow finds me in Atlanta, GA, for two nights. I’m excited about my first experience. If you’ve never heard of it, it’s an international network that helps travelers find free lodging. My two hosts seem to be about the coolest you could possibly find in ATL. I will arrive Tuesday night and attend an Alice Walker speech at Spelman College. I hope to attend in exchange for volunteering, but have not heard back from the two emails I’ve sent out.

Thanks for reading, thanks for the words of support and offers for lodging. The new raffle started today, they will run every week. You don’t have to dig deep to help P.E.A.C.E SCOOT fund raise, entry is only $5. ROCK ON!

Eden, Day 1

There was no need for an alarm today. I leapt from the bed, showered and was packing the scoot within 15 minutes. Birds were chirping, the air smelled like spring, felt like spring. A smile broke out behind my coffee cup. Day 1 was here. My friend and boss lady Laura came by to snap some photos, while the scoot was being packed. At 1o am I was beeping goodbye to her and my roomie Wendy.

Bon Voyage

Off I sped, 40 miles down the road to meet my mom for a quick hug and lecture. Which actually never came. Mom handled the bon voyage with grace, although she declined a test drive of the scooter. The sun was higher in the sky and I felt a bit overdressed. This year a nice lady from offered me her Alpinestar knee/leg armor. Today is the first run with it on. It’s a completely necessary item, although I waddle a bit with it on, it’s hot and my knees are kinda chafed right now. Still, mere jeans don’t provide adequate protection.

The packing went rather quickly this morning, something I could do in my sleep by now. Compression sacks work magic on gear. Packed in a sack no bigger than a sleeping bag is my sleeping bag, jacket/pants rain gear, tarp, and towel. This is bungied onto the front rack. Later in the day, the weight felt like it was creating a wobble in the scooter, so some stuff was switched to the saddlebags.

When I stopped to adjust the gear, I felt a pressure to go, go, go, hurry, hurry, hurry. I’m torn about punctuality and its place. Punctuality on an epic ride like this seems to defeat the point, even though in every other situation, I try to avoid tardiness. I’m also still learning how to wrap up a candid, interesting conversation with strangers-that’s the Southern Girl in me.

Today I met and talked to 5 total strangers, all wonderful people and on most travel days, I meet more than that. I know I won’t break my back or compromise my health and safety to maintain the illusion of a schedule. It would be hypocritical of me to ask how we can improve our quality of life while compromising my own.

Dave Mangano was at Scoot Richmond when I arrived on time, at noon. It was nice to meet the man in person, having been interviewed by him for He is an intelligent man with great style and humor. Another Dave showed up to see me off and the three of us, plus Chelsea, hung around the showroom. We were lounging around on scoots and the fancy shop sofa, chatting away.

The Dave who rides a Buddy asked some questions about gear so we went outside for a tutorial. He’s a new scooterist, and we talked about his shift from driving a truck to scooter. He was a real solid guy, very generous, and he brought up some good references to Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. We agreed that while in a car, everything is so insulated, framed whereas on a scooter you are part of the landscape. We talked the senses, and how they are used more. I joked this must be what makes me so hungry when scootering-shocking when all I’m doing is sitting on my rear 8 hours a day.

Dave M. asked me some questions for his podcast and shared some tech knowledge with me. Then it was time to sc00t sc00t. Time had slipped away, two hours. Chelsea thought the media might come out in addition to Sctrcst, but alas, it was NASCAR weekend in Richmond. Sadly, more interesting. It was a proper send off though and I took a moment to appreciate the absence of any stress.After hugs, I was off down Hull Street. But not before thanking Chelsea profusely for the scooter charity she has kicked my way-an amazing woman. And we worked out a fund raising idea that I will hold her to-just you wait….

Soon potholes, stoplights and urban buildings gave way to sprawling countryside. Traffic was friendly, thankfully, as I dropped my speed to handle the strong wind gusts. I was getting hit hard and had some serious wobbles that were made scarier with tractor trailers going past. The route today was a long open road, through sparsely populated countryside; couldn’t even tell it was rush hour on a Friday, somewhere at least.

Stopping for my third tank of gas, I lingered for a few minutes, making sure to hydrate. Ricky MartiinThis is the most I’ve been out in the sun for awhile and I wanted to avoid dehydration. The break led to an encounter with Ricky Martin. Not the salsa dancing, pop sensation but the North Carolina raised truck driver. He had a friendly Southern drawl and asked a lot about the scooter, but never asked “Why?”

Why the heck are you doing this? So I volunteered the information and asked him how he defines Peace. He said, “I’ve never really had to answer that question.” Exactly. We talked some more and I discovered he has 2 kids and a grandaughter. We talked about how he would describe Peace to her if she asked.

His answer that Peace had something to do with freedom led us deeper into discussion. He said I could definitely make it to the North Carolina border by sunset, but not the original stopping point I had in mind. Around sunset I pulled into Eden. Knowing that I have free places to stay the next week made the motel room an acceptable splurge.
Approaching Eden
So here I am in Eden, North Carolina, traveling 235 miles my first action packed day out. As I pulled into town, the odometer switched over to 12,000 miles. Mostly all miles ridden on P.E.A.C.E Scooter, minus about 350.


I choose not to drive late into the night, at dark, as I find that foolish and not necessary. Did it enough last year and I know the force that is Southern bugs at night. They literally cover your coat and helmet, making visibility poor. Tomorrow is an early start to Asheville, NC, just under 200 miles away, where I have good friends to visit.


Thanks for reading and thank you to all those who sent me well wishes today!