Finally I reached Arizona-after 2 long weeks in California

Arizona Sunset

So it occurred to me today that I ask people to be honest, with themselves and with me. Asking people to define peace is personal. I have the honor of witnessing people open up and share a moment with me. Likewise, I’m going to be honest with you. I’m drained. I rush everywhere! Today I reminded myself to lay in bed for 15 minutes, take 5 minutes to do my meditation and then to groom. Man, I haven’t even shaved my legs in two months. And that might not matter to some people. I never used to shave my legs, but I like too-I like to show off the tatts and muscles-and that’s ok. Busy women just don’t have time for this stuff.

Yesterday was a beautiful ride, clocking in at 280 miles, through VERY windy desert terrain. And honestly, I didn’t want to write a blog, although I did upload and label pictures. Instead, my friend was online and we watched some youtube videos and laughed-many many states apart but still sharing a moment. Here are the links to a couple of the videos that we watched (profanity warning):

Anyhow, it was the FIRST time this whole trip that I didn’t ride hard, unpack my stuff and jump to write. I caught myself thinking back a lot yesterday, to all the states I visited 2 months ago and the people I met. Two weeks from today, three months from the start, I will pull into Crawford, TX. Daphne and her daughter Courtney will meet me there. In fact, they are driving from Maine to support P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER -which astonishes me. I’m totally moved that someone I met through this journey is just as inspired as myself-and willing to go the distance. They will drop me off in VA-but I still have to figure out how to get Audre home. I think a trailer will be to expensive to tow her.

I have lots of things to tell you about and plan to catch up on the blog entries, over the next couple of days. I also need to contact some of those Peace making organizations and see if anyone wants to rally with me in Crawford. Any suggestions on that? My good friend Katie is in Flagstaff, AZ, where I’m headed in just a minute. I plan to stay there until Tuesday. Funny how my perspective has changed this trip- Flagstaff is only 155 miles down the road and that seems like cake to me. I keep catching myself saying “Oh, only 2,500 miles left.” Only???!!!!

Right now, I need to stay in the moment, I still have many states to experience and many strangers to meet. So, thats where I am now-in the moment-being honest that it’s hard to stay grounded. Hope you all have a good weekend!

Happy Birthday Marco Polo

I am the proud mom of a beagle/sheperd mutt extraordinaire-Marco Polo.

Let's do it again, Mommy

Today, he is 5 years old. Although he’s wicked smart, I’m not sure if he uses the internet, but I am thinking of him! In a few weeks, I’ll be walking in the door with a big ‘ol bone for the ‘lil man.

Marco Polo

Desert Rose

Hey friends. Wow! The Wall of Beliefs has seen more posts in two days than it did in two weeks! That’s great! Help us reach the goal of 1 billion definitions.
I must get some miles behind me, and will update later tonight. Hopefully, I exit California today, after two and a half weeks of adventures. Of course California welcomed P.E.A.C.E SCOOT, but it’s time to say my goodbyes to the Promised Land. The desert views are amazing, right now I am in Joshua Tree. On my way to Palm Springs, to stay with Tiffany, I witnessed the most beautiful thing….

Behind me the sun was setting, as I reached the desert. In front of me, the swollen, luminous Harvest Moon was rising. Quite an auspicious arrival.

Smoggy Sunset

Moon Rise

More to come: LA, the scooter, Palm Springs madness, and Joshua Tree. For now, here is my JT album cover photo!



PEACE is: the perfect random shuffle on my iPod.

A conversation with total strangers

Knowing that change is happening

being that change

a 277 mile ride through the desert



Speak Your Peace L.A.

September 24.

A late night passed quickly into an early morning. Bobo, Jen and I chatted late into the night and I fell asleep while finishing up a blog entry. My sleep was deep though, after a long haul down the coast to the Endless Summer Rally, followed by a long drive over to L.A. The bungalow in Pasadena was a fun, cozy spot though and it felt great to sleep on something other than a squeaky hostel bed.

Mike and I headed over to NOHO scooters were I met up with Tammy, my tour guide for the day. Scooting around a new city is the way to tour! Original plan had been to bypass L.A. and go to Long Beach. However, the route over to Joshua Tree would have me puttering through L.A. anyhow, so I accepted NOHO Scooter’s offer to host me. Ultimately, this was a sound decision! Mike, Jen, and Tammy were greats hosts. I’ll write a bit more about that later tonight. (I’m writing from the road) Tammy took me up to Hollywood Hills to snap that classic shot.

They have a mutual friend, also a scooterist, Linda, who is dubbed, “The Angry Hippie,”. She’s really not angry. She is more like a quirky hippie. Since the day that George W. Bush was inaugurated she has worn an item with a Peace sign on it-going on 8 years now! We spent some of the afternoon hanging out and exchanging ideas. I’m really glad we met!

L.A. is over the top but I enjoyed my brief time there. Two things came out of this trip. “Speak your Peace,” was coined. Linda asked me how many people I am trying to reach. That is a question I have wrestled with the whole trip. If you have read along the whole time, you might remember that back in Selma, AL I was reading a MLK book, “The Measure of Man.” Here is an excerpt from that journal entry:

“Some years ago a group of chemists who had a flair for statistics decided to work out the worth of man’s body in terms of the market values for that day. They got together and did a lot of work, and finally they came to this conclusion: The average man has enough fat in him to make about seven bars of soap, enough iron to make a medium-sized nail, enough sugar to fill a shaker, enough lime to whitewash a chicken coop, enough phosphorus for about 2, 220 match tips, and enough magnesium for a dose of magnesia. When all of this was added up in terms of the market values of that day it came to about ninety-eight cents. Now, I guess, since the standards of living are a little higher today, you could get about a dollar ninety-eight for the average man. (and now days that would be about 3.98)”

This is interesting. Think about it. Man’s bodily stuff is worth only 3.98. But can we explain the whole of man in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the artistic genius of Michelangelo or Alex Grey in terms of $3.98? Can we explain the spiritual genius of Martin Luther King, Jr. in $3.98? Can we explain the mystery of the human soul in terms of $3.98? There is something within man that cannot be explained in terms of dollars and cents.

Well, the same questioning is applicable to the mission of P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. How many people do I want to reach? How do I measure the “worth” of this trip? Do I hold the success against the money spent doing it? How do I even determine the catalytic scale of the trip? Do I ruin it by saying, “Oh, it’s successful if we pull out of Iraq?” or “If George W. Bush defines Peace, it’s is a success.” It’s an accomplishment just to ride 10,000 miles on a scooter-for that matter-8,300 miles. Is not the transformation of one person a “success,’?

But when Linda proposed the question-it all clicked. Remember, the impetus for this trip happened while I was at the John Lennon Instant Karma exhibit, and saw the quote, “If a billion people were thinking about Peace, there would be Peace.” And I thought-that seems easy; why aren’t people doing that; and maybe people don’t have a definition of Peace. Hmmm, I will travel and ask people to visualize and define Peace. Suddenly it was crystal clear, I realized- ONE BILLION definitions of Peace, on this website-that’s what I am seeking. So, game on-forget one million-that’s too trendy-let’s aim high world. Tell everyone you know-and take a moment to leave us your personal definition. What we are creating here is a forum that offers insight to one another’s perspective. We have a common ground-a place to celebrate diversity.

When I talk to people about this trip, I say: “America is great, right, look at all the different cultures and ideologies coursing through the country…but often we separate, create factions based on our differences-let’s step forward and generate dialog about our similarities.” Share your personal idea of Peace and your vision for the future-its a simple, civil way to bring different, new ideas into the light-and hopefully celebrate diversity. Diversity is a strength-not a weakness. Judgement is divisive, acceptance is unifying.

So there it is-Speak your Peace is born and will live past the finish line. I JUST did a google search, and it seems that Speak your Peace has been coined before. Crikey. Well, I’m gonna look into it, guess I should contact them. 😉

I’m headed to the Joshua Tree for all kinds of weird adventures. Tiffany, my hostess in Atlanta, GA is now at the Joshua Tree, so I have a place to stay. Apparently, strange things happen out in the desert-keep you posted!

A deep bow to the new Peace definitions over on the Wall of Beliefs! It’s very nice to meet people and then see their definitions posted. Many warm thanks and blessings to the people sending donations. Please, keep them coming-even $5 is a 225 miles or so of gas!

Photos will be posted soon, but the internet connection here is miserable!

A quote I keep seeing everywhere:

“When the POWER OF LOVE overcomes the LOVE OF POWER, the world will know PEACE.” Jimi Hendrix

Endless Summer Rally


September 22. After spending the afternoon meeting people and exploring San Luis Obispo, it was time to hit the road. My destination was Santa Barbara, for the Endless Summer Scooter Rally. Usually, I fail to have good timing meeting up for local scooter rides or rallies. BobbyA couple of days ago, Mike from NOHO Scooters contacted me with the rally dates and it seemed feasible. So, off to my first rally! I’ve been hauling down from Berkeley, making the already planned stops along the way, but trying to reach Santa Barbara by Saturday.

I left San Luis Obispo with only a two hour ride ahead, tops. The ride quickly turned from a perfect Southern California sunny day into a rainy mess. I found myself waiting the storm out at a gas station in Los Alamos, for about an hour. Pushing on, down Highway 101, the road began a steep ascent and offered some tight curves. Traffic was much heavier than anticipated, Audrey was full throttle the whole way to keep up. I finally cruised into Santa Barbara, later than planned, and headed over to the hostel. Two hostel in two days. Hostels are great for numerous reasons. Their rates stay the same, whereas hotels jack em up on the weekend. I also enjoy meeting travelers from around the world and its a nice way to get some company. Often, they are located in the downtown hub too, making it easy to get around. Also bonus for a traveler on a budget is the kitchen access. Last thing: they aren’t usually corporate! Of course, they aren’t always as clean as I would like-but they make up for that in character.

Tried locating some rally people but it seemed they were all at a private party over at the Orange Tree Inn. Since I didn’t know anyone yet, I figured it was better not to bust in on a private party. Instead, I enjoyed a long conversation with D., took a long shower, and hit the squeaky bunk bed.

The morning yielded a perfect riding day. Honestly, my first impression was that the route was pretty short. I thought it through and realized, first, it was round trip, second, there were about 50 riders to coordinate. From the second I pulled in, my hesitation slipped away. Before this ride, I wasn’t involved with the scooter community. I had recently given up 9 years of bicycling to ride scooter. So now I’m getting the chance to experience this tightly knit, although immensely kind community. From the first moment everyone was friendly. I expected the kudos for such a long ride, but really appreciated that people wanted to talk about the Purpose of my trip. I don’t really just want to talk about scooters. I’m on a Peace ride, and that work doesn’t ever stop. That’s the beautiful simiplicity of my trip-my intention is to talk to everyone, everywhere and ask them to give Peace a chance.
After an hour of milling around and meeting people, handing out stickers and taking photos, we saddled up. The smell of two cycle smoke was heavy, and for the first time, enjoyable. The group was split up within a few minutes and regrouped in front of a gas station. That’s when I realized I was “that girl” who had no gas in the tank. Fortunately, other people were gassing. Of course, they don’t have a ton of gear to unpack either-but I clocked record time. We proceeded on to the canyons. Group riding was exhilarating, and I loved all the stares in our direction. It’s gorgeous to see all the different colors and models in formation. Santa Barbara is a beautiful town, I had driven in by night, so it was my first view. The canyon ride was quite curvy and as we climbed up the hills, beautiful views opened up. On one side were valleys and then the ocean stretched out on the other. It was hard to point and shoot, but I did some tricky filming while navigating the scooter down curvy roads. There is actually more filming of the rally than pictures……

Our destination was Cold Springs Tavern, a historical landmark. Very cool that within three days I’ve visited two cool landmarks. ( alice’s restaurant) This place is also a classic bikers destination and the place was packed. 200 years ago it used to be a Well’s Fargo Stage Coach Route-a stop for fresh horses, women, supplies and poker games. 2 wheelersThere was definitely a Wild Wild West feeling in the canyons-like an ambush could be waiting around any corner. Gravel could also be waiting around any corner, but no one went down, fortunately.

The bikers were very friendly and inquisitive about all the scooterists pulling in. I met a lot of characters, it was a really unique place. It’s amazing how many people have ridden this country by bicycle, motorcycle, or scooter. SueI had the joy of meeting Bobo Vespa and hanging out with him most of the day. He’s done the Cannonball Run before (with Heather, who I almost met in Portland) and tours the country extensively by scoot. Bobo has a great laugh and attitude, he was also attentive from the start, making sure I was welcomed. Mike and the NOHO crew-his wife Jennifer, Tammy, Andy and Aran also found me early on and kept an eye out for me. I took a lot of pictures of and fully enjoyed the whole experience. I showed up at just the right time, one day was enough since I’m on such a tight schedule now.

I’ve been putting some miles behind me again. I rode over to LA with the NOHO crew after the rally-about 100 mile ride. We had a support truck following us, so I unloaded my gear. It was a rush to take the long ride on a “naked bike.” Mike and Bodo took the lead, on 250cc’s, but I kept up with them really well. Everyone complimented the Buddy’s swiftness for such a low CC. It was probably the first freedom ride I’ve had yet-no heavy gear, no maps and no worrying about traffic since we had 2 support vehicles following us. This route was very scenic too, zooming down canyons with a pretty turquoise lake to the right and puffy clouds in the sky. I’ve been fortunate to see new parts of CA this time out West. Riding into LA was very painless. We dropped the bikes off at the shop and ate some authentic Mexican. I was pretty jazzed from such a great ride- It had been a long, but rowdy day for everyone.

Mike and Jen are hosting me and Bobo at their snazzy bungalow. Bobo and I explored the unique collectibles in every room and talked with Jennifer for hours-both of them keeping the conversation going while I blog(ged). It’s interesting to be around old school scooterists and hear talk about their past rides and characters around the scene. Bobo, too has ridden for a cause, he helped raise money to get service dogs for the blind. He’s heading back to Maryland early Monday morning-I plan on seeing him once I get back to the East Coast-he’s a classy character. My plan is to explore LA, do some riding and sightseeing. Tuesday puts me en route to Joshua Tree.

All and all, an action packed day. I’m gonna grab some zzzz’s
I coined the term “Speak your Peace” today. Speak your Peace is now the official name of the ongoing Peace Project. I want to collect one billion definitions of Peace. Even when my ride stops, the Peace website will stay up. I bought the server for 2 years, but I’ll find away to keep it running!
Please, leave your personal definition of Peace up on the Wall of Beliefs. Speak your Peace!

OH! Now the fifth piece of the Peace sign is complete.The outer circle on the left side is done! Peace is being put on the map!

September 21


Dear Mom:

I’m a little crazy. Not sure where I acquired my lust for adrenaline? You and Dad seem a tad more conservative than me. Perhaps you should have consumed more chamomile tea during pregnancy. You might not want to read any more of this entry, by the way. I broke our rule, a couple of times this trip, actually, and I rode in the dark. What follows below is the account of this!

September 21. Since I knew Santa Cruz pretty well, I decided to find a new spot for coffee. Coffee houses are one of the places I where I talk about the project. I get access to a wide variety of people and a sense of a city’s “pulse.” I wound up at Ugly Mug’s, about 5 miles outside Santa Cruz. And it’s a whole other world there. I really enjoyed both the coffee and the space. Had fantastic conversations with people and typed for about 3 hours. Then it was time to get to San Luis Obispo. Of course I was leaving later than planned-but this blogging stuff takes up some time!

The route was still undecided from the moment I got on Highway 1-which would split in 12 miles. Highway 101 had been recommended to me by several people. My original plan was to ride along the Coastline as long as I could. We just don’t have a road like Highway 1 on the East Coast. This is where our country ends. It’s breath taking and thrilling to ride, even in a car. So I decided to do it. There are tons of switchbacks, curves with 15mph turns. The lanes are small and if there are few guard rails-even those look incompetent from a scooter viewpoint. I trudged along in traffic for a bit, inhaling exhaust. Then I sped along crazily in traffic, actually pulling over and calling people while waiting for it to subside a little.

I would be driving in the dark. But that was ok. I still had 3 hours of light left to work with. I also had secured a reservation at a hostel in San Luis Obispo and they told me checking in late was fine. Eventually Hwy 1 became 2 lanes and the curves started. For whatever reason, my bike was not balanced. I tried numerous things short of repacking the saddlebags over completely. In places the wind was gustier than others. Of course I stopped to take many pictures, and since I can’t type long today, I’m gonna post a bunch of ’em here, the rest are on my flickr account.

It was the most fantastic, meditative ride I could take. How I considered, for a second, any other route, I do not know. It’s harrowing. You must be safe. You must watch out for crazy drivers. And you must watch out for the edge-as it plummets down hundreds of feet to a rocky ocean. You must know how to ride a bike and handle wind while taking extreme curves. But the view will reward you, seduce you, make you smile huge under that helmet. If you are in it to ride. If you are in a hurry-don’t bother.

Google maps UNDERESTIMATED the time by about 2 hours. Then add some time for me, because I rode in the dark. And it started raining. I rode over tight curves on careening cliffs, with wet roads, in the dark. It was amazing! It was one of the first times I rode at night and felt no fear. I don not know why the human mind takes a fear and runs with it, or becomes so easily conditioned; but I am de-programming these fears. Of course, I don’t think you should ride this road at night. I saw NO motorcycles at night and very few cars. I did however see 2 ambulances. Stopping for gas, the clerk warned me to be careful. There had been a double fatality two hours before. The road was warm with death. That could have freaked me out. There weren’t even places to stop if I had wanted, other than pullouts along the road. Basically, I rode 110 miles in the dark. Mainly at an average speed of 25 miles per hour. I was cold, wet and WIDE EYED when I reached the hostel. I eventually went to sleep- feeling like a bad-ass. Just won’t ever do it again-I promise, MOM.

I’ve spent the day in San Luis Obispo and I love it here. Here is a link to an article about SLO’s stand against corporate takeover. It indicates that smart, conscientious citizens inhabit SLO and that despite some differences they want to make this a good city to live for all.

Heading to Santa Barbara now, to meet up with some people at the Endless Summer Rally. Tomorrow I will ride back to L.A. with the NOHO scooter gang. This is exciting and means I can throw away the map for once and just enjoy the ride!

Here’s the pics!




Hidden Garden

September 19, continued….


The wind was blowing heavy, hopefully blowin’ some change our way-but it mainly seemed to be blowing trash around. Near San Leandro, my directions blew away. The route was so detailed that I actually stopped to look for them-but soon submitted to the fierce wind. It was a fun ride, through parts of California that I had never seen before. On this Peace ride, I try really hard to avoid highways, even 101 since it has mostly been 2-3 lane past Willits. The culture in each town is worth experiencing. Before I started the trip, a scooterist wrote me to say, “If you can’t wave to anyone on their front porch, you might have found yourself on a highway.” This is the rule I try to stick to, and some days I wrestle with the frustration of knowing my route is taking me 3 hours out of the way. But, I recognize that this is the way to reach the most people.

Traffic here in California is ridiculous, not just the sheer volume, but also people drive horribly. They are very squirrely-unpredictable. The plan had been to take the San Mateo bridge, as I felt empowered from my bridge crossings in the Bay Area. Bad news though, with the wind gusts, so I circumvented the Bay-eventually winding up in Menlo Park.

So, here’s where I tell you about the Fabulous Funki B&B in Menlo Park. I had a room booked there, through the owners, Dawn and Amanda.


When you pull up, your hostesses Dawn and Amanda will greet you. Their cat Pete will even come outside to say “Hi.” This will be the initial second when you, the weary traveler, realize you’re in heaven. And the thing about heaven is that all the details are perfect and yummy.

It’s best to visit their B&B if you like to be pampered and have no problem receiving. See, one thing I am working on is receiving, I have no problem giving. So, a visit at this B&B might even provide you with a personal transformation. Mine was learning to say thank you. I said it so many times that it also became my personal mantra!

Audre was unsaddled and the bags were carried up. Every need I had was somehow predicted and accommodated before I opened my big mouth. Psychic hostesses? A scrumptious dinner of mung beans and quinoa was ready. IMG_0108Jared, a neighbor in their lovely community, popped his head in-because it was game time. Forget the cable channels that most hotels offer. Bah! These ladies will take you out on the town for some real action! Amanda is captain of the ITP softball team. ITP=Institute of Transpersonal Psychology. Dawn introduced me to many people and we grabbed seats on the bleachers. Quite a few people said, “Hey-ya-you’re the Peace Pilgrim.” Which, was a twist on the ol’ standy “Scootergirl,” but there is already a grandma Peace Pilgrim-a personal heroine. Dawn has done a notable job sending out links to the website! (hint, hint people!)

Most team members have names from the Psych Canon on their jerseys. Go Jung!Truly a humorous bunch, but it definitley ups the ante on name recollection-always a challenge for me! The game was an hour, which flew by. I am quite confident they are all better at their Psych practice than they are at softball. But, it was clear that everyone was having a good time-even the ump-and so was I.

Me and Dawn spent time in the bleachers talking about community. Peace CheerleaderBefore running a B&B, Dawn and Amanda worked at Omega. Omega is where I first experienced community-even with its annoyingly invasive hippie moments-there was good community there. Dawn was excited to have put down roots on the West Coast and emphasized the importance of creating community for happiness. That’s what was happening at the ball game-playing and community. Funny enough, I’ve had a couple of personal Peace definitions that center around “watching my kids play ball.” Good GameMy mom has community through church whereas I create extended community around personal interests-yoga, gardening, cooking, spirituality, politics. Our talk gave me a tinge of excitement-looking forward to returning home to Charlottesville after 3 months on the road. Community events are the threads that keeps us cohesive and allow us to co-create better personal and social environments. I might even get a softball team going if there isn’t any already! Amanda has a lot of finesse on organizing sponsors, so that info was helpful.

The action was far from over. The team was heading over to Dan Browns, a sponsor and the local watering hole. Chris, aka C. Jung, has a lot of toys-an Apple phone and a Mini Cooper. Now, you know how I feel about “cages,” but this one is worthy! It was a nice ride over and we just chit chatted about toys and driving. At the bar though, Chris brought up his dissertation topic, which is about Peace and uses memes for perspective. I love memes-the Don Beck and Claire Graves models for upward human development. I learned about this model through Ken Wilber, a philosopher who teaches the Integral Model, a model that I want to get my Master’s in.
In fact, a lot of the personal writing/research for this trip utilizes the Spiral Dynamics model. So I was totally excited to have this chat with him and hope we stay in touch. It was also cool that the Peace ride was so well understood and received. A few of us were sitting around talking when Aneel suggested I get off my but and play pool with them. Forget ESPN, it was time to play!


It was one of those nights were my game was on-but that’s something I celebrate more than anticipate. Mainly it helped that my partner Jared was Paul Newman’s stunt double in the Color of Money. Color of MoneyIt was great to meet everyone-I had a nice night out! We headed back to the B&B and I got to explore my accommodations.
All of my gear was placed in my room and towels laid out. The bed was absolutely delicious, I slumbered deeply. The B&B feels fantastic, a lot of love and thought has gone into this Sanctuary. There are two kitties for petting, even though I’m allergic, I do like cool cats.


We sat up that night, in front of the beautiful shrine Dawn created, drinking tea and talking. It was so comforting to be in their company. They sensed my need for nurturing. I had some ginger tea mixed with throat comfort tea, because my voice has been off lately. Below is the tea station where visitors can rifle through the varieteas and dress up their cup with goodies.


The living room, adjacent to the tea room,doubles as a yoga studio. Dawn leads Kundalini Yoga classes three times a week. She is also pursuing her Master’s at ITP and will graduate in June. Unfortunately, I didn’t time my visit well enough to take a Kundalini class. Dawn was a huge influence in my life three years ago when I started my practice.


I love the light that fills the space. The next morning, now September 20, provided better riding weather. My morning started off nicely with coffee on the balcony, amidst the pretty plants and even a lime tree. Then, when I wouldn’t expect things to get any better- Amanda served us breakfast. I was able to take care of some errands- like my camera issue, thankfully! I had been bummed that I bought local, in accordance with my buy local policy, but Crutchfield is coming through for me! Yay!


Dawn pulled her Jersey mom on me when I protested all the goodness they were offering me. There was a wee little squabble about accepting the money she raised for me. I lost. Thank you D&A.


Somewhere in the day, they made me watch the stand up comedy about Hot Pockets. I recommend this funny gem for a good chuckle. Amanda set out shining up her already shiny bike and installing saddlebags. I also gave Audre some shining-which looked amazing! There was a group ride planned, with Jared, Natalia, and the three of us. The plan was to escort me out to the Coast, and then I would ride alone down to Santa Cruz. April from Scoot magazine wasn’t interviewing me in Santa Cruz at 7pm, so we had a nice leisurely ride lined up.


I was more than impressed to see Natalia, 6 months pregnant, show up for the ride. That means that Jerry had three people on his motorcycle! I was the only scooterist, but had no problem keeping up with the pace. There was only 5 minutes of town traffic and then we headed for the hills. The road wound through redwood forests, where the temperature dropped some, and then ran smack into the Pacific Coast-the end of America! Along the way, before passing through La Honda, we stopped for coffee and pie at the infamous Alice’s Restaurant!


Jared and Natalia turned back home after coffee. Dawn and Amanda led me to the Coast, where we said our goodbyes. That was full service B&B treatment. Let’s review: dinner, softball game, pool and drinks, women’s circle tea time, heavenly bed/shower, fundraising, breakfast, organic coffee, two sweet cats, scoot detailing, laughs, community, and an escort out to the Coast. DELICIOUS!
This is were I break it ya. It’s an oasis-a Hidden Garden. A night at their casbah requires personal invite. The B&B is not open to the general public! 😉

I am some how blessed enough to have made it in!

Daphne asked, “Let me get this straight…you only stayed one night at the place where people pamper you -and the longer at the others?”
Yes, but it was just right. It was good just the way it happened. Right now, I am now earnestly keeping to the time table that I came up with in Berkeley.
Thank you D&A for opening the B&B to a Peace Pilgrim-Scootergirl and thanks to the ITP crew!


The evening ride along the Coast meant the wind was picking up, but it didn’t really phase me. IMG_0141I zoomed into town with 15 min. to spare. Along the route I snapped some photos and reminisced. I used to spend a lot of time in Santa Cruz, and had not been there in 10 years, so there were lots of good memories in my head!
Later that night I met April at the Saturn Cafe and we spent a few hours together. She was really fun company-easy to talk to and very wise! I am probably a rambling nightmare to interview, but look for it in the November issue of Scoot Magazine. We were wrapping up our conversation when Le Tigre’s song “Peace Now!” came on! Rock on!


Catchin up


The last post I really had time to write was back on September 11. P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER has since experienced quite a few escapades. I’ll bring ya along through a day to day abbreviated version of the events.

September 11. IMG_2991Original plan, disappear into the Redwoods for some meditation and camping. Instead, I opted for a night in Eureka, pushing very quickly through the Redwood/Coastal route to arrive just as the sun set. I felt very free and happy,the drive was perfect in every way; my mindset correlated with a freedom gained from blogging early that day.

Usually I visit the old growth Redwood forests around Crescent City, so I thought, “hey, try a new spot.” This way I could spend some time in both Eureka and Arcata. I found a cheap KOA, set up the tent before it was totally dark and headed into Eureka. Not much was really going on but I grabbed a fine beer at the local Lost Coast Brewery, chatted with some people and used up some free wi-fi. I had discovered that Northern Cali is remarkably devoid of wireless, more so than any other places I’ve visited. That night I met some characters outside a convenience store and was reminded how many transients visit Humboldt County. The next day I would meet even more drifters when I headed into Arcata, a vector on the Peace map.

September 12. I started the day off with a long steamy shower, (no pics there for you) not sure how long it would be until the next one. IMG_3016I was enjoying camping and cooking up all my goodies on the stove. The delicious Co-op in town was my first stop. The North Coast Co-op is at I & 8th Streets, which can be easily remembered if you say, “I ate.” Anyhow, they have one of the best Co-ops I’ve visited, and everyone in town seems to shop there. I followed the cue of the lady next to me and began sampling the green curry tofu and the vegan mashed potatoes. We struck up conversation and it turns out that Harmony works for the City Council. Throughout the day I also made the acquaintance of a Purple Fairy, Dragon, Lotus and PacMan. Anyhow, she informed me about the radical city regulations that limit the amount of corporations in their county. IMG_3015I was thoroughly impressed-didn’t see any big corps until the edges of town, they are mainly in Eureka. (which is 10 miles away) Honestly, Arcata operates on its own time zone. It’s a bubble. I spent a couple of hours outside the co-op, before meandering over to the town square. Locals and transients alike flock to both of these places.

People watching was at an all time high, I was so completely amused. IMG_3023I met a lady who works for Google maps and I offered her some suggestive comments to improve the map service. One question I had- “What happened to those COMPLETELY MISNAMED STREETS FROM SEATTLE TO PORTLAND?” Being that I’ve used their service extensively, I felt entitled.

Then I approached Robin because he had a VW Bus with two hi-tech monitors and a satellite antenna. He told me a lot of info. about the city and local happenings. IMG_3027As I write this, Robin just left a definition of Peace on the website! Thank you Robin for sharing that with the world! Chuck from Seattle had just pulled into town, so I left Robin and drove back down to Eureka. Chuck was on his way back to Seattle from San Fran, cruising the Coast on his Vespa with some friends. A biker sat down to talk with us and joked that in comparison, he felt kinda slack for riding his big bike such a short distance. IMG_3041I said my final goodbyes to Chuck, leaving quickly since I was determined to reach the Avenue of the Giants, a 32 mile stretch of redwoods along Hwy 101. Oh my Goddess. The drive was astounding. My mouth was constantly open, with the expression, “wow, ” echoing over and over. Right at dusk I pulled into the Burlington Campground. It wasn’t my original choice, but this wound up being a good arrangement. There were more people around and even firewood for sale. The Redwood Umbrella covered me as nightfell. I stoked up a good fire, cooked some beans on it and had a fantastic slumber. The spot I choose had a massive tree with a seat in it, like a huge Ewok throne. The next day I meditated in the massive tree and was really happy about my decision to stay in the Humboldt State Park.

September 13. Awhile back the community updates on had posted a blip about P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. That post has put me in touch with some fine people! Liz Lovejoy (what a great name) had contacted me for a free meal in Ukiah, CA. My friend Oneida had also just called to tell me she was in Latonville. Oneida in Her TentI was under the impression Liz would come first, but it turned out Latonville was actually the next town. I set out totally excited that random fortune would allow me see my good friend-who had moved to Maui last year. She was on the mainland for Earth Dance. Postponing my date with Liz until Friday also meant that I could attend their Pro Peace Rally in front of the courthouse. Everything was quite serendipitous. IMG_3074I saddled up and headed down the Avenue of the Giants. There was a little coffee shop outside of the campground. It seemed very nice. There was a world map up with pins to mark where you were visiting from. Since VA was all filled up with pins, I stuck a pin in the middle of the compass (since I’m from everywhere) and then stuck a Peace Postcard up on the ocean. Just then I noticed the owner staring at me.
“Oh, would it be ok for me to leave this postcard up? I’m putting Peace on the Map, my route around America creates a Peace sign, so I thought it would be cute to put that map on your map.”
(and that is cute)
“Well, you already did, so why ask?”IMG_3067
(fair enough)
“Yes, well I realized that might have been presumptuous, so I apologize. (taking down the Postcard.) Is it OK to leave one up here?”
Loudly. “Did I offend you sir?”
“No, I just don’t know you and I don’t want to get to know you, or talk to you.”
“Oh, well, I see your sign says this place ‘Is the best espresso on the West Coast’, but, it’s obviously not the friendliest!”
No comment. I threw the peace sign, a hard gesture to make at the moment, and left.

A guy from the Netherlands watched the whole exchange and joined me outside. We talked with two girls on a road trip from the East Coast. That put my morning back into good shape. DomeI pumped some Mc-KOS and headed down the Coast to meet Oneida and her friends. Pulling into Latonville, I was shocked by the amount of hippies everywhere. Also shocked that despite the massive festival happening, the coffeeshop and health food store refused to extend their hours. The coffee shop closed at 1pm. While that’s ridiculous, I kinda respected their convictions.

I pulled up to the entrance to Earth Dance and started telling my whole story. Earth Dance, which I wrote about, is a three day Festival to unite humans, heal the planet, promote consciousness and provide a good electronic soundtrack for all that Peace work. Sky LodgeThey were totally in support of my trip, and also wary because hundreds of hippies were lined up trying to sneak in or score a free ticket. My friends came out to the gate and signed me up for their work crew. They were building a Sky Lodge, which was a huge tepee structure where 13 grandmother tribal elders held seats throughout the conference. The RulesIt was a very cool space, designed to honor the bridge between ascendants and descendants. Audre was left at the front gate to ensure I was really leaving the next day. The couldn’t seem to fathom that I was just there to see my friends and camp for a night. The festival sounded amazing, but I didn’t have the money or time to stay for it all. WIng BlingThe grounds were empty except for performers, arriving vendors and crew. The scene was bubbling with playfulness and really casual. I had some great conversations with people and then got on the Whale Bus. That’s Jason’s ride. A big charter bus painted like the ocean, once used for a Save the Whales non profit. I took to calling it the Aquarium. I was hanging with the Inspirates, an improv troupe. Hours flew past as we played improv games and laughed hysterically. Jason and Matthew together bought me some “Wing Bling,” so now my thoughts can fly! Thalen, an InsPirate, makes beautiful gold wings that attach to your glasses and now I have my wings! I went to sleep around 4am and was awoken by the incoming festival traffic. The gates had opened at 8am and people were piling in-I had NO idea how big this festival is. I am definitely going to it next year.

Maui Crew, Brenton squatting

September 14. I left Earth Dance by noon, heading on to Ukiah. En route I visited Willits, a tiny town. There I met Malachi, a local artist. He resembled an elf from Lord of the Rings. There was a sadness in his eyes and he told me some personal stuff that just happened. He took a postcard from me, we hugged, and I went to leave. He ran up to me and told me where one of his murals was located in town. He said, “I’ve thought about it, and that mural is how I define Peace.” Below is the picture of Malachi’s peace.


Malachy's Peace


I pulled into Ukiah just in time to attend the Peace Rally. Driving up to the courthouse I saw a pretty sizeable group holding various signs, like, “WHEN THE POWER OF LOVE OVERCOMES THE LOVE OF POWER, THE WORLD WILL KNOW PEACE,” and HONK IF YOU WANT PEACE. There were LOTS of honks. Everyone in attendance was so kind and all very enthusiastic about my peace ride. I was invited to do a radio show interview this coming Sunday-it will be archived online-and I’ll let you know soon. Liz and a big crew invited me to their Code Pink meeting. This was a good chance to meet everyone and have some good political conversation. We talked about impeachment and how to mobilize participation at Peace Rallies. One of the gentlemen there is a teacher. He mentioned that it would be a great assignment to have his class define peace. I hope they do! Look forward to the definitions! Liz, her daughter, and another woman were flying out to D.C. for the March on Washington the next day. This made me excited. I was thinking how the Peace Marchers were in D.C. and that they might get to meet someone I just met while on my Peace Ride. Chills! We all headed our separate ways and I made it to Santa Rosa that night.

September 15. I jumped up ready to go and excited to see my Omega tribe in San Fransisco. Traffic on 101, on a Saturday, had become very miserable. I followed along side the Highway via service roads for awhile. IMG_3177San Fran was only 60 miles away or something, but it felt dangerous to travel 101 in the wind and traffic. Besides, I had never seen this part of the country, so I wound up taking a 3 hour detour through Marin County and Muir Woods. Really, exceptionally beautiful parts of CA! At 4pm. I pulled over to do a Prayer for Peace and join in the Global Ohm, here is a pic of what was right in front of me! IMG_3168See, I fully support the notion that when enough energy is directed towards change, change happens. I rode windy roads that snaked around plummeting cliffs with the ocean crashing below. This ride relaxed me incredibly, more so than plugging through traffic, a mindset necessary for passing over the Golden Gate Bridge. The two miles with zippy traffic on 101 brought me to attention and then the bridge loomed before me. Of course, it was windy, and there was a lot of traffic, but the ride passed without incident. It was a pretty fast commute-didn’t get to see too much scenery because I was focused on the road. Definitely want to thank the message boards over on,, and the for documenting details about traveling the bridges. IMG_3180My visit in the Bay area gave me the chance to take two big bridges, Golden Gate and the bay Bridge. I like the metaphor, crossing bridges and I kept that close to me while riding the Bay Bridge-the more challenging of the two. I threw a triumphant fist in the air as I crossed the Golden Gate, took a picture and then met up with my friend Julie.

Julie is always a fun person to visit and I’ve had the pleasure of knowing her three years now. IMG_3187She’s a study in contradictions, young and wise, feisty and sentimental, guarded and open- I call her the Holistic Carnie. She never ceases to bust my ovaries, but at the same time she takes good care of me-thank jules. She shares an apartment with 5 very interesting people in a prime spot, the Lower Haight. IMG_3224It was a community neighborhood and I didn’t feel overwhelmed by the big city in the slightest. We went out dancing on Saturday night, at the SOMA. The scene was very surreal and I had a chance to play, talk and dance with my fellow Omegans. Around 4am I took a cab home, after declining a woman’s invitation to take me home. It was very flattering though.

September 16. Julie and I were laying around in a slight coma, after a long night and a big breakfast- when Allison stopped by. IMG_3207She’s another feisty rabble rouser that I adore and who I worked with last year at Omega. We used to do dress up themes when we worked together at Omega, riding around on golf carts and setting up class rooms. Probably my favorite theme was Beach Day, when it was raining and we decided we might as well wear bathing suits if we were going to work out in the rain all day-and our Bonnie and Clyde theme rocked also. She got us moving and we headed to Zeitgest for a Bloody Mary. My old boss had told me to go here and he didn’t steer me wrong. It’s a biker bar-bikes off all sorts. The courtyard was slammed for an afternoon! The bartender bought my drink and showcased a sticker behind the bar. IMG_3211We met a bunch of people there and the conversations delved into all spectrums. One of the tamer questions that went around the table was, “What invention would you create?” I was pleasantly surprised by the answers-almost every hypothetical invention discussed a way to better the environment or reverse the “seemingly hostile brutal nature of man.” IMG_3208Brilliant. I was trying to do some recording, but was almost kicked out because they like to keep a low profile. Julie went to work at the Noc-Noc Bar, me and Allison visited her. There I typed up an extensive P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER update to send out in mass mailing.

September 17. Crossing Bridges. I felt ready for the Bay Bridge, thanks to the detailed instructions on the First and Last Chance Scooter Club in Oakland. I jumped on the highway at 3:15, which was a good time to cross. Traffic was heavy, so no one could speed ridiculously dangerously. IMG_3248It was just a loooooong bridge. Right as I thought it was ending, we went through a tunnel and then bam, more bridge. I felt pretty dam tough as I came off that bridge unscathed. Once in Berkeley, I chatted with a very cool Peacenik lady who gave a $4 bill with Cindy Sheehan’s face on it. Then I met my hostess, Hannah at the Buffalo Exchange and somehow put her on my fully packed scooter I don’t think I will ever do that again, but it worked for 10 blocks. That night I had some chillin time with her and her super great roomate Greg.

September 18. An early nights sleep and late morning rise meant I was well rested. I had many days of busy work while in the Bay area, contacting many people; sending out letters, making phone calls and such. IMG_3272With laundry and most of my errands done, I had time to goof off with Hannah. That night we headed into the city for one last night of play time with Julie and Mikey. We went over the Bay Bridge, West Bound, and I was glad not to need that route back-it’s on the upper deck, more windy. IMG_3270Scary if done at the wrong time of day. That night I met a lot of cool people, talked about the peace project quite a bit. In fact, I was beginning to lose my voice from all the conversing over the weekend.

September 19. Meant to get an earlier start, but once again, it had been a late night. I took a long ride around Berkeley before heading out. It’s a great little city, very progressive and positive. I was searching for the people living in oak trees.


They have chained themselves to trees that might be torn down to build a stadium. A nice lady I met on Monday had told me about this cause. I never found them, but I did notice there is a People’s Park where its okay for transients to live. It’s a big hobo camp, but clean and pretty. It was turning out to be the windiest day I have yet experienced on the road, interfering with my travel time. I wasn’t too worried however, because Dawn and Amanda are really cool ladies. My plan was to cross the San Mateo bridge over the bay, into Palo Alto. But it was WAY to windy-in fact my directions flew away early in the ride. However, it was a nice cruise, only 64 miles away, but took about 4 hours total. 😉

Stay tuned for the rest of the story to unfold. Right now I am heading to San Luis Opisbo, staying for the night and then hoping to catch a rally in Santa Barbara, my first rally ever!


Give P.E.A.C.E a chance-buy a peace sign scooter seat cover-and give P.e.a.c.e some cash, too.

I arrived to San Francisco after a really gorgeous drive down Hwy 101, stopping to camp in the redwoods and to visit a Peace Festival. IMG_3174There are an abundance of friends here in the Bay area, most of who I used to work with at Omega. Back then, in addition to free classes, room and food-we made anywhere from $50-$150 a week. Slim living, but we had everything we needed and access to some of the best teachers in the world. It’s great to see my friends doing well for themselves and also nice that they are generously helping me out.

So, the past couple of days I’ve taken advantage of free housing, using the time to do some evaluating-my finances, the amount of miles left, and a feasible date for the finish. IMG_3210Well, the finances are null at this point, I have 3,500 miles to go, and will arrive Crawford, TX on October 13.

The arrival has extra days buffered in, also. I’ve been buckling down and contacting a lot of organizations and press, hoping to generate attention about the Peace Ride. It’s been a lot of busy work, so I’ve fallen behind on updates. Many thanks to those people who have responded to the fund raising letter I sent out, with encouragement and donations. (It’s posted at the bottom of the page for your reading pleasure.) One of the GENIUS responses to my solicitation was Crystal of

As a gift, she made me a scooter seat cover and shipped it to Fargo, ND.
I’ve been rocking the bedazzling peace sign scooter seat cover (say that 3x fast) ever since. Crystal has a nice business creating made-to-order “totally fantabulous” seat covers. For her part in helping out P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER, she has decided to make a limited-edition version of the scooter seat cover that she gifted me. She has made 10 peace-sign scooter seat covers, for any scooter model that she typically makes scooter covers for, and (drumroll) 50% of those 10 sales go straight towards my tipjar to help cover expenses. Now, folks, that’s incredible for all parties involved!
For more info, and to find out how to order, go to


Thanks so much Crystal-and let the sales begin!
More updates coming up!

Fund raising letter: (feel free to cut and paste to send ahead)

Dear Friends and Family,

I am sending out a brief update to let you know about the Peace mission.
P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER has been on the road 9 weeks today. The goal is to put Peace on the map, and along the way, ask Americans to visualize and define peace. To date, I have covered more than 7, 500 miles-experiencing communities across our country and talking to thousands of Americans about their beliefs. The ride has been one of endurance and inspiration. I have experienced drastic changes in both climate and culture; challenging my own limits and also pushing beyond social dogmas. It is a life defining experience to create a common ground with strangers that allows us to discuss transformation, community, and Peace-despite religious and political backgrounds. Back in July, I left my job and home, driven by the message that if each and everyone of us can personally define peace, we will begin to create more Peace in our world. With joy and determination I have shared the stories of others with you, through I am extending the invitation to you and your friends to participate in the online forum, by offering us your definition of peace. The forum was created to showcase our perspectives, a place where we can utilize diversity and appreciate the beliefs of strangers.

P.E.A.C.E Scooter still has 3,500 miles before the Peace sign is complete. I will arrive, at the “finish line,” Crawford, TX, on October 13, less than a month away. I also extend an invitation to join me that day for a pro-peace demonstration.

I am reaching out to you because I really need your support and show of solidarity. I, alone, do not have the resources to complete the trip. Many people have kindly offered me their homes, meals and helped to raise some donations. P.E.A.C.E Scooter is a grassroots demonstration that needs funding to stay on the road. I rely on community resources and networks. Even the smallest donation helps, and can be made through the website, under the link, “donations.” The journey has taken a few weeks longer than originally planned, and as of October 1, my rent is due-with no income to send home a check. There are also expenses like gas, food and lodging.

I do need your help to generate awareness about the Peace project, please help me contact people-organizations, friends, radio, newspapers, TV stations. I have created a huge social mobilization project and want to reach as many people as possible! Many anti-war organizations endorsed the Peace Marchers-helping them get funding, press and places to stay. Please help P.E.A.C.E Scooter get the same amount of recognition and assistance, as it has achieved the same scope and vision-promoting peace-and at a level where life, politics, spirituality and art intersect. I have poured my life into this cause.

Thank You for following along and offering your support. I am honored by the conversations that people share with me daily. All across our vast country people are building bridges with me. You are helping to bring light, awareness and hope into our world and consciously embracing the need for change. This is our commitment, in positive language- to plant seeds that dissolve hatred, suspicion and apathy. To revel in living. To create Peace. To foster community. To be the change we wish to see in the world.

Alix Bryan

Earth Dance 2007


So there I was, traveling down Highway 101, having many adventures and enjoying the majestic redwood forests, when my friend Oneida called. She is a dear friend I met last year through some unusual circumstances, back in Oberlin, OH. I have been to visit her in Maui, where she has been living since last summer. Well it turns out that my route down Highway 101 was getting ready to run right past a Peace Festival in Mendocino County, and she was there with a bunch of her Maui friends.   The hub location for Earth Dance was at the Black Oak Ranch, a place I have wanted to visit since I was 16-home to Wavy Gravy and many of the Grateful Dead, Merry Prankster families. All in all, it was turning out to be a very serendipitous experience. At this point, I was already “thankful,” that I broke down way back in Circle, MT because a lot of good twists have happened in the itinerary.

From Arcata, CA down to Mendocino County the roads were speckled with transients hitch hiking down to the festival. I pulled into the little town to grab gas and people were everywhere, lazily hanging out and chatting. The festival didn’t start until the next day, but my friends were there on crew, setting up, so I decided to talk my way in. After a lot of explaining my situation, my friends came down to the gate and escorted me back to their camp. Security held on the the scooter to make sure I wasn’t scamming my way into 3 days of incredible music. Everyone and their grandmother was trying to sneak in, but security was very supportive once they found out about my Peace mission. I also don’t have 3 days to stay for music, so they relaxed a bit and provided me with some yummy dinner and lot of water on my way out.



I spent the next 16 hours playing with the Maui tribe, catching up with my friend, and meeting the many beautiful freaks attending the festival. Right now I am headed off to cross the Golden Gate bridge, so I’ll just post about Earth Dance and the intention behind it. Today is a very active day in the world, between the synchronized OM and Prayer for Peace, as well as the huge war protest in D.C. Just want to let everyone know about the events happening and hopefully at some point you can close your eyes today and say a prayer for peace-or even better-join in the OM at 4pm.



These words are simply cut and pasted from the Earth Dance 2007 website. “The H2Om project will attempt to create the world’s largest synchronized global Om, which will take place on Saturday September 15th during the Earthdance international peace event. Earthdance, the Global Dance Festival for Peace, has grown to become the world’s largest simultaneous music and dance event, uniting over 350 locations in 60 countries. Every year, in alignment with the International Day of Peace, over 200,000 people unite in dance, with hundreds of thousands more joining online, in support of global peace and humanitarian aims. The defining moment of the Earthdance event is the synchronized “Prayer for Peace”, played at every location at the same time.

This year, the Earthdance “Prayer for Peace” will be followed by a unified global Om, as people across the world synchronize their voices with the intention of healing the Earth’s waters. To increase cohesiveness and provide a single, specific point of focus for the global community, the “Prayer for Peace” will be immediately followed by the recording of a fundamental tone (the specific human frequency of 125hz), which will serve as a foundation for people to tune into.”


“We are one global family
All colors, All races
One world united.
We dance for peace and the healing of our planet Earth
Peace for all nations.
Peace for our communities.
And peace within ourselves.
As we join all dance floors across the world,
let us connect heart to heart.
Through our diversity we recognize Unity.
Through our compassion we recognize Peace.
Our love is the power to transform our world
Let us send it out



Yes. Today I was pulled over for speeding. The cop said, “Whoah, you drove that thing all the way here from Virginia?”
“Why, yes, sir. That’s 6,800 miles and I haven’t gotten a ticket yet. I hope this won’t be the first.”
He ran my license and let me go.
My speed?
35 mph.
Man, you lose points if you get a speeding ticket for 35 mph.
I asked for a picture of him and he said no-so I got the car driving off.



A number of emergency. A day of remembering.

People often say that we have never been more unified than after 9.11. I guess that depends on “who,” you were. As I recall, “we,” began placing a magnifying glass on people who were “different.” Remember that?

Remember. Six years ago I was waking up and sipping coffee when a friend called us to say that the Pentagon had been hit. It was a school day, but we were late, entranced and shocked by the images shown on TV. Walking into class, I realized most people were only catching wind of the attacks. Within two hours, most of our student body were huddling in the auditorium. As a political science student, I participated in discussions of this travesty for years to come-even taking a “Homeland Security and Terrorism” class my senior year. I woke up thinking of that moment today, as most Americans are, in some way, reflecting on where they were September 11, 2001.

I just want to ask that as a human race, we learn to experience unity without tragedy. Without fear pushing us towards one another. “Point two fingers” is my personal framework. That means before I hoot and holler about Republicans, Democrats, conservatives, our corrupt political system, big business, consumer whores, extremists, and close minded people in general, I point one finger at them and one at myself. This allows me to question, “What can I do? What changes can I make?” “What is my role in this?” And often times, doing so creates a deliberate patience to see both sides. To me, that’s what a “WE” space is all about. We might not agree, but we are giving each other a chance to be heard. See, I don’t like feeling like a victim-feeling powerless and fearful just isn’t my cup of tea.

If I ran around pointing one finger all the time, I would pretty much be blaming someone else all the time, which pretty much means I would be a victim all the time. And I’m not having it. We are all accountable for the decisions we make. Thing is, it’s hard to step forward and speak out. It’s safer in numbers. Once 9.11 hit, we adopted a “For Us or Against Us,” mentality that only further squelched free speech and dissent. Remember? And if you think back far enough, you will recall that the first partriots, our founding fathers, were actually dissenters. If you haven’t noticed, my perspective out here on the road is to show you what your fellow Americans are thinking. To create a forum where we can celebrate diversity

I would like to tell you about the two major sentiments I have come across while traveling. The first; total support for the war because otherwise, terrorists will again wreak havoc on our soil. It’s based on fear of another 9.11. It’s based on retribution and a classic protective instinct. Most people who tell me this viewpoint overlook that theoretically, Homeland Security was put in place to prevent a reoccurring attack of that proportion. At least, I think that’s why I now willing acquiesce my time in line at the airport and my civilian rights to privacy. They also overlook that in this war, we haven’t really wiped out anything other than our own soldiers and the next generation of Iraqi’s.

“We need to destroy those countries in interest of national security”
“We have to finish this off or else those countries will see our withdraw as a sign of defeat”
“Look at 9.11, we had to go to war to stop the growing terrorist threat.”

And, quite honestly, yes, we were all stunned. And we identified with one another through that grief. Eyes locked in line at a store and exchanged support. Money poured in .(though, Remember- the Red Cross was charged with fraud for its management) I was stunned not just because we lost two beacons that stood tall as financial lighthouses, but by the SHEER LOSS OF LIFE. No matter who engineered it. Lives were lost. And lives are still being lost in this war. I suspect that Iraqi’s are bound together by the same feeling of unity under our attacks as we were by Al-Q’s attacks.

The other sentiment I hear is that 9.11 is a fraud. On this trip, I hear it ALL THE TIME. I mean, seriously, every place I go, people tell me they don’t believe the attacks were engineered by terrorist cells alone-that the elite parts of our government assisted. And like it or not, I am presenting to you the beliefs of your fellow Americans. Most big events I attend have at least two people holding up signs that 9.11 was a fraud, and designed as a catalyst for this war, and to create unprecedented executive and legislative powers. There are now quite a few documentaries and books out about the subject, and I encourage you to educate yourself on the topic.
And yes, some of the funding that created the devastation, can be traced back to the U.S. Government. Like it or not. It might have been a plan back in the 80’s that obviously backfired, but the government funded ol’ “Al-Q.” Remember? Just that fact is what makes remembering so damn confusing. International Relations just ain’t easy, huh?

This sentiment, too, originates from a place of fear and frustration. It’s what binds the two opposing viewpoints-fear. When our people doubt their government this much-what does that mean? And before you call them crazy-you should know people everywhere think this. Someone you share a laugh with over coffee or take lunch with at work. For years I have heard these whispers of disbelief-and they are only growing louder. Which means the people are less confident in their government. Holding up a sign and shouting it was a fraud just doesn’t solve it, though. That fear is running deep in our country like a tumor. And those people with signs are looking for unity so they can operate on the tumor.

So, today when I hear “Remember, 9.11” I become confused. I wonder how to resolve things like a terrorist attack through King’s principles of non-violence. I recognize how tricky it is. I wonder how we could have avoided war by utilizing principles of non violence. It would be a whole new approach to foreign policy, but hey, these are new times. If we all stopped holding onto the fear that separates us, maybe we could envision solutions.

Let it now be a number of emergence. We need help. Help to find our way out of these dark times, through the muddled issues that prevent equality and justice FOR ALL.

I plead to you that we might find unity together as a nation without it taking a tragedy.

Remember. Last year, at Omega, we had a 24 hour fire in honor of the lives lost. It was a very special time. I held the honor of last hour shift as fire keeper. I clearly recall the early morning sun and tender, sleepy faces that joined hands with me and said a prayer. I am remembering that unity, all of us present at the ceremony for different reasons, but taking the time to say a prayer for the brave-and to be brave ourselves.

So, I pulled into Crescent City a few minutes ago. I’ve been trying to type this up while chairs and tables were pulled out from under me. As I pulled into California and saw signs for the Redwoods, Ani Difranco was playing on the iPod- her cover of “This Land is Our Land.” And it really just hit me how much I love this country. And so tonight, I’m going “walking through the redwood forest.” I’m loosing the internet and going to meditate in those majestic forests-the Cathedral of trees. I hope you join me today, in envisioning a better future. It’s also a new moon today, a good time to be introspective and state your personal intentions for the next month.

I also thought of Ani D’s poem, Self-Evident, about the WTC disaster, so I’m going to paste it here. Like it or not. It’s another perspective. Try to just appreciate that we designed this country for people to have freedom of perspective.
I love you-Alix

Self Evident, by Ani Difranco
us people are just poems
we’re 90% metaphor
with a leanness of meaning
approaching hyper-distillation
and once upon a time
we were moonshine
rushing down the throat of a giraffe
yes, rushing down the long hallway
despite what the p.a. announcement says
yes, rushing down the long stairs
with the whiskey of eternity
fermented and distilled
to eighteen minutes
burning down our throats
down the hall
down the stairs
in a building so tall
that it will always be there
yes, it’s part of a pair
there on the bow of Noah’s ark
the most prestigious couple
just kickin back parked
against a perfectly blue sky
on a morning beatific
in its Indian summer breeze
on the day that America
fell to its knees
after strutting around for a century
without saying thank you
or please

and the shock was subsonic
and the smoke was deafening
between the setup and the punch line
cuz we were all on time for work that day
we all boarded that plane for to fly
and then while the fires were raging
we all climbed up on the windowsill
and then we all held hands
and jumped into the sky

and every borough looked up when it heard the first blast
and then every dumb action movie was summarily surpassed
and the exodus uptown by foot and motorcar
looked more like war than anything I’ve seen so far
so far
so far
so fierce and ingenious
a poetic specter so far gone
that every jackass newscaster was struck dumb and stumbling
over ‘oh my god’ and ‘this is unbelievable’ and on and on
and I’ll tell you what, while we’re at it
you can keep the pentagon
keep the propaganda
keep each and every TV
that’s been trying to convince me
to participate
in some prep school punk’s plan to perpetuate retribution
perpetuate retribution
even as the blue toxic smoke of our lesson in retribution
is still hanging in the air
and there’s ash on our shoes
and there’s ash in our hair
and there’s a fine silt on every mantle
from hell’s kitchen to Brooklyn
and the streets are full of stories
sudden twists and near misses
and soon every open bar is crammed to the rafters
with tales of narrowly averted disasters
and the whiskey is flowin
like never before
as all over the country
folks just shake their heads
and pour

so here’s a toast to all the folks who live in Palestine

El Salvador

here’s a toast to the folks living on the pine ridge reservation
under the stone cold gaze of mt. Rushmore

here’s a toast to all those nurses and doctors
who daily provide women with a choice
who stand down a threat the size of Oklahoma City
just to listen to a young woman’s voice

here’s a toast to all the folks on death row right now
awaiting the executioner’s guillotine
who are shackled there with dread and can only escape into their heads
to find peace in the form of a dream

cuz take away our playstations
and we are a third world nation
under the thumb of some blue blood royal son
who stole the oval office and that phony election
I mean
it don’t take a weatherman
to look around and see the weather
Jeb said he’d deliver Florida, folks
and boy did he ever

and we hold these truths to be self evident:
#1 George W. Bush is not president
#2 America is not a true democracy
#3 the media is not fooling me
cuz I am a poem heeding hyper-distillation
I’ve got no room for a lie so verbose
I’m looking out over my whole human family
and I’m raising my glass in a toast

here’s to our last drink of fossil fuels
let us vow to get off of this sauce
shoo away the swarms of commuter planes
and find that train ticket we lost
cuz once upon a time the line followed the river
and peeked into all the backyards
and the laundry was waving
the graffiti was teasing us
from brick walls and bridges
we were rolling over ridges
through valleys
under stars
I dream of touring like Duke Ellington
in my own railroad car
I dream of waiting on the tall blonde wooden benches
in a grand station aglow with grace
and then standing out on the platform
and feeling the air on my face

give back the night its distant whistle
give the darkness back its soul
give the big oil companies the finger finally
and relearn how to rock-n-roll
yes, the lessons are all around us and a change is waiting there
so it’s time to pick through the rubble, clean the streets
and clear the air
get our government to pull its big dick out of the sand
of someone else’s desert
put it back in its pants
and quit the hypocritical chants of
freedom forever

cuz when one lone phone rang
in two thousand and one
at ten after nine
on nine one one
which is the number we all called
when that lone phone rang right off the wall
right off our desk and down the long hall
down the long stairs
in a building so tall
that the whole world turned
just to watch it fall

and while we’re at it
remember the first time around?
the bomb?
the Ryder truck?
the parking garage?
the princess that didn’t even feel the pea?
remember joking around in our apartment on avenue D?

can you imagine how many paper coffee cups would have to change their design
following a fantastical reversal of the New York skyline?!

it was a joke, of course
it was a joke
at the time
and that was just a few years ago
so let the record show
that the FBI was all over that case
that the plot was obvious and in everybody’s face
and scoping that scene
the CIA
or is it KGB?
committing countless crimes against humanity
with this kind of eventuality
as its excuse
for abuse after expensive abuse
and it didn’t have a clue
look, another window to see through
way up here
on the 104th floor
another key
another door
10% literal
90% metaphor
3000 some poems disguised as people
on an almost too perfect day
must be more than poems
in some asshole’s passion play
so now it’s your job
and it’s my job
to make it that way
to make sure they didn’t die in vain
baby listen
hear the train?

Pacific Coastline

Last night I walked on the beach and saw a Pacific sunset. It’s the first time I’ve glimpsed the Ocean all summer. I scribed “Peace” in the sand, feeling renewed, baptized by the Ocean.
When the rays were just disappearing, I located a camp ground. My neighbors were pleasant Canadians, who looked surprises when me and Audrey pulled in. Turns out that Tanis just became a recent Vino owner, so she was excited to see how you can load one up! I cooked up some dried stuff, did some typing while loud gospel music drifted through the campground. It was a good night camping, no massive thunderstorms like the last time.
Love the morning ritual of my French Press and today I cooked grits. Erika packed me up with some Stumptown beans, roasted in Portland. There’s a bunch of camping ahead, a lot easier on the West Coast. I’ve anticipated this beautiful drive down Highway 101 for months! I’ve now been on the road 2 full months and there is only 3, 600 miles left. Today I should make good enough time to see the Redwood Cathedrals!

Well, there is a lot happening in the world. The Peace Marchers are arriving into D.C. In fact, with the time difference they probably already have. They were on my mind first thing today. I offer them a very deep bow for the pilgrimage they have made. They have walked over 3,000 miles in loving service-marching with the belief that we will create a world of peace and non violence. I understand an epic journey and fully recognize that their crew have endured many obstacles since hitting the road May 21. Congratulations!

Be the change you wish to see in the World! Pointing two fingers from the West Coastline proper-Alix

PDX, Vector 16


Grrr. The ride into Portland, Oregon AKA, Timber Town, or Rose City, was long and full of confusing twists. The roads were not clearly marked; rain and nightfall further obscured my visibility. However, along the route, I did see my first ever full arc double rainbow. IMG_2752Wish the pictures could have fully captured it’s beauty. The spectrum bands were fully visible and popping out at me.

Finally arriving, I was greeted warmly by Erika and Henry James, the pitbull, outside the beautiful home her and her partner recently bought. I know Erika from the East Coast, we met in RVA almost 10 yrs ago. Our friendship is a gift.We have a consistent pattern of checking in every three years without speaking in between, but the reunion is always comfortable. Happy HouseShe seems to be at a happier place than ever, and is settling into her new stomping grounds of Portland, OR. I told her not to let me fall in love with this town, I was only allowed to “get a crush” on it. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous since that distant rainy night. Blue skies, warm sun- remnants of summer still present.

Status: Would ABSOLUTELY move here-when and IF the time presents itself-but all I know right now is finishing this ride. INSHALLAH. Portland is really clean and environmentally conscious-you can even keep up to three chickens here-NO roosters though. It’s rich; with arts, culture, espresso, good food, FRIENDLY peoples, and alternative transportation (7 scooter shops, bike lanes EVERYWHERE). And, it’s totally bent.

Having hosts willing to open their home for days and show me around town has meant a longer stay. I’ve probably put on 5 pounds sampling all the yummy cuisine around town. IMG_2836I suggested that my hosts create a Food Network show, as they have fantastic palettes. They could call it “Epi-Queerious.” And I gave them intellectual rights to that-so don’t even think about stealing it. We ate at a Le Happy, a creperia; Queen of Sheeba, Ethiopian food; Pix for chocolate treats and scotch delights; Moxie, brunch from scratch and served out of a trailer; and Pambiche Cuban Food followed with legit Gelati. IMG_2842I have once again been blessed beyond belief with the generosity friends and strangers offer me. Thank You Erika and Mary, for being such a fun “peach-Pit Stop.” I also award the Whole Foods here with best salad bar yet, love the nutritional yeast on the bar and the house bowls to use instead of paper.

The days have passed quickly, I have done a lot of writing here on the site, to get us all up to date. The remaining miles equals 3,600, low estimate, probably close to 4,000. I hope to keep the website posts shorter, but more current. IMG_2892This project means everything to me, it is a defining life experience. I’m out here going through a transformation and it’s my honor to bring you along. The people I meet along the way are so welcoming, supportive, and too envision a world with more Peace. The overwhelming response to my Peace Ride indicates a fusion, through this solidarity, we can co-create the world we dream of. By doing shorter daily journal entries, I might leave out some detail, but you can ride closer to “real time,” with me. And we can generate collective energy towards change and peace. I hope you tell lots of people about the ride-and if you are on the West Coast, contact me about meeting up!

There were some visits to make while here. IMG_2778I wanted to see the Corazzo headquarters, where my riding jacket came from. Chad was on his way to Idaho, over to the enjoyable town of Coeur D’Alene that I visited two weeks ago. He waited to meet up with me-I wasn’t available until later because I went to a yoga class, finally. He’s a energetic, friendly guy and it was nice to see what Corazzo is up to, a behind the scenes look. IMG_2786I must say, those shoulder bags are going to be a hot ticket, once again, clever and stylish design work. Also, got a peek at the soon to be released Speedway Jacket, really hot with nice 60’s racing style lines.

Just had a conversation outside the Fresh Pot, my favorite hang out so far. This guy started talking at me, and he said, “Ya, Peace sells, but who’s buying?” I responded that what I’m doing by asking people to define peace for themselves is encouraging them to CREATE it, independently. I’m trying to take Peace back from a media manufactured distant reality into a personal sphere.

Anyways, I heart my Corazzo jacket. It’s made with fashion and function in mind. It’s nice not to shop the motorcycle circuits for gear, Corazzo is made by scooterists, for scooterists. IMG_2782I’ve worn my jacket in temperatures ranging from 55-103. I love how reflective it is, visibility is key, especially on a black bike. Chad offered me a back armor piece-my jacket only had foam in the back. He also gave me some other goodies for the road. I gave him a bunch of postcards and stickers to send out with jacket orders. Combining forces, we dreamed up a little Peace, Love and Happiness campaign. IMG_2792They are known to send out condoms, with orders, with their company slogan, “Ride with the Shield. See, that’s the love aspect, and the happiness is covered by the scooter itself! It was fun hanging with him and looking around the shop.

After dinner that night, I attended a speech by Barack Obama. It was a tough decision to make with Justin Timberlake in town. Thought I might have a better chance sneaking into the convention center to see Obama. I pulled up to a huge crowd, the lines to get in snaked around the block. IMG_2803Lots of demonstrators were outside, holding up various signs. One group was chanting, “No More War,” somewhat wimpishly. I walked over and suggested they be more Peace Positive and chant, “More Peace, NOW.” They obliged me and had a big smile on their face as I walked off. It sounded better.

Many people seemed hesitant to take postcards from me, asking, “What kind of money are you asking for?” Once I explained, NONE, they relaxed. I walked right into the doors, past security, and said I was getting an “e-ticket.” I then proceeded to walk confidently past the swarms of people who kept asking if I had checked in, saying, “Yes, yes.” And then I was in.

Not sure why I needed to pay in the first place? Or why it was so easy to sneak in? Nevertheless, I won’t say much now about the speech, but he is a good orator. IMG_2801The crowd was going absolutely wild, and he said all the right things. I noticed my own skepticism and thought about that for awhile. I just don’t believe in politicians anymore, the game seems so corrupt. Just look at my speech in that proceeding sentence, my first instinct is to call politics a game. And if you read that sentence without disagreeing or questioning me-well, case in point about skepticism. I want to believe that new candidates will bring integrity back into the House. They will step into office with access to the same privileges that this administration created through Homeland Security, and whose to say they will have any more integrity? I was also disappointed when Obama proclaimed that “He would get us universal health care within his first year holding office.” As much as I want that, it’s totally unrealistic to think it could happen that fast, and so I didn’t appreciate the sensationalism. Regardless, I try to stay involved in our politics and participate in it, so it was good to finally hear Obama’s side of the story. Attempts were made to get a postcard to Obama, without success.

Glad I attended the speech, and when it was done I went to meet my hosts for some decadent chocolate and a little scotch. IMG_2815Sounds good, huh?

I will have the opportunity to see a lot of friends over here on the West Coast, and it’s really nice to have familiar faces greet me. It was great to hang out with Erika, catch up, watch some of her recorded performances-overall it was really laid back. IMG_2852Mary rides a scooter, too, just like my old Stella Blue, a 49CC Metropolitan. Being that Portland is such a consumer conscious town, alternative transport is abundant. The city buses are fueled with bio-diesel and the rail streetcars are electric. The town is known for its bicyclist community and there are also 7 scooter shops. I went to meet Justin and Rob over at the Vespa shop in Nob HIll. They have some Genuine products too.

I had some more postcards and stickers mailed to me from Genuine, which means I have passed out more than 1,000 postcards! IMG_2856These two were just the greatest and they generously donated $100 for my gas fund. This is good, because I ran out of money in Portland. If you would graciously like to support P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER, donations can be made using the Pay Pal button. It is an easy, safe way to kick me some funds. A little goes a long way! Please consider that offering housing and food is also really appreciated!

Rob and I talked for a really long time, totally a fantastic guy who wins an award for the coolest, shaggiest pink seat ever. They also offered some service, so I cruised over to the warehouse and met the two mechanics. They were fun to talk with and hooked me up with a new bulb for the headlamp and an air filter. IMG_2874I noticed some oil around the intake-and I can’t emphasize this to Buddy owners loudly enough-don’t overfill your oil-it takes less than a full quart. Oh, and “Tim” power washed Audrey. She is now the shiny, dazzling lady from 6,600 miles ago. It was good to meet that whole crew!

That night Erika treated us to dinner (thanks Mz. Leo) at a delicious Cuban restaurant. Afterwards we had Gelati, although I could only handle the “not a lot” size that was offered. IMG_2881Back home, I did some laundry and hung out with Erika, trading music. Their guest bed was absolutely divine, I will miss it terribly. I had many a nights good rest in it and I hope they come to see me back East so I can return the NUMEROUS favors they granted me. Today we decided to play Salon because I love Erika’s haircut. I never let friends cut my hair, but this afternoon before leaving, she gave me the faux hawk or “friend” hawk. It’s perfect. We shot some video of the cut, which was pretty hot and pretty funny. I hope she youtubes it.

Earlier this week, I hit a slump. Fortunately, it didn’t last to long and right now I am feeling better than I have in awhile. Things started looking up after my friends from Omega sent me some cheerful wishes. I have been processing some stuff that I will post on next-about solidarity and the anti-war movement.
When I was at Bumbershoot, in the Flatstock exhibit, a vendor gave me an Ice Cream Man sticker. I was told there is a guy who rides around the country, his only modus operandi is to give out free ice cream. So, I put the sticker on my Shad case, my traveling non-corporate bulletin board. Don’t even eat ice cream, but I liked the idea. Friday I was on my way to yoga class, before a limb snapped off, and I spotted the Ice Cream Man’s truck in a coffee shop parking lot. I went in and asked around, “Are you the Ice Cream Man.?” Finally, I met him. He’s a great guy with a good gig going on. Levi’s and Nike help sponsor him, but he’s ok with that, he feels like the more money he raises, the more money funneled towards the cause-making people smile by giving them ice cream. Aside from their help with gas and ice cream, he still has a humble life on the road, and is hosted by people along the way. He was so enthusiastic! He asked to take some postcards and stickers to give out at a music festival in Austin, TX, the ice cream truck’s next stop. He took a photo of me and Audrey and the Ice Cream Man sticker on my shad. Of course I didn’t have my camera with me. Definitely would have spoken to him for awhile, but I was determined to catch a yoga class. Oh, he does have vegan treats! He cheered me up a lot and expressed that he had been through “the slump.” I felt like it was a quirky meeting and was glad for the series of events that led to it.

Another meeting that came out of the Flatstock exhibit was with Lynn. We RANDOMLY struck up a conversation at the exhibit and it turns out that just the day before in Portland, she had RANDOMLY met Heather, who rode her Vespa cross country last year. Lynn promised to get us in touch since Portland was my next stop and sure enough, she did. Unfortunately, we never met, our schedules conflicted, but we spent some time talking on the phone. I look forward to meeting her and she is trying to get me in touch with some people she knows along the coast. It’s always so exciting to hear from other long distance riders. I’m happy that we found out about one another. All in all, Flatstock wound up helping me make some connections with good people!

That’s the brief scoop on Portland-a lot of flavor in a town that I hope to savor again, at a later time.

thanks to all, especially Mary, Erika and Henry James……

I can’t wait to see the Pacific Ocean!

Seattle, Emerald City


I was worried I might not make it to the Emerald City. Every time I made plans in Seattle, something would happen to the scooter. The lesson to be learned here is probably, “don’t make plans!” I try though, I do. Spokane was pretty uneventful, and I already wrote about it. A noteworthy addendum includes the conversation I had with Veronica in Spokane.

Earlier, I blogged that Spokane seemed to be missing some soul, even though everyone was pretty nice to me. IMG_2268Veronica elaborated that most people want to be somewhere else, like Seattle for instance. She said there isn’t a lot of community, but she’s working on some projects that are inclusive and establish a solid network.

I wish her the best! In all of my travels, the best towns, no matter how big or small, attempt to foster good community-through city planning and cultivation of the arts. Examples: music festivals, art walks, bicycle lanes, green spaces, local purchasing, farmer’s markets, restriction of corporate super buildings and condos (which grossly raises property values), abundance of local shops (keeping money in the state).

About 15 miles outside of Spokane, Audrey started wobbling really badly. 6 Grand + a quarterThe day before her tire pressure had been FINE. I let the tire cool and checked it, aghast by the reading-12psi. Filled her up, sprayed some water on the tire, rotated it, couldn’t find a leak. Funny that I got a flat outside of a town that I said had no soul. Tongue in cheek! Anyhow, it was turning into a long ride to Seattle-and I had planned 300 miles that day. Repeatedly stopping to eye the air level, I discovered the leak was getting worse. Nervous of a blowout, I dropped my speed. Barely noticing the view-it looked a lot like Eastern Montana anyhow-I pulled into Wenatchee as it was getting dark.

That meant a whopping 160 miles was left still. None of which would have stressed me out too much had Chuck from Seattle not planned a ride the next day. I got in touch with Chuck and rescheduled YET AGAIN.


Chuck originally contacted me awhile ago, when I was in Circle, we made tentative plans-the next day Audrey broke down. So that’s just the way it goes. I felt bad, but I had bigger problems-figuring out a solution to the tire. Despite the stress of the day, I saw a shop named Coyote’s Pass and something made me stop in.

The coffee shop was located in a town that seemed to only exist because the byway took a left, then right turn through it. Stich WitchesThe lady inside said they were actually closed, but if I wanted espresso, she would wake up her husband to make it. I told her of my barista experience, so she invited me to pull my own shots. It was nice to be behind the counter again, for just a moment! Ladies began pouring into the shop. I asked if it was they were “Stitch Witches,” and Eunice replied emphatically, “NO, STITCH BITCHES.” This was a playful stop, and I needed the laugh. Thanks y’all.

I checked into a motel and looked up some local merchants. Condatta’s had a website with pictures of the Vino, so I headed there the next morning. Mike welcomed me at the store, commenting on my Transportation Revolution shirt that Gayle from Vespa New Orleans gave me. He seemed like a nice guy, but ran off to do something and left me with a clerk who was also nice, but seemed flustered by my situation. We joked around a bit and he didn’t think there was anything he could do for me. There was some misunderstanding involved on many levels, mainly me just not knowing what the heck was going on with my bike in general. I am still acquiring this information-and what better way to learn. Mike came back and said, “Let’s go look at your bike and figure this out.”

He offered to help, “for the cause, ” saying, “they need some good karma.” Not sure what that means, but I have heard it before on this trip. He put her in the shop and Chris took over from there. The hole must have gotten bigger from the 125 miles on drove on it the day before, because we located it pretty easily this time. Chris set about plugging Audrey up. Then the question came from another guy in the shop:
“So are you just doing this for fun?”
“Nah, it isn’t really a joyride, I’m doing a project.
“What kind of project?”
“Hmm, one where my spiritual, political, and artistic viewpoints intersect.”
“What do you mean?”
“I am riding for Peace, my route makes a Peace sign and along the way I ask people to visualize and define Peace with me and record their answers online so that we have a forum to celebrate diversity-for starters.”
“Oh.” “My friend served in the war. He killed a lot of people. We can’t let them come over here and finish us off.

Awkward. Chris however, steered us gracefully out of that and we had some great conversation for the next hour. IMG_2295Last winter we both went to Maui, so we talked a lot about that and the Hana Highway. Which is one of the most scenic drives you could ever make. He however, proposed to his wife in Maui-big points there. He rides a Ducati and we talked about his dream to ride long distances by motorcycle. I encouraged him to follow his dream. They were great guys. I grabbed some lunch on the way out of Apple Capital. IMG_2301A cool place, worth a visit, I liked it more than Spokane.

The night before I had some great, cheap Thai food and talked to the owner for an hour-about her two week cross country travels with her husband. She encouraged me to go to Thailand. Will do! It’s also really scenic there, the terrain had begun to change about 20 minutes before I wobbled into Wenatchee. I let Chuck know that I was grabbing a fast lunch, taking on the 160 miles into Seattle and hopefully still making the scheduled dinner at least. Doubtful. But I gave it my best. The drive was so incredible, I was totally amped for it. Soon, I was surrounded by fragrant evergreens and high peaks-some even sno-capped. It was really a dream ride, lots of accessible pull-offs and even a manageable speed limit. IMG_2316

Leavenworth was twenty minutes down the road. It’s a Bavarian themed village, everything looks like candy. It’s hard to believe you are looking at a McDonalds or Starbucks because of the clever woodworking. Really a trip. I would love to go back and camp in this area, off US 2West. 2West is another beautiful route-you can take it through the entire Northern part of Montana and hit Glacier Park-a true wonder in this world. I smoothly sailed through the windy curves and the 5,000 ft. altitude of Stephens Pass.

I knew at some point along the way, I WOULD get to the Emerald City. IMG_2321

Finally, I arrived, set with a new pair of sunglasses that a gent offered me for free. He was quite the dazzling roadside vendor, clad in pink. Our conversation went like this:
“Wow, I’m so glad you are here. Pretty prime location to sell polarized sunglasses, eh?” (headed West into the setting sun)
“You know I rode one of those scooters 450 miles when I was 16.”
silence after I hear his coming of age story.
“Where are you headed?”
“Where did you start?” IMG_2368
“Washington D.C.”
“Oh, well the glasses are free.”
“Thanks so much.”
He actually wrote me the other day, hoping I might have a cute brother. Sorry. Only child.

On Friday, now a week later than my original ETA, I finally met Chuck. From this point on-Seattle held open its arms to fling overwhelming amounts of generosity my way. Chuck was waiting by his shiny, red Vespa 250CC, in front of Cafe Racer’s. IMG_2463A pretty intuitive, friendly guy he wanted to make sure I had some good espresso while in his town. After a double shot, he mentioned that it was Memorial Day weekend, so if I needed any scooter servicing we should visit Ducati Seattle right away. On the way over, we detoured through Fremont, self proclaimed as the “center of the universe,” and also home to their own troll. IMG_2371The clouds were fluffy and hanging low, but there was no rain. I enjoyed the up and down roads and the city looked fun to explore.

As soon as I introduced myself at Ducati, David Roosevelt switched into high gear. IMG_2419Actually, I suspect he always operates at that speed. He’s charming, witty, professional, and really kind. Audrey was put on the ramp and left in the expert hands of Robert. IMG_2394He checked her valves, did an oil change, and replaced the bike tire. I got the money’s worth on that back tire- 6,200 miles. I appreciate their quick and skilled service. Wandering around the store a bit, I met a lot of cool friendly people. Ducati is pretty bad ass-they make some impressive machines. I sat on one for a photo, loving the fantasy of owning it, although, personally, they just aren’t comfortable. There were a few chances to play with the crew over at Ducati. David was really thoughtful, inviting me to their BBQ on Saturday, so I could meet some more folks and have some delicious food and even some cake that his wife made. IMG_2404They were fun and obliged me a photo of the crew sitting on Buddy’s. I was staying right down the street, at the Courtyard Marriott, as a guest of Bucca di Beppo’s.

Ya, I know this sounds decadent. It was. IMG_2491And I loved it! David set the wheels in motion for that happening. He arranged for me to meet Tracy, who ushered me over to Bucca di Beppo’s for a family style meal, as her special guest-the restaurant was actually closed for lunch. This block was my slice of Italian heaven. The food was so damn savory and I gobbled massive quantities up while chatting with Chuck and the cool lady who does scooter rentals. The food coma set in and then Tracy informed me that I was to stay over at the Marriott, her treat. I asked if I could marry her. She’s taken. 😉

That night I enjoyed cruising around the city, with Audrey fully unpacked and raring to go after her tuneup. I wound up at a hot spot in town, not too far from Broadway, on Pike Street. It was Friday and everything was in full swing. I just did some lurking along with other people and shared some random laughs and conversation. I did some writing back at the hotel, inspired by the nice 5th floor view. IMG_2481Audrey was safely locked up in one of the meeting rooms downstairs, at the suggestion of Michael-a most courteous and intriguing hotel manager. I do want to thank everyone of the employees for being so helpful and interesting. We spent a lot of time talking, they were genuinely curious and supportive. Michael witnessed a couple of P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER moments in the lobby, like one when I started talking to a lady who it turns out, was from Norfolk-not to far from my hometown. She took a postcard and then quickly filled out her own card for me. It had BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD on the front and funny enough, a Michael Jackson quote on the inside, from, “Man in the Mirror.” Ghandi and Jackson, prophets.

Those are the moments that make up my life these days- genuine conversations, random people, BIG SMILES. I don’t know that my words could ever do justice to the fun and depth of these shared moments. IMG_2483I only hope to offer this feeling and wisdom to others, that’s why this project means so much to me. More than anything, I hope that people fill out those postcards and gift another person with their insight and take the time to define peace on this website. I envision other readers sharing the perspectives I experience as a way to participate in this epic journey.

Saturday I set out looking for a cheap barber shop to tame the shaggy mane. IMG_2427Rudy’s Barber shop had many locations, but the Fremont one would give me a chance to better check out the hip, artsy area. This Barber shop is such a great concept. They have the best stylists, the best hair products and do away with the frills. IMG_2426You walk in, sign up on the list, and wait your turn. Within 15 minutes, it was my turn. Amanda, my stylist, donated a haircut, but otherwise it would have been just $17.

I snapped some photos of Fremont, including this infamous statue. Just a little time was left before I would meet up with Chuck and some others for a late afternoon ride. IMG_2440

We met at Cafe Vivace-and I WAS ON TIME, ON THE DOT. Now, Cafe Vivace makes my heart throb. The owner is David Showmer. I had to read parts of his book and watch his video before even touching the espresso machine back at the Mudhouse. Those guys are totally ROCKSTARS. IMG_2744Going here was a pilgrimage for me. Oh, and the espresso-hands down-the best. I was worried about the consumption of a few customers that I noticed, but hey everyone seems a bit amped here in the Pacific North West, yours truly included. Just look at all the writing I am doing. 🙂

A bunch of people began pulling up on scooters, very exciting to me. IMG_2450Really dig group rides! We all sat in a circle and I was asked some very thoughtful questions about the trip’s impetus and then we saddled up. The ride took us all over town, up and down hills and around several of the glimmering lakes. It was a fantastic way to see Seattle and we rode at least an hour. The group then headed over to a restaurant for some grub, brews and more conversation.

This smart, lively bunch of people ride with the West Enders club. IMG_2477For some well documented scenic pictures of the ride, I recommend Fuzz and Judy’s Flickr stream, which you can access by clicking on this link. Chuck had found out about P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER through a local scooterists blog, who happened to be out of town that weekend. Sorry I didn’t get to meet you, Orin-but thanks for putting me in touch with such great people. Helena did an impromptu interview series of questions. “What places have I like the most?” “What have been my biggest obstacles?” “What’s my favorite accessory?” “What method do I use to pick my routes?” It was an enjoyable way to spend the evening. Jaclyn and Sami were the youngest in attendance. They ride on the back with their parents and have even been to a rally. IMG_2478These kids are golden. I felt a bond with them-it was nice to see the way they admire me, but even cooler that they opened up to tell me about their own personal stories and goals. Thanks so much everyone for treating me to a night in Seattle!

Ralph led me back to the general location of the hotel and we made plans to meet the next day at Bumbershoot. I spent the night catching up with friends, on the phone and email. Also, just meeting many of the eclectic crowd staying at the hotel. It was really bustling, being Memorial Day weekend and Bumbershoot was only a quarter mile away. One character I met was named Cecil, he saw the scooter and asked if I had a minute to talk. A solid hour later he offered me an intel job. Cecil talked at me a lot. His viewpoint of international relations and national security was very conservative and very classical. Although, I was able to consistently interject points that show times have changed, and our foreign policy must utilize more principles of non-violence. One example I made was in reference to his idea that the brutal bombing of Nagasaki helped quell the Japanese-it stifled their aggression and humbled them. He believes we always need such direct force to protect national security. I demonstrated how times have changed based merely on our conversation. 62 years ago, a man of color like himself and a white woman would not have had the freedom to converse so openly. The times, they are a changing, in our history we have glimpsed examples that create win-win situations versus ones of total dominance. Cecil filled out a postcard for me, and he defines Peace as strength through national strategy. Oh, Cecil’s boss is a Bush appointee. It was a cordial, interesting conversation. There were also some rock stars and party hards staying at the hotel. Bumbershoot was in full swing, the last hurrah of everyone’s summer.

This was a very cool arts and music festival-glad I had a chance to attend. The concert grounds spread out from around the Space Needle. In an environmentally creative manner, the city preserved and incorporated components left over from the World’s Fair in 1962. The area is fun and touristy, with lots of exhibitions and the Experience Music Project- a goofy building with hordes of cool stuff inside. I appreciated that, unlike many East Coast festivals, there were no grimy road kids walking around hustling drugs. Drum Circle #2While partying was in full swing, there was nothing shady or sloppy happening. It was great to finally meet my minimum of one summer music festival a year. There were lots of good eats, as food vendors offered up really savory, diverse and cheap food. The “Indie Market” was a cool bazaar of unique gifts in the DIY vein. There were long lines to get into comedy shows, in fact, I missed Janeane Garafalo twice. I suppose the people of Seattle needed to laugh more-as they were looking pretty serious in their fancy pants and glasses. IMG_2522The long wait for the West Coast Poetry Slam yielded more amazing slam poetry than I heard last time at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe in NYC. The sprawling grounds did buffer the volume from each stage, but proved difficult to traipse in enough time to catch a majority of the acts. So I focused on the major ones of my interest and used the in between time to meet people.

I wrote about the show a few posts ago, but I would like to thank Ralph again for offering me a ticket on Sunday. We made quite the odd couple. He kept up with me zooming around and even played some skee-ball with me! Closing song, another frameHe’s a quiet but smart guy who had never attended Bumbershoot, even though he grew up in Seattle. It was an enjoyable day of music, he was lucky to catch two of the best night acts-Andrew Bird and Zap Mama. Spent some time in Flatstock, like I mentioned previously, but hold on to that, because a couple of interesting connections came from meeting people there, which I will discuss later.

My visit in Seattle was a chance to unpack the bags, stay central, relax, explore, and fill my music jones. It offered an opportunity to adjust to the West Coast and for my Art Peace Project to connect with many progressive people. My roomie Wendy did try to connect me with some of her friends, but I spent a lot of time at Bumbershoot and missed out on of them. Thank you to all the generous people who showed me, in many ways, both materially and conceptually, what Peace means to them-and for supporting my cause whole heartedly.

Omega Lovin

My two friends at Omega, Katie and David, put together this project. The photos came to me today, at just the perfect time, I was hitting “my slump.” I have spent the past three years working with many of these people, at “hippie camp.” That’s the Omega Institute of Holistic Studies, and my time there has really prepared me for this epic journey. Look at these beautiful people, all shiny and happy. I MISS YOU GUYS AND GALS SO MUCH! And the yummy vegetarian food! Many blessings! I think the sign says “Peace Out”, like “it’s out in full force.” *back to one*
Dave (look at those baby blues) and Megan (adorable bangs! this is my manager from 2 years ago)
Dave and Megan
Kundalini/Kirthan Crew, Danielle, Ayrin (miss you so much girl), Najeet, Charin, Jerry, Rebecca
Danielle, Ayrin, Najeet, Charin, Jerry, Rebecca
Katie (I can’t wait to see you in Flagstaff! Thanks for helping engineer this project)
Katie aka Cricket or Metal Monkey
Dance Your Bliss Rachel
Dance Your Bliss Rachel
Izzy and Erik (My fellow Peacenicks)
Izzy and Erik
Josiah bUmp, always rockin the irie style
Josiah bUmp!
Luc and Julie (The Power of Now is strong with me, Luc)
Luc and Julie
Jason (The Duke of Production, looking good!)
Brita and Dara (Inspirators, I miss you!)
Brita and Dara!

Missoula, MT, WE heart U.



I really enjoyed my Circle, MT friends. They were my first taste of Montana hospitality and witty attitude. They welcomed me into their vast state and set my mind at ease about the pretty lonely stretch ahead to Missoula. By departure time I felt comfortable that while Montana drivers might speed by you at 90 mph, they don’t have ill intentions. The speed limit is 75 mph on the two lane by ways. Since farmland makes up most of the state, route options are limited-highway or byway. However, this makes navigation easy, I rode into the state on US 2W, cut down to Circle on 13s, and picked up 200W for the next 700 miles.

Eastern Montana is dry, with rolling hills that reminded me of one big yellow Putt-Putt Course. Smoky cloudsHave you ever read The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy? (spoiler) I had a couple of good laughs to myself wondering if Slartibartfast or other Magratheans created Eastern Montana for Earth golfing. I guess I just outed myself as a sci-fi geek. Anyhow, past Lewistown, MT the hills began a steeper incline, eventually transforming into 6,000+ elevation.

Stopping in Great Falls was less than ideal, but I had to–you just don’t drive at night in Montana. The sun was beginning it’s descent, was burning my retinas and making it hard to watch for deer-which come out in droves at dusk. The next town was 65 miles ahead but I decided to experience Roger’s Pass by full daylight.

The next morning, I ate my waffle across from an elderly, though sprite-like lady, and we talked about the trip. Hotel FairyOn my way out, she ran after me and graciously insisted on paying for the hotel room. It really was a series of events that led me to this particular motel. First, I felt hesitant about the initial motel suggested to me, and I went for a cup of coffee to think about my plans. There I met some fellow bikers and gave them postcards. Turns out one was the manager for a motel and she sent me over to get a good deal at the Super 8. What a lovely synchronicity!

Roger’s Pass was gorgeous, over 6,000 feet in elevation. Rockie Mountain TopsIt was exhilarating to see the mountains and trees, along with an inviting river that ran parallel to the road. Keep in mind that I had not seen forests since a little patch in southern Oklahoma, two weeks prior. Audrey was exceptionally determined to maintain her speed. The seldom used GPS clocked her bottom speed at 43. It was very exciting to be crossing the Continental Divide and I stopped for a picture of the Rockies. A rancher pulled up and told me his family story, that his parents homesteaded the land and it’s now worth about 30 million-although priceless to him-he won’t sell it. It was a very romanticized cowboy story. He took the picture of me in the Rockies and pointed out in the distance where David Letterman owns a ranch.

As I came closer to Missoula, the wind picked up and the roads were curvier; handling was difficult, especially with logging trucks blowing past me. WelcomingIt was so great to finally arrive, although I was shaky from the ride, so I stopped for a bit before locating Scooterville, MT. Fortunately, it was right around the corner. I pulled in, unannounced, and was delighted to see posters welcoming me. A potluck had been planned with the Jeanette Rankin Peace Center, but the random stator failure delayed my arrival. Fortunately, the center would be holding its annual Peace Party that Sunday, so I decided to stay through for it and meet those wonderful people.

Nancy, Gary and Yetta all greeted me warmly at the shop. Immediately I knew these were cool people, and Philip had told me before that I would adore them. It’s true, I do. They recently took over as the proprietors of the shop and I can tell its gonna go far. Nancy seems to know everyone in town and it was nice to walk around with her, Yetta and Izzy-Yetta’s friend. Yetta and IzzyThe ladies took me over to the Thursday music festival and we grabbed some yummy Thai food. The girls ran off and I quite enjoyed my conversation with Nancy. I have a bit of a crush on her family-they were so friendly and entertaining. We sat on the hill to eat dinner, watched the setting sun and then strolled around town. Evening DowntownIt was so nice to be in a big town, the biggest since 1,000 miles back in Fargo, ND. But I could tell that Missoula was the gateway to the West Coast, with its open, progressive, laid back attitude. The town had an abundance of good architecture, alternative transpo, eats, coffee shops and bars. Things were looking easier after thousands of miles through ultra conservative America.

Nancy and Gary offered up a place in their house, but I was waiting on my friend Daphne, who would arrive at dawn. I checked into the motel and met some crazy chap who had ragged his scooter 35,000 miles through all types of terrain, swamps included.

I heard from Daphne when she landed in Seattle. Ready to GoHere is the back story on her: We have a mutual friend who I worked with in upstate New York, at the Omega Institute. Jess passed on the news about my trip and Daphne contacted me. She offered to help out in any way I needed and jumped in with gusto. She has written letters for me, contacted press, created and moderates a facebook group, donated money, maintains switchboard duties, and incessantly promotes P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER. A great friendship has come about from it. Before her daughter’s school year started, she decided to fly out and be a P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER rider. The breakdown in Circle threw a monkeywrench into the Seattle plans, so she actually had to rent a car and drive 550 miles. I warned her to be mindful of all the deer out on the roads and went to sleep excited to have a friend visit.

The rest of the blog contains both our perspectives. We thought it would be neat to write about the visit together.

(Daphne) (Alix)
It occurred to me early Friday morning during my drive from Seattle to Missoula to meet up with Alix that I was operating under some double standards in terms of Switchboard operation: Alix is usually good about not leaving me in the lurch wondering about her safety-particularly when she’s driving in the dark, or under otherwise compromising conditions. Yet, here I was on an unfamiliar road, awake more than 24 hours, with a phone that didn’t work-partly because I was in canyons without reception but also because I left Seattle without a car charger on half a charge which didn’t last.

About 150 miles west of Missoula, I pulled over for a nap after going through a reduced speed zone (from 75mph down to 45) which completely stole the second wind I got just before Spokane. 100_2229The sun was hot and high by the time I woke up, since the dead cell phone battery left me without an alarm. I did not know which time zone the clock in the car was registering, but I knew I was sorely behind schedule and that Alix was possibly awake by now, waiting to hear from me. I couldn’t get a cell phone signal on my way out of the canyon, but I did encounter an opportunity to reach out.

Wayne was obviously depending on the kindness of strangers to get him further down the road and although I’d never dared to pick up a hitchhiker before, I felt that the situation was a safe bet. 100_2233 He looked just like Utah Phillips to me and that was an adventure I could hardly pass up. Utah Phillips has held a special place in my heart since 2005. I had a once in a lifetime opportunity to have dinner with Utah and his wife and sister and a small group of friends at a local Somali restaurant when the Robert Shetterly exhibit “Americans Who Tell the Truth” opened at my school. It turns out that Wayne was heading to Butte Montana and that taking him along to Missoula would bring him within two hours of his destination, plus give me some company to keep me awake for the rest of the drive. It was around 9am PST and I was now operating on about 2 hours of sleep since 6am EST the day before (30hours). Neither of us had been to Montana before so we were both able to experience the majestic bald mountains in each others’ company. Wayne kept a good tempo to the drive with his conversation and alertness to road signs and that made him an important member of my pit crew. We exchanged email addresses, MySpace info, cell phone numbers and posed for a picture before I left him at a gas station just inside Missoula at a spot he felt would give him good exposure for his next ride.

By the way, it turns out that Wayne was going to grow medicinal marijuana, right? Ya, but I thought you didn’t want to talk about it here. Whatever, it adds even more character to him. He’s doing it for someone’s health, after all.

I had forgotten the room number, but luckily remembered the directions to the hotel where Alix was waiting. I drove in and found Audrey carefully nestled under the outside staircase. After asking the only two people in the parking lot if they knew where the bike’s owner was staying, Alix opened a nearby door and stepped out. I charged her with a surge of energy that comes from flying more than 3,000 miles and driving back 500 on little sleep and pure anticipation. I was just waking up actually, but the last text I received from Daphne was pretty shady. So, I felt a big relief that she finally made it. I think I actually called Alix on my last 90 seconds of battery power and we spoke. I had time to say: “Hey Alix, it’s me-I took a rest, I’m running late, I have a rider, I’m 1oo miles away.” and Alix replied, “You picked up a hitchiker?” and I said “Yeah, his name’s Wayne, I’m gonna bring him to Missoula.” Alix had just enough time to say “WHAT?!!?” before I lost the battery for good– another grand execution of my switchboard-operation double standard. Well, I’ve hitched on the West Coast before-people do it pretty frequently out there and in Hawaii, without problems. I WAS surprised you picked him up-but I shouldn’t have been.

My first day in Missoula started with a long awaited ride on back of Audrey to Scooterville, MT where I met Nancy and Gary. 100_2244Nancy had invited us on a ride around Missoula and we went to see if she was still up for it. I felt instantly home at Scooterville and wandered comfortably around the corner lot where it was located, into an aroma therapy shop next door where I made easy conversation with the owner. She agreed to distribute Alix’s postcards and stickers and said she would come leave her definition on the website soon.

After a trip to Good Foods for a long overdue meal and a quick jaunt to the the festival park, we hit up Liquid Planet for a shot of espresso However, before we could get on the bike, we were stopped by Kerri–a friendly face and beautiful conversation outside of Liquid Planet. How she stopped us, I don’t know; she had been talking on her cell phone at an outside table, but she looked at Alix like she knew her (and I figured she did) and a conversation started out of nowhere. Black Kettle BreweryMany minutes later, it ended with a picture and hugs all around. We then headed out to meet up with Nancy at the Black Kettle, a local brewery. The place closes every night at 9, because the brew is so potent they don’t want patrons drinking it into the late hours…

This was my first experience talking about P.E.A.C.E. Scooter and not being the only one in the room to know all about it. IMG_2017It was a great experience and one we would repeat throughout the weekend.That earlier conversation with Kerri was illustrative of Alix’s ability to turn strangers into friends everywhere she went. I could never tell if someone knew her from before or was meeting her for the first time; the smiles and the banter were always easy and comfortable. She made it easy for me to talk up the P.E.A.C.E. tour to strangers too. Yes, you inspired me to reach out to more people. Er, put me on the spot, but whatever. This trip is ultimately an art project to generate dialog about peace and our future-I chose a scooter to do the route-and you helped me immerse myself back into the original intention. I had been a little hesitant to walk up and tell people all about myself. That’s why it was nice to work as a team.

Chatting up an epic ride like this is much easier when you can point out the rider and the bike and say, “See that woman? She’s from Virginia…she rode here on that moped scooter. IMG_2020She’s making a Peace sign on the map-she started in D.C last month…” Peoples’ eyes just get huge in disbelief and then it’s fairly easy to elaborate on what possesses someone to leave their job, home, and dog for the entire summer and talk to people about what Peace means to them. Oh, and a steady supply of postcards under the seat is very helpful too. Whatever, Daphne, you should get a scooter and complete the trip with me. You are a natural at talking to strangers- you made me feel shy in comparison. I’d totally love to join you, but that’s just nonsense about you being shy. It’s not a moped, dammit. Yes, but it’s easier to get someone to understand when you say that. It’s not a moped, dammit! Or a Vespa!

In the bar, people our age were very interested in her ride.Get 'em Coleen IMG_2032I expect to hear from Jamie, TJ, Tim, and Colleen anyday on the Wall of Beliefs. These guys were a great crowd of rabble rousers. Colleen was a brewer and thumbwrestler extraordinaire. The night ended at Charlie B’s-the bar with a lot of soul…Charlie B’s also has a poster inside that says “On the corner of space and time.” And it’s not on a corner, by the way. They also hang up photos of their barflys, a pretty cool idea. IMG_2030Outside, we found Mother Trucker’s snack truck pulled up in the parking lot. I picked up a falafal and an interesting conversation with a couple of gents from Minnesota who were in town for the weekend. IMG_2031They found Nancy’s bike decorations to be especially eye catching and took interest in Alix’s trip…Oh yea, they were wasted-but really nice. I’ve come to realize that in most towns, its a rule of thumb, food trucks=heavy drinking. I quite enjoyed our ladies’ night out with Nancy. We had an alchemy going at my suggestion. Shot of whiskey, shot of Emergen-C powder, shot of espresso, shot of whiskey.

Ooh..I almost forgot about the alchemy…a genius idea! I might refer to it as the “46th hour ALixer”. When I went to bed at 3 am that night, I had been up for 48 hours straight with 2 hours of sleep in between. This is a pretty good explanation for why the days in Missoula have managed to merge in my memory.

The next morning, we stopped in to say hi to the Scooterville crew and make tentative plans for the night. IMG_2001We left Audrey behind. We headed into the heart of Missoula in search of espresso and found it at the Butterfly Herbs Cafe-where Nancy had once worked. Back in college she pulled a stint there at the counter. It’s a great locally owned place, vegan/veggie options and high octane espresso. There we struck up conversation with Joe, or Joel who had great contributions to make about peace and a $20 contribution to P.E.A.C.E Scooter.

After lunch we went back to grab Audrey. Nancy and Gary had agreed to give me a new, working rack since my original had snapped at a crucial joint, making it less sturdy to hold the shad case. IMG_2062The rack installation was an interesting endeavor. The day had already been long and hot-a nap was most definitely in order. When we returned to Scooterville we found Audrey pulled into the shade, but otherwise untouched-and we realized that Gary’s day had also been long.
Since the store had to be closed up and the rack still needed to be mounted, I (in my infinite genius) told Gary that Alix and I could put it together if he’d just get us the tools.
There were probably several ways this plan could have gone down…and we tried almost all of them! However, 2 hours later, using Alix’s original suggestion to mount the rack onto the bike and THEN mount the hardcase, the Alix-Gary team realized a most joyous victory. That’s because we are Leo’s. Royal and gifted with tools. IMG_20653 people, One shad, too long…..I like how Nancy quietly watched this excruciating process with a look of humor on her face.

The long awaited nap was calling…the Super 7 motel seemed to be answering. However, the individual at the front desk seemed oblivious to that call. When we asked for a discounted room and explained the Peace Ride, she looked at us like we had just recited the Martian alphabet (no offense to Martians). Okay. What about internet? Affirmative; we were told the room had internet. Perfect, before the day was over, we would definitely want to do some work.

We made a quick run out to get espresso (I’m on an espresso tour as well-I like to sample shops in hopes of opening my own one day) and a gallon of water before settling into room number 109 (#108 was a storage room-we should have recognized this as a sign and taken it more seriously) The room was dingy and smelled strongly of carpet cleaning chemicals. A short time later, our rested selves checked out the internet. Nada. Complaints to the front desk resulted in very rude responses and offers to make adjustments which were withdrawn as soon as we accepted. In the long run, we ended up with a credit for all but $10 and gratitude that we would not be spending the night at the Not-Too-Super7. Oh my god, if you ever visit Missoula, don’t stay there, stay at the Bel-Aire or City Motel. They are cheap and clean and the internet, as promised, works! The people at the front desk were miserable jerks who kept changing their mind about how to handle our situation. The only reason we hadn’t taken up Nancy and Gary’s offer is we felt it could be overwhelming to have two guests, when they originally expected just one. Nonetheless, we checked out of the Super-Lame 7 and called our surrogate family; making arrangements to show up after grabbing some food.
Somehow, the interaction with those clerks totally flipped the script. manateeEverywhere we went seemed like the Twilight Zone. Yes that was so strange, two bizarre hours-unlike the rest of our time there. Did you notice how time in Missoula seems to go REALLY SLOWLY? It’s awesome, I felt like I always had more time on my side. A joke that kept on giving was regarding the noise that a manatee makes. Manatees, you may recall, are sea cows; large, gentle creatures which swim off the coast and move so slowly that they are endangered by jet skis and speed boats which often collide with their mammoth bodies. Just thinking of the noise these creatures emit makes me laugh, as I have no real idea about it. I mean, they live underwater–doesn’t that fall into the “if a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it…” category?

Anyway. I digress. In a desperate attempt to turn the Super Lame 7(good one, Al) and Missoula Twilight Zone around, we posed the question to two ladies who were dining outside the Pita Pit with us. The first to respond answered in the following manner, “What sound does a manatee make? BEFORE or AFTER it eats its prey?” A valid question, though I wasn’t sure manatee are predators exactly. After some discussion, it was revealed that our friend had actually confused PRAYING MANTIS with MANATEE…This did not exactly turn the Twilight Zone right side up, but it got us on a good laughing track in order to see the pure humor in it all and go back to Nancy and Gary’s with an appreciation for the parts of Missoula which embraced and understood us.

It was nice to visit someone’s home. IMG_2101I find myself missing the character of my own house and my dog. Campgrounds and motels are starting to blend together. Really nice of them to open the doors for not just one guest, but two. Gary took us to our room and we all chatted about how our nights out went down. He had just ridden his scooter out about 15 miles each way to see a friend’s band. He commented on the distance I am going, after experiencing the wind on his ride. No doubt, wind can change my ride time drastically. There was a HUGE music collection-they both share my taste-so I started burning CD’s. I stayed away from the SHELVES of records-in my best interest. IMG_2086I could spend hours holding them and looking at the artwork and lyrics. I feel asleep at the computer, woke up to see Daphne still at hers. This irritated me, because she seems to be a fully functioning insomniac-whereas I require about 5 hours a night minimum to be polite. The next morning we wanted to do some sightseeing after breakfast, so we headed out right away. We didn’t want to jack their food supply and we knew it was going to be a busy day. Daphne was leaving later that day and the Jeanette Rankin Peace Party was in the afternoon.
We headed over to Good Foods-the BEST health food place I have ever been. Our local health food store in my hometown is teeny; perhaps the size of just the bulk food section in Good Foods; there’s definitely no eat-in cafe or bulk soap and cleaners….BULK HOMMUS and BULK FALAFAL MIX…OH MY. I was in heaven…and just the trip to Good Foods might have sold me on a plot of land in Missoula (I’m easy to please.) We managed a couple of really yummy salads at the well stocked salad bar…one of the salads was a delicious part of an unforgettable brunch assembled by the one and only Alix Bryan a.k.a. P.E.A.C.E Scooter. I purchased some bulk granola, procured a house bowl and scored some free soy milk from the cafe. Really miss my granola mornings. On the road, I’m finding the ins and outs of keeping the home comforts. After brunch we decided to hike up to the “M” on the mountain. IMG_2083On the way, we asked a father and daughter who were biking how to get to the big “M.” The father told us were the trailhead was and the daughter yelled back, “we are going to McDonalds.” We were both headed to the big M’s-but ours was healthier. Once there, however, we realized the rocky path didn’t compliment my flip flops. So we snapped a picture as though we had climbed it and decided to ride around sight seeing before the Peace Party. IMG_2089Missoula has a lot of community. It’s big enough to offer a lot of great culture and small enough for everyone to be super friendly. And then there’s the rich scenery, fishing, boating and hiking from the forests that surround it. It’s also in a valley, so the “bowl” effect makes it warm enough to scoot year round. All this makes it a pretty tempting choice as a potential hometown. And Nancy said my daughter would go to college here one day…IMG_2081After a quick run in to the house, grabbing stuff and the rental car, we went to the Peace Party. I couldn’t stay long, but wanted to check it out before my drive to Seattle. Alix was listed as a guest and they let me in for free also.
This was their big fundraiser for the year’s activities. The Rankin Peace Center is fantastic. Jeanette Rankin was the first woman elected to the House of Reps in 1916, before all women even had the right to vote. Even more interesting, she was one of the 50 votes against WW1, and suffrage groups began canceling her speech engagements. Basically, the press vilified her and she was not re-elected. I suggest learning more about her, she is one of my heroines. In 1940, she served another term in Congress and voted against WW2. Her life story is a damn good impetus to name a Peace Center after her.

Alix parked her scoot inside next to a table and began setting up a booth about P.E.A.C.E Scooter. 100_2247I was running around the crowd collecting donations in exchange for stickers. Yes, that would be when the director approached me and reminded me it was their annual fund raiser and that I shouldn’t solicit donations. OOPS! She had every right, of course, and was nice enough about it. I guess it could have been an awkward moment, but Alix handled it well. Sure, I told her while they require a certain budget to maintain their big programs, even $3 helps me out-it gets me 130 miles down the road on my Peace ride. It was agreed that no sign would be put up soliciting, but that I could accept offers. I want to thank the generous people of Missoula for helping me raise $160. And I don’t feel as though there was ever a conflict of interest, as most people donated to me at the end of the night, after the auction was over. I also handed out a lot of postcards-and I look forward to hearing back from the peacemakers!
A P.E.A.C.E, SCOOTER: A Patriot’s Exhibition Advancing Community and Environmentalism, on a Scooter › Edit — WordPressIMG_2123

Time to motor the 550 miles back to Seattle in my “cage.” I didn’t see the end of the Party, but Alix says I missed a lot of dancing and jubilant antics. I rode off into the sun after exchanging numbers with Nancy and Yetta and saying goodbye to Audrey and Alix. 2.5 days and 2 nights later, and I was due for a whirlwind flight back to the East Coast to send my daughter off for her first day at school. Little Miss Sunshine! The drive back was uneventful, no hippies to pickup and keep me company. But plenty of time to process the wonderful people in Alix’s life and the goal she has-to promote peace. I enjoyed that she doesn’t push her beliefs on people-she just wants to know what they think and stimulate more thought. Hey, I have a lot to learn…

Missoula was a really enchanting part of my journey. I know I’ve got a friend for life in Daphne and her presence on board for this trip is immeasurable. P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER isn’t just a joyride around the country, there’s a lot of time that goes into it. It was nice to have a guest star on the trip and a “partner in peace.” By day at least, Alix, partner in crime at night. Ha! My hosts were amazing and I hope to see them again. Much love to everyone!
*****I know its a long post, but I was there for 4.5 days, longer than most towns I visit! From now on, my goal is to keep updates more current, so you can really take the ride real time with me. This might mean shorter entries, but I will keep ’em coming. The road ahead is about 3-4 weeks. I hope to have some company at the finish line, so if you are nearby Crawford, TX, drop me a line so we can discuss. Maybe a rally????? My ETA will become clearer shortly. I have a lot of friends on the West Coast and its just so great here that I will probably dawdle down the coast. I already have a crush on Portland and Seattle, too, was seductively fun!

Bumbershoot *Addendum*

Attempts to attend the festival were met with success! It is nice to know people are reading this website-a few of whom contacted me with an extra ticket. The first day Ralph and I went to the festival. We checked out The Darrell Grant Trio, Apples in Stereo, Ian Ball, Andrew Bird, and Zap Mama-as well as played some skee-ball. My score was better but still not good enough to win a prize. Oh yea, we went to 5 minutes of Sean Paul before I had to exit that train wreck. I was much happier with the quirky croonings of the songbird himself-Andrew Bird. Labor Day I wound up with a gig volunteering in exchange for an all day pass. That seemed like quite a deal to me, and so I worked information/switchboard for three hours. Everyone there was super chill. The other volunteer agreed with me that it would be nice, if on our shift, we could see Lost items returned to people. So, we set out contacting them any way we could. If there was a driver’s license in a wallet, we googled the name for a landline phone and called the person. We were actually successful! I was also able to get some people their lost cell phones back. I called the number listed in the phone and left a voice mail message with directions to Lost and Found. An early, yet rewarding way to start the day. It was an action packed day, so I am pretty exhausted.

Check out the “Bumbersnap” Flickr Set to witness the festivities.

Today’s noteworthy acts,that I attended, were: Lyrics Born, Allison Moorer, The West Coast Poetry Slam Competition, My Brightest Diamond, Vaud de Vire Society carnival performance, and Wu-Tang. I also spent hours in the Flatstock poster and silkscreening exhibition-which is a traveling exhibition worth checking out if it comes near you. Conflict of timing to see Steve Earle, though I really wanted to. Saddest miss of yesterday AND today was Jeanine Garofalo. I adore her and apparently hundreds of other people do too-they just got in line faster than myself. Distributed hundreds of postcards and had many a great conversation. The dancing shoes were also tearing it up! Just the lift my soul needed! Tuesday morning I am headed to Portland, Oregon. Looks like a rainy forecast all day, but at least I have a new back tire thanks to the guys over at Ducati Seattle-who I will introduce to you at a later date. Stay tuned to meet those characters and the MISSOULIANS from Montana. Thanks for reading-feel free to post on the Wall of Peace Definitions while you are here.

(old news)

Anyone have an extra ticket? I’m here in the Emerald City, Seattle, WA.
Serendipitously enough, Bumbershoot Music and Arts Festival is this weekend, a three day festival with some noteworthy acts playing and performing.

I would love a free ticket-the process of manifestation has begun. I promise I will not buy one. I will sit outside, hackeysack, rabble rouse and tell jokes until someone graces me with the golden ticket. My quest to get inside the gates has begun. Wish me luck, but even better, offer your wayward traveler a free ticket.

I promise to get the body groovin’ and to smile mucho grande!

UBUNTU (I am because YOU are)