News 4 Peace. Channel 4 that is!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4 Replies to “News 4 Peace. Channel 4 that is!”

  1. This is one of your best blogs and coverage yet! I’m so sad about the fact that I will be boycotting reading your blogs from now on until you get a darn camera mount. I just can’t watch.

  2. Yes! I hope so too! We’re thinking about going to the parade on Sunday… tomorrow. We’ll be at Mighty O’s tomorrow morning. I’m having some trouble with my scooter though. Trying to find people who ride modern Vespas actually know about their inner-workings is tough (unlike with two strokes).
    And I miss Portland.

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