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 zaadz.com 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 modernbuddy.com, modernvespa.com, and the flcsc.com 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 girlbike.com.

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 scooterseatcovers.com.


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 www.peacescooter.com. 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)

Circle, MT

AKA Roundtown.


A lurch. Check the mirrors, good–no tractor trailers behind me. A silence. Then a loud POP.  Navigate the bike off the road.
Wind gusts around me, laughing it seems, as I forlornly turn to stare back towards the small town in the distance.

Circle, Montana. POP=600. Highway 200W.
A beautiful but lonely by-way through desolate, dry Eastern Montana. Small towns, mainly for fueling, speckle the map just about 100 miles apart. The night before,  I rode into Circle just as all traces of light disappeared from the sky. The day’s ride had clocked 353 miles.

468 miles ahead to the next vector, Missoula, MT. Half a mile back to the town I had just left.

Kick start the bike. Nothing. No tools, no parts, no sounds except a choking from Audrey. Switchboard (Daphne) tells me there is a cycle shop 65 miles east of me. The call is made and I discover there is actually a motorcycle shop closer, in Circle. Hang up, try again.

Eissenger’s answered my distress call, immediately. No sooner had I taken a seat when they pulled up-in a big truck. Then they pulled out an arc shaped ramp with rungs, about 2 foot wide. Still curious. I probably annoyed them by repeatedly asking if that thing could really work. I unloaded Audre and miraculously she went up the “ladder”.
Only 17 minutes had passed. That’s service.

Of course, I doubt there was anything else happening in Circle that day. Just kidding, well, no, I’m not.  But they got there fast because they are good people. They were also probably somewhat intrigued by the description I gave them. Turns out Jerry, the owner of Eissenger’s had seen my scooter parked outside the Traveler’s Inn early that morning. For whatever reason, probably just that “I’m far from home feeling,” and “there’s no Genuine dealership for hundreds of miles,” a bit of anxiety had kicked in.

I also knew that questions would be directed my way any minute. What am I doing 5,000 miles from Virginia on a scooter. Where am I headed?
Would they be ultra conservative? Would they think the P.E.A.C.E tour was anti-patriotic? Would this be an awkward day? Would they know how to work on the bike? I was at their mercy, basically. Pit Crew

I got a big lesson on how to keep the faith. People are treating me really well out here on the road, despite our differences. I keep finding we aren’t actually all that different, really. I keep finding good people, because I believe the world is inherently capable of good.  It is almost as though my belief, “I’m not focused on how we are different, but how we can make a difference,” provides a safety blanket.

Genuine Scooters has a guaranteed roadside assistance program. It’s solid.  It would have covered my tow up to 150 dollars. But that part was already taken care of, now I needed a good mechanic. The next certified Genuine mechanic was 468 miles down the road, in Missoula, MT.

I was a bit panicked by the ill timing and location of my breakdown. Genuine came through for me in immeasurable ways–as did the crew at Eissenger’s in Circle. In fact, everyone in Circle, MT did.  Jeremy, the mechanic strolled in from lunch about half an hour after we had arrived. Immediately he put me at ease. He is a small engines wizard. We started with a check list of possible scenarios; easy stuff first and worked our way up. Audrey began surgery. Sparkplug changed, no water in gasoline, jet alright in carb, oil levels fine. His testing ruled out many possibilities-and then it was time to test for spark.

Audrey wasn’t making any. This was unsettling. Electrical stuff meant Genuine parts, which would mean more time in Circle. It was a bad week to break down. My friend from Maine was coming out to Seattle for a visit and I had 4 days to get there, with a stop in Missoula. I got Genuine on the line and put them in touch with Jeremy. There were a couple of scenarios that could be going on-the CDI box or the stator.

It was agreed that Genuine would send a handful of parts and we would send back whatever wasn’t used. This impressed Jeremy, who said an attitude like that was unheard of. Genuine had 15 minutes to overnight the parts and triumphantly did so! Rock on! Still, none of us expected the UPS truck to arrive in Circle by the next day.

The boys seemed surprised that I had a good attitude. I told them this is part of the adventure. There was a lot of fun banter about the situation, which made it more entertaining for me. Josh kept me laughing with his wisecracking. Our conversation became heavy once, when he bust out with, “Maybe that sticker should say, Screw Peace-Give War a Chance.” I was stunned for a second and retorted with, “Josh,um, we are-we have-not so successful. Jeremy was a good conversationalist and I enjoyed him telling me so much about his life. He was also really cool about answering my bike questions. Doctor's OfficeIt was a good opportunity to fully inspect her insides, since she was wide open. He said he hardly ever has to fix a stator, and it must just be a fluke for it to happen at 5,000 miles. Genuine has never had a problem with the stator on the Buddy before, either.

It was a really random situation, perhaps some Divine sign from God that my life would be incomplete without another night in Circle. And really, who knows the mysteries of circumstances, perhaps it could have been worse ahead-maybe this was fate intervening. I tried to get them to loan me an Arctic Cat four wheeler for the night, but they weren’t road legal and offered me a car instead. I said no to the loaner and they kept insisting-maybe they think I have a problem with cars. But I just felt really past due for a long walk.

I was looking for some nightlife, so after a home cooked meal at Kay’s, I grabbed the camera and hit the main drag. The whole mile of it. Circle was really pretty. The buildings are low and the expansive Montana skies extend in every direction. The wind rages through Montana and many buildings had been worn by its force, adding character. There was a sense that the place was bustling once upon a time. Perry told me that Circle used to be a big steer town, biggest in the area. I just ambled about and talked to people. Oh, I got to meet the sheriff the night before, he was very nice. It turns out he met a 50cc cross country scooterist before, in Lake Pectin. I’m thinking this might have been Laird VanDyck, who wrote up a little bit of interesting reading about the trip. The Corner Bar had a decent crowd, so I pulled up a stool and talked to the bartender. Turns out she moved to Circle with her husband, from Chicago. And her mom, who I met the next day, drives 1 of the 4 scooters in town. I approached a fella about his snazzy Hawaiian shirt and we chatted about his days of traveling. Most conversation in the bar revolved around traveling. Some people are really interested in the trip itself, others more interested in the mission. Some people like it all.

Perry, the owner of the Traveler’s Inn showed up and bought me a drink. He also offered me the next night free if my parts didn’t come the next day-which he also didn’t think could happen. I shot some pool, by myself, and did a little electronic gambling. Then I headed back to Room 15 for some writing and a good slumber. Seeing the light on in the office, I went to tell Paula goodnight. Turns out she was online reading the blog entry on Tulsa. We talked for a bit about her life story and she let me take a cigar box from Perry’s collection-which I mailed to a friend the next day. The motel is really unique. PegasusIt’s inexpensive, clean, and the hosts are colorful. The lobby is worth the visit alone, its a small museum of interesting signs and collectables. Paula was really sweet, a couple of times she invited me to meals out with her friends.

The unexpected hiatus gave me time to catch-up. I’m forever playing catch-up with the blogs. I also did laundry at the world’s best laundromat. Around noon Jeremy called to say the parts had, by grace, actually arrived. He started working on the bike after lunch. By 4pm she was ready to pick up. The problem did turn out to be the stator and he replaced the coil inside. I asked if he rode it and what he thought. I could tell he liked the ride and he said they were really easy, logical bikes to work on. Being the great guy he is, he only rode a mile, since my odometer was getting ready to hit 5,000. When Paula and I arrived at the shop, Jerry asked if I wanted to race against a Q-Link (chinese scooter) for pink slips. I said, “No, I don’t need a Q-Link for anything, thank you.”

If I was going to break down anywhere in Montana, I’m glad it was Circle. Circle didn’t seem to offer anything until I took the time to get to know some wonderful characters. Paula seemed bothered that I was leaving so late in the afternoon, but I wanted to put at least 60 miles behind me before dark.

To everyone in Circle, thank you so much for being helpful, charming and entertaining. You are all wonderful. You gave me great memories and I wish you all the best! I do think you eat too much beef though, and it would be great if Kay’s had something green beside iceberg lettuce.

Additionally, thank you to everyone over at Genuine, for jumping in quickly and professionally. Thanks for making such a kick-ass bike that is taking me the distance around our amazing country. I always enjoy my “check-ins” with Roy or Brett over at the HQ’s. All of us made it look easy! Rock on!

Peace to Circle

Now you are up to date on why the itinerary is a bit off. It would have been impossible for me to meet my friend Daphne in Seattle by Friday, so she rented a car and drove to Missoula. We just stayed put there for the weekend, so I was in Missoula longer than originally expected. Needless to say though, there is some big love in my heart for Missoula. That’s the next update.

Banter in Circle:

Josh (he’s priceless)
Oh, you should do this trip on a Q-Link.
Circle, MT, where we’re all Square
You should have Genuine just send you another bike and call it Audrey 2.0. To which I said, “but I’m a MAC user. It would have to be Audrey 10.4.10.”

“Me and Jeremy decided we are gonna do a scooter tour too. But drink a lot of beer. We need to get sponsors”
(me) “Hmm. What’s your cause?”
(Josh) Leave our wifes at home.
(me) Great! There’s totally a demographic that will identify with you.

I lost my spark! No! It’s not a metaphor. Get a grip.

“Why does she look so happy to stay here another night?”
(me) Well, because I know I can leave eventually.” 😉

(in response to my concerns about a diet of beef and wheat) “Alix, beef and barley are MT’s cash. You can’t walk around MT and diss ’em. Besides, I’ve got a wife. I don’t have to worry about my figure.

“Democracy will never work.”
“Oh, any ideas for something better?”
“Nothing works.”
“Oh. Want a postcard?”
(btw Me and Josh)

They call this town Circle, but my bike is so broke that I can’t even drive in one.

“They call me the King Bachelor in town.”
“Oh, so ya going home alone again tonight?”

“Does anyone here find it ironic that I broke down in front of a rifle range?”

Dear Mr. President

 This letter is copied with permission from the Peace Marchers. I heard about their journey right before I left on my Peace Ride, in a Chicago Tribune article. They are reaching a very intense phase of their march. To reach Washington D.C. by September 10, they will need to march 25 miles a day. Currently they are in West Virginia. Wish them all the speed their legs can muster. At least they will be in better shape than me when finished….

Their hearts are in the right place and mine moves in honor of their march. They have been walking since May 21!  I often think of them while riding alone-and appreciate the solidarity between us, despite the distance. The letter below is a good read! Good Luck to you Peace Marchers!

Dear Mr. President,

As a representative of the March for Peace, I am requesting that you provide us with a place to sleep when we reach Washington D.C. on September 10th. We have been walking across the country from San Francisco since May 21st, and would like to share our experiences, and what we have learned from the thousands of people we have encountered along the way. Many kind folks have opened up their homes to us. We have had wonderful conversations with them about nonviolent solutions to global conflict, sustainability, and other issues important to all of us.

The people we have stayed with and talked to along the way have not necessarily been activists. We have been traveling through rural America, through small towns, past farms and factories, cornfields and feed lots. These are the parts of the country that voted for you; we have talked with and listened to them.

You recently said that the American people are willing to give “the surge” in Iraq a chance. This is not what we have seen and heard. The other day in Dayton, Ohio I had a conversation with a taxi driver who voted for you twice. He said that it was time for a change in Iraq and at home. We have heard the same from veterans, school teachers, correction officers, farmers and many others.

We will not be confrontational; we are a peaceful group. All that we ask for is a chance to share our experiences and enter into a dialogue. We are good guests. No one will bother the historic items, make too much noise late at night, or leave the toilet seat up. If you already have guests, we will be more than happy to camp out on the White House lawn.

Please let us know as soon as possible if we can plan on staying with you on September 10th.
I can be reached at march@marchforpeace.info

We look forward to sharing our experiences with you in September.


Peter Cobb
Not in Our Name, March for Peace
On Behalf of Ashley Casale, Michael Israel, Antonio Kies, Isabelle Salmon,
Art Brown and Mike Russell (Marchers)

#14, Adjustments, Zones, Eclipses


I reached the Fourteenth Vector on the Peace Map today-Spokane, WA. I propose that Coeur D’ Alene and Spokane share vector fourteen. So be it. Time was equally spent in these two places and while a state line divides them, they are only half an hour apart. Also, since Coeur D’Alene used to serve as headquarters of the Aryan Nation, it’s good to spread some peace there. Coeur D’ Alene was my rejuventation spot after traversing 262 miles from Missoula, MT. The invitation for a chiropractic alignment was extended to me by Mark, founder of Peace Coeur D’ Alene. He discovered the peace mission through a community announcement on zaadz.com.

The day traveling Hwy 200W started and ended quite perfectly. My morning coffee and nibbles were with hostess Nancy, at the delicious Butterfly Herbs cafe in Missoula, MT. My time in Missoula will have a post of its own- I’m just letting you know where scootergirl is present day. Gary and Nancy escorted me out of town, giving me squeezes and love for the long road ahead. The 262 mile journey through desolate, high altitude mountains flew by rather quickly. My entertaining morning conversation with Nancy had slipped into the afternoon, so I was surprised to reach Idaho as the full moon rose in the sky. IMG_2151

At some points I laughed out loud at the sight of little Audrey against the backdrop of such majestic, rugged mountains. Audrey handled the 6,000 foot climbs with remarkable pep, though. My bottom speed was only 45, and briefly at that. I have now reached the furthest time zone from my hometown-West Coast time! Since this is written from Spokane, consider me on the West Coast! The odometer clocks in at 5,900 miles and I’ve been on the road almost a month and a half. Times really are changing. In the past week alone about 300 peace postcards have been distributed, the reception has been amazing, lots of friends have been made, and the available eats getting a lot better. 😉

There are also many friends offering couches and company along the West Coast. This will save me some cash, thankfully. Turns out Coeur D’ Alene is a bustling, overpriced, tourist town with ridiculous room rates. Found myself wishing I had taken Troy up on his offer to use a vacant apartment back in Clark Fork. He was a cool guy, retired military, that I met when fueling up. A proud gun owner too, but nonetheless,very supportive of my ride for Peace. He even asked me to take his phone number and let him when I finish the trip. Thankfully, forces guided me over to Days Inn and the clerk gave me a phenomenal deal-they even allowed me to check out at 1:30 pm today. The manager was very cool and asked for 15+ postcards to distribute to her circle of “strong, independent women.” Heck yea!

A dead weight slumber of 10 hours re-introduced me to the world. I did wake up at 3:30 to see the total lunar eclipse. Not sure if I have ever seen one so clearly as last night. It almost didn’t look real, but was very clear and close from right outside the hotel room-hovering directly above me. I took some time to sit and read outside a downtown coffee shop-something I haven’t done in more than a year. The “day off,” continued nicely as I met Mark. I wasn’t sure what to expect from my previous correspondence with him. Mark is a retired Marine Corps Officer, who now practices unique and gentle chiropractic health care. I visited his office, Cafe of Life, and he offered me a free adjustment. This was amazing, he had quite the healing touch. My back twitched in surprising ways from the adjustments, and afterwards I was very energized and focused. I told him his hands were not meant to hold weapons, he is definitely a healer. He agreed and said he had been through some major life changes. We took some time to walk over the Human Rights Museum and spent a bit looking around. Although there wasn’t much to look at right then, the main exhibits had just been pulled, we found a lot to talk about. It was a nice afternoon in a pretty, lakeside, wholesome town. We said goodbyes after some espresso. I asked to go to the best place in town, which was Doma’s. The barista and the coffee were not amateur. The place was great! I was especially impressed that the barista wielded her own personalized tamp, ordered online. It was clear she was not joking about her espresso-a pro indeed.
With the sun burning my retinas and making visibility horrible, I headed over to Spokane. I had no idea it was such a huge city. Most of the ride went through poor, sketchy, industrial neighborhoods with bad roads and suddenly I was in the fancy downtown area. Everyone in Spokane has been so nice. I rode around looking at the town all lit up before eating at the Satellite Diner. Locals love sushi and espresso around here, an abundance of both on each corner, but I settled for cheap, good diner offerings. Most of the night here was spent just randomly meeting the locals. Honestly, although everyone has been totally cool here, I’m just not feeling the soul around these parts. Perhaps the city is just bigger than any I’ve been in since Tulsa?? Looking forward to moving on and meeting up with friends in Seattle. Apparently, a scooterist named Chuck has orchestrated an afternoon ride and dinner on Thursday-very cool.

It’s nice to be getting some momentum back up again after a full week in one state, Montana. I really loved it there, and would consider a move over to Missoula, if it wasn’t landlocked. I need an ocean or some big body of water. The long road to Seattle awaits tomorrow and I anticipate that the Cascades are breathtaking. Hopefully, my camera starts working right by the morning. Its making a whirring noise when I turn it on and the lens won’t fully open. This is not good. I went out of my way to shop at the local electronics store back home. Almost wishing I had bought it from a big box store that you can find anywhere on “Main St., USA.” It would be easier to replace and lord knows I must take 80 pics a day!

Thanks for reading y’all. Many of you I have met on the road and I hope you know you changed my life. Yes, YOU.

“When a person really desires something, all the universe conspires to help that person to realize his dream.” (said the ALchemist)

International Peace Garden really exists.

we two nations
dedicate this garden
and pledge ourselves
that as long as men
shall live, we will
not take up arms
against one another.

Well, P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER has gone international, not so much an intentional happening. Just a zany invisible border that declares one country separate from the other. Perhaps one day we will do away with borders and flags. We could follow the examples set by the IMF/WTO, who have already found a way for corporations to maximize profits without heed to borders. Why can’t we as peoples do this, with intent to maximize Peace, culture and the human connection?

May Peace Prevail on EarthAfter staring at North Dakota license plates the past few days, I got up the nerve to ask, “Why are you the Peace Garden state?”

“Really, we have a Peace Garden in America?”

I scooted up to the Peace Garden from Devil’s Lake, ND.  While this was about a 70 mile detour, it seemed an appropriate one to make. One can’t overlook the International Peace Garden when on a 22,000 mile ride for Peace, eh? You betcha.

Highway 2 led me over to Route 5N, which I picked up in Rugby, ND. Gas stations were limited, but frequent enough. Due to the massive chunks of farmland, there are few roads to take. Hwy 2 is a four laner, with a speed limit of 75, although traffic was sparse, so the road wasn’t stressful at all. Picking up Route 5N led me right into a fair head wind, so the going was slow. I plugged on curious to discover this garden that Americans know so little about.

The dedication of the Garden took place on July 14, 1932, with 50,000 persons present. This is interesting to me for two reasons. One, I haven’t met that many people who even know about the International Peace Garden. Two, the kick-off date for P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER was close to that, July 15.  I choose the departure date in commemoration to Jimmy Carter and his “crisis of confidence” speech in 1979, exactly three years after he accepted his party’s nomination to run for president. Here is a sample from that speech:

During the past three years I’ve spoken to you on many occasions about national concerns, the energy crisis, reorganizing the government, our nation’s economy, and issues of war and especially peace. But over those years the subjects of the speeches, the talks, and the press conferences have become increasingly narrow, focused more and more on what the isolated world of Washington thinks is important. Gradually, you’ve heard more and more about what the government thinks or what the government should be doing and less and less about our nation’s hopes, our dreams, and our vision of the future.

Sadly, our state of affairs has not changed for the better. Anyhow, I decided that my intentions for this trip mirrored his goal; to engage the American public in dialogue about our future. I also hold great respect for his willingness to delve deep into the true problems that our Nation faces, the fundamental problems, and his attempts to be inclusive. Unfortunately this resulted in his exclusion from political graces.

Entering the Garden was made easy by the gatekeeper, Sara, who overlooked the $10 entry fee after reading my postcard. I arrived around four in the afternoon , on a Saturday,  and was a bit surprised that there were not more people enjoying the beautiful gardens. Could this be related to the employees of the Garden? Perhaps to them, it’s just a job, maybe even an annoying one with pesky tourists?

The pamphlet I read discussed the Gardens creation within a historical context. Dr. Henry J. Moore conceived of the idea; a garden to commemorate and perpetuate our relationship with Canada, and to promote the value of Peace in our world. The Peace Garden made the front page of U.S. newspapers, its existence a product of the times. 20 million people lost their lives in World War 1 and President Woodrow Wilson had recently initiated the League of Nations.

The Garden opened in the middle of our Great Depression, when unemployment was high and people were desperate. The President, Franklin Roosevelt, proposed a plan to protect two resources- our land and our young men. “He proposed to recruit thousands of unemployed young men, enroll them in a peacetime army, and send them into battle against destruction and erosion of our natural resources.”

Roosevelt’s creation of the Civilian Conservation Corps, and the projects they developed, like the Peace Garden,  helped preserve national pride during the Great Depression.  The CCC left behind permanent objects in many states as markers of it projects. From inception, the CCC utilized government resources to bolster the quality of living when times were rough in America and to preserve our environmental resources.

There in the Garden, I struggled to find current examples of such community minded projects which have full support of executive and legislative branches. September 11 pops into my head as having bi-partisan support. Although now, many firefighters are left without access to the medication they need after developing health conditions from the clean up. Hurricane Katrina? Not really. Joseph Albaugh, the head of FEMA at the time, already acknowledged botching the response to Katrina. After visiting New Orleans this summer and talking with its residents, I would not say that a progressive, bi-partisan recovery action has been implemented. In fact, New Orleans teems with corruption and its civilians suffer the price. Thoughts like this were racing through my head as I perused the beautiful grounds.

Time for Peace, yo!

I was also in the Garden wondering where all the visitors were. Apparently, at one time, the Garden welcomed thousands of visitors. With 2, 339.3 acres of nature to explore, it’s easy to understand why. A slump in tourism hasn’t affected the landscaping buget. The grounds are dazzling, featuring more than 150,000 types of shrubs, grasses, trees, and flowers. Several  monuments commemorate events throughout the eras.

Our current reality  often intertwines with a history forgotten. How many people who attended the opening of the Peace Garden are still alive today? Apparently, traffic on the Garden’s opening day was recorded at 57 vehicles per minute. Remember, this was a time when all aspects of traveling were much more challenging. The tiny, barely alive town of Bottineau, were I stayed that evening, was completely flooded years ago when the Peace Garden opened. All town services were closed July 14, 1932 . Would Starbucks do such a thing today for its employees? Would people want them to? I might not even want such an inconvenience like that.

The afternoon sun offered warmth and cast an amber hue onto the grounds. I had packed a stack of postcards with me, so I scurried around locating people. I was only able to distribute about 12, but I did enjoy several conversations.Garden and Visitors

One elderly gentlemen sat on a bench enjoying the view with his wife. He commented that I was young enough to be an idealist. That particularly saddened me–not the first time I’ve heardit proposed that idealism is only an attribute of the young.

Apparently,  ahead in my future, lurks a magic age when I will give up caring and believing in change for humanity. Hey, maybe in ten years I will read this blog and think, “Lord, what an idealist!” Seriously though, I listened to his perspectives–he was old enough to have visited the Garden’s opening as a child. While this gentlemen has witnessed big changes in our technologies, he has also seen multiple generations face the same problems.

Nancy, my hostess extraordinaire in Missoula, commented on meeting “war weary” adults. I realized that in my living, there have only been two wars (not counting invasions). Vietnam ended in my first year alive, so it’s not included in my tally. Two wars is still two many for me. But this gentlemen I spoke with, he has witnessed six wars, four invasions in his living. Suddenly, his curmudgeonly attitude was understandable. He’s war weary.

Our generational differences, how do we resolve them? How do we simultaneously integrate the reality of conflict while working towards a peaceful resolution of conflict? There will always be conflict, but there doesn’t not always have to be outright war to resolve it. My generation–sadly, we don’t really know War or Peace.

We live in a sterile, neon, marketed times;  chock full of product placement and seduction. We don’t even know we have a Peace Garden. We don’t know what’s its like to have every aspect of life change because of wartime. We don’t have Victory Gardens or food rations because of this Iraw war. Our generation simply hands over more at the pump to keep driving SUV’S while sipping a Frappucino, blasting Fergie, and apathetically laughing at the President.

We can not cultivate a deep national pride through consumerism gadgets. Yea, it might seem like I am pointing one finger, but I pointed it at myself a long time ago. I sold my car. I began walking and biking everywhere.  Ten years later I eventually got a scooter. I don’t shop corporate if I can avoid it, because buying local keeps more money in my state. Why waste time watching TV when there is life to be experienced?

The way I live came about after a deep examination of what I purchase, eat, believe and teach. These philosophies stem from an desire to improve our nation. It was not taught to me and I realize I am a minority group when it comes to thinking like this. I don’t however, believe it’s impossible for my generation, or any other, to change this course we are on. Shifts happen! See above;  I’m an idealist! I’ve got ideas!

Sadly, I saw no one my age, or close to it, at the Peace Garden. And I hope this changes. When I get back home, I’m going to create one. I’m gonna give Peace some roots in my hometown.

It was a lot harder to leave the Garden than it was to enter it. When I entered the Garden I did not go through Canadian customs. Apparently, since the Garden shares land with Manitoba, I had to go through a rigorous U.S. Customs search. That was pretty fun, with a heavily laden scooter, packed to a precision only I understand.

I chatted with the customs officials about my trip. All in all it was a nice enough encounter. Their line of questioning was very detective like though; very deadpan and every question seemed loaded. I felt like they were going to catch me in the act, though I had done nothing wrong. The nice official couldn’t get the compression sack back on the bike, or the SHAD case closed, but he apologized.

The rummaging through the saddlebags completely off balance. I wasn’t planning on getting very far that night anyways. The search had taken an hour and the sun was beginning its quick descent, so I decided to stay in Bottineau for the night. The next morning I set out for Montana and covered about 358 miles. There was nothing spectacular along the route, but the landscape began changing as I entered Montana. Cornfields finally gave away to rolling hills covered in grain–and thankfully, the smell of poop was gone!

Next update: Circle, MT and the beginning of my full week in the grand state of Montana.

Fargo, ND: Gateway to the West

Flip side Postcard Number 1
(Those postcards look familiar, yes I know. They were used on a previous entry. It’s encouragement to fill out the postcard I have given you along the way!)

The trip up from Sioux Falls was pretty uneventful. Traveling by way of Routes 81, to 11, to 34 to 18 to some other little roads and finally to Broadway St., it was a long drive with few towns or gas stations. From Salina, KS on, fueling stations have been sparse. I regularly questions locals as to what’s ahead in the next town-often stopping if even at three quarters a tank. Except, someone from Circle, MT just gave me a gas can yesterday-but I don’t want to get ahead of the updates….

I rode into Fargo quite cheerfully, around 6pm. It was August 17- the day being my one month on the road anniversary point. Also, I have waited patiently for about 12 years to visit Fargo. And this has nothing to do with the Coen Brothers movie Fargo-which, by the way, wasn’t even filmed there. There were only four states left for me to visit in this country-North Dakota being one and now being done!

As a gift for the P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER anniversary, Phillip gratuitously offered to pay for my lodging at his favorite hotel, the Hotel Donaldson. IMG_1576
And I graciously accepted. I suspect he had a hunch about my physical and mental condition being a bit ragged by then. Me and Audrey scooted up curiously, covered in road dust. Now this was quite a grandiose palace, and as I unsaddled Audrey, I hoped there were no highfalutin characters inside. My room was nicer than my apartment, or any apartment I might ever have. And not a pretentious nice, but a really decadent, artistically pleasant kind of nice. The artwork caught my eye and I perused an informative folder that detailed all the local artistry throughout the building. This excited me-to see that this hotel was actually a community hub. The CD’s laid out in the room, next to the BOSE stereo, were all local musicians. Fighting the urge to nest for the evening on the plush bed, I grabbed the camera and headed out for a walk. At this point, I felt a bit like a reporter from the Travel Channel, but I was grinning ear to ear to be in Fargo and have such a swell place to boot.

I had a couple hours of sunlight left to snap some shots. The first guy I ran across was parking his car, which was packed with instruments. I inquired if he was in the jazz band playing in the lounge. He was. And it turned out he had jammed/partied with some favorite local musicians of Charlottesville, VA-the Hackensaw Boys. A nice coincidence to meet someone who had a connection to my hometown-a world separated by six degrees. Don’t ever doubt how interconnected we are-and what possibilities you might share with a seemingly total stranger! Greeting strangers like friends is how I avoid being lonely on the road!

The downtown area really impressed me. I was searching for a salad somewhere and staring at a sculpture when some nice girls stopped to tell me the point of the painted buffalo. IMG_1558
It’s part of a city art project. They also told me Fargo has more restaurants and coffee shops per capita than anywhere else. But everyone says that it seems. Anyhow, people were really cordial everywhere I went. The evening walk took me well around and through the parameters of downtown. Fargo was founded in 1871 and has a lot of character. It was obvious that the area had been revitalized, but tastefully so. I was informed that private investors and city planners all work well together at long range urban planning. Hope you aren’t bored-but urban planning is exciting stuff to me! I enjoyed that the historic integrity was mostly still intact. It seemed as though many buildings were renovated versus razed. I could feel some old Western culture present amid the tasteful, shiny, modern touches and lighting. I bet early downtown Fargo saw some wild times during its heyday as a railway stop. I also suspect that the Hotel Donaldson (HODO) is a big contributing player in Fargo’s revival. Sightseeing concluded, I went back to explore inside the HODO.

I pushed open a heavy door into the packed low lit, smoky lounge. My only complaint-heavy doors. And I’m not a wimpy spring chicken either! Immediately people made eye contact with me. A classy gentleman at the bar, Tony, clad in pink shirt, introduced himself and a great conversation was born. It turns out he is involved with film making. His latest project is a docu-drama about Fargo, so he spends a lot of time there, otherwise he lives in Chicago. He told me all about the interesting characters that make up the town. It was nice to pick his brain a bit for movie advice. He and the friend he introduced me too were truly engaging fellows. They both took postcards and I hope to get a response from whomever they send ’em off to. I said goodbye and went over across the lobby, into the fancy dining room.

Kate, the server closing up for the night, took this picture of me, pretending to play the piano. We wound up talking for almost an hour. All of the employees at the HODO were so supportive and intrigued by my trip. I also enjoyed hearing their unique stories and appreciated that they all took time to be so candid. I didn’t get to meet the owner of the Hotel Donaldson, she was out of town, but everyone applauded her for creating a family at the HODO. It really shined through too. Of course-I never could have afforded a room there-but the rest of the place was pretty accessible to anyone. I went to the upper floor, also full of locals having a good time. There were some nice views of Fargo from the top.

Before hitting the sack I rolled one last time through the HODO lounge. Igor and Ted gave me big smiles and an invitation to chat-so I obliged. These locals are splendid! While chatting with them, the manager Ben came over to the table and said the HODO had heard about P.E.A.C.E SCOOTER and stood in full support. Generously, he said that the chef had been informed to prepare anything I wanted the next day for the road. I asked how he knew about the trip and he said Kate, the server had mentioned it. Kate walked up just then to return a completely filled out postcard to me! My first month anniversary and the first postcard return! Bonus! It was all very surreal. I hope to see many more postcards make it back to me!

I retired up to the room but couldn’t sleep for the sheer lavishness of it all. My pillows had been turned down-something the campground always forgets to do. I nibbled on the chocolate cookies left for me and read the weather report that had been placed by the bed. At some point I passed out-it all seemed like a dream anyways. I might have jumped up and down on the bed too……

The next morning I poked around some shops looking for a Fargo sweatshirt. It was safe to say I would need one for the road ahead through colder state and plus, I heart Fargo. I never found one though. The chef prepared me a salad and sandwich for the road and couldn’t help wishing they supported my cause enough to offer me a free room for the night.

Before leaving town I needed to pick up a box I had mailed to myself, of extra postcards and stickers. Crystal had sent me a package too, with a dazzling seat cover for Audrey. New Accessory!
It’s fleecy and cushy for my cushion and adds vivid color to my black bike. The peace signs are perfect for the tour-a deep bow to Crystal for her generosity. It was cool to have a present waiting and fortunately, the boxes were located after some searching. The pick up point was a certified Genuine dealer, but the place, Scheels, is more like a sporting goods Disney World. There is even a ferris wheel inside.
Having left the cosmopolitan area of Fargo, I wasn’t too impressed with the rest of what I experienced in Fargo. Fortunately, a kind guy led me to the road I needed to get out of town. I opened up the throttle and headed towards Devil’s Lake. A beautiful ride was waiting and my frustration with some sales people quickly dissipated.
Ferris Wheel in Sporting Goods Store
Thank you to everyone who shared in my long awaited sojourn to Fargo. It was great-you betcha!

Banter that occurred while in Fargo or around the area:

ME: “Do you have any Fargo sweatshirts?”
THEM:”Could you be more specific?”
ME: ” A sweatshirt that says Fargo…”

HIM: “You drive that thing on roads?”
ME: “(as scooter is by a highway, gassing up) No sir, sidewalks only, if its not raining. ”
*note, scooter has VIRGINIA license plates*

Wayne, NE towards Sioux Falls, SD

The Daily Double

Wayne, NE was a resting point en route to Sioux Falls, SD. The lights of Wayne twinkled in the distance and this was it-there wouldn’t be any other stops ahead for a nights slumber. Earlier that day I had been in Seward, met a reporter for an interview, and done some blogging at a coffee shop. The shop had just opened that day and even had a wireless signal available, but from a local business. All day I was still sweating and laboring with the bike and gear. All said, the day had been long, hot and very introspective. I was drained but had a particular feeling a contentment, heightened by the thoughts I had worked through earlier on death, justice, peace, community and war.

Sunset, NEThe sublime sunset that carried me into Wayne accented a feeling that I am learning and growing out here on the road. That night the motel gave me a spectacular deal and room 108-my favorite number. After tearing through my pack and doing some grimy sweat stained laundry I rested hard, but brief.

Sioux Falls was still many miles down the road, but I was slow moving in the morning. All of the ladies at the motel were friendly and curious about the trip. Divas of the 8
While I was packing up one of them called the local paper and the next thing I knew, an interview materialized. The reporter tried to maneuver me over to the hotel sign and they joked that it would be great press for the chain. To which I said no, unless they wanted to offer me free stays at their other motels along the way. It happened very quickly and hopefully, I wasn’t seen as rude. The reporter was very nice and asked better questions than most people have on such short notice. That was two interviews in two days-hopefully the project will keep getting press like that!

The heat seemed to be breaking, temperature only in the 80’s. The skies were rather dark, and soon enough a massive thunderstorm rolled in. At first it didn’t seem like much and that most of it would be avoided once I headed north. However, my call was wrong and led me down a road in the middle of the plains-no shelter and intense lightening striking everywhere around me. All I could do was scoot on, marveling at the beauty of the lightening and pondering how bad it would hurt if I got hit. I think my fear of lightening has just about diminished. Not enough to stop and take photos of it….
I didn’t break out the rain gear since the drops weren’t too heavy, nor did it rain too long. Soon the skies were sunny on one side of the road while totally darkened on the other. The Other Side of the Street
Knock, Knock, knockin'

I reached the South Dakota state sign and the sun completely broke through. The past six days had been relatively free of obnoxious, menacing traffic and still I scooted down empty country roads. South Dakota is an absolutely beautiful state, with three main regions- the Central Plains, where the Badlands are; the western part that house the Black Hills; and the Eastern Prairie. The Peace route has me in the eastern prairie-not as scenic as the other two regions, but the crops and colors of the landscape had changed slightly from Nebraska. There were lots of low growing soybean crops instead of cornfields, opening the horizon up nicely. Honestly though, at this point I was getting slightly sick of smelling fertilizer, day after day. That smell doesn’t go away easily. And the road kill is really wearing on me. Some roads have been bloodstained.

I always pay attention to the time line of a town when cruising in from the rural roads, through outlying areas of town, suburbs and then to the epicenter of downtown. The first impression of Sioux Falls was a bunch of newish middle-class housing developments that all mimicked one another. Next, the streets took me past hordes of casinos, gas stations, liquor stores and other sundry shops. I was looking for a health food store that popped up on a google search and found it really easily.

The Natural Foods Co-op was a welcome sight and a real surprise. The Natural Foods CO-OPOut in the Plains, I have found little health food to consume, most options derived from something that once moved. There were bulk goodies galore so I refilled the Dr. Bronners soap, grabbed seeds for sprouting, quick oats, cous cous, beans and such. I could tell this place was a real oasis to the community. I chatted with locals for awhile about the stores history and the P.E.A.CE. project. They encourage me to hang up some postcards on the bulletin board. I gave away two stickers to some young girls who were goofing off while waiting on their parents. While stuffing all my goodies into the cooler, their parents came looking for me. They were super excited about the trip and generously donated $20. That covered my food expenses!

The next person I met was really interesting. I’m not quite sure how we got into such a deep conversation, and its hard to convey this, but she started telling me some really intense stories. The sun was beginning to set behind her and she took on the look of the Oracle-from the Matrix. It was a bit surreal-I just kept listening to her speak. Her stories were a bit complicated to follow in some places. There were long pauses but no prompt or appropriate place for me to ask a question. So, I just hung on and after a long story that wove throughout a thirty year span, she brought it back. To her original point? Not sure?? What she was trying to convey to me related to experiencing peace, or in her words-love and protection. She talked about having a near death experience in her youth, during WW2, from an influenza. Apparently, the odds were against her living, but she did, and recalled the presence of a “friend,” sitting by her bed. This “friend,” was a spirit watching and protecting her and she suddenly leaned in and said she willed it for that spirit to travel this journey with me. I guess I was tapped by the Oracle, eh? This nice lady then led me down the street so I could buy a new USB cord for the camera, which I had left back in NE. Doh!

The sun had almost sunk on the horizon as I pulled into my next stop, the Black Sheep Coffee House.
Sunset, SD
There was no salad on the menu, but the barista offered to make me one. My body was so happy to finally have greens. The shop is also a community oasis and felt like a comfy living room. Not pretentious in its presentation; just good local artwork hanging, cool bicycles propped up here and there, and a huge roaster taking up one section of the shop. After devouring my salad I had some espresso and was uploading photos when I heard two people discussing the bike. Todd, the proprietor, as he introduced himself, was quite the character. Such a fantastic guy! He was totally amped, maybe the espresso, but genuinely excited about the trip. He was really moved by the work of the Peace Pilgrim and recommended that I read her book-something I will do after the trip. He asked for some postcards and then offered me some fresh roasted beans. That’s definitely Pit Crew support right there, keeping me on the road with organic Ethiopian Yirgacheffe. He also warned me NOT to take rides in flat bed trucks-as thats how the Peace Pilgrim met her unfortunate demise. She never accepted rides-and the one time she did ended in death. So sad. Our conversation was engaging, rapid, and covered many things; coffee, music, peace, scooters, politics, local history. I wish we had longer to talk, but the KOA Kampground had told me to be there by 10pm or the gates closed.
Todd and Hannah

I had not camped in awhile. After driving in 102 degree heat, it wasn’t tempting to sweat all night too. Since the temperature was bearable, I decided to save some cash and enjoy nature. Well, I saved cash, but the space was right along a major traffic thoroughfare and it was quite loud.
The campground hosts were friendly, charming folk and they put a lot of nice touches into the grounds. It was nice to see them enjoy retirement by hosting travelers. Internet was a suprising extra- surprised to find out most campgrounds offer this amenity. However, it ultimately was a restless night from the noise and heavy thunderstorm that hit in the night. I was sleeping under a tree and just didn’t care to move the tent, even in the lightning. I was also too damn sleep deprived to move when the rain came in the tent. It was like sleeping and showering at the same time! Bonus. IMG_1439

Feeling groggy and grumpy, I headed out to see the Sioux Falls that run through town. My conversation with Todd had delved into the native history of the land. At a particular moment in our conversation it hit me that many of the places on the Peace map have experienced some form of intense conflict. I did not specifically research this type of history before picking my route, but I now have this perspective for the trip. I will be writing in more detail, possibly in a book, about the effects of such historical conflict in creating community and peace. The Sioux Falls were once sacred grounds to the bison hunting Dakota and Lakota Indians. IMG_1476The Falls were seized in 1856 by two groups, who saw a promising townsite in its beauty and water power. The grooved, pinkish brown quartzite stones and rushing water are still beautiful, though the suds from farm run-off probably weren’t there when the Native Americans lived off the land. There were some pretty ducks who came by to share my trail mix.

I watched them fight for nuts and raisins a bit and then Robert came over to talk. He had been painting by the falls for awhile and commented on the fun I was having feeding the ducks. I joked that from my enthusiasm for playing with ducks, it must be obvious I’ve been alone on the road awhile. Robert had served most of his life in the military, though I never would have guessed. I told him that I am traveling the country to understand the different definitions people have of peace, what their vision for our future is, and to experience the many communities across America. He was really fun, wired and zany-though I worry about the amount he was chain smoking. His appearance reminded me a bit of Jack Nicholson, but a bohemian painter version. RobertHe jumped right into a story about how he has experienced peace in his life, so I asked to film him. Several themes from the day were tying into together; community, diversity, peace, rankism, local history, sacred spots.

Sadly, there did not seem to be much diversity in Sioux Falls. It’s a mainly white, middle-class, corporate employed town. Many credit institutions and banks are headquartered in Sioux Falls to take advantage of relaxed usury laws. That contributed to the boom in the 90’s, the award for best place to live in America and the homogenized housing I saw coming into town. Robert told me about pursuing his interest in art after an injury and release from the military. He offers all of the money earned from art sales into Native American cultural preservation. He was speaking a lot about the need for community and diversity. It was a great time with Robert and he told me it was a good thing I wasn’t sticking around town or he might have to fall in love with me. He also offered me a huge Prayer Flag that had just been painted. The prayer flag from RobertI accepted, and told myself to mail some stuff home soon, as the packs were fully loaded. My mood wasn’t quite so grumpy anymore after visiting this beautiful, powerful spot centered right in the middle of town. I snapped some pictures of the industry right around the Falls. One is the John Morrell meat packing plant, its building filling the skyline from a view at the Falls. Apparently, it has brought diversity and prosperity into town. And also pollution, as it dumps into the Sioux River, only to be slapped on the wrist. At least, that’s what Robert told me, who had conducted river sampling at points above and below the plant.

On my way out of town towards Fargo, I stopped for another salad at the Black Sheep. As I was finishing up, Todd rolled in, moving with his charming frenetic pace. I could talk to him for hours! My time in Sioux Falls was brief, less than 24 hours, though well spent. He threw some more goodies my way for the trip. Apparently he had been talking to his morning customers about the project. I met Mike, who donated $20 and promised to stay up on the travelogue. Todd walked me out and we talked about his business and its stronghold as a community spot. It reminded me a lot of my last employer, the Mudhouse. It’s a place where everyone congregates, where the goods and knowledge are just as important as the service. If you don’t like it, you don’t have to come back-but you would be foolish not to. I chided Todd for not having a website, but he’s pretty Maverick about the whole business. He knows his beans, was the first high test coffee spot in town-and not going anywhere. People try his coffee once on the way through town and wind up doing mail order! He gave me a squeeze goodbye and I scooted off towards Fargo, ND. On the way out of town I ran across this mural, and did a turnabout to snap it.
Future so bright....
It was a good decision to put Sioux Falls on the P.E.A.C.E Map, even though it was 25 miles off course. I wish everyone that I met there all the best….

Memorial in Nebraska

A Day of Remembrance.

Odometer Reading at departure: 3,563.0
Memorial Stopping Point: 3,690.0
General Douglas Macarthur
That is 127 miles spent contemplating the value of life and the measure of man, holding many questions in my thoughts. The day’s journey was dedicated to all lives lost in war.

I departed Fairbury, Nebraska, heading toward the 11th vector on the Peace map- Sioux Falls, South Dakota. My first stop was in Seward, NE, for breakfast/lunch and coffee. I pulled in to a very Norman Rockwell small town and went to the local grocery store. The locals had all congregated for lunch and raised eyebrows at me. I made myself invisible and listened to the banter about politics and the heat, chewing on a starchy, greasy grilled cheese and tomato.

It had become obvious to me that these areas in the Plains had sent many youth off to fight-in many wars.
For hundreds of miles past and to come- I have seen memorials and signs in support of our soldiers. IMG_1330

I am riding for Peace. I would like those who also support the soldiers to understand that means I want to see an end to war so that our soldiers don’t keep dying. Which is pretty supportive, I think. Let’s refer back to that “for us or against us”, mentality that so endangers our ability to problem solve and communicate effectively. I do not stand in support of this war but I pay tribute to those who lost their lives in this complicated mess.

I feel the measure of loss from it-on all sides.

Of course I don’t want our soldiers, or ANY SOLDIERS, to die. How could I say I want this? Are not our hands bloodied indirectly- though soldiers face immediate death-through allowing this war? How can I say “I am willing for there to be death for there to be Peace?” Perhaps in our past history, this was the only way. But have any of these wars created Peace? Or just more oppression?

When you take the time to converse with someone seemingly different from yourself, you realize you have the similar needs. Our strategies for acquiring them are different. Basic needs are protection, food, medicine, shelter. Our cultural, religious, and political views separate us because those indicate the different routes we take to acquire our basic needs. And said systems often perpetuate such inequity or oppression that we inhibit people from acquiring the basic needs. Which usually creates war, fighting or revolutions. History shows it.

This evolution everyone talks about-where? when? how? I can boot up the computer and play an online game of chess with someone in Russia. The scooter I ride was made in Taiwan. Do you shop at Walmart? All that stuff was made in China. Where did your jeans come from? Your underwear? Your food? Your stocks-how many countries are you invested in? Our lives are interconnected-at the very least-from a monetary perspective. The point being, we have access to other cultures in a way we never did before-other cultures are becoming embedded in our lives-and ours in theirs. We are building global bridges.

How can we continue this attitude that we will send our youth off to kill, or to die as a way to resolve conflict? Why is it not just as patriotic to be a visionary statesman/woman and brainstorm new ways of conflict resolution as it is to bury our youth and spend billions of American money?

In war, people die-lives, families and towns are forever altered through the decision to declare and fight a war. I don’t want war. I want us to accept that conflict is inevitable, I experience it in some form at least every other day. How we choose to resolve it and create viable decisions for our precious youth is the new paradigm. I guess it comes down to power. And power over is something our country has always had. Maybe its time to set the bar and create institutions that resolve conflict by developing power with. The more we exert power over, the more conflict will continue to fester. Conflict hasn’t been removed-just shifted-in that type of relationship. If someone’s spouse beats them into submission because they are complaining about something, they can only shut them up for a bit, they haven’t solved the problem. They are ruling their partner by fear only. Beating your partner for dominance isn’t a last resort tactic-it’s plain wrong. No matter what the situation is. What if we applied that mentality to our global tactics? Sure, it’s complicated. You don’t have to tell me that, or think this snippet is my only synopsis of international relations, thank you. But our tactics in the Mid-East aren’t developing sustainable futures. And our youth and their youth are dying-at rapid rates.

The day’s journey was dedicated to all those lives lost in war. At a protest I attended in September 2006  the death count was at 2703. DSCN0764Today, when the odometer hit 3670, I called my friend for the latest death count. Unfortunately, it had gone up one since the morning-and there were probably more unrecorded. That last twenty miles was very solemn for me. I had spent all day relating my living to the deaths these soldiers experienced-giving thanks I have it. I thought about what I would do if Death came to me and said I had the day to spend as I wished. A tractor trailer came hauling up behind me at 3689, so that last mile countdown was a hectic. I maneuvered over to the side of the road and settled in for a little memorial.

There I was, surround by nothing but corn, twenty miles past the town of Schuyler, NE, begging the universe that we learn from these tragedies we invent. I read passages on Non Violence from Martin Luther King and held a prayer for us. A mailbox (?) stood across the way, so I put a postcard in it. MemorialThe explanation on the card said that I was traveling through on a ride for Peace and that my odometer just reached the number of dead U.S. Soldiers. I asked that they take a moment of silence and help to envision a better world, then fill out the postcard and send it to a friend-or the President.

Then I prepared a geo-cache package and placed it in a ziplock baggie under some loose chunks of asphalt by a “School Bus Stop Ahead,” sign. So, if you are traveling Hwy 15 through Nebraska-there is a package hidden there. It’s GPS coordinates are +41° 38′ 10.50″, -97° 3′ 33.96″ (41.636250, -97.059433)

The mileage of the Peace Scooter tour 2007 will never be equal to the amount of total casualties; a reminder that war is lose-lose proposition and Peace is not solely a political endeavor. It’s personal and it’s fundamental that we envision new ways to resolve conflict.

That night as I headed towards Sioux Falls, the sunset was the most breathtaking one I have ever seen. It lasted about half an hour at least, the longest sunset I have ever seen, I swear. My route kept shifting, east, then north. Every bend I came around presented a new exhilarating angle. Miles Davis was playing on the iPod, my heart was soaring, and my mind reeling from the intoxication of being human. There are a lot of prospects ahead in our future-let’s not forget the interconnectedness we share on this Earth. Thanks for reading and being there at the memorial with me for a moment…..

Sunset in NE

If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other. -Mother Theresa (1910-1997)

Tulsa is OK by me


I know this post is a little behind the times, as I left Tulsa 7 days ago, so, thanks for your patience. I really enjoyed my brief visit there-it was the most fun I’ve actually had all trip. And that’s hard to put up against New Orleans. Of course, New Orleans is a seductive, warm town where the music and conversation flow easily. But, it was a very solemn time. I did a lot of exploring and visiting organizations that opened my eyes to Katrina’s devastation. In Tulsa, I unwound, had some fun and was treated really properly by my hosts.

I arrived into Tulsa a bit wind fatigued. The summer winds blow South in the Plains and that particular day where gusting around 20 mph. I was heavily blown while heading West on US-64 and leaning most of my body weight to the left of the bike.
As of the day I decided to make this trip, the longest distance I had scooted was 30 miles. I started “training,” by riding my Metropolitan to Richmond, about 60 miles each way. I did that trip 3 times, once driving my Buddy back. As far as traveling, in general, I am a road veteran! I have been cross country seven times, by cage, so I know the “road rules.” However, I am learning about scooting now and all the variables involved. The odometer reads 4,600-and I’ve come through most elements. Needless to say, my fear of lightening has almost dissipated. Nothing confronts that fear like being stuck in the Plains during a massive mid afternoon storm. No where to run baby, just keep on scooting. Just drop the speed a bit until something unfamiliar becomes familiar.
The wind was frightening at first, but I adjusted-literally, I moved some stuff around to make the bike handle better. I am a little girl on a mainly plastic bike, so wind factors in heavily to my overall speed. The thing is, this is the course that made the most sense- Gusts or No Gusts- I scoot on. If you are coming these routes by scooter, I do suggest making adjustments in your planning. Winds can blow through the Plains at 80 mph sometimes. Get that wind at your back to conserve gas and energy!

Since fatigue had tapped my reserves, I took a few minutes to recollect before contacting the Tulsa Scooter family-David, Carol, Sacha and Peter. After consuming some granola and espresso, and rapping with a local barista, ( who donated $10) I put in the call. David Wycoff, the father of the family, scooted out to my location to bring me into town. I thought that was a classy, polite move and so was everything else that followed.

Cold showers are quintessential for survival in the hot weather, so after a shower revival and quick tasty dinner we all donned our helmets and went scooting around Tulsa. The Wycoffs’ own and run Tulsa Scooters. Awhile back, David revived scooter interest in town and steadily the shop built up quite a community. We swung by the local indie theater in town, which was showing Twin Peaks episodes (how cool is that?) to pick up Sacha. That evening the five of us took a nice tour of Tulsa. The air was still heavy and warm, but it was enjoyable to set aside the heavy gear and see the town all lit up. Even though I didn’t get many photos, I was able to plot some rides for the next day. We cruised to through many neighborhoods, over to the “Center of The Universe,” and Cains-a famous music venue. Later, after David and his wife headed home, me, Peter and Sacha hit her favorite watering hole in town-the Cellar Dweller. While I felt just barely alive, it was great to sit in the hip little basement bar and enjoy the banter of others. Sacha left to take care of her two beautiful children and Peter eventually led me back over to his parents house where I would sleep the next two nights. Thankfully they offered up their house as a B&B-especially great since the PGA was in town and room prices were probably ridiculous-and without the character this one had. The house was tucked away in a great neighborhood where everyone had green lawns and pretty flowers.

After a great rest and morning chat with Carol, I headed over to the shop for Audrey’s check-up. I spent the next three hours at Tulsa Scooters marveling over their collection of Scoot magazines, bike displays, and family rapport. Sacha’s two girls were also around, so the shop had loud laid back family feel, much needed after a few solitary weeks on the bike. I really appreciate their willingness to help me out with anything the bike needed, and for throwing in some cool memorabilia to boot. The mechanics, Ray and Brad, treated Audrey to an oil change, sparkle shine cleaning and they spliced the wiring to make my “dummy,” turn signals work-now I am much more visible on the road.

The architecture in Tulsa had really caught my eye and so I cruised aimlessly about after having the bike fixed up. IMG_1084Tulsa has a centennial time capsule, which I LOVE, so I enthusiastically went over to inspect its contents. Disappointingly, they included a car-and a Plymouth at that. When its opened in 2050, it will be interesting to see the technology comparison. Earlier that day, Carol had spoken to me about mediation, and I reminded myself how nice it is to just sit peacefully. So, there, in Centennial Park, in some sparse shade, I meditated. There was a farmers market happening on the outskirts of the park and some families strolling about the fountains-it all made for a relaxing hour. It was something I needed desperately, to leave the scooter and laptop aside and force myself to just be still.

Carrying on with my exploring I wound up sneaking into a graveyard for a photo opportunity. I rolled under the gate to snap the picture of a white skyscraper in the distance, framing the tombstones. Tulsa was a photogenic city, very Art Deco from the big oil money in the 20’s. It was also very clean and even the new developments had good construction-I saw few condos or vinyl siding when I was there. The business district was worth some shots too. Its apparent that Tulsa is an affluent city, but many people were very friendly and there was lot of culture. It’s also an oasis for coffee snobs like myself. Almost every shop I went to had a Marzocco espresso machine and quality, locally roasted beans. They also rocked the rosettas and latte design-a first in my time on the road. I dropped off some postcards and chatted with the barista at the Coffeehouse on Cherry Street. Overall, this would be my favorite shop-brew strong and savory, ambience perfect and staff friendly.

What next? An early evening ride with local scooters.
About 12 people were at the shop when I returned. So far, that evenings ride was the largest formation I’ve ridden in. Really exciting on that note, and there were lots of good looking bikes, good attitudes. and very good scenery.IMG_1108
After riding for an hour we stopped for dinner and David was very generous to treat me to a tasty Boca Burger. The remaining ten of us chatted for awhile and then Peter,Emily and myself headed over to McNellies Irish Pub-one of Peter’s favorite places. The pub offered 70+beers on tap and variety of 100+bottles-as well as good ambiance. There’s a game room in the back with foozball, pool and darts. A really talented band of various local musicians was jamming-all for no cover charge. The talk was flowing between the three of us and it was nice to get to know Emily and Peter a little better. I’m really glad he suggested McNellies.

That being a pretty complete day, they dropped me off and I packed up the gear for an early Friday morning start. Well, at least I tried.

By 9am I was up and ready for coffee with David. Him and Carol thought I needed to try out the Doubleshot Coffee shop. Which, indeed, had high test coffee. The owner/barista was offended by my request for 2 shots of espresso in a cup of coffee. He refused. I found this amusing-I don’t mind coffee snobs. David is a very interesting man to listen to-I wish there had been more time to hear his stories. After caffenation we cruised to the shop for goodbyes.

Right down the street from Tulsa Scooters was a little head shop that sold stickers. I picked up a couple to remember Tulsa and interviewed the store manager. She offered me a nice Peace pin and some beautiful green adventurine stones for the journey. I loved that the place was called OZ- appropriate for my jaunt up to Kansas. Chelle was another of many kind Tulsans. She was actually the only interview I did the whole time. There were a lot of post cards given out-so hopefully people will write there comments on the Wall of Beliefs. But the Tulsans gave me what I needed most right then-laughter, company, lounging and music.What’s Peace without those things? Many thanks to you all!