3442 miles $6,170 in donations

To continue to follow the ride at back to Fla click here or go to http://www.scooterdiaries2010.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Woke up on Wednesday and decided to head home.  To read about the return journey click here or go to SCOOTERDIARIES2010.BLOGSPOT.COM

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


 This is the end of the west bound leg. 3442 miles of road behind us.

It has been a great ride for me, Bob and Scoot. We met wonderful people on our ride across America, even if some of them thought we were nuts doing it on a scooter. I loved every minute of it and we thank you for riding along with us from Florida to California.

We will let Bob go here.  He ran a great life and enjoyed it until the end. He will forever be in our memories.

We will lay around California for a few days before we decide what we will do next. Our desire is to ride back, but there may be a scheduling conflict. I am not anxious to cross all the mountain ranges again, but I will not use that as an excuse. We will work something out and post it here, if you wish to follow the adventure on the way back.

This started as mainly another spring scooter ride for me. Someone suggested trying to raise money for the James Dean Byrd Foundation and it's mission of supporting the Escuela Bilingue los Algarrobos in Canoa, Ecuador. It is a project that I have been involved in since it's inception in 2007.   I have watched it, and the children and families it helps, do a wonderful job. Everyone there, Jimmy, Moya, Christine, Victor and the whole school staff and volunteers have made a real difference in the world. I am glad I did. Thanks to you, the readers, we raised over $5,770 and donations are still coming. All of these monies will be delivered to the school in June. We will post the event here and on the James Dean Byrd Foundation website, www.jamesdeanbyrdfoundation.org Thank you!!

The end.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Scoot, Bob and I skipped out of Stovepipe Wells at the crack of dawn.  My hope was to watch the sun light up the desert as we headed west.  Unfortunately, we just got a glimpse of the sun and then a heavy overcast set in.

We pressed on climbing to almost 5,000 feet over the Towne Pass and roaring down the other side, with inclines as much as 9%, back down to sea level in the Panamint Valley. 
We pulled into Panamint gas station to fill up.  It was still early, but we met Wally Henderson. Another great, interesting person.  He lives in New Mexico but was out traveling with friends. I noticed he had a "smoke jumper" belt buckle on and asked if he knew a couple of jumpers I knew from the 60's.  I misjudged his age by a few years.  He was a smoke jumper in 1946 and 47. I did not even know that they jumped that far back.  He said when he graduated from smoke jumper school, they were told not to think of making a career of it as, in a few years, water bombers would replace smoke jumpers.  The Smoke Jumper Assoc. celebrates the 75th year of smoke jumping this year.

We began the next climb up to the top of another approximately 5000 foot pass and another roaring decent into Owens Lake and out of Death Valley.  My neighbors, Vicki Bennett, a felt artist, and Rich Luker had sponsored me across Death Valley.  I am sure Vicki was probably trying to link me and Death together some way.

We got on US-395 for a short run to join CA-178.  Again we began a climb to get over the Walker Pass at around 5,000 feet again and then roared down into Kern River Valley.  The wide valley is lush and green with the water from the river and is watched over by the dry arid mountains on each side. 

We cruised along and began to look for some gas.  The first 2 stations were out of gas, so I was forced to do my second aerial refueling.  Supervising was Zack, a very outgoing young man.  I found it odd that he and his brother had played tic-tac-toe on his skin with markers.  Guess there is a paper shortage or they are really into recycling here.

We finished the valley and descended down the mountain on a 2 lane winding road lined with wild flowers to Bakersfield.

We blew through Bakersfield and out the other side on CA-58.  We traveled through rich farming land and the old oil fields in the Antelope Plain. CA-58 makes a right turn and begins the climb up to the California Valley. The sign at the turn said "no services for the next 70 miles", just my kind of ride. It was a beautiful rolling ride with wildflowers everywhere.  Then we climbed over another mountain range and descended into Santa Margarita.

Descending into to Santa Margarita we turned over 10,000 miles and, as you can see from the yellow light, running on fumes.

From here it was about a 40 minute run into Morro Bay.  Today was a great ride and I think one of the longest I have done on a scooter. If the sun had been out it would have probably been one of the most spectacular rides of my life; but it was still great and that is why I went so far in the rain.  We got a classy room on the water and took the rest of the day off.

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Sunday, May 16, 2010


Scoot, Bob and me were leaving Las Vegas at 8AM, but I had trouble separating Roger and Scoot. They had gone out running around yesterday and had really bonded. They finally said their goodbyes and I said goodbye to Lynelle and we were off. It had been a great 2 days visit with great friends.

We headed west towards Red Rock Canyon. Every time I looked in the mirror there was Roger following us. I pulled into the visitors center and he followed right behind us. I guess he and Scoot needed more riding time.

Actually, he had followed us so we could get in to the Red Rock Park for free and he gave us a great tour. I wish we had more time to go hiking in this area. He and Lynelle have climbed just about every rock in the place.

Said our goodbyes again and headed on down the road. After Puramph there was no development. It was a great ride. Around 11am we entered the Death Valley National Park. There had been no "Welcome to California" or "Goodbye Nevada" signs.We descended from 3000 feet to 243 feet below sea level. Scoot was loving this being back down low and we were roaring along.

We pulled up early, around 2pm at Stove Pipe Wells. Most of the hotels have closed for the season and since they are few and far between we had made a reservation here. If it was full and I had no reservation it would have been a long haul on the scooter to the next one. The hotel is owned by the park service and operated by a private contractor. I call the Motel 6-4=2. It is just as it was in the 1950's

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So far we have exceeded our goal to help the Escuela Bilingue los Algarrobos.  Donations are still coming in and it is such a great and wonderful thing.  We will soon report the total donations.  Ongoing support is the key to success of this project and we thank all of you who have supported us in the past.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Scoot, Bob and I pressed on out of Prescott, Az. way too early.  My cell phone had not switched to mountain time and there was no clock in the Antelope Hills Inn and Suites, so we were on the road by what was supposed to be 7AM but actually was 6AM. 
Way too cold, so we stopped in Chino Valley at Java Chuckwagon and had a "Gucci" coffee and met new people. The owner, Rob and staff of Shauna and Sandy were nice and we discussed the world in general.  While there, Robert came in.  He said there used to be a "table" but no more. He was quite an interesting man.  He had worked for an aircraft manufacturer all his life as a model builder and also built some real experimental planes in his garage. It had warmed up so I decided to press on.  As I was leaving a police officer was getting out of his car and I asked if I could get a picture of Scoot and him.  He said NO!  This is the first time anyone in all our travels has refused a picture.
We headed north for Ash Fork and got on the interstate for 5 miles to Route 66 were I felt safer than any road I had been on in Arizona.  Maybe it was the long ride, or being cold, or the 6 or 7 drivers that tried to kill me by passing in my lane (a first on this trip) or the unfriendly public servant, but I was not warming up to Arizona.  They want you to think they were born and raised here and are the salt of the earth, but they are mostly Rhinestone cowboys.  The vast majority moved to a suburb here from some other suburb in another state. It is not their politics, as I agree in principal with  immigration laws, as misguided in my opinion as they are.  They are going to be in shock when they find out how much it is going to cost them and that is not even talking about the boycotts.  They are already whining like disadvantaged minorities that "those people" don't understand us".

All that changed when I got on Route 66 and Chuck.

I whipped into the Truxton Station on Route 66 for gas.  It is an old original station.  No fancy stuff here. No credit card pumps or soda machines.  Just good old down home hospitality. I asked if he had 91 Octane gas and he told me no, just 87 but just 1/4 mile down the road they had 91. I decided what the heck, I'm here I'll take what you got.  Good decision.  It was a great visit.  We talked about bikes and people and politics. He showed me his shop tools when we started talking about shop tools.  He showed me a picture of his favorite toy, a 3 wheel motorcycle that is the fanciest I have ever seen.  I told him I would like to have a trike like that and he said it was not for sale but he had something for me. I took it for spin, but it was not exactly what I was looking for. It was a great visit with Steve and his son. We said our goodbyes and I headed off down Route 66. Meeting him changed my attitude. I was back in the open road, open mind attitude.
When I started writing about this day I felt that not having a picture of the Chuck's "trike" really was leaving something out of the story.  That night I got an email from his son, Charlie, with 2 pictures of the trike.  I told you there was good karma on that road and especially at Truxton Station.  Be sure and stop in for a visit. 

Not much on Route 66 any more, but there are still some of the old relics there.

They are building a new bridge to bypass Hoover Dam and people had advised me that between the construction and the security inspections for the dam there have been long waits, but we buzzed right through.  On the dam I met a couple from Las Vegas that have lived there for 54 years.  I could not understand their names and had him write them down.  I am sure he was a doctor because I could not read his hand writing either, but they were nice people.  I also saw an old Triumph Bonneville like the one that I rode around Europe.  It is also the one that I got hit by the BMW on.

I crossed over into Nevada and headed for Vegas and GPS City. I had bought a GPS for this trip but the part to mount it on the scooter did not become available until a few days ago. The guys at GPS city were busy and nice. The FedEx guy really liked Scoot and said I could ship him via FedEx if we wished, but we declined.

I found my way across Vegas, without a GPS, to our good friends Roger and Lynelle.  Mine and Roger's retirement plan is buy a barge in France and travel through the vineyards and drink wine and eat baguettes until we die.  The barge we will name "The Peace Barge" and paint in hippie colors. Of course we hatched this great plan years ago when we met on a barge in France drinking wine.

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I want to thank my friend Barbara of Tucson for buying the miles to get us across Arizona.  I am sure if I had come through your part of Arizona I would have left with a better opinion of the state.  You're still one of the most impressive people I have met. Thank you.
Escuela Bilingue los Allgarrobos follows the tradition in Ecuador of having a graduation ceremony for kindergarten.  Hope is that in 3 more years, with your help, we will be having a graduation ceremony for the 6th grade, the highest grade we are allowed to teach .