3442 miles $6,170 in donations

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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 .